Zone Valve Problems


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Old 02-06-08, 11:30 PM
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Zone Valve Problems

I just moved into my grandparents' apartment (they live out west and are renting it out to me) and the zone valve (Edwards Engineering Zone a Matic) would occasionally stick open and the heat would get up to 90. I would turn a screw connected to the motor shaft and initiate a cycle and that would fix it for maybe a couple days, then it would act up again. So I decided to lube the valve body but I didn't have any grease or anything so being the impatient one I just used some butter. This worked for about a week no problems, then stuck again. I buttered again and it would get stuck everyday now. So I used some grease and I noticed the motor wouldn't even go through a whole cycle without sticking. I took the whole powerhead apart and cleaned the mechanical parts. When I tried initiating a cycle, now, the motor wouldn't even turn the shaft. So the motor's dead.

I just ordered a motor and I was wondering how can I go about cleaning and lubing the valve body? My dad's a plumber so keep that in mind. I really don't want to have to replace the valve body because then I might as well just buy a whole new zone valve.

And if there is a way to keep this valve then what do you recommend I lube the gear and motor shaft with, sewing oil maybe?

Thanks a lot in advance,
Andrew
 
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Old 02-07-08, 07:56 PM
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I would have changed the whole zone valve with a more popular variety like a Honeywell or a White-Rodgers. BUT, since you have already bought the part that you need (motor) I guess you will end up keeping it.

Frankly I am not familiar with THAT particular valve, so I will give you a generic answer that applies to ALL zone valves.

You may lube any gear and rack (the curved gear) that is made of a metal with spindle oil (sewing machine oil) or light weight machine oil such as "3 in 1" oil.

Plastic gears, such as the older White-Rodgers zone valves do not require lubrication but may be lubed with a non-hydrocarbon based lube (like K-Y).

I think you should have ordered the entire power head instead of just the motor so that all the gears would be included in the repair. I would have ordered the entire zone valve and just changed the head to see how that would work. Then if it did not work correctly I would have invested the extra work and changed the valve body too.

It has been my experience that replacing the head usually takes care of the problem on zone valves.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 08:01 PM
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Thanks for the response boiler. Trouble was I couldn't find this model zone valve anywhere on the internet, and I didn't even know it was called a zone valve at that time so I didn't think to buy a different model. Plus I thought it'd be cheaper just to get the motor rather than a whole new unit.

But anyways how should I go about cleaning the valve shaft and body? Have any good tips?

Thanks again, Andrew
 
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Old 02-10-08, 12:11 PM
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The valve shaft and valve must be removed from the valve body to be cleaned and re-sealed, but only if necessary.

If they are working OK and NOT leaking-leave them alone! I have found that 90% of the time when you remove an OLD valve and shaft assembly from the valve body (the part that is part of the soldered on plumbing or pipe) you MUST replace the O-Ring or seal.

***IF you can turn the shaft without too much effort and nothing is leaking around the shaft, I would leave it alone.

Replace the clock motor and inspect the rack to make sure that all the teeth are in place and re-assemble everything. The problem you described is usually due to a weak motor or a missing tooth.

Needless to say, if you decide to take out the valve assembly anyway, against professional advice, or if you find that you have to because it is binding, you MUST drain your system unless you have isolation valves on both sides of the zone valve (doubtful). The O-Ring is usually a standard O-Ring available at a GOOD plumbing supply or Faucet parts store.
 
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Old 02-11-08, 09:25 PM
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The only thing I did notice was that the valve stem was hard to push down or pull up. That's why I figured I would have to lube it, so I didn't end up blowing this new motor out. From what I heard the stem is on a spring too, so it'll open back up. But the stem didn't seem to spring back up at all when I took the powerhead off.

Also there's a valve on one side of the zone valve but not on the other so that's a major pain. We'll see what happens, if the motor blows out or if the valve is sticking I think I'd be better off just getting whole new zone valve.
 
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Old 02-13-08, 07:32 AM
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Sometimes it's wise to ask the pros first. MOST of us (I presume) would have advised you to buy an entire unit, valve body & electronics complete, and do a swap of the head to see if it works ok. Then if it did not, swap out the valve body (complete).

Of course, the IDEAL fix would have been to go with a brand new complete unit of a more popular model and brand which would have required draining of the system, unsweating the joints, and sweating on the new valve body, installing the valve assembly and head, then refilling and purging the system. ALOT more work, even for a pro. BUT, sometimes cheaper in the long run!

Let us know how you made out.

Good luck!
 
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Old 02-14-09, 09:21 PM
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zone valve problems

I am having the same problem with my old Edwards
Engineering zone-a -matic valve used in my water baseboard heating system. The plunger to open the valve has a lot of resistance such that the electric motor is not always able to do its job of opening the valve. Does anyone know of a place I can order a replacement for the entire unit (about 3 or 4 inches long by about 2and a half inched thick by about 2 inches deep)?
 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:30 AM
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The best route for both of you is to replace the zone valves completely. It sounds to me like they are old and worn out. If you like to tinker with them over and over then just replace the individual parts. But I assure you that you will eventually buy a new one. A new valve will give you peace of mind. Listen to boilersrus he is giving good advice
 
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Old 02-15-09, 06:42 PM
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Edwards Zone a Matic?
Holy smokes thats a 30 year old zone valve, time for a new one
 
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Old 02-19-09, 07:13 AM
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Edwards zone valve

to zl700and others: If the Edwards zone valve is no longer available, how do I determine which one is compatiable with my present system? I am thinking of the voltage of the signal from thermostat to the zone valve control unit and dimensions of the rest of the unit such as the pipe diameter in which the unit operates? Also, do you have an address of a supplier? Thanks.
 
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Old 02-22-10, 04:50 PM
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Help!

I too have an Edwards Zone-A-Matic hot water baseboard heat system. This is the first time I have seen anyone really talk about the problems that we are having.

We bought this home in September and have never heard or seen a heating unit like this one. We have been told by our gas company that it is a very efficient way to heat the home and provide hot water for bathing etc, but he too has never seen one this old. We have found where the unit is an 85 model.

One of zones are sticking as it has been spoke of in the post.
The same zone leakes when activated via thermostat to open

Someone has mentioned about getting a different type of valve, but where would you even start on finding one that will work on this system?

Also, worst case scenario we wanted to change this hot water heater and base board heat system out to something else that would provide heat and hot water the way this one does, what would you recommend looking at and how much money are we talking?

Thanks for any help!
 
 

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