Geothermal Operating Costs

I see a lot of discussion on geothermal systems. After owning a Water Furnace brand for six years we are not yet breaking even on if we had purchased a gas/electric HVAC instead. Our Water Furnace went off of its five year warrantee two years ago and since then it has cost us an extensive amount in repairs and keeps having more problems. The DHW hot water line is no longer functional and can't be repaired, the main circuit board had to be replaced, the thermostat had to be replaced twice, the freon lines had to be replaced and the coils are corroded. Considering that it cost three times as much as conventional HVAC and, at its current failure rate, we will probably have to replace it in a couple of years, I am not sure that the Water Furnace is the way to go. Especially with higher efficiency HVACs coming on the market. Also, Water Furnace customer service is not very customer oriented and the parts take forever to get. When it worked well it was very efficient so the technology and conept are sound. If only there were a more reliable unit.
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So let me see if I understand. This Water Furnace has given you nothing but problems yet you are not sure whether to get another one? Here's your sign!
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ground source benefits rural customers (that have to pay extra to have propane hauled in) most. ground source is very common in montana due to the vast rural areas.

as ground source units go, there is no better brand than water furnace. in fact, nothing comes even close. you can spend half as much (up front, anyway) on an econar, FHP, etc. and you end up with crap that will most certainly give you failure after failure after failure. if youre going ground source, go water furnace.
with all the failures you mentioned, did you do any research first on the company that installed it? were their technicians certified through water furnace?
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Nathan W. Collier
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Nathan,
Thanks for the quality reply.
Yes, our installer was recommended by Water Furnace. We had problems with him during service calls and, from what I was told by Water Furnace, he is no longer a Water Furnace rep. Our new service company is very good and they are surprised at the problems we are having with this unit. They told me that Water Furnace has made improvements to their units. Maybe we got a lemon. It happens.
I am most disturbed at the poor customer service Water Furnace provides and the length of time it takes to get parts.
Thanks
DW
Nathan W. Collier wrote:

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youre certainly welcome.

just based on this (and what i know of water furnace) i would tend to question the quality of the initial install over the quality of the unit.

it _is_ possible, but again i would question the initial install.

i wonder if they were simply reluctant to sell parts to a home-owner. anytime a home-owner calls me just wanting to buy a fan motor or other part, the first thing i think of is "mr. fix-it". mr. fix-it is most often a danger to himself, to his equipment, and to everyone sharing his home. although on the one hand mr. fix-it quite often messes up more than he fixes (requiring him to pay me to come out and fix what he messed up), more often than not its more trouble than its worth. if your service company was having trouble getting parts thats another matter entirely. this has never been an issue for me though.
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Why are you dealing with WFI rather than the installing contractor. It sounds like you may have an open loop. Have you been having it maintained since it was installed. WFI now has a 10 year P&L warrantee. I have seen none of the problems you are mentioning other than on non maintained open loop system. I worked on several brands of Geo systems for many years, but only started installing them a couple of years ago. We have found no problems other than gettting all the expansion and air out of the loops. We ended up returning 3 or 4 times to repressurize the loop, but that is all. We also found a couple of factory settings (dips) that were not set right. I am going to difer on you with the customer service, I can get them on the phone the first time I call every time I call. But, then again I am calling contractor tech support. WFI efficiency exceeds EVERY geo manufacturer on the market right now. I am sure (CM) will match or exceed them in a year a two just to keep up with the joneses. The WFI Envision products have up to a 30 EER and a 5.0 COP. They are easy to work on, and the ones we installed customers are very happy

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