Geothermal heat pump installed and activated

Posted Tue, 10/27/2009 - 22:29 by kpbadger

Yesterday and today, our geothermal heat pump was installed and commissioned. I took videos of much of this work which will be posted shortly. In the meantime enjoy these pictures and the narrative.

If you're new here and you want to know what geothermal is, why we chose it, and how much it costs, then check out the Geothermal page.

When reading this summary, keep in mind that our wells were drilled back in July, before the excavation for the foundation. The pipes were laid under the basement floor before the floor was poured. Then it's been a waiting game ... until yesterday.

On Monday morning, the heat pump was delivered. This is a very heavy unit. The landscapers from two doors down were kind enough to give the system a ride in their digger, down to the door of the walk-out basement. From there, the guys from Modern Heating & Cooling wrestled it into place.

Below the heat pump is the plastic "pad" and on top of this, under the heat pump, they installed rubber feet. This is to reduce vibration.  Once the heat pump was in place, they took off the service panels and were kind enough to let me grab a couple pictures of the inside:

The air return attaches to the heat pump to cover the large yellow filter shown in the middle picture above. They slid this into place and then cut a hole in the return duct above to connect everything.


They also made the connection of the desuperheater (hot water generator) to the buffer tank. That is the copper pipes -- one connection into the heat pump and one return.  The electrician was also there and he installed a disconnect box and wired up the system.


The next thing to be installed is the flow controller, which consists of two pumps. This must be within five pipe-feet of the connections to the unit, which ruled out the wall. Ultimately the best place to mount the flow controller was the side of the heat pump unit itself.


On Tuesday morning, the geothermal team from Sam's well drilling arrived to connect the loops to the flow controller, fill the loops with water and an environmentally-friendly antifreeze solution, and purge out the air. I am still processing the videos from this, so for now I post the picture of the end result.

Tuesday afternoon, Modern returned to start up the unit for the first time. This included installing the thermostat in the dining room area.

Modern will be back Wednesday to finish up, including connecting the second zone, activating the upstairs thermostat, and possibly commissioning the HRV.

The guys from Modern and Sams were all very gracious in answering all my questions during and after the install, tolerating me standing there watching and taking photos and videos, and letting me know their schedule so I could balance it with my other obligations. Video will be posted in the coming days.