Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    David Millner's Avatar
    David Millner Guest

    Default What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    F.I.R.E. Services

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mustang
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    nothing it is beyond the scope of a home inspection, like mold, and radon


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,246

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Mount View Post
    nothing it is beyond the scope of a home inspection, like mold, and radon
    No it is not, it is simply a heat pump (surely you do not think those are beyond the scope of the home inspection) and make sure they work and are in good condition.

    No, you cannot check the geo thermal portion of the heat exchanger, but you cannot check the refrigerant lines of a standard split system either, and that does not make it "beyond the scope" of an HI.

    Check the interior heat pump unit as you normally would. Disclaim the geo thermal heat sink part.

    I have seen several types of geo thermal heat pumps:
    - well water in, water discharging into another well on other side of house
    - well water in, water discharging into sprinkler system for yard
    - well water in, water discharging into canal
    - buried piping in earth to use earth as heat exchanger, closed loop system
    - submerged piping in water (pond, lake, canal) using the water as a heat exchanger, closed loop system

    Check the condition of the pump too.

    David, click on 'User CP', then click on 'Edit Profile' and enter your city and state.

    That makes it better to answer questions, such as, if the above is near the ocean, the salt content in the water will corrode out the heat pump system in no time - I have seen it happen many times along Miami Beach and that island side of the Intra-coastal Waterway. The people just do not think about it, but the salt begin to corrode rather quickly, which reduces heat transfer efficiency from the inside (from the water), making it have to run longer, pumping more water through the system, making it corrode more.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4
    Calvin Murphy's Avatar
    Calvin Murphy Guest

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers causing an estimated 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year. I fail to see why radon and mold should be beyond the scope of a home inspection. These health hazards can be easily tested for.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin Murphy View Post
    Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers causing an estimated 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year. I fail to see why radon and mold should be beyond the scope of a home inspection. These health hazards can be easily tested for.
    Calvin, are radon and mold inspections included in your basic home inspection at no added charge?
    For Texas, Mold testing is regulated by a separate agency and requires a separate license than HI, as are termite inspections.
    From the vast majority of posters here, the standard seems to be that ancillary services such as Radon, Mold, Water Quality, WDO, Septic, Pool, Wells, Environmental Testing (asbestos, meth labs, etc.) are outside the purview of standard home inspections.
    Do you have a different take and insurance coverage to back up your opinion?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  6. #6
    Calvin Murphy's Avatar
    Calvin Murphy Guest

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    I am not a home inspector but rather a radon mitigator/activist. I feel that home inspectors should educate their clients as to the dangers of radon, mold, etc. and have the credentials to provide necessary testing that the customer may request after being educated. The home inspector should be compensated for these additional services.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin Murphy View Post
    I am not a home inspector but rather a radon mitigator/activist. I feel that home inspectors should educate their clients as to the dangers of radon, mold, etc. and have the credentials to provide necessary testing that the customer may request after being educated. The home inspector should be compensated for these additional services.
    So I think we are in agreement that mold and radon testing are beyond the scope of the standard home inspection.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    David

    The best way is to run the system either in the cooling mode or heating mode.
    Check around the air handler for leaks, unusual noise, air filter.

    If the vendor is home you may want to inquire of him as to when it was last serviced.

    If in doubt as to any component or functionality, recommend that the system be serviced prior to close of title.

    Heating and Cooling with a Heat Pump


  9. #9
    Calvin Murphy's Avatar
    Calvin Murphy Guest

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    I think that the option for a radon test should be an option for every home inspection in certain areas. I am located in Illinois. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has documented that 42% of 72,000 reported initial radon tests conducted by licensed measurement personnel in Illinois are above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Radon is a very serious health risk in certain areas of the country.


  10. #10
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvin Murphy View Post
    I think that the option for a radon test should be an option for every home inspection in certain areas. I am located in Illinois. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has documented that 42% of 72,000 reported initial radon tests conducted by licensed measurement personnel in Illinois are above the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L. Radon is a very serious health risk in certain areas of the country.
    CM: I believe that it has already been made abundantly clear to you that radon and other environmental issues are optional during the course of a home inspection. Just exactly which part of the English language are you struggling with?


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    5,005

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Nobody can read, the thread is about inspecting geothermal heat pumps not radon.


  12. #12
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond Wand View Post
    Nobody can read, the thread is about inspecting geothermal heat pumps not radon.
    RW: Yes, I got that, and was just trying to send CM on his way back to Radonland.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,446

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Calvin, please take your views on radon testing to the appropriate section.
    By the way, its pretty clear you are not a home inspector. Otherwise you would know that we have State Standards of {Practice as well as Association Standards of Practice that many of us MUST follow.
    Every one that I know of excludes testing for radon and/or mold as outside the scope of a normal home inspection.

    I test geo thermal units like a regular heat pump, just like Jerry said.


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Central Florida
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: What do you check in a geo thermal unit?

    Most Geo units have very long warranties, i.e. 25 and 50 years are not unusual since all the copper lines are enclosed and protected from the elements.

    I'd look at it the same as a furnance, look at the condition of the unit, is it rusting (indicating water/humidity issues). Do all pipes appear to be installed correctly, enough hangers, no obvious damage. Turn it on like any AC unit and check the vents for noise, coolness and smell.

    If the unit is closed loop the usual point of failure is the heat sink piping, which is burried and out of scope..--the unit would shutdown and not operate since it would overheat without the geo coolant. Overall these units last a very long time, I've seen one in a hotel that has been in operation since 1937 and is still just as effecient as many modern ones. (compressor and pumps had been changed through out the years)

    Open Source uses water through the coils, these units MUST be serviced/cleaned about once a year, as they can build up sediment and scale on the internal heat exchanger, there are usually filters in the line, which also need to be changed/checked regularlly. --if the lines are copper check for leaks/corrosion just like old copper water lines.

    In short all you can do in point out obvious issues and recommend service if you find something. You can't warrant the heat sink in the ground (unless you wanted to dig all of it up) and the heat exchanger in the unit, since you can't view the codition of the coils. Unlike regular AC Heat pumps, age only affect the compressor and pumps, the only moving parts in the system. You usually will find a new tag on the unit if that has been changed which should be noted. i.e. Closed Loop Geo Unit, ca. 1963, compressor changed 1994 per service label. 50 year warrenty sticker appears in tact (expires 2013).


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •