Water Source Heat Pumps

Recently, we attended a seminar on Water Source Heat Pumps (WSHPs). It seems that the HVAC industry is pushing the installation of WSHPs, in commercial buildings, in order to help reduce green house gas emissions. In effect, WSHPs are taking the place of gas fired furnaces and boilers. Why should the insurance industry be concerned? As shown in the diagrams below, WSHPs use a water loop, much like a chilled water cooling system, to transfer heat to or from the space to be cooled or heated. The amount of piping used in these systems indicates that the volume of water can amount to hundreds of gallons, depending on the size of the building. If a leak occurs, the cost to repair can extend into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Similary, the cost to repair or replace property can extend into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Possible causes of water leakage can include faulty workmanship by the installing contractor and defective materials used during installation.

Water loop used in water source heat pump systems

What’s Going on With Carrier and Goodman?


For a number of years, the Carrier Corporation has been manufacturing air conditioning equipment and selling their products all over the world.  Virtually everyone in the HVAC industry and a large part of the consuming public is familiar with the Carrier name.  To a lesser extent, the Goodman Company has also been manufacturing air conditioning equipment.  Although the Goodman Company is not was well known as Carrier, the two companies manufacture some of the same products.  Case in point: packaged terminal air conditioning units or PTACs as they are more commonly known.  These are units that are commonly found in motel rooms.  Recently, both companies recalled some of their PTAC units, Carrier on December 22, 2015 and Goodman on February 17, 2016.  But, the most troubling commonality is that the recalls are for the same problem.  That is, both companies recalled their products because their PTACS were equipped with line cords that could overheat and pose a burn hazard to consumers.  The only reason that line cords overheat is because they are sized too small for the unit’s load; i.e. the unit is drawing more current than the line cord can handle.  How does that happen?  This problem is not something that has been recently discovered.  It is not something that belongs to new technology innovations.  Any company that has been manufacturing an electrical device for any length of time has to know full well what the consequences are of undersized wiring for a specific load.  So, again how do companies like Carrier and Goodman get it wrong?  If the problem can’t be in the lack of knowledge, it has to be in the manufacturing process.  Maybe it’s time for some worker retraining.

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