Investigating New Geothermal System
I'm new to this discussion board, but have found it very informative.
From what I've read, there seem to be issues with both of the major brands of geothermal systems: FHP and WaterFurnace. As I have NO experience with any geothermal system, I was wondering if anyone would please enlighten me as to the 'true' reliability of the different geothermal manufacturers. I realize a good installer is key, but that aside - a good installer can't compensate for a defective design [as we've witnessed here]. In other worlds, who right now has the most reliable design [I'm not looking to go cheap on the units cost]. Quality over cost.
Any insights would be appreciated.
We are unsure of what you are referring to when you say “defective design.” Please be more specific so that we may address your concern.
WaterFurnace International, Inc.
I was referring to the leaking in the water coils as already discussed at length in this thread [yesterday, I did speak with a Water Furnace Salesman and he said they coils were now being double coated].
Also, why is there only a 1 year labor, 5 year parts, 10 year compressor warranty on these units? Most other manufacturer of furnaces/heat pumps/AC units are offering 10 years parts and labor [Trane, Carrier,...etc]. These are NOT inexpensive units and the technology inside them is not significantly different from traditional systems. It's not a great selling point for these units. Any reasons for this?
Thank you for your time,
Yes, our coils are now double-dipped using the FormiShieldPlus process; however, please be reassured that Formicary Corrosion is not due to defective design. This is an industry wide issue caused by indoor air quality (contaminants in the air). When these contaminants come in contact with the condensation on the coils, they become corrosive acids.
“Also, why is there only a 1 year labor, 5 year parts, 10 year compressor warranty on these units?”
In reference to the warranty you questioned, this warranty has never been an option WaterFurnace has offered. WaterFurnace units come standard with a 10 year parts and labor allowance warranty. At the time of purchase, the dealer has the option to buy down to other warranties. Please keep in mind that in order to be Energy Star Rated, the unit must be warranted for a minimum of 5 years. The homeowner has the option to buy up or down to another warranty within one year from the date of purchase. Also, please note that some contractors offer warranties apart from the manufacturer’s warranty.
WaterFurnace International, Inc.
I don't know of any manufacturer offering 10 years parts AND labor as standard. 10 years parts, YES. The labor portion is added by the contractor. It costs extra. Some contractors add that on....some don't.
Last edited by Kevin O'Neill; 05-04-2010 at 10:22 PM.
Remember, Air Conditioning begins with AIR.
It is a fairly standard practice, in the geothermal and HVAC industry, to offer a labor allowance.
WaterFurnace International, Inc.
This thread has sold me on WF customer service.
WF customer update... and a AC related horror story!
Another HVAC issue has prompted me to update this thread. Both of my original coils were replaced by the original contractor at a out-of-pocket cost of $600. Both units appear to be working fine so far.
This past Saturday I went upstairs to retrieve something from storage (a somewhat rare task... maybe every few weeks) and noticed water dripping from a ceiling AC vent onto the guest bedroom carpet. I went up into the attic and found the condensation line leaking about 1 foot outside the lip of of the emergency drain pan. The pipe is wrapped in black rubber insulation and the water was coming out from a joint in the insulation... so I couldn't really tell exactly where the pipe was fractured. I immediately shut off the unit and began soaking up the water in the attic and below with towels etc. If I had to guess, I would say that it had been leaking only an hour or two.
Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the condensation drain pipe was tightly lashed to the end of one of the threaded rods used to suspend the unit from the attic ceiling. The jagged end of the rod was poking into the insulation and had worn a hole through to the PVC pipe. I couldn't see a hole in the pipe and did not want to remove the insulation before the contractor had a chance to see it.
When the contractor arrived today (Monday), I watched him cut the insulation from the pipe only to reveal that the first section of PVC pipe had come completely out of the first angle joint. The pipe end was stained purple with PVC primer but there was no sign of any glue to be found. So, I'm assuming that somebody forgot to glue the joint and it had been held together by friction alone up until now! All he said was, "I've never seen anything like that."
The contractor proceeded to re-glue the pipe and angle and re-wrap the assembly with insulation. Now comes the good part... he explained what he'd done to fix it and then said, "I'll go write up an invoice for today". I had all I could do to keep my cool and calmly explain that I felt that this was a "workmanship" issue, not a faulty materials issue, and did he not feel that he should warranty his workmanship. To which he replied, "Well, yes, but not the labor for today". I then calmly explained that if I had not found the leak as early as I did that he would be speaking to my insurance adjuster or lawyer instead of me right now. He then agreed that there would be no charge for the less-than-one-hour visit. I only wish my heart rate would have returned to normal in a similar time frame.
My new home is now just over 2 years old so I'm thinking WT.... what else is going to happen?
you might want to look at the rest of the joints, if they missed one, they could have missed more.... do it for your piece of mind. look around at the rest of it for obvious problems, hopefully it was just an oversight...
We installed a bunch of climatemasters. Now we installed a few waterfurnace. I don't know why the office changed.the evap coil looks the same. The outer box of unit looks simmilar. Are the coils the same?
Just found this subject due to searching for more GT information. I'm searching because I've lost all faith in my WaterFurnce dealer completing a good installation. He has drilled one of four wells in one month. The one well he drilled was grouted but not by grount manufacturer specifications. Dealer blowed smoke up my you know what that it didn't need sand mixed with grout even if package says so! Lines exiting my house are next to window sill instead of down low so they can be hidden by a bush. Sloppy work! Ducts he installed failed independent inspection in all areas. One week later and no one has corrected anything; but he told me twice someone will be out within 24 hrs.
This house is a foam sealed house and the dealer insist on running an open return air system so I must also condition the attic to same temp. as living area. Yes, it is true I will have a conditioned area due to HVAC leakage but I didn't want to condition double the space! How is this going to same any energy?
If this is a vetted dealer for WaterFurnace then I've made a big mistake! I'm currently trying to figure how I can get out of this and find someone else to correct and complete the work. It's been one month and counting since he started and still three more wells to drill that he says will be started in two more weeks.
As far as I'm concerned I have the most dishonest HVAC contractor in Houston, TX. area and maybe the nation.
WaterFurnace how do you select dealers to sell and install your equipment?
Stop him imediatly then. Did you pay just a deposit thus far? Hopefully u didnt pay him in full yet.
Originally Posted by bberry
I do not believe the problem can be corrected by double dipping anything. "Formicary corrosion" has become the catch all for leaking coils but the real problem is thin wall metal and poor manufacturing.I dont know if WF makes it's evap coils or contracts them out to a third party.I am sure most pros know that slinging refrigerant into systems has been bread and butter of this industry for years.I'm not sure anyone wants a "real solution" to this problem. I work on many systems,some in a corrosive manufacturing enviroment, to homes that could serve as a meth lab. The only factor that seems to make any difference is the coil manufacturer.
Originally Posted by WF_Inc
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