Water Source Heat Pumps

A building permit is required for an open loop ground water source heat pump (refer to By-Law No. 08-18). No permit is required for a closed loop system. Please read below to determine what type of system you may be installing.

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By-law Number 08-18


WHEREAS it is deemed desirable to regulate the issue of water source heat pumps and specifically the discharge of water related thereto;

NOW THEREFORE the Council of the Corporation of the Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley enacts as follows:

1. For the purposes of this by-law, ‘heat pumps’ shall refer specifically to water source heat pumps tested and approved by the Canadian Standards Association according to the regulations passed under the Energy Efficiency Act of the Province of Ontario.

2. No person shall cause, allow or permit water drawn from a well for use in a heat pump to be discharged anywhere save into a second well designated for that purpose.

3. Where the use of a heat pump is found to be in contravention of this by-law, the Municipal By-law Enforcement Officer may notify in writing, by prepaid registered mail, the owner of the heat pump of such contraventions and direct such owner to comply with the requirements of this By-law.

4. If the use of a heat pump remains in contravention of this By-law 14 days after notice has been mailed in accordance with Section 3 of this by-law, the municipality may remedy the condition in such manner as it deems necessary and charge the costs thereof to the owner. If the owner fails to pay such costs to the municipality within 30 days of the mailing of the account thereof, the municipality may add such costs to the municipal taxes to be levied against the property and the same shall be recoverable in the same manner as municipal taxes.

5. Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of this By-law, in addition to any other penalty provided for in this By-law shall be guilty of an offence.

6. This by-law repeals By-law 92-017 in its entirety.

7. This By-law shall come into force and take effect on the date of its passing and shall be referred to as the “WATER SOURCE HEAT PUMP BY-LAW”.

Read a First and Second time this 25th day of March, 2008.
Read a Third time and finally Passed this 14th day of April, 2008.

Signed: Acting Mayor, Jim Miller
Signed: Clerk, Yvonne L. Robert

Open Loops

An Open Loop is a loop established between a water source and a discharge area in which the water is collected and pumped to a GWHP then discharged to its original source or to another location. The piping for such configuration open at both ends and the water is utilized only once.

Examples of such loops are: systems operating off wells wherein water pumped from a supply well, through the unit and discharged to a return well; open systems operating from such surface water sources as ponds, lakes, streams, etc, where the source water is pumped to the unit and returned to the source.

Open loops have the advantage of higher equipment performance since the source water is used only once and then discharged, but have two significant disadvantages:

  1. water quality needs to be carefully analyzed and treated if such corrosive as sulfur, iron, or manganese are present, if pH is low, or it there are abrasives in it
  2. the costs of pumping water through an open loop are usually somewhat higher than those associated with circulating water through a closed loop

Example of an Open Loop
Example of an open loop

Closed Loops

A Closed Loop is one in which both ends of the loop's piping are closed. The water or other fluid is re-circulated over and over and no new water is introduced to the loop. The heat is transferred through the walls of the piping to or from the source, which could be ground, ground water, or surface water. As heat is extracted from the water in the loop the temperature of the loop falls and the heat from the source flows towards the loop.

In closed loop operation water quality is not an issue because corrosives become rapidly "spent" or used up and corrosion caused by poor water quality is quickly curtailed. The wire-to-water efficiencies of circulators used in closed loop operation are very high and the costs of pumping the water are lower as compared to open loops. System efficiencies are somewhat lower in closed loop operation, but given the lower pumping costs associated with this method, economics sometimes, but not always favour this approach. Installed costs, however, are higher and need to be considered if the consumer already has a well or other water source.

Types of closed loops
While there are several loop configurations used in closed loop operation, generally two types of closed loops are utilized by the industry - vertical and horizontal.

In vertical loop installation, deep holes are bored into the ground and pipes with U-bends are inserted into the holes, the holes are grouted, the piping loops are manifolded together, brought into the structure and closed. The argument for this type of ground-loop heat exchanger is that because the piping is in the deeper ground - unaffected by surface temperatures - performance will be higher. Generally, installed costs are higher than with a horizontal loop.

In horizontal loop installation, trenches are dug, usually by a backhoe or other trenching device, in some form of horizontal configuration. Various configurations of piping are installed in the trenches. A large number of horizontal loop designs have been tried and utilized successfully by the industry. While installed costs have been lower, horizontal loops have been thought to be less efficient than vertical loops because of the effect of air temperatures near the surface of the ground.

Example of Closed Loop
Example of a closed loop

Water Source Heat Pump Application Form

This application is available in a more printer friendly .pdf format in our Virtual Library. Click here to choose the application from the list of forms.

For More Information

Contact the Chief Building Official at: 6544 New Dublin Road, RR 2 Addison ON K0E 1A0

Tel. 613-345-7480 or Toll Free 1-800-493-3175
Fax. 613-345-7235

Email: mail@ektwp.ca

Township of Elizabethtown-Kitley, 6544 New Dublin Rd, RR 2  Addison, ON, K0E 1A0
Tel. 613-345-7480 or 1-800-492-3175, Fax. 613-345-7235, Email: mail@ektwp.ca
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

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