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Ibby14

join:2012-12-31
Warwick, NY

Problem with a zone on my baseboard (hot water) heat...

My problem is with the top floor of my house, and I can't tell if it's the thermostat or the wires in the basement. The thermostat is a Honeywell 2 wire mercury. The heat will not go on in that zone. I took off the thermostat and put the wires together but still the heat will not go on unless I make sure the downstairs thermostat makes the furnace go on, then the upstairs heat will come on only very lightly, never fully, it's only warm and not for very long. I'm afraid of the temperature going down enough to freeze pipes, it's very cold outside. Anyone have any ideas what's going on?


Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

Maybe you have to bleed air from the line?


Ibby14

join:2012-12-31
Warwick, NY

1 edit

But it was air in the lines that wouldn't stop the furnace from turning on when the thermostat sends it a message would it? and it's not making any noise like I heard air in the lines woud do. I have a suspicion it's electrical but I'm up for any ideas at this point.



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to Ibby14

Looks like the valve for the zone is broken (or there is no signal going to the valve). Check that you get proper voltage (24VAC?) on the valve terminals as a first step. If the valve does not actuate, there is no signal being sent to the furnace and circulating pump.



norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI
reply to Ibby14

the zone valve could be sticking. on the zone valve itself there is usually a manual lever. Move the lever which is normally in the closed position to the opposite direction. This should over ride the thermostat and start the boiler and hot water should begin circulating fully through that zone. If this is the case the zone valve will need replacing but you can use this manual method to get through a very cold night and prevent freezing pipes.


Ibby14

join:2012-12-31
Warwick, NY

OK, so I took the end switch on the Zone Valve and I put it all the way to the left, in the "manual" position I believe? At first the heat wasn't coming on so I used the other zone thermostat and turned on the furnace. Hot water then did start circulating in the problem zone, so I'm waiting to see how high the temp wil go. What does putting this switch in the manual position do exactly?
So should the temp follow the thermostat setting until I replace the zone valve? How does it control when the furnace should come on for that zone (with the switch in that position). Thanks by the way!

By the way. I just noticed your hometown, pretty cool! (Not sure if you noticed mine or not).



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

Looks like the auxiliary contacts are shot on the valve. You opened the valve manually but it didn't close the circuit for the pump. That or a bad connection...
Disconnect the aux contacts and short them - that should cause the circulating pump to turn on and you can confirm that the valve is indeed the issue.
If you leave it open you will get heat whenever the other zone is calling for heat. May get too hot or be too cold, but at least you have a temporary workaround.


Ibby14

join:2012-12-31
Warwick, NY

sorry, I know a little (just enough to get me in trouble) but I'm not sure on what to do to "short" the aux contacts. Are those the contacts conected to the end switch?

Sense I wrote the last reply I can verify that when I turned down the non problem zone thermostat, the furnace went off and it never raised the temp in the problem zone more then a few degrees when it stopped. Maybe a bad thermostat and bad zone valve?



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

said by Ibby14:

I'm not sure on what to do to "short" the aux contacts. Are those the contacts conected to the end switch?

You would "join" the wires coming TO the valve, as if the contact has closed.
Contacts from multiple valves are connected in parallel, so that when any of them closes it starts the circulating pump (and signals a heat call to the furnace).


Jackorama

join:2008-05-23
Kingston, ON
reply to Ibby14

Same thing happened to me about 5 years ago. Only difference is it was my apartment on the 2nd (top) floor. Same thermostat from the sound of it. What was happening was the valve was opening to let the water flow but the gas furnace that heats the boiler was not igniting. We would only get heat when one of the other apartments ignited the furnace.

The summer before that winter was very humid and the wire that goes from the valve to the furnace had corroded. The guy who worked on the furnace sprayed the wire, where it attached to the box with the valve in it, with something and the furnace ignited. The furnace guy told me to keep a eye on it and to spray it with a little WD-40 if it starts to corrode again. I haven't had any problems since, but I think the furnace guy should have replaced the wire since he was from the top & oldest reputable heating company in our city.

Not to say you have the same problem, but almost sounds like a electrical wiring problem.

Good luck.

Jackorama
--
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norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI
reply to Ibby14

said by Ibby14:

sorry, I know a little (just enough to get me in trouble) but I'm not sure on what to do to "short" the aux contacts. Are those the contacts conected to the end switch?

Sense I wrote the last reply I can verify that when I turned down the non problem zone thermostat, the furnace went off and it never raised the temp in the problem zone more then a few degrees when it stopped. Maybe a bad thermostat and bad zone valve?

Since you know you get heat by operating the other zone. Just leave the valve in the broken zone open manually and use the good zone UNTIL you can get a service tech. Don't try to do anything else that could knock the boiler out leaving you no heat at all. The important thing is keep the pipes warm in the trouble zone to prevent freezing. You can put the thermostat all the way up in the trouble zone if you want but it may not matter or be effective you will be temp operating the heat using the good zone .

Ibby14

join:2012-12-31
Warwick, NY

Click for full size
temp and pressure guage
Click for full size
problem valve is on the left with cover off
Click for full size
zone valve wiring
The zone valve is a Honeywell F4 9819, and I have a Honeywell 2 wire heat only mercury thermostat. The problem zone valve is on the left. I have the end switch on manual so the problem zone heats up every time the other zone heat comes on, and I can now say that left to it's own devices it does keep the problem zone sufficiently heated. After leaving it on for a sufficient amount of time I found that the only reason it wasn't fully heating was that I had the other zone set very low because I kept electric heaters on, so the furnace was rarely turning on in the non problem zone so the problem zone was rarely receiving hot water. Of course it still won't follow what I set on the thermostat. Are we still looking at a bad zone valve?

Did I make any sense?


ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA

If I am remembering my hot water systems correctly, the the thermostat ONLY controls the opening/closing of the zone valve AND kicking in the circulator pump.

So if only one zone is having the issue it could be the thermostat, wiring between thermostat and zone valve or the zone valve itself.

With normal operating settings, when the zone in question calls for heat, does the circulator pump cut on? If it does and there is no heat in that zone, I would question the zone valve. If the circulator pump does not kick in, then I would question the wiring or thermostat.



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:9
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

1 recommendation

reply to Ibby14

Do you have a voltmeter ?

If so, set it to measure AC voltage and attach it to the 2 wires at the upstairs thermostat. With the thermostat set to a very low temperature (or simply disconnected) you should measure about 24V AC.

If this is successful it shows that:
- there is no disconnect in the wiring
- there is no short-circuit in the wiring

With the thermostat connected and set to a high temperature (higher then currently in the room) the voltage reading should drop to 0V AC.

If this too is successful then both thermostat and wiring to the thermostat are ok and the problem is to be found downstairs.
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