2009 - Volume #33, Issue #6, Page #28[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Installing Geothermal Without Trenching
"I had seen machines drilling cable under freeways and asked why that wouldn't work for geothermal tubes as well," recalls Halsey. "The company putting in my system thought it was worth a try."
Halsey knew that trenching would be expensive and would rip up his heavily wooded yard, damaging trees. Also, his home is next to a wetland, so the water table would be a problem when trenching 10 to 12 ft. deep.
Halsey considered drilling vertical geothermal pipes but that would have required five holes drilled at $1,000 each. Ground piercing would cost about $2,500.
Jeff Eccles, Logical Heating & Air Conditioning, rented a ground-piercing machine. The machine was anchored in place at the spot selected for the manifold. Using a hand held control, Eccles guided the drill to the 8 to 12 ft. depth required and ran it out a little more than 100 ft. When it surfaced, a pair of pipes was hooked to the drill head and pulled back through the hole to the starting point. The pipes were connected at the end of each run to create 200-ft. ground loops.
Eccles laid five sets of pipe this way, simply pivoting the machine slightly with each new set. Using the controls, he could precisely guide the drill head around trees and other obstacles.
Once all 2,000 ft. of pipe had been laid, a backhoe was used to dig down to the drilling depth. A manifold was installed to connect the pipes to the house.
"It only took a day and a half to get it done instead of perhaps a week with a backhoe, and the lawn was hardly disturbed," says Halsey.
To run the pipe into the house, the contractor opened up a small hole in the basement floor. He guided the drill head from the manifold pit to the foundation wall and under it. He was then able to direct the drill up through the floor opening.
"It was so easy, I couldn't believe it," says Halsey. "It also cost a lot less than trenching would have."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daniel Halsey, 17766 Langford Blvd., Prior Lake, Minn. 55372 (612 720-5001; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Logical Heating & Air Conditioning, 14595 Raspberry Dr., Rogers, Minn. 55374 (ph 763 428-6358).
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