Well Drilling Questions
Geothermal Loops Questions
How long does it take to drill and hook up my well?
Drilling usually take a half a day and hookup approx. two hours.
How do you know when you find water?
Mostly experience, knowing the area in which we are drilling and having done research on other wells in the area. Also, by the material we are drilling in by catching samples.
How do you know where to drill?
The well has to meet all the setback requirements, such as distance from septic, buildings, driveway etc., we have to locate it somewhere away from potential future expansion, such as a pool, deck etc., and then somewhere that it can be serviceable in the future when it requires servicing.
Do I need a permit?
Yes in some cases, no in others, not all counties require a permit. Ask us when you call.
Can I install a ground loop heat exchanger myself?
We do not recommend you doing this unless you have access to specialized equipment and have had previous experience working with this technology. Thermal fusion of the pipe, drilling and trenching are procedures best handled by licensed professionals. Nonprofessional installations may result in less than optimum performance, which could cancel out anticipated savings
How far apart are trenches and vertical boreholes spaced?
Typically, we space trenches four to five feet apart we space boreholes ten to fifteen feet apart.
How long does it take to install a horizontal loop system?
This depends on a number of things including, soil conditions, length and depth of pipe, and equipment required. A dealer can complete a typical installation one to two days.
How long does it take to install a vertical loop system?
It takes an experienced driller one to two days to install a vertical loop system depending on conditions on the site such as type and hardness of the bedrock, and the presence of aquifers.
Are there advantages and disadvantages to horizontal and vertical installations?
Horizontal installations are simpler and a dealer can install one using a standard backhoe; however, they require longer lengths of pipe due to seasonal variations in soil temperature and moisture content. A horizontal heat exchanger requires a larger area than the area required for a vertical system. When land space is limited, vertical installations is the way to go.
Depending on soil conditions at the site a vertical installation may be the only available choice. Vertical installations tend to be more expensive due to the increased cost of drilling versus trenching, but since the heat exchanger is buried deeper than with a horizontal system, vertical systems are usually more efficient and can get by with less total pipe. Your Spectrum Geothermal Heat Pump Dealer will be able to help you decide which configuration best meets your specific needs.
How can I be sure my dealer installed the pipe properly?
Always use a reputable dealer and don't be afraid to ask for and use references. Reputable dealers and loop installers will be happy to give names and phone numbers for you to call and confirm their capabilities. Find out where the installer received training, whether he or she is IGSHPA-accredited, and how many systems he or she has installed. Also, check with your utility company representative for names of installers.
Is it advisable to install a geothermal heat pump system large enough to handle my total heating needs?
We generally size geothermal heat pumps systems to meet your cooling needs. Depending on heating loads, a geothermal heat pump system can typically supply 80-100 percent of your design-heating load. Sizing the system to handle your entire heating needs may result in slightly lower heating costs, but the savings may not offset the added total of the larger system, and oversizing your cooling system can make your home uncomfortable in the summer. Your Spectrum dealer has the proper training and he will select the equipment for your home based on a heating and cooling load calculation.
Will an underground loop affect my lawn or landscape?
No, the ground returns to its original condition after six months or so and it has no adverse effects on grass, trees, or shrubs. Horizontal installations require trenches about eighteen inches wide. Re-seed or sod bare areas to bring them quickly back to their original condition. Vertical loops require much less space and do not damage lawns significantly.
My yard contains many shade trees. Will this affect ground temperature and my ability to use it as an energy source?
Shade trees do not affect ground temperature.