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Geothermal Heating and Cooling

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kmcconaughey

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Kraig McConaughey
I have a Bosch on demand LP fired water heater at my off-grid cabin. It works great. No tank to drain, only the piping, when I shut it down during winter months. Instant hot water whenever I do go up summer or winter.
 

Rgausman

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Apr 15, 2020
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Central Virginia
Bob, Wow! I'm glad my installer used the horizontal drilling method. How deep are those trenches?

The "old" Marathon tank was replaced because the new Marathon tank came with the geothermal system and has a different electronics and piping configuration. Nothing was wrong with the old Marathon, I sold it on Craigslist and got most of my original purchase price out of it. I had just installed it a little over two years prior because the 38+ year old Montgomery Wards water heater was starting to leak a wee bit. Which was partially due to a new well pump which had better water pressure. Domino effect.

I'm not sure how much my house cost to heat with the old forced air electric furnace because I never let it heat the house by itself. I always ran the wood furnace when I was home. It did run when I was at work or away for a weekend. I was never away for an entire month during the heating season. Entire house was/is electric. Electric backup water heater, electric range, electric cloths drier, electric blower on the wood furnace, electric backup heat in the geothermal unit. Previously we were on off peak with the electric furnace and water heater so that used to be at a lower rate. I'll have to check to be sure, but I recall that the electric bills are now typically in the $95-$150 range for summer and top out around $230 for one of the coldest winter month average winter bills are now around $180. I believe it used to top out in the $150 range when using the wood furnace for heat. EDIT: I corrected the monthly cost after looking at some of the actual bills.

I knew my electric bill would go up so I have no issue with the higher electric bill. Plus I no longer have to buy firewood, cut it, split it, stack it, buy tarps to cover it, haul it, clean out ashes, clean the chimney, buy all that gas and oil for the chain saw and log splitter, run up and down steps to feed the wood furnace, wake up to a house that's at 59°F (that's where I used to have the electric furnace set) and on and on. I should probably start a work out program to stay in shape, I'm not getting as much excersize as I used to.
So is your domestic water acidic? Looks like you have an acid neutralizer next to your water filter.

When I took my class, horizontal boring was a new concept. My trenches range from 7' on the first trench to four trench which varies between 6' to 4.5' in depth. Original design was to go for 6'. Dug several 6' test holes without problems. However when excavating the orignal first trench, at 100' mark, ran into bedrock at 2' depth. By the way the Bobcat did not excavate the trenches. Had a contractor near by with a Case excavator dig them at cost. Did more testing to get idea where the rock veins ran. Reason why the trenches/pit are in L-shape configuration.

I replaced my old leaking hot water heater with a 50Gal Marathon the year before I put in the GSHP. My philosophy is 'do it once'. The poly Marathon was the best buy. It cost twice the price of a regular HWH but it will never rust out, maintenance free and is like a thermos. We had a five day power outage and it still had warm water. Funny how the EPA efficiency label show the heater all the way to left 'lowest cost per year'. Wonder what people think of their 'air source heat pump water heaters? My GSHP generators most of my hot water in summer and winter.

When we bought the house, the original 13 year old Carrier 3.5ton ASHP was already on the downhill. We were mainly using wood stove in basement and two kerosene heaters upstairs. I used the electric backup heat for one month in Febuary (single digit temp) and bill was over $600. Jim B. bought property next to me and was a retired submariner engineer. He turn me onto geo. He drilled two 300' wells and drop his two 2-ton GSHP closed loops in these wells to heat his house.

Just an FYI to anyone who whats to run their heat pump with a generator. I installed a Hyper Engineering 'Sure Start' (OEM) soft start through Copeland branded as 'Secure Start'. It works by pulsing the compressor's rotor before giving it full amperage. Had to buy two of them for special $300 deal. My 4-ton Copeland scroll compressor went from 120A LRA to 40A inrush. My 7.5KW Onan Diesel RV genset just grunts for a split second. Lights do not flicker when compressor kicks in anymore.
 
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kmcconaughey

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I highly doubt that my water is acidic, the well is drilled into limestone. My water is certainly hard however. What you see in the photo is a light blue pressure tank hiding in back, the tall cylinder is the resin tank for the water softener and the blue plastic drum in front is the salt tank.

GEO Water Stuff.jpg
 

Rgausman

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Apr 15, 2020
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Central Virginia
I highly doubt that my water is acidic, the well is drilled into limestone. My water is certainly hard however. What you see in the photo is a light blue pressure tank hiding in back, the tall cylinder is the resin tank for the water softener and the blue plastic drum in front is the salt tank.

View attachment 141413
Duh, Did not pick up on the salt tank. My acid neutralizer looks exactly like your resin tank which I refill twice a year with crusted limestone.

Also notice your industrial-sized cutoff panel... Thanks again for the photos. Always interesting how things are done in different parts of the country.

By the way, what app do you use to add text to photos?
 

kmcconaughey

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Kraig McConaughey
I just use MS Paint.

That disconnect switch is quite the panel. Please note, I do not have 400 amp service, the guy that built the house got it from his work, probably for free or at least at a huge discount.

Electric Panel_02.jpg


Disconnect Switch.jpg
 

Greg Riutzel

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Jul 9, 2020
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49
Location
Lebanon, Oregon
Looks like a clean install. Nice sealing on the ductwork. Make sure all the maintenance panels have access, and the filter comes out.
 
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