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pinballlooking 11-15-18 10:02 AM

DIY Geothermal install
I am considering putting in Geothermal. I was going to wait but some of the tax credits are expiring.

I have a 4 ton AC now with natural gas heat we really don’t use these we use theses much we use our mini splits.
I bought a tractor with a backhoe. I want to dig my own loop field. I know it will take longer but I am ok with that we still have Mini splits so it does not have to be a fast install.

I wanted to keep my natural gas heat as backup heat but I talked to a couple installers here and they say don’t do it. They said it will kill efficiency.

I have been thinking about the system and would like some advice.
Going with a 4 ton two stage system.

1.) Pressurized or non-Pressurized system? Which one is better? I have read non-Pressurized is simpler to purge and fill?

2.) Slinkey loops or no slinky loop? I have been thinking about doing slinky to not dig up as much pasture but I am not sure.
I could do it just with a 10” trench since I have a backhoe.

3.) What system to get? I have been thinking of maybe getting a climate master system water to air it will be in my crawl space. Are there better brands?

4.) Loop field I am seeing 600’ each loop ” pipe with 4 loops for a 4 ton system.

5.) I have never done duct work I might contract that part out.

Looking for some feedback I have been reading but not many people dig their own system for every thing i read do it this way I also read do do it this way.

stevehull 11-16-18 04:43 AM

Stay way from Climatemaster - far prefer Waterfurnace.


randen 11-16-18 08:01 AM

I have two climatemasters and they have been extremely reliable

How much of a house are you trying to heat??
We’re heating 3600 sq ft with 3.5 ton 90% of the time. Our Canadian climate may be a little more harsh


You know you can build one!!!

pinballlooking 11-16-18 09:52 AM

My house is 2100 sq ft.
I was thinking about 3.5 ton the only reason I said 4 ton was that we had a 4 ton AC unit originally installed.

If I go with a two stage system it should run on the first stage most of the time.

I am not building one. Just putting one in will be plenty of work. The tax break is a big thing for me.

randen 11-16-18 11:46 AM

Copy that on building one. I know that buying one in the states can be quite reasonable. A ground source is a different animal quite efficient. For 2100 sq ft in SC for ground source 2.5 would do quite well. But remember they are designed to run. Short cycling just runs up your electric bill

I would think that the 2 stage are really good for larger units 6 tons plus


pinballlooking 11-16-18 12:18 PM

Thanks for the input I will look into this some more. One stage units are cheaper and a smaller unit requires less digging.

I think I will get a local company quote me an install. DIY must save money to make it worth it.

When I dig, I will scrape off top soil set it aside the put it back on top when done.
The contractors don’t do this we have very little top soil here and we have red clay.
You can’t grow grass very well in red clay.

If you add up my mini splits i have installed now it comes to 3.75 Ton

pinballlooking 11-16-18 01:05 PM

Does anyone sell Waterfurnace direct to customers?

I have someone coming out Monday to give me a quote.
They install Waterfurnace I will see what they have to say.

pinballlooking 11-19-18 09:05 AM

The Geothermal quote was today.
$37,095 for a series 7 water furnace
$32,324 for a series 5 water furnace

This includes no hot water.
The load calc came to 3.62 ton they would install a 4 ton unit with no backup heat strips.
(I have 3.75 ton mini splits now)
Horizontal loop 6’ deep they do not do slinky they do 3’ trench with 2 loops one on left one on right return up.

There is no way I will have it installed at this cost. It is like they calc the tax savings and add that much to the estimate.

That is about the same way the solar installed cost est. was done.

A local guy that sells used equipment will take my old equipment and install the Geo unit for 600-700 that does not sound bad but I really have no idea what it would cost.
I do all the pluming and electrical...
They just swap units.

pinballlooking 11-19-18 07:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I am looking at a couple climate master systems from Ingrams water & air
Tranquility 30 and the Tranquility 22 the 30 is $1899.39 more money.

Not sure it is worth it they are both 2 stage 4 ton and both use the IGate thermostat that gives you lots of info.

I am thinking about a non-pressurized system my system is in the crawl space and I don’t want to make a purge cart.

I am thinking about getting a Desuperheater and disable it at first the later getting a holding tank that will feed my tankless hot water heater.

It will be about 50’ away from the unit hopefully that is not too far.
Still need to decide to do Slinky and just using my 10” back hoe and doing long runs.

The Tranquility 22 with everything to do the install is $8,982
after Tax credit $4,041.9
TEH Specifications TZ048

The Tranquility 30 with everything to do the install is 11696.08
after Tax credit $5263.24
TEH Specifications TZ048

Right now the tax credit is 30% fed and 25% state so 55%.

pinballlooking 11-20-18 10:03 AM

I am going to look for some software or tool to do a manual J. I am with randen here. My mini splits can keep up on very hot days. 3.75 ton
We are not going to get rid on the mini splits. So maybe scale down to a 3 ton two stage system. Dig the loops with my 10 bucket.

That would take my loops to 3 600 about 1800 of trench. I am not sure how long that would take to dig.
Time is on my side since I have the mini splits.

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