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What Is Scaling in a Geothermal System and How Can It Affect My Heating?

Geothermal systems can use either water or the ground to heat your home. Additionally, ground-source geothermal systems may use a water-based solution in the ground loop to facilitate heat transfer. Why does this matter? Because in many areas of the US, water can be “hard”. Hard water is a term used to describe water with high mineralization. While these minerals aren’t harmful to you, they can carry minerals that calcify, i.e., harden, which can affect water flow. What does this mean for your geothermal heating system? Let’s take a look.

Scaling

Scaling can happen to any kind of piping or tubing through which hard water passes. Specific to your geothermal system, scaling is the gradual build-up of mineralization on the inside of the loop or even in your water-source heat pump. The build-up is hard, similar to pieces of concrete, and if left to build over time, this build-up can seriously restrict water flow. If you have a geothermal system, this kind of restriction can affect how the whole system operates. Common results of restricted water flow are a decrease in heating ability and poor performance of your system. But there’s a simple solution for scaling – the acid flush.

Mineral build-up is heavy on alkaline, so the best way to fight it is with acid. The acid used in the flush is safe, but is effective in removing the scale build-up from the inside of your loop. It’s best to have a trained technician perform the acid flush to ensure that it is done correctly and that your loop is thoroughly cleaned.

Water Softener Helps

Your water will be tested before your geothermal system is installed. If the water is found to have high amounts of minerals, you may want to consider the installation of a water softener to minimize the effects the hard water may have on your geothermal ground loop. Check with your geothermal technician to see if installation a water softener is right for you and your system.

Scaling takes a while to develop, but if you have concerns that you may have a scaling issue, call G&S Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc., today and schedule an appointment for heating repair in Monroe.

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