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Old 06-24-2009, 07:57 AM   #1
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Geothermal question

We have decided to geothermal on our HVAC replacement. Can I install a patio over the system once it is installed? Do I need to wait a certain length of time for the ground to settle? What should we be doing to prevent future problems. Thanks.


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Old 06-24-2009, 01:54 PM   #2
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The wells most likely won't be that close to your house. If you mean your pipes leading to the wells then you should be OK. Make sure the manifold is not under the patio in case you ever need to get to it. Take pictures of where things are buried just in case.


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Old 06-24-2009, 02:10 PM   #3
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What type of geothermal system? Ground loop, open loop, etc.

If ground loop, my thought is with accessibility -- if you had a leak in a line under the patio, then you'd be tearing it up. I wouldn't go with a concrete slab for the patio, just in case.

You shouldn't have an issue with settling, so long as the trenching is backfilled properly and you use the correct substrate for your patio (crushed stone/sand, concrete, etc).

I'm not an HVAC guy, so that's just my uneducated 2 cents.
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Old 06-24-2009, 02:32 PM   #4
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It's been my experience that any backfilled area settles too much to immediately put a concrete slab over it unless it has been compacted according to a rigorous process for the purpose of supporting a slab.

If this is a ground loop a top notch installer would perform some level of compaction to ensure good performance at startup. However some installers may do a better job than others on compaction. And what they are concerned with is getting good soil/tube contact so they might not compact the top few feet as well figuring in a year or so it will compact on it's own.
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