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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    3
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    Help with connecting Geo to hot water heater

    The last few days I have been reading through the forums to try and find an answer, but I can't figure out if a special water heater needs to be used with certain brands of geo systems. Here is my story:

    I bought a house 2 years ago that has no access to natural gas and had propane for the hot water heater, furnace and dryer. In an effort to remove propane from my life due to costs and convenience, I had a geothermal system installed for the heating and cooling of the house. My geo system has a desuperheater pump and I would like to get an electric hot water heater(s) and connect it into my geo system, problem is, no company around here will do that for me. I've called 4 local plumbing/hvac places and all of them said "we don't have access to those hot water heaters but we can connect them if you get one partially installed". The HVAC place I used to install the geo system doesn't do plumbing so they can't help either.

    So now I am trying to figure out how this all needs to work and hopefully educate one of these places so I can have this work done.

    Here is my geo and hot water heater info:
    Geo System - Tetco ES4, 4 ton 2 stage variable speed heat pump (mod#TXT048)
    Hot Water Heater - 48 gallon Propane

    Questions:
    1) Is there a special hot water heater than needs to be purchased to work with a desuperheater pump?
    2) Do you need two tanks to make this work? If so, can I use my current propane hot water heater as a holding/buffer tank?
    3) Since I have a 48 gallon now that works great for us, do I get one (or two if needed) 48 gallon tanks as replacement?
    4) Does a geo system used like this work well? Or am I completely wasting my money and should invest in a geo hot water heater? Not sure my space would meet all requirements but just curious on thoughts.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    2,617
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    1. No you do not need a special water heater, a standard 50 gallon electric will work, however if you really want a geo specific one. State makes the SGV082 geothermal/solar storage tank but its honestly overkill for a desuperheater, we use them for dedicated geo water heating only.
    2. You can do a desuperheater with one tank but get almost no benefit, you need two takes for full benefit. You can use anything as a holding tank but a standard 50 gallon electric will be the best, they loose less heat than a propane water heating since a propane water heater has an opening for a flue out of the top(for heat to leak) Plus an electric tank should cost you have of a propane tank.
    3. If your current 48 gallon propane is working fine, then don't replace it, just add a 50 gallon storage tank(electric water heater) before your current propane system, when the propane one dies, do an analysis to see if electric or propane is cheaper for water heating.
    4. A 4 ton geo system could probably provide up to 30% of your water heating for little to no cost. So if you spend $900 per year on propane water heating expect around a $300 per year savings depending on water usage and geo heat pump usage. So if you spend $300 on an electric tank and $600 to plumb it in, you have a 3 year payback on the desuperheater. The plumbing is actually simple. Your installer has piping diagrams they can send you that any competent plumber should be able to follow.
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    3
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the info, this helps a lot!

    Nick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    3
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    Thread Starter
    This is an older thread but some things came up that delayed my ability to move forward with this. Now, i'm back hoping to make some changes to my water heating. I still plan on connecting a 50 gallon storage tank to my heatpump via a desuperheater, but has anyone used a tankless electric for the finishing tank? My plumber i'm working with asked if that was an option, and I guess I don't see why not, but I wanted to see if anyone used that before vs using another 50 gallon electric tank as the finishing tank. Keep in mind i'm eliminating propane from my house so electric is my only option.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    5
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    I have personally installed an electric instant hot water heater with a preheat tank. Custer was very happy with its performance.

    Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    9,575
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    Heat pump water heater may make more sense.
    Ground source only makes hot water during significant heating cooling. Free while cooling during peak cooling. May only save $100 per year.
    A heat pump water is more cost effective but may not have good payback.
    Plus cost a lot to find someone who knows what they are doing. Where are you?
    Therma-Stor makes a 80 gal unit desuperheater that could be connected to your heat pump.
    Regards Teddy Bear
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    2
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    here's a question -- I have a 2 ton vertical heat pump with Trane compressor from Miami Heat pump -- when I installed it I connected the desuper heater to my "tempering" tank for the hot water system --- using a Niagra N-160 tankless electric heater -- "tempering" tank is an old non-working gas water heater -- 54 degree well water warms to house temp to supply water heater -- I need to add a pump for the desuper heater --- lines from heat pump go up 9' - across about 15'-- then doen about 4' to the oldgas heater ---- any ideas on what pump to use ?? --- either GPM or brand???

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