Outdoor Wood Stove added to Propane Boiler - now zone problem

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Old 11-10-08, 06:32 AM
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Outdoor Wood Stove added to Propane Boiler - now zone problem

Because of high propane costs I recently installed an outdoor wood stove and used a plate heat exchanger to tie into my existing propane boiler. My house has four zones and it seems that one zone is not working. It seems that the valve is open because when I touch the pipes above the valve they are hot. But if I go outstairs to the zone that is being heated and touch one of the baseboard pipes they are luke warm. They plumber that put in the plate heat exchange supposedly purged the system. My boiler pressure reads about 18 psi. Is the zone valve bad? Is there air in the line? Last winter this zone worked fine.
 
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Old 11-10-08, 04:54 PM
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Zone problem

My guess would be air. Is the circulator operated via the zone valve running?
 
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Old 11-11-08, 07:16 AM
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Grady,
I played with it a bit last night. I checked the bleeders on the baseboards last night and no air was present. Still confused, I had my wife listen/touch the two zone valves that were designated (upstairs, downstairs) for the addition I put on 10 years ago. When I turned up the thermostat for the downstair we discovered the zone valves were mislabeled. I could manually open the upstairs zone value, the area that was not getting any heat, and sure enough when I touched the baseboards upstairs I could feel the heat. But when I turn the thermostat up the zone valve does not open nor does the circulating pump kick in. I left the zone open - thinking at least when one of the other zones call for heat I will get heat to the upstairs addition. So is my problem the thermostat or is it the zone valve? How do I determine which one?
 
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Old 11-11-08, 05:00 PM
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Zone Valve

Probably the easiest way to check it is to remove the thermostat & jump the two wires together. If it still does nothing, connect the questionable valve to a known operating thermostat & turn that stat up.

Just re-read your post. Even with the valve opened manually the circulator doesn't come on? What kind of zone valve?
 
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Old 11-18-08, 05:54 AM
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Zone value is a honeywell 8043. It appears that it does not turn on the circulating pump. It is a bit hard to tell now - it seems one of the zones is asking for heat by the time I get around to looking at it again.

Cross the wires? - you mean the two wires that are connected to the thermostat - I'm guessing? I'll try that tonight when I get home again. thanks
 
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Old 11-18-08, 01:51 PM
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Thermostat wires

Remove the thermostat, disconnect the wires, & twist the bare wire ends together. If the zone valve opens, the thermostat is bad.
 
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Old 11-19-08, 08:22 AM
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Grady,
A few more details - Propane Boiler is a Burnham Spirit Model # SP4PI-T2, the aquastat for the boiler is Honeywell L4080D 1036 but it also has MPLS something on it, the 4 Zone valves are honeywell V8034E1012. Each zone value is controlled by a thermostat than it appears these all go to one circulating pump.

As mentioned before I added an outdoor wood stove to this system. I wanted to keep the two system separate so I used a plate heat exchanger to transfer the wood stove's heat to the propane boiler.

I jumped the thermostat wires like you suggested and circulating pump did not turn on. However, I can manually open the valve and put it to the "locked" position, but I notice that the valve will close by itself.

I'm assuming that means the thermostat is saying "hey I have enough heat" and closes the valve. So could I have a short or broken wire? When I open the zone valve cover there are two red wires and two yellow wires. I'm no wizard here, but I guessing these some wires somehow tell the motor in the valve to open and close. So if it closes automatically, the wire that tells it to open must be the problem??? I can play detective but which set of wires should I start tracing back to figure out the problem
 
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Old 11-19-08, 06:11 PM
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Zone Valve

When you "locked" the valve open, did the circulator come on?
 
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Old 11-20-08, 12:57 PM
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When I manually opened the zone valve the circulatory pump did not come on. I checked some of the wire nuts last night and I thought one that had the red wire tied together seemed a bit crowded so I replaced the wire note with a larger one. I noticed this morning that the zone that I had manually "locked" open last night was still open.
 
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Old 11-20-08, 06:34 PM
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Zone Valve

If the circulator runs with each of the other three valves & not the one in question, you either have a wiring problem or the zone valve's power head.
 
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Old 11-24-08, 05:55 AM
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The circulatory pump is working with the other three zones. I'm heading out of town again for work so I will not be able to do anything for two weeks. Correct me if I'm wrong the worst scenario is the power head, which means replace the zone valve?
 
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Old 11-24-08, 06:16 PM
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Power Head

On some of the 8043 valves you can replace the head without having to take the pressure off the system. On others you will have to drop the pressure before changing the head.
 
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