Maintenance of a GeoThermal pump
I have a 5 ton Climate Master and a happy customer since 2009.
My question is, besides filters; what do you for a yearly checkup ?
Is there anything that needs to be done?
Look at your owners manual, it should break down any maintenace requirments for your specific unit. Generally any electrical motor should be inspected at least once a year as well as a pump. There controls and wiring that could cause problems if loose or frayed. Simple stuff but can lead to expensive bills later.
We are assuming that you have common sense and are going to completely shut off the 220 volt breaker and that everything will be deenergized or unplugged.
Ideally heat pump coil should be either inspected with your eyeballs and or cleaned at least every 24 months. On mine I would actually have to cut the panduit nylon straps holding the flex duct on, and remove that ductwork to see whether it is clean or dirty.
Afterwards you need to put it back on using the panduit strap puller sold at hvac houses.
(I prefilter on my returns and save a lot of head ache because very little dirt hits the actual pleated filters inside, much less the coil. ((tip)) ).
If you are going to try and clean the coil, think about where the drainage is going.
Many AC units or heat pumps are installed in such a way that a remote 110 volt electric water condensate pump has to be installed lower than the condensate drain to move that dripping summer condensate through piping of some sort so it can drain where it doesn't matter.
Some of these pumps use very cheap check valves that will be dissolved if you wash the coil with powerful acid or akaline cleaners. Do not do that!
You must not use traditional acid / alkaline outdoor coil cleaners. They are too powerful and will likely either eat the coil up or remove and factory protective coating on the coil.
So you buy a recommend milder heat pump or indoor coil cleaner from your hvac house. These are referred to as self rinsing; that is, whatever dirt they dislodge, is supposed to go out the condensate drain, without hurting the coil or eating up your condensate pump if you have one.
You may want to remove an electric condensate pump, unwire the safety wires that shut off the unit in case it fails, and take it to a work sink or outside, unscrew the top plate and take it apart and clean it. Up to you.
You can also remove the main air handler cover, make sure insulation hasn't fallen down, reglue it back with spray glue if it has, and clean any mildew, scum or dirt with warm soapy water. Either try to wipe it out with a clean rag and that warm soapy water or wet vac it clean.
The other thing you can have done if you are not handy is either have the contactor replaced at the 4 or 5 year mark (we are assuming normal usage) with a 40 amp high quality contactor. If you don't know how to do this safely with the power off and without mixing wires up, pay a professional to do it.
Some heat pumps come with 30 amp contactors. TIP: When the factory puts in a 30 amp contactor it is to save initial manufacturing cost. If you replace a 30 with a 40 amp contactor, it will last a long time! The actual rating depends on your tonnage and the actual current draw on YOUR system.
A Professional's list...
At start-up your contractor should have recorded the following...
Second stage cooling, or heating, with Desuperheater turned OFF.
Loop Side... Pressure In minus Pressure Out = Delta P
Temperature In minus Temperature Out = Delta T
Heat of Rejection, or Heat of Extraction
Voltages, both 230V and 24V
Amp Draw, Total system and Compressor
Air Side... Return Air Temperature minus Supply Air Temperature = Delta T
(measured AT the unit)
Keep this information WITH the Geothermal manuals AT the unit. Then an annual, or bi-annual check up will record the same info and compare the numbers. It's the QUICKEST way to see problems arise.
Hi I can recommend quality geo heat pumps.. Geothermal Heating Ohio Valley
Checking the loop is very important, ensuring it is still pressurized so you know there are no leaks and also checking your EWT's which is your entering water temperatures. There should be a chart in your manual that shows how efficient you are running based on this and your GPM through your pump. Of course checking all the basics like safety circuits, contactors, and capacitors should be done too. Make sure whoever you choose records this information and leaves it with you so you can slowly detect problems before they get timely and costly.