A ground source heat pump is a fantastic option for both heating and cooling your home. That being said, there are plenty of horror stories in blogs and forums about systems that have failed. Replacing the heat pump itself is bad enough, but many homeowners ditch the entire system if they have a failing loop field. We’re not going to dive into the finger-pointing match of who caused the failure or why it happened, but we’ll start with two assumptions:
1. The problem is underground
2. You have no idea where it is
There are many other blog posts that talk about methods for troubleshooting and diagnosing a leak in loop field. There are mixed reviews on the Fix-A-Leak product, but that is one solution. The other avenue involves digging up your manifold , which is typically underground like the example pictured below. From there, you can test each individual loop and repair the leak or disconnect that portion of the loop field. If the leak cannot be repaired and you are forced to abandon a portion of your loop field, it can leave the field undersized for your heat pump.
Before You Give Up
There is another option! You can add loop field capacity to replace what you capped off or even the entire field. By inserting a self-driving loop near your heat pump, you can add the needed capacity to keep your system operating properly. This is a more cost-effective alternative to replacing part or all of your trenched or drilled loop field. It may even be less expensive than having a leak-detection specialist on site to troubleshoot your field (which would still need to be fixed).
Planning for Flexibility
The NexGen Energy system is designed to be flexible and scalable. By inserting our self-driving loops through a small hole in the concrete slab, it allows us to place our manifold in an accessible location. The central manifold is where each individual ground source loop comes together before circulating through the heat pump. This is also valuable if you choose to expand your geothermal system in the future. Many homeowners look for other applications that they did not initially consider, such as radiant in-floor heat and hot water heating, when the first installed the system. The ability to add capacity down the road can help you feel confident in your current decision to install a geothermal system as well.
Whether you are just exploring this awesome technology for the first time, or you are frustrated with a leak in your loop field, we are here to help!
NexGen Energy’s self-driving loop technology is allowing ground-source heating applications to be installed almost anywhere! Please visit our website or join the discussion on Facebook. You can also leave a comment on this post if you have any thoughts or questions.