One zone not working - LymeAlly

Reply

  #41  
Old 10-23-11, 09:09 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Don't open the thermostat package just yet...

First, touch the two wires together at the back of the thermostat.

If the boiler fires, the wiring is good, and the thermostat is bad.

If the boiler does not fire when the two wires are touched together, the wiring is bad and the thermostat MAY be good. If this is the case, remove those 'plastic hats' (aka 'wire nuts') by unscrewing them ( lefty loosey, righty tighty ) and carefully inspecting where the wires are twisted for broken wires ... sometimes the stress of twisting the wires will crack the wire and results in a breakage, especially with older wiring.

Nice accent by the way!
 
Sponsored Links
  #42  
Old 10-23-11, 11:36 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks what a funny call!
And ugh, when I touched the red and white wire from the back of the t.stat the boiler didn't fire...
I'll have a look at the wire nuts now
BRB
 
  #43  
Old 10-23-11, 11:49 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wire nuts all look so good, intwined wires and pointed with no frays. I also reconnected the red and white wire at the two T4 locations just to be sure of that connection, then touched the t.stat wires together again and still nothing...
What's next?! Replace the wiring from panel to t.stat?!
Thanks J
 
  #44  
Old 10-23-11, 12:41 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Before we go on, be sure that you are looking at the right plastic hats! If you've got several thermostat wires in the same general location it might be too easy to confuse one set for the other.

Is there enough 'slack' in the wires at the wire nut location in order to cut those and re-strip the insulation, and re-connect them? If the wires are twisted back past the wire nut it's easy enough for one of the wires to be broken and not spot it.

It's pretty unlikely that the wire is actually broken somewhere inside the wall, but it has happened.

Any idea how the wires are run to the thermostat? Is this a one story home, with an attic? Is it possible that the wires run up into the attic, and then across to the thermostat location, and then back down again? If so, there might be more plastic hats in the attic.

I need to ask this... don't get grossed out... have you noticed any signs of rodent activity?
 
  #45  
Old 10-23-11, 02:20 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Would 15-25 6'+ snake skins count? Found them in the attic last week! Oh, and a black 4' snake lives in my crawl space... The wires run from the boiler room, through crawl spaces into the basement rooms and then up to the master area. I have mice too, hey, it's the country!
 
  #46  
Old 10-23-11, 03:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok, wait for it I have heat! It's very strange, I crawled round the crawl spaces ewwwwwwwwww and followed the ancient wires to the workshop and through to the unfinished walk out basement. The wire ended at an old gold square thermostat. I pushed the lever on top across to 70 and nothing. Moved it to 80 and I heard the boiler fire. I turned it off and then called for heat using the master thermostat alone and the boiler dididnt fire. I turned off the master and then turned on both at the same time and the heat began to come into the upstairs master area.
Could there be 2 thermostats that need to be engaged to heat? The basement room has baseboard heat, it's an old converted garage with cement floor.
This is obviously the issue?
I then checked for 2 wires running from the wire nuts to the back 2 story part of the house and there are two.
FYI the heat only came on upstairs when I was calling for hotter heat in the basement room. Ie, when I put it to 65 and the master to 74, the boiler did not fire. When I put it to 80 and the master to 74 the boiler fired.
Does this mean that I have to heat that 22'x22' damp empty space all winter to get heat in the master?
Does any of this make sense????
 
  #47  
Old 10-23-11, 03:19 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I just went back down there to check the wires and 3 sets run from the wire nuts to the 3 regular thermostats. There's a fourth wire that's similar that runs directly to a junction box next to the fuse box and it then runs towards the back of the house. Could it be that when the garage got converted in the 60's they decided to heat it. They went with baseboard heat, unlike the rest of the house and just tied into the master thermostat wiring somewhere in the crawl space and then brought it back to it's own junction box?
 
  #48  
Old 10-25-11, 05:40 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
I'm surprised you have mice with all them snakes around!

The reason I asked about rodents is because they like to gnaw on wires... but it seems the wires are intact and someone did something funny with the thermostat wiring.

Could there be 2 thermostats that need to be engaged to heat?
Yes, if someone wired two thermostats in SERIES, then you will only get heat in that zone when BOTH are calling.

This is obviously the issue?
Obviously? I dunno, it couldn't have been THAT obvious! Look how long it took us to get here!

Does this mean that I have to heat that 22'x22' damp empty space all winter to get heat in the master?
Yes, it might. It depends more on how the pipes are run than how the thermostats are run. You see, if the pipe comes out of the boiler, travels through the bedroom, then down to the basement area before making it's way back to the boiler, you will get heat out of all those vents.

Are there dampers (flaps that open and close) on those baseboards which you can close and open? If so, close them to minimize the heat in the area you don't want to heat.

If that space IS damp, keep it minimally heated will help to dry it out... a good thing.

Does any of this make sense????
Sense? Sure! as much sense as it was obvious!

If you are sure that the boiler will not fire unless BOTH thermostats are calling for heat, you can leave the old gold one all the way up, and just use the one in the bedroom to control that zone.
 
  #49  
Old 10-29-11, 09:23 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Thanks so much!
It seems that (one week on) the basement thermometer needs to be calling for a temp higher that the master area before the master will heat. Does this sound right to you?
If that's the case in order to have the temp 72 in the master area, I have to heat the basement to 75 or so.
The baseboard heat down there is from the 60s I think, wrecked in parts and falling apart and rusty but for some strange reason it still works! I don't see a way to close the vents on them.
 
  #50  
Old 10-29-11, 11:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: US
Posts: 552
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hello,
Wrap the fins with heavy duty aluminum foil.

If you take a bunch of clear pictures, the folks here might be able to help figure out if it is the the plumbing that forces the heat to both spaces or maybe, by luck, just the wiring.

Peter
 
  #51  
Old 10-29-11, 12:51 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Yep, good old reynolds wrap. Because the warm pipes are still there, you will still get SOME heat, but cutting down the AIR flow through the baseboards will greatly reduce the heat output from those baseboards.

It seems that (one week on) the basement thermometer needs to be calling for a temp higher that the master area before the master will heat. Does this sound right to you?
"Right" ? ... well, let's just say I wouldn't have done it that way, but since those thermostats appear to be wired in series with each other, it is exactly the way I would expect it to behave.

I myself would probably push the old gold all the way up and leave it there, and allow the one in the master to control the heat... after wrapping the baseboard elements with foil.
 
  #52  
Old 10-29-11, 01:19 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Ok I'll try that thanks! Interestingly, the basement will heat alone if I don't have the master area calling for heat but not vice versa...
I'll take BIGGER pics and see what you think
Can I email them to you or is that forbidden?!
 
  #53  
Old 10-29-11, 01:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Pics are on phtotbucket
Pictures by allyspurling - Photobucket
 
  #54  
Old 10-29-11, 01:43 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Video on there too!!
Pictures by allyspurling - Photobucket
 
  #55  
Old 10-29-11, 01:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by NJ Trooper View Post
I myself would probably push the old gold all the way up and leave it there, and allow the one in the master to control the heat... after wrapping the baseboard elements with foil.
Wouldn't that cause the basement room to keep the boiler on? I think I would remove that thermostat entirely.
 
  #56  
Old 10-29-11, 02:00 PM
Member
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: US
Posts: 552
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I can't tell but maybe it looks like there are 4 pumps.
One would think, the plumbing is independent.
I wonder if his was done on purpose to keep the pipes from freezing down there?

More pictures all around and beyond the boiler might help.

Peter
 
  #57  
Old 10-29-11, 02:26 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Interestingly, the basement will heat alone if I don't have the master area calling for heat but not vice versa...
OK... then don't do as I suggested. If you do the heat will run and run and run... you certainly don't want that!

Droo's suggestion of removing the thermostat won't work either, because then you won't have heat in the master...

No, something else is still weird with the wiring. I don't see how it can be the way you describe though...

Are you ABSOTIVELY POSILUTELY 100% CERTAIN FOR SURE that this is true?

the basement will heat alone if I don't have the master area calling for heat but not vice versa...
I can't think of a scenario where screwy wiring could cause this to happen.
 
  #58  
Old 10-29-11, 02:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I suspect a wiring arrangement something like this: The basement tstat is connected to the boiler directly with a red and white wire connected to its red and white terminals. The master tstat has its red wire connected to the white terminal of the basement tstat and it's white wire connected to the boiler controls. This mix up of the wires is could be happening elsewhere in the wiring.

The piping for the master must be separate from the basement loop. The basement loop wouldn't be able to heat that room without heating the master otherwise.
 
  #59  
Old 10-29-11, 02:52 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I think so... After all the testing we went through together before I found that tstat, the only way the boiler fired was manually from T4 with the paperclip.

It fired straight away when I found the old gold tstat and raised it from 50 to 75, then the heat came on in the master, which is directly above the walkout basement, maybe I should have shared this piece of info earlier??? It looks like the two rooms share pipes that split off to the various radiators.

I guess it never got cold enough down there to fire the boiler. I moved in in May...


Should I still wrap the baseboard elements?

Do you have snow in Jersey??? I do!
 
  #60  
Old 10-29-11, 03:01 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So.... The previous owners probably did this so the pipes wouldn't freeze down there, like the other member suggested.

I'm aghast that they would heat that concrete block uninsulated 22x22 room with a cement floor, 5 windows and a massive picture window where the garage door used to be??? They're nuts. What a waste of energy and $$$$$$

I just insulated the ceilings down there because the master area was so cold. I guess I have to insulate and drywall the walls and install radiant heating now. When I win the lottery of course!
 
  #61  
Old 10-29-11, 03:19 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
When you fire up 'old gold' without the master calling, do any of the zone lights on the control panel light up?

If there's no 'window dressing' on that big picture window WTGDUTB, a 'relatively' inexpensive way to get some insulation value would be to hang a heavy drape in front of it. I know drapes ain't exactly cheap, but if you don't use the room or need the window... if there's baseboard below that window, stop the drape about a foot short of the baseboard and 'pin' it to the wall so any heat goes up on the room side of the drape. Make the drape fit tightly around the window on the sides... pin it there too if you can.
 
  #62  
Old 10-29-11, 03:19 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
They probably did it so they wouldn't freeze their arses off when doing laundry. The wacky design is probably because it seemed the easiest and cheapest way to get it done instead of running a full zone all the way from the boiler.

No snow where we live. Just some flurries mixed with rain. Further north is getting some accumulation.
 
  #63  
Old 10-29-11, 03:22 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Droo, you ain't that far from me... and we've got a 'dusting' on the grass here. There was a heavy band that came through about 2 hours ago that 'whitened' everything except the roads.
 
  #64  
Old 10-29-11, 03:35 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I really haven't gotten that level of snow here. That band must have missed us. There is some whitening here and there, but nothing I considered worth mentioning. I checked out some of the webcams on wunderground.com and there are inches of snow the further north you go from us.
 
  #65  
Old 10-29-11, 04:44 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Zone 4 lights up when the gold tstat calls for heat. Nothing lights up when master is calling for heat. Master only works when the basement gold tstat is calling for a higher temp than the master area above.
 
  #66  
Old 10-30-11, 06:32 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 35
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Can I change the gold thermometer to a new one like the master and the rest of the house? I have the one I bought last week.

FYI I don't think the thermometer on the master tstat makes any difference to the temp in that area. I think it's controlled by the old gold one downstairs. I set the master to 65 last night and woke up and the room was 77 degrees?! I set the downstairs gold thermometer to 65 this morning and am waiting to see if the temp drops. It was set to 72 approx last night, so I guess it doesn't work well anyway, it's like a sauna down there!

I suppose I have to turn off the heat to switch the thermostat??

Thanks for sticking with me!
 
  #67  
Old 10-30-11, 10:32 AM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
You still need to sort out the wiring it seems. You've got some 'issues' there...

In addition, you need to follow the piping and see how that is run...

Yes, it's always a good idea to shut off the power to the boiler when changing a thermostat.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: