Tearing Apart a Pressurized FlowCentre
Pressurized flowcentres are a common method of pumping a ground loop to a heat pump.
On a recent job, I came across a flowcentre that leaked. It leaked internally and this is not a simple fix. In this case, we replaced the flowcentre and had the opportunity to take the old one and tear it apart. As we were curious in what was inside, I thought I’d take some pictures and share.
The Flowcentre after being removed.
Digging out the spray foam insulation on the back.
A pump, a coupling, and a 3-way valve.
In this case, the plumbing on both pumps was loose. We easily undid all the fittings by hand. No thread seal, teflon tape, or such was noted between the female coupling in the middle and either the pump or the 3-way valve. Also important to note, there is a combination of plastic and metal connections. So, in summary, yes these things can leak inside and you have a few choices:
- Replace the flowcentre which is a lot of plumbing and another system purge/pressurization.
- Tear apart the flowcentre house, clean off the spray foam and tighten the plumbing. Now figure out a way to build a cabinet back up around it and insulate again.
- Go with non-pressurized.
Pulling it apart
In all cases, not a quick or cheap fix and a day of labour that nobody wants to pay for.