3 zone heat problems, no heat


  #1  
Old 02-26-05, 10:55 AM
Doktorfaustus77
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3 zone heat problems, no heat

Hello,

I have three zone heat in my home. Heat is fine on my bottom and top floors. On the middle floor the heat suddenly stopped working overnight. Both baseboards and now women of the house are freezing. When I went to check the zone valve I noticed a slight electrical type smell. I don't know if that accurately describes the smell but I know I have smelled it before around electrical wires. No signs of fire or melting could be found. I had this same problem once before on another valve and the serviceman changed the head on the afflicted zone valve operator. My questions are:

Is there any way to test the valve operator? How will I know this is the problem? There is a lever which I have no clue what it does, one side says purge. It is a TACO brand valve.

If I replace the head, are the wires that connect to the valve operator live? Is there a risk of shock? Should I mess with this?

I'd like to try and figure this out myself, but my wife and mother in law are driving me nuts. I don't have much time before they demmand I call emergency service. Time and a half for service on Sat. doesn't please me! Thanks to anyone who takes a look. ANY advice will be greatly appreciated.

Andrew
 
  #2  
Old 02-26-05, 11:00 AM
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Andrew

You likely have a zone valve motor which has burned out. Replacement is easy. Some home centers carry the Taco power heads. That valve is powered by 24 volts, so major shock is not a concern. Still it is best to turn off the power before working on it.
 
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Old 02-26-05, 12:22 PM
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Zone valve problem

Andrew:

Grady is correct; any "electrical" smell around a Taco zone valve is a dead giveaway that the motor has probably burned out; on the bright side, Taco valves are designed to make replacement a snap; the top part is known as the "power head", Taco part # 555-050RP; first, while you are trying to track down a replacement (most plumbing supply houses close at noon on Sat.); leave the defective valve in place & pull the lever on the dead valve all the way down this will manually open the zone so that hot water can flow thru the piping when the other zones are operating; this will provide some heat on a temporary basis until you can track down a new power head (you might also check around the boiler to see if the individual zones have their own "flow check" valve that has a manual open tab on tap- open that manaully as well, if you find one).

I've seen the Taco power heads in Home Depot (~$50), & I believe, at Lowe's; they come in either a green or gold-colored housing; make a note of the model # of the valve (ex. 556, 561, 572) & make a note of the wires as connected to each of the 3 terminals & remove them; the power head is removed with a twisting motion; it should twist right off; no water will escape from the pipes; the replacement is twisted on & the wires replaced as marked; if you call one Home Depot & they don't carry it, be sure & check the other Home Depots & Lowes stores in your area; some carry it & some don't.
 
  #4  
Old 02-26-05, 04:23 PM
Doktorfaustus77
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Problem Solved

Hey Cricket and Grady, Thank you both so much your advice saved me much$$$ and annoyance. I went to my local Home depot and they only had one left. Popped it on and it works great now. Thanks a million.

Best Regards

Andrew
 
  #5  
Old 02-26-05, 06:00 PM
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Doktorfaustus

Glad you got fixed up. Might not be a bad idea to pick up a spare power head just to have on hand. As a wise man once said: "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy".
 
  #6  
Old 02-27-05, 05:57 PM
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Make sure the heat anticipator on your thermostat is set to .9 or you may be buying another one soon.
 
 

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