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Guber 08-14-2012 11:19 PM

Material, amazing possibilities ...
... I am sure some here would not like to hear this, and I am sure some will respond with suspicion, and it is always caveat emptor, but no pain no gain ... so, here goes ...

I am looking at a building project where I put in a geothermal system with water chilled AC and radiant floor heating. Local HVAC firms are out of their wits on stuff like that. And the technology is rapidly advancing. In Asia they are way ahead with that technology. Even getting water chilled fan coils for a decent price is next to impossible in the USA it seems. So, I found several sellers in China who ship, and now I am hooked with full systems including the heat pumps, tanks, everything. The savings are big, shipping is a ticket and the customs and hauling from the port is a pain, but there may be local services who do that.

And then, just for jokes I checked for siding and flooring material, I love stone, and in the US it has become next to unaffordable. And there too, I find great stuff, stone veneer for less than the price of fiber cement!

I am very excited now. Thinking over my whole project with these possibilities in mind. :whistling2:

DangerMouse 08-15-2012 06:47 AM

You are correct, none of the people that are unemployed because their jobs went to China will want to read this.


user1007 08-15-2012 06:59 AM

I remember well all the horror stories about Chinese drywall. Why not be consistent and replicate interior problems with exterior stone veneers and toxic outgassing adhesives? And I certainly would have looked forward to talking my clients into heat pumps with cheap Chinese plastic impellers.

Before you get too carried away and order a boatload of Chinese stuff, you might want to see if you can get it permitted and inspected? You might look into import quotas as well. I would just hate for you to find you had to wait a year to get your shipment because quotas were reached.

Guber 08-15-2012 09:02 AM


Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 989190)
I remember well all the horror stories about Chinese drywall.

From CBS News: Homeowners Charge U.S. Made Toxic Drywall
As expected, the contaminated Chinese samples gave off high levels of sulfur gases. But all but one of the U.S. samples emitted sulfur gases, as well - not at levels as high as the defective Chinese product, but unexpected.

Perhaps more surprising, "There were some American products that we tested that had higher emission than some of the new Chinese products that we tested.
I think anyone who has worked with gypsum plaster knows the sulfurous smell. Horror stories? What about gases from treated wood, paint, etc.? Are U.S. manufacturers well known to take care of that?

I don't particularly trust the quality control of Chinese companies either. So, I too am not sure if 50% off price advantage (after shipping) would be enough to sell me. BUT the problem is I can't even get what I want from US manufacturers. Even the most advanced do not have truly variable speed compressors. There is only one company that may put one product on the market that does that (and it's the wrong product for me.) There is hardly anyone providing domestic hydronics AC products, as I said, I wanted to find smooth chilled water fan coil units that don't make my living room look like a 1970s office building. Only one company, MultiAqua makes (??) anything decent, and their prices are ridiculous and their sales chain is completely broken. They gave me the run-around between district-distributors and stores and people were either rude or didn't know anything about this stuff, and the price is twice that of mini-split freon fan coils, which is completely unjustifiable.

The stone veneer was just a secondary idea, but I am not even sure US outlets don't sell the Chinese stuff anyway with their 100% markup.


Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 989190)
Before you get too carried away and order a boatload of Chinese stuff, you might want to see if you can get it permitted and inspected?

Yes; that is, if there is any need to have it permitted and inspected. To be seen. Need to study local construction laws/codes anyway.


Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 989190)
You might look into import quotas as well.

Good idea, so far I only see textile and food products under any import quota on the site. But need to check anyway with a customs broker and freight forwarder.

Guber 08-15-2012 04:20 PM

Called the freight shipper and customs broker, they also knows of no import quota for such items. It's $5000 for a 20ft container shipped to my door. To make this work I need to bundle multiple orders from multiple sources. But on stone siding alone it's easy to break even, 2800 sq. ft. breaks even at savings of less than $2 a square foot.

What is the cheapest cost of stone siding material? Including fake died cement stone.

Once that is done, the rest is add on. If I can get the geothermal heat pump for US$2000 instead of $7000 we are talking.

Checking IRS code on the 30% tax credit next ...

Guber 08-15-2012 04:39 PM

IRS instructions to form 5695:

Qualified geothermal heat pump property is any equipment that uses the ground or ground water as a thermal energy source to heat your home or as a thermal energy sink to cool your home. To qualifiy for the credit, the geothermal heat pump property must meet the requirements of the Energy Star program that are in effect at the time of purchase.

Notice, it says "meet the requirements" not "have the EnergyStar label". So what are the requirements?

They are here.

Qualifying Products: For purposes of ENERGY STAR qualification, geothermal heat pumps include the following: open loop, closed loop, and DGX that are powered by single phase current. The specifications in Section 3 apply to single stage models. Multi-stage models may be qualified based on

EER = (highest rated capacity EER + lowest rated capacity EER) / 2 and
COP = (highest rated capacity COP + lowest rated capacity COP) / 2.

Note: Commercial (i.e., 3-phase) units are not eligible for qualification under the ENERGY STAR specification at this time.

That issue with single-phase is ridiculous, as it has nothing to do with energy consumption.

Tier 3 Requirements (January 1, 2012): Open Loop Water-to-Water: EER >= 20.1, COP >= 3.5

Open Loop Systems: Geothermal heat pump models shall qualify under rating conditions in accordance with ... ISO 13256-2 for water-to-water models.

Well, I hope to get into the mid 30s with the EER on my system.

user1007 08-15-2012 07:10 PM

Good luck communicating with customer support if something goes wrong. Hope you never need to order parts.

notmrjohn 08-25-2012 11:57 PM

Guber, there's a reason you can't find a State side dealer for that stuff. He'd get an even better deal on large orders and the shipment, but then he would right there having to deal with all the complaints and law suits when, as every one is trying to warn you, it broke down, didn't work in the first place, or turned out to be down right dangerous.
But, it's your money and your life. And your families.

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