Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Going geothermal: Day Five. A bit of a setback

(Sorry. No picture today.)

Going geothermal: Day Five. A bit of a setback

(Sorry. No picture today.)

Okay. So it’s not a disaster. Just a setback.

They’re not finishing our system by this weekend after all. So we’ll be supplementing our heat with the energy-guzzling supplemental heat coil. Aaargh.

It turned out that the diggers just couldn’t finish. It’s been a series of events. They couldn’t come last Friday because they didn’t finish a different job. Then on Monday a pump broke somewhere else, and THAT held them up. They left early one day this week because someone hit a power cable somewhere.

I remember one of the well-digging company’s people sitting in his truck and shaking his head. “We have too many jobs,” he said.

So I’m feeling a tad second-fiddle-ish, although I know stuff happens.

One thing they need to do is a pressure test on the system before they hook it all up and go away. We’d been told a 24-hour pressure test was necessary.

As time passed, they said an overnight pressure test was okay. Then they said a pressure test of just a few hours was okay.

We talked to friends and an engineer, and all said we should insist on the 24-hour test, so we did. They hooked everything up this afternoon and connected the meter. It will go over the weekend. They're confident enough that they've covered everything up.

So, presumably, by the end of Monday we'll be up and running.

And now we know another reason we didn't want to try to get heavy pump equipment onto our property to dig vertical wells.  We have a wooden bridge that goes over a small creek, and today when the truck left, one of the bridge boards broke. Oops.

Another thing: Our contract says that if they need to cover the area with topsoil, we pay. Sounded reasonable at the time.

Except that this week they told us they would, indeed, need a truckload of topsoil, and it would cost $900!!! Where’s this stuff coming from? Ireland?

We’ve decided we don’t need a Cadillac lawn for our Chevy of a home. So we’re opting out of that one.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
About this blog

GreenSpace is about environmental issues and green living. Bauers also writes a biweekly GreenSpace column about environmental health issues for the Inquirer’s Sunday “Health” section.

Sandy Bauers is the environment reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she has worked for more than 20 years as a reporter and editor. She lives in northern Chester County with her husband, two cats, a large vegetable garden and a flock of pet chickens.

Reach Sandy at sbauers@phillynews.com.

Sandy Bauers Inquirer GreenSpace Columnist
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