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post #1 of 15 Old 05-02-2015, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Well boys, I've only had two heat/air units in my house since I had it built in 1980. First one lasted 23 years! Then, in '03, had a new high dollar Carrier Puron two stage unit installed. Cost me $6,000 back then! Well, since about two years after it was installed, the rascal has leaked condensate on the sub floor under the unit. You know, inside part is installed in hall closet made for heat pump unit inside part. Last summer it leaked so much before I noticed it that water ran about 12' down into living room under new hardwood floor! 3/4" white oak. I didn't report it to insurance, just kept forgetting, but that hardwood stood up good! Just swole up a bit, but I think we can live with it.

Ok, so now I'm wanting to check into geothermal. I've been researching geo since before I had my current unit installed in '03, but back then, no company knew about them in my area of Georgia! They called them "Florida heat pumps" and said they wouldn't work in our cold!! Right. Experts, eh. And this is Augusta area, not podunk holler. Well, now, everybody and his nephew is installing geo here. One company, that's all they do, they pioneered it here, not long after I got my heat pump. Day late, many dollars short...

Any y'all boys using geothermal, and if so, how ye liking it? I have plenty of space for digging trenches for pipes, no pond for that kind. Any recommendations? Thanks boys.

That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


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post #2 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 10:43 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Well, looks like no MTF boys have geothermal, eh?

That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major Jim

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 10:58 AM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

I have looked into geo, but, the stupid pricing keeps anyone that owns a calculator away,,,

The clogged condensate is a common issue, mostly due to insufficient air filtration.

I had the issue, and could temporarily fix it by blowing out the drain with the air discharge from a shop vac.

I switched to a 4" thick MERV 12 filter, (20x25), and have NEVER again had a clogged drain.

A filter may be cheaper than a new heat pump,
especially if the new one clogs because it does not have adequate filtration,,,

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post #4 of 15 Old 05-12-2015, 11:07 AM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Oh, yea, my thoughts on geo.

I, like you, have no pond.

Water stores/transfers heat better than air. (close to 100 times better,, )

When/if I add geo, I will run my downspouts to a drainage field OVER the geo piping.
That will help keep the soil around the piping saturated.

The rain water will probably triple the efficiency of the geo system,,,
unless you live in CA where it seems to never rain,,,,

Please do not run out and patent this concept just because none of the geo companies thought of it,,,,

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post #5 of 15 Old 05-13-2015, 08:22 PM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Well, Mac - It took me a while to see this thread, this is my busy time at work, and little spare time lately...

CAD has some good ideas there and an excellent starting point. But if you really think you want to replace it, I have some very recent experience: my outdoor unit quit with a very spectacular BANG a while ago (during a service call, no less!) and the repair estimates I got were edging into new-system territory.

I figured others could be helped by looking over my shoulder as I figured out what/how to replace it, so I did an article for the Tech Exchange here, it might give you some ideas:

Comparing Modern Heat Pump Systems

It sounds like in your area you have two things in your favor: the climate, and people who do enough installs, that geothermal may make sense. Where I live, the cost jump is enough to give even Donald Trump pause. It's roughly triple!

But as a footnote to the story, I now have rough numbers for the last three months since the install, and the new system is saving me about $150/month in heat bills.

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post #6 of 15 Old 05-14-2015, 03:02 PM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Parents had an early and failed form of geo which ran the freon through the copper piping in the ground. Ever season change it required a charge of freon since it leaked just enough and it also leaked water into the house since it came into the house from the basement and was poorly done. There is a lot of copper to be reclaimed under the dirt.

Current place has 1 inch plastic black water piping ran in the front yard at varying depths dug in with the home builders backhoe. He had extras of everything and one loop sprung a leak so it was just not used anymore. Uses RV antifreeze in the system. He did almost the same on his last house he still lives in only it is under a pond now.

Both places also had the fireplace insert right on the back side of the HVAC. So turning the HVAC fan on with a fire going also heats the place. Or use them both to heat up even faster.

Costs-not too bad. We went from around $130 in the early fall to around $230 in the winter for electricity. Granted I was also in the shop a bit more with a lot of lights and a pellet stove going as well as the kids/wife indoors more on the TV/lights, etc since there wasn't as much fun things outside.

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post #7 of 15 Old 05-15-2015, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Thanks! CAD, the leaking condensate is not from the drain, but the slanted coil thingamajig right behind the filter, that thing with the thin fins and pipes where the air sucks up into plenum, then ducts. It has dripped, dripped ever since installed in '03! A bit. Sometimes worse, sometimes, not bad. I put a rubber dishwasher drain mat under it to catch drips. Geothermal man said the coil on Water Furnace unit I'm looking at will be in crawl space, so even if it did drip, drip, it'd be under there. Even the house we rent in Mississippi had same drip, but it's in attic!! Geothermal, retirement place is Georgia. I've figured I'd save about $80 per month vs electric heat pump we now have, a Carrier Puron high efficiency coil dripping unit. We have NO gas at all, don't want LP, already had that one time.

That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major Jim

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post #8 of 15 Old 05-15-2015, 12:42 PM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLawn View Post
Thanks! CAD, the leaking condensate is not from the drain, but the slanted coil thingamajig right behind the filter, that thing with the thin fins and pipes where the air sucks up into plenum, then ducts.
100%, all, EVERY, refrigerant based A/C unit condenses water on that coil.

Actually, the "cooling" effect of air conditioning is mostly based on humidity removal, not cooling the air.

So, your unit is designed to capture the water, somehow.

We need a better answer from an A/C guru, but, possibly your fan is operating at too high of a speed, throwing the water where it should not be.

BUT, 99% of the time, it is just dust accumulated, causing the water to not get to the drain.

If it worked OK when installed, but, not now, something changed.

A savings of only $80 per month would hardly pay for the install over its life.

I would fix/keep what I got,,,,
My central heat pump was installed in 1979,, and is keeping me and my wallet happy!!

Here is an article I wrote on what I did to, among other things, keep dirt out of the A/C coil;

Cut the energy usage of your forced air cooling (or heating) system ? SweetMK


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post #9 of 15 Old 05-15-2015, 03:36 PM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Ya-if it is an A frame coil then the air come up from the underside and the water flows down the sides into a catch pan with a drain. They ALL must have drains if coiling the air no mater the coil design. Common for enough dirt to get past the filters eventually to where the small drain gets plugged. My last rental I was at the drain wasn't supported good enough so it tipped the wrong direction-it was in the basement so I didn't care much.

first year 332 with H3 added X 2, JD 3 pt, JD factory delux seat with flip pan. 430 rear diff. 430 fender deck(have two that are mirror copies of themselves).
Attachments:JD 44 loader, JD 50 inch mowing deck, JD 48 replacement mowing deck JD 47 two stage snow blower, JD Hyd 30 tiller X 2 (one belly drive with 12" extension one rear PTO drive with extension-Jim Briney 3 point mounts), Gannon Earthcavator 42 inch 3 point mount, Cozy cab, JD 20 plow, Brinly 12 inch plow.
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-15-2015, 08:14 PM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

is the condensate drain putting water out. at the end of it ?
if not its plunged up. does it still heat/cool.... if it does its not bad!


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post #11 of 15 Old 05-15-2015, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Thanks again boys! Ok, again, the condensate drain is draining good. The coil is just dripping water before all of it slides down into the drain trough. It's done this off and on since almost new in '03. I keep filters changed very often. Even had the coil changed out a few years ago. They said that one was faulty, but I still had to pay! I know geothermal still has coil, but it wouldn't be inside house.

So none of y'all have geo, eh? My current unit is two stage and does a good job cooling, fair heating, even in Georgia. It gets cold here too! It cools good, but seems to have a hard time heating like I want. We have a great Buck fireplace, but I still want more heat from my heat pump. Keep ye thoughts coming!

CAD, I just read that 4" filter work you did, a great idea! Your return looks very much like mine, except my filter is 24"x24", a hard size to find.

That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major Jim

https://www.mytractorforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=780993&stc=1&d=1398926  159

Last edited by MacLawn; 05-15-2015 at 11:19 PM.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-01-2015, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Update: heat pump man came out, said the P trap was too shallow. Here's the details:

1. What manual says:
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That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major Jim

https://www.mytractorforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=780993&stc=1&d=1398926  159
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-01-2015, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

2. Way it is now:
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That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major Jim

https://www.mytractorforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=780993&stc=1&d=1398926  159
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-01-2015, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Here's what I did, hoping this deeper P trap does the job:
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That old man - he don't think like an old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off, I tell ye! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive".
Dirt, it's nothing but dirt, I tell ye...


"I thought I was wrong one time, but I was mistaken." Command Sergeant Major Jim

https://www.mytractorforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=780993&stc=1&d=1398926  159
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-01-2015, 03:30 PM
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Re: Heat pump condensate leaking inside, thinking geothermal...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacLawn View Post

CAD, I just read that 4" filter work you did, a great idea! Your return looks very much like mine, except my filter is 24"x24", a hard size to find.
My previous filter was 20 X 20,,,,, until the Sawszall came out!!

There was a LOT of cutting, and LOTS of aluminum flashing installed to re-size the opening.

I used the flashing because it was so easy to cut and form.

If I were doing it now, there are 6" thick filters,,,, I would be tempted,,, if starting from scratch,,,

Good to know about the "P" trap,
I guess the air pressure is enough to defeat a shallow trap??

1 foot of water only equals about 1/2 psi.

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