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Old 10-03-17, 09:25 AM   #1
Sccoupe
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Default Ground loop pipes above ground for winter?

Freezing weather is fast approaching and i'm still drilling holes. Two ton is complete and being utilized. Some changes need made before it starts freezing and i'm not sure if i'll be able to get the feeder pipes buried before winter. Options i see so far is...

-Pull the pipes out of the holes, empty, and heat with electric until Spring.

Or some combination of...

-Add antifreeze to the loop.
-Add pipe insulation to the parts that are above ground.
-Leave the circulation pump on 24/7. (Could loose power in a storm)
-Add a home build pump controller to circulate on a schedule.
-Add electric pipe heaters to the parts above ground.

Any further thoughts or ideas on solutions? They may still get buried in time but I have the feeling that i'll be too late as usual.

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Old 10-03-17, 10:50 AM   #2
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I think pretty much everyone using ground loop also uses glycol based antifreeze.
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Old 10-04-17, 08:20 AM   #3
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I have 10 gallon of propylene glycol for the purpose but didn't want to use it until everything is permanently installed.

Thinking more about it, if power goes out then even insulation will not save water from freezing, so adding the antifreeze seems the only choice.
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Old 10-04-17, 01:00 PM   #4
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Better hurry up and rent a trencher....
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Old 10-06-17, 05:38 PM   #5
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I guess it just took a little motivation. Didnt take as long as I thought it would. Trenches are done. Need to clean up, leak test the pipes, drop them in the holes, fill with limestone dust, notch the plastic casing as low as possible, pull the pipes though and route into the house. Thats still a mess of work to do before it rains on Sunday. Gotta get all of the 'in the trench' work done before it rains or its going to be a total mess to work with.

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Old 10-26-17, 09:48 AM   #6
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If you get a chance i would like to see how the hook ups are set up. Once its built its clear sailing as far as making heat in any weather , what a prospect !
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Old 10-26-17, 03:48 PM   #7
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The pipes for stage one are now safely burried for the winter and also antifreeze added. Below are the poly pipes going into a small crawl space. They come in though 4" pvc, the light stuff, not sch40. The first two ton come in though the top pipes with out and back separated. The bottom two pipes run out to where drilling will begin again in the spring and then I dont have to dig this part of the yard up to the house again, just push the pipes though. All burried connections are fused. I glued 3/4 threaded connectors together for a poly barb to PEX adapter. Inside is all PEX. Only one ton is plumbed, the other ton is just plugged for now.



Here is the inside works. A 7 gallon poly tank holds it all. The pump is for a one ton unit installed above my garage. Out of the tank to the pump, blue pipe to the heat pump, red pipe back from the pump and into the output manifold on the right, to the ground, back from the ground into the input manifold on the left, then back to the tank. Valves everywhere! The manifolds are 1-1/4 PVC tee's with threaded/glued PEX adapters. The short blue pipe between manifolds is temperary to help flush any air to the tank, it stays closed normally. The real short blue hose on the right and the black hose on the left was used to hook up the house water to flush one of the loops that was air locked. Isolated that loop with the valves and pushed the air out. Its all flowing good through two, 1/2 ton loops for now.





Should time allow this winter, I'll convert a portable, one ton, two pipe heat pump to geothermal (does heat and a/c), hook up the other ton of loop and run it wide open the rest of the winter to help the less efficient air source heat pump that runs the main house.
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Old 10-26-17, 08:39 PM   #8
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Be sure to add antifreeze for winter operation I didn’t and it was a big mistake

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Old 10-27-17, 09:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for the explanation and uploading those pictures its very educational being well explained like that.

Have a few questions , how many gallons of water per Ton loop and at what concentration of antifreeze like -20 ? how much antifreeze per loop did it use.
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Old 10-27-17, 10:15 AM   #10
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I don't recall the volume, but you can use a standard cylinder volume calculator on google. Its for tank volume, but just think of your loop as a really long tank that is only 3/4" tall.

The antifreeze used said to mix 50/50 for -10F pumping. It went lower than this for freeze protection and lower yet for burst protection. The antifreeze is Cryo-Tek 100 Anti-Freeze, 5 Gallon from supplyhouse.com for $64.95. If you buy more than one, then it even ships for free. UPS delivered to me next day, very well packaged.

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