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Wow...I'm impressed. Probably not something I'm willing to tackle on my own, and shudder just even WRITING that down, because I do EVERYTHING on my own.

I simply travel from home way too much to put something like this in and not have a local vendor familiar with the system to take care of it if something goes wrong.

That being said...got any pics? Love to hear more about your experience.


In a lifetime, the average driver will honk 15,250 times. My wife figures I'm due to die any day now...



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I don't have any pictures, but the one thing this kit offers that a lot of the professionals don't have available is the loop kits pre-made with fittings on the ends already. They are precharged with anti freeze and have quick connects that plug right on the manifold assembly. I built pvc framework out of plumbing and tie wrapped the loops to the frames. There is one loop per ton so I had 3 loops.(I must only have a 3 ton unit) Anchored the entire framework with concrete blocks, floated them out in the pond and let them sink. The rest of the installation was pretty easy, a little wiring and plumbing. My HVAC contractor came out and ducted the house down to the unit and that was all she wrote. I know what you mean about not having the local support like an expensive name brand. So far, not a single problem and my HVAC guy is pretty sharp and I have faith that he can work on this if there are any problems. Either way you look at it, a year is about all the warranty you get with any of these systems. I figured I saved at least $7000 with this DIY kit.

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 Originally Posted By: wazzle
I installed a 3.5 ton unit in a pond that is less than 1/4 acre and 12 feet deep. I installed the entire thing myself and my highest bill so far has been $160 on a very cold month.

http://www.geothermaldiy.com/


How big house do you heat? Do you have separate meter for the geo? What is your heating electric rate?


We live in a barn (aircraft hanger) converted to a house.
0.7 ac leaky pond.
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 Originally Posted By: wazzle
I installed a 3.5 ton unit in a pond that is less than 1/4 acre and 12 feet deep. I installed the entire thing myself and my highest bill so far has been $160 on a very cold month.

http://www.geothermaldiy.com/

I have been to that website more times than I can remember! Wow, now I have somebody to use for a barometer. Can you provide a short summary of the entire excursion, including some installation details and how you got there?
Thanks, wazzle. I am seriously interested in your project and results.
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(edit) Better still, if you have the pics and the time, I encourage you to open a new thread of your own and take us along for a ride on your installation. Pleeeeease???

Last edited by Brettski; 05/26/09 04:42 PM. Reason: groveling
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Geothermal makes perfect sense. However data trumps theory every time (sorry I am a scientist). The fact is that geothermal will on average cost you more money than conventional heating and cooling. It should not be the case, but on average it will cost you more. Each piece of hardware should be relaible but it is not. You will, on average, outspend any savings on the well-designed use of geothermal energy on maintainance costs for the units. As I said, this should not be the case, but it simply is the case.

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 Quote:
Geothermal makes perfect sense. However data trumps theory every time (sorry I am a scientist). The fact is that geothermal will on average cost you more money than conventional heating and cooling. It should not be the case, but on average it will cost you more. Each piece of hardware should be relaible but it is not. You will, on average, outspend any savings on the well-designed use of geothermal energy on maintainance costs for the units. As I said, this should not be the case, but it simply is the case.


So, you are a scientist for some LPG company?


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Just a lowly biologist. I would love to install a geothermal unit if they were reliable. Had a friend that swore by his until the last couple years when repair costs ate up all his savings, not to mention being without heating or cooling while the techs kept replacing things. The finally replaced a $80 part at the cost of $1000 because the labor to disassemble the unit to get to the part, and then reassemble was horrific. I may assemble my own open system sometime just for cooling using a 30-foot well near the house with an increadibly high flow capacity. Should be free cooling except for the pump and fan.

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I will try to get some pictures of the unit and plumbing and post them, but for some reason I didn't take any of the loop installation. I am heating and cooling a 3400 sq ft house with 3.5 ton unit. I do not have a separate meter for the geo. Now, before you say whoa, that is way too small, my house is built with ICF's(insulated concrete forms). The basement has 2.5 inches of foam inside and out with 8 inches of concrete, the first floor has 2.5 inches of foam inside and out with 6 inches of concrete and the two bedrooms on second floor are basically in attic space with insulation packed everywhere. My average monthly bill ranges from $80-110 with the high of $160. Now while I will agree with one of the posters that the extra cost of geothermal outweighs the cost savings in electricity, the installed cost of this unit make a big difference in that savings. The major cost difference in geothermal of course is the loop installation. I have been told that loops are good for approx. 50 years. Therefore, if I have to replace my entire unit inside the house, my loops will still be there for that unit. Installing loops in a pond are by far the most inexpensive method as opposed to the underground loops. One thing to consider is the distance from the unit in the house to the pond. This company offers different length loops but there is a limit to the distance. One option that is available is to have the loops converge in another outside location and plumb two lines, supply and return, from the manifold to the house.

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Since they are essentially the same in principle the geothermal heat pump is about as reliable (or unreliable) as standard air conditioning unit. The extra expense for ground/pond loop is paid by energy saving.
We used to have standard forced air furnace in my former house. I was changing the igniter about every other year, fan motor once, refrigerant leak once, thermostat once and few more issues I don't remember. All in about 9 years.
We have geothermal in our new house for past 5 years and so far didn't have to replace anything except one pump that was too small for the load. I spent about 500 USD on new control system but it was more or less optional. I just liked the project.
We heat almost 4000 sqft and our electric bill in the coldest month was about 100 USD. Colleague of mine has a house of the same age but half the size and his NG bill was 350 USD in the same period. My estimation is that we save minimum 600 USD/year on energy.


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NOT COOLING - FIX: Got my geothermal unit looked at today, all is well again. It was a small defective sensor gone bad--under warranty. \:\)




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Good.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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Anybody know of any good, reputable Geo contractors in Arkansas?

Chad


I started with nothing, and still have most of it.
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Love the old post from "Asleep at the Wheel" but he does not come around PB any more it appears.

Gathered lots of good info here but am looking for a competent North Texas installer & curious if anyone has any knowledge of Hydro-Tech?

http://www.firstco.com/firstcoimages/pdf/wsvx.pdf




Last edited by Damon54; 09/28/10 02:41 PM.
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You can find a local HVAC Contractor in your area at http://www.airconditionerfeatures.com/location.html. Some HVAC Contractors do not handle Geo-Thermal systems so make sure you ask any contractors you speak with how familiar they are with working on Geo-Thermal systems.

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