DIY Ground Source Heat Pump – Part 7: Digging Trenches

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by Tim Fulton on September 28, 2009

Quite recently, AC Hacker finished digging all the bore holes necessary for his heat pump system. So, the next step in the digging process was to dig the trenches that will connect the bore holes to each other.

rental trencher

To do this job, AC Hacker decided to visit the local power tool rental shop. He ended up selecting the machine above because it looked somewhat more maneuverable than the other types he saw there. As he later found out, this was not the case.


Even though the trencher was very hard to move around, once it was in place, the hydraulic controls took over and the machine did its job well.


During the digging, great care was taken when the machine neared the tubing that was already in the ground.

With the trenches dug, AC Hacker comments on how he never wants to see a shovel again and happily moves on. The next step was to start connecting up the bore holes. This is currently still in progress, but he says half the field is done.

AC Hacker also mentioned he thought he would have to use barbed fittings in some places in the system. However, when he tested them he was not happy. He commented that welding is not only cheaper, but it is also easier, more durable, faster, and more likely to yield a leak free connection. So, he is welding where ever possible.

For more details about the tools and project check out AC Hacker’s forum thread that tracks all of his progress.

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