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robert smith 01-17-2008 11:07 AM

geothermal question

new to forum.

we have a waterfurnace geothermal heating/air conditioning unit installed in 1991. last year we had a service call and the guy said he thought the unit was on it's last legs. it makes a noise when it is shutting down similar to a "loud sigh" or groan.

so here are my questions:

1) i put in a new water heater last summer and tried to connect the geothermal unit to hot water heater because we have the feature that recycles hot water from the geothermal by putting in the domestic hot water tank. i think i messed up the plumbing by connecting the in to the out and the out to the in. i shut off the "hot water" feature with a switch until i am sure of whether or not i messed it up.

my question is: in the summer it is obvious that it is messed up because we get no cold air when the this switch is engaged which leads me to believe that instead of drawing "cold" water from which to get it's cold air it is instead drawing hot water from which it can't produce cold air. however, what would happen during the winter? does it also draw hot water from the hot water heater to produce heat or does it not? is this a two way cycle or just a one way? can it produce heat and cold from the hot water heater or does it just get cold from the water supply and return the hot to the hot water heater?

question #2: is my unit on it's last legs? how would i know?

thanks and sorry if my question is unclear or lengthy. i am new.

bigMikeB 01-17-2008 05:57 PM

You aren't that clear on the piping end of things. Normally a heat recovery loop for hot water takes the hot gas from the compressor discharge line and preheats the water in a basic small coil set up, it is tied in before the reversing valve so heat or cool mode doesn't matter. As for the compressor groan, yeah it is feeling the pain of time or it is over charged.

UBoiler 01-17-2008 08:48 PM

Thanks Big Mike B I always enjoy reading responses right to the point.

Robert Smith: Some of the archives of this site will help you track down names of techs or diy's who have huge knowledge and passion for geothermal systems. I suggest you dig into the archives and look for names and info that may help you. A name you may want to track down through this forum is carrierguy. I've read some of his postings and Rusty has helped lots out here. It may take a little time but becoming knowledgeable about your equipment can't hurt.

On that thread It seems to me that you really need to take a few very long looks at your system's piping (plumbing) and understand the flows and whats going on. I've looked at a few houses that only after very careful examination did I actually understand how it was set up and what was intended. Good luck. Let us know how it all plays out. Cliff

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