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Expert & Expert Witness Needed

It was suggested that I post our long-running problem with our geo system which went online 3/16/12 and has never worked properly. The system has continually failed both winter & summer (A/C). It's clear it was not designed properly & our contractor who came for 2 ½ years to work on it threw his hands up saying, "It defies physics." and "This is ALL I can do." We have had to seek legal help. In the meantime we still have system we can't rely on as winter approaches.
Can anyone help us please?
Specs: Nearly 3200 sq' home, fully insulated with all energy saving windows. 400 sq ' has in-floor radiant.
* 5ton Water furnace
* a 2500' pond-loop system in the Oneida River. (It being 4 ton has been mentioned before)(which has floated twice in winter)
* 80 gal buffer tank
* 4 Multi-Aqua heat-pump mini-split units on the walls which were originally added for A/C only.
* 1 air handler which works via forced air (just for that unit)(also originally added for A/C only.)
* Both radiant & in-floor radiant heating.
* We originally ran on fuel oil and have our Burnham boiler as backup (but that doesn't heat the house like it used to and the Geo runs continually while boiler is in use, hence Fuel Oil fills during winter and skyrocketed electric bills.

I have posted all of the particulars in GreenBuildingAdvisor.com under Geothermal Nightmare
Thank you.


  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,835
    You're in Upstate NY, correct?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • ColleenN
    ColleenN Member Posts: 2
    Yes. Syracuse, NY
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,376
    Have you tried contacting WaterFurnace for help? They won't testify against a contractor, but they should be able to direct you to someone who could diagnose your system and correct the issues.

    I would not recommend proceeding in looking for a legal expert witness until you try getting someone out there who can actually determine what's wrong with the system. Most contractors will want no part of a legal battle.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Bob Bona_4delta TSWEI
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
    The problem is very likely in the refrigeration system of the geothermal unit. Is your installer well versed in refrigeration systems? Many geo installers aren't. Might be a good idea to get a refrigeration guy to take a peak.

    Does your loop system have an expansion tank and an air separator and a fill valve and a backflow preventer on it? The loops should also be weighted down and not allowed to float.

    Any idea what the water temp at the bottom of the river drops to in the winter time? Or what it climbs to in the summer?
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
    Colleen ,

    Please post pictures in an easy to access format on this site .

    Here is a link to the nightmare .

    Does anyone know someone within a decent driving distance to Syracuse to examine this thing ? At least someone that can reconnect her oil boiler , it is Syracuse and will be at base temp within a few weeks .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833