I recently had a WaterFurnace geothermal heat pump installed in a house Iím building and have run into a problem concerning the pump which circulates water through the ground loop system.
First some background: The system is installed in a large closet adjoining my garage. When the house was designed, this room was intended to be a storage area for a large telescope which I wanted to keep in an air-conditioned environment. The engineer who drew up the blueprints for the house placed the HVAC system in this room along with the hot water tank. We didnít realize how large the geothermal system would be until the AC installerís employees set it up in this room about a month ago. When they started to install the circulating pump, their first choice was on the wall between the heat pump and the door to the room. Since this would have crowded my telescope completely out of the room, the installers were asked to place the pump on the back wall of the room.
Now the problem: The circulating pump is much louder than expected, it sounds much like a clothes dryer when itís running and can be heard nearly anywhere in the house. I mentioned this to the installer and his employees came back and put foam rubber between the pump and the wall to damp out the vibration. They claim this reduced the noise substantially, I donít think it made much difference. The installer now says that heís done all heís obligated to do unless I pay for the ground-loop crew to come back and move the pump and seems to be implying that the noise is my responsibility due to his installers being asked to put the pump in a different location than where they intended. Iíve listened to the noise near both walls and it seems to be just as loud in both locations, also both walls seem to be vibrating the same amount when the pump is in operation, therefore I believe that the pump would have made the same sound regardless of where it was located. Both wall are identical construction Ė 2x6 studs with sheetrock and filled with blown cellulose insulation and the two locations are about 6-7 feet apart. Iíve also spoken to a coworker who has a similar system (in fact he referred me to this installer) and he says his circulating pump is mounted on the wall the same way mine is and is very quiet. He also stated that his pump was noisy until the installer came back and bled some air from the ground loop and replaced a defective pump motor. He is currently in California on business, but I plan to get him to come over to my house when he returns and listen to the pump to see if it sounds like his did.
I apologize for the long rambling story, but Iím not sure how to handle this. I would like to hear from others who have dealt with these systems either as owners or installers to see if they have had a similar problem and, if so, how was it resolved.