One zone not working - LymeAlly


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Old 10-08-11, 05:48 AM
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One zone not working - LymeAlly

Zone 4 of my heating system not working. All 3 others working fine. Zone 4 does not light up on the control panel when calling for heat.
Is this something I can fix myself???
Thanks!
 
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Old 10-08-11, 05:51 AM
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Hi there, I have the exact same issue. Any ideas how to fix? Control panel only lights up the 3 working zones. Zone 4 not working at all. Thermostat in the actual zone is working.
Help! New green home owner!
Ally
 
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Old 10-08-11, 07:31 AM
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Hi Ally, maybe not the exact same problem... I've moved your post to it's own thread.

Tell us what the 'control panel' you are referring to is. Taco zone control panel? What model. Any other details you can provide, such as make/model of boiler, etc would be helpful...
 
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Old 10-08-11, 03:40 PM
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Thanks so much!
I'm a total novice... Sorry it took so long to get back to you, new to the site and couldn't figure it out...
I have a peerless boiler and the 4 Zones run from it to valves which are attached to a box on the wall, (control panel?) 3 heating zones and a hot water zone. Only the master area zone is not working. When I call for heat or hot water in the 3 other zones a red light goes on, but zone 4 nothing happens, the pipes stay cold and the red light does not go on.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 04:10 PM
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No problem Ally, we all start someplace!

a box on the wall, (control panel?)
Is there a make/model on this box?
 
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Old 10-08-11, 05:51 PM
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I'll get it for you tomorrow, if that's ok? My boiler room is outdoors and it's pitch black outside. I live in the woods!
Thanks
 
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Old 10-09-11, 09:28 AM
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It's a SR601/601AT Zone Track
Is that helpful?
 
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Old 10-09-11, 09:55 AM
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Yes, thanks, that does help.

You may be able to easily repair this... IF the problem is a bad relay inside that control box.

Here is a PDF manual for your control box.

http://www.tac.com/us/data/internal/.../F_27019_1.pdf

Toward the end of this, there is this bit:

FIELD REPAIR

Replacing Existing Relay

The EXP 10 relay cubes are replaceable.

To replace an EXP 10 relay cube:

1. Turn off power.
2. Unplug the original relay.
3. Plug in a new EXP 10 relay cube.
4. Restore power and check for proper operation.
Now you of course probably don't have a replacement on hand, but if you've only got FOUR zones on your system, and this panel is capable of SIX zones, it means that there are two unused 'channels' in the box.

TURN OFF POWER TO THE BOILER SYSTEM! 120 VAC INSIDE THIS BOX! YOU CAN BE KILLED!

Using whiteout or nail polish or a piece of tape, identify the relay on the channel that is not working by marking it in some way.

Unplug that relay by pulling straight out.

Pull one of the unused relays and plug it in place on the defective one.

Let us know if this fixes the problem, and if not we can check some other things.

If by some chance the two spare channels don't have relays installed, you can SWAP two channels and see if the problem moves to the other channel. This way you can determine if the relay is bad, or some other problem...

If you do find the relay is bad and there is no spare in the box, you can order new one here:

Patriot Supply - EXP10
 
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Old 10-09-11, 10:44 AM
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Amazing, thank you!!
I'll try it with my neighbor so I don't screw things up. I'll let you know one way or the other.
Have a lovely day, isn't it beautiful out? Indian summer we call this in Ireland. They are having the same thing of sorts...
 
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Old 10-09-11, 11:04 AM
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That's what we call it here too. Happens every year.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 03:42 PM
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Ireland? your profile says usa! or perhaps you are FROM Ireland and living in USA ?

Anyway, yes, it was a beauty of a day here also... I think the thermometer topped out around 86F mid afternoon.

Good Luck, keep us posted if it works or not, because if it doesn't help, we can go a bit deeper...

Do you or your neighbor own a MULTIMETER and know how to use it?
 
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Old 10-10-11, 09:23 AM
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Sorry no that didn't do it.
I've set the temp in that zone box higher than the room temp.
The zone box in the master area does say 'filter' on it? It's the newest of the 3 zone boxes but neither of the two that are working say 'filter'. Would that be something that is helpful??
 
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Old 10-10-11, 09:39 AM
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Oops I didn't see this email. You were right, I'm Irish living in the USA!
I just downloaded the thermometer manual Lux TX1500a and the filter might need to be changed? Is the filter near the boiler? Does it affect all zones? If yes, then that's not the problem obviously... I have my boiler annual tune up Oct 24th, they will change the filter etc that day-
It looks like it is something I could do if you think that's the problem...
 
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Old 10-10-11, 09:43 AM
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No multimeter, what is it? Maybe my friend Alex has one, she's a hardy flinty DIYer and knows a ton more about stuff than me. She even does mechanical work on her 1940's tractor!!!
 
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Old 10-10-11, 02:21 PM
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Basic electrical test meter, volts/ohms/amps, that kind.

Multimeter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
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Old 10-10-11, 02:23 PM
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Most digital thermostats have a reminder function to change filters. This is for forced hot air systems that filter the air it circulates. This would not apply to your boiler. Look in the manual on how to disable this function.
 
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Old 10-10-11, 02:44 PM
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Yeah, that filter display probably doesn't apply... unless you have forced air heating... your heating is all baseboards, right? You don't have air blowing out any ducts?

See this in the thermostat manual:

AIR FILTER MONITOR
The Air Filter Monitor counts the number of days a filter has been in use since it has been replaced. In Run mode, the lower portion of the display graphically shows you the amount of time remaining before filter replacement is recommended. Next to the filter bar graph, there is a 3 digit numerical display of either Days Left, or Percent (%) Left, for filter life. CHANGE FILTER will appear when either the Days Left or the Percent Left numbers have reached zero and the filter should be changed. Days Over or Percent Over is indicated when a filter change is past due. To set and use the Air Filter Monitor, turn the dial to AIR FILTER. Use the UP or DOWN buttons and choose the number of days of filter life that your filter is rated for. Setting this value to OFF will disable the filter monitor and remove the filter bar graph from the display screen. Return the dial to the RUN position once you are finished setting the filter life.
If swapping two relays didn't change anything, then there could be a problem with that thermostat, or the wiring from the thermostat to the control panel, or possibly even the control panel itself...

I'm going to ask the obvious questions, sorry...

You DID change the batteries in the thermostat, right?

Find out about the multimeter and we'll give ya some stuff to check.
 
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Old 10-11-11, 06:01 AM
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Hahahaha yes, I changed the batteries! And I have cast iron radiators, 1860's school house with 2 additions, radiators prob from the 60's renovation...
I'll get a multimeter today
 
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Old 10-11-11, 03:24 PM
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To make it easier for us to describe what to do with the multimeter, it will be very helpful if you could take a clear, well lighted photograph of the Zone panel. You can set up a free account at Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket and upload the pics there. Come back here and place a link to your PUBLIC photo album for us to view.

You don't need a fancy meter... just the basic functions...
 
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Old 10-12-11, 10:42 AM
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Ok, thanks! I've been in Manhattan 2 days driving back up today for insulation install tomorrow. It's a weekend place. I'll take the pics and get a multimeter. If you have an iPhone we could FaceTime?
Thanks so much!
 
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Old 10-22-11, 09:20 AM
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Ok, finally got the photos and the multimeter. I've had the boilers tune up and there's no problems there. The other 3 zones are working right now and the master is calling for heat but still nothing.
Someone mentioned an air lock?? Could it be that simple? Anyway here's the photos for you. Thanks!
image-1.jpg picture by allyspurling - Photobucket
 
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Old 10-22-11, 09:43 AM
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Given your original post saying that zone 4 doesn't light up, I would not suspect an air lock. Using the multimeter will help you pinpoint where in the circuit you have a problem.
 
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Old 10-22-11, 10:09 AM
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Wow... itty bitty cell phone photos... my favorite! NOT!

I was hoping for clear enough photos so that I could read the designations on the terminal strips and tell you exactly what to measure with the meter... but I'll have to go with what is printed in the PDF file that I linked to above.

Fair warning is in order here... there is 120 VAC EXPOSED VOLTAGES ON SOME OF THE TERMINALS! and you are working on this with the power ON ! Do NOT TOUCH ANY OF THE TERMINALS EXCEPT WITH THE METER PROBES! BE CAREFUL NOT TO 'SHORT OUT' ANY OF THE TERMINALS TO EACH OTHER! REMEMBER, YOU CAN BE KILLED! BE CAREFUL! BE SAFE! WEAR RUBBER SOLED SHOES! IF YOU HAVE ANY DOUBT ABOUT YOUR ABILITY TO TEST THIS SAFELY, ASK YOUR NEIGHBOR TO HELP, AS LONG AS THE NEIGHBOR IS AWARE OF THE DANGER ALSO

Really, it's not all THAT bad, as long as you are careful... I only want to scare you enough so that you don't hurt yourself!

I can't see much in those pictures... but I can tell that you are zoned with circulators, which is one question I had... I surmised that from the control panel you said you had, but ya never know what those clever boiler installers will do.

What model meter do you have?

You need to set the meter to measure AC VOLTS.

There are terminals across the top of the control board which are labeled T1-T1 through T6-T6. These are the terminals which the thermostats are wired to. These are 'low voltage' 24VAC and relatively safe... but don't touch them anyway.

Along the bottom are terminals labeled C1-C1 through C6-C6. These are the terminals which the circulator pumps are wired to. These terminals are HIGH voltage, 120VAC and should not be touched except with the meter probes!

First, turn all four thermostats all the way down.

Measure the voltage between T1-T1 , T2-T2 , T3-T3 , T4-T4. In other words from each thermostat terminal to the other. You don't need to measure from 1 to 2 or 3 to 4 ... just 1 to 1, 2 to 2, etc.
(I'm assuming your four zones are wired to the first four 'channels' ?)

Tell us what readings you get.

Next, turn each thermostat, one at a time, all the way up. 1 through 4... when and if the thermostat calls for heat, you should read ZERO volts on that particular pair of terminals.

Tell us what readings you get.

As you are turning each thermostat up (best to have a helper on the cell phone do this as you are standing near the panel) you should hear the boiler fire up, and the associated PUMP should turn on. You should hear a 'click' from the control box when each one turns on.

Tell us what you observe.

I see that Droop posted while I was typing my 'novel'... so we know which zone is acting up... you could limit the tests above to only that one zone to save time.

So, measure from T4 to T4 with the thermostat both turned all the way DOWN, and then again with it turned all the way UP and tell us the AC voltage on those terminals in both cases.
 
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Old 10-22-11, 10:27 AM
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Sorry for any confusion. I got rid of my post because I second guessed myself and didn't want to give the wrong instructions.
 
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Old 10-22-11, 10:30 AM
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Yikes...
I got the GDT-3190 multimeter by GB
What do I need to set it to?
When do I plug in the red and black probes?
 
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Old 10-22-11, 10:52 AM
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Ok I got all that. I found the c to c along the bottom and the t to t along the top.
There is a white and red wire going to the t and they come together into a black wire. Where do I put the probes and what do I set the meter to, ther isn't an ac volts choice???
 
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Old 10-22-11, 11:17 AM
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Set the meter to volts. If the meter just has symbols on it, consult the instruction manual as to what they mean. You want to test the T-4 terminals. Test them with the thermostat all the way down so there is no call for heat, and all they way up so there is a call for heat. Tell us the results of each test.
 
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Old 10-22-11, 11:20 AM
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Ally, I think the best place to start would be to RTFM that came with your meter! (RTFM means Read The FINE Manual!)

Look for the letter ' V ' with the tilde ' ~ ' above it, that's the AC VOLTS symbol.

The probes plug into the appropriate hole in the meter (again the manual), and you will touch them to the screws on the T4-T4 terminals.
 
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Old 10-22-11, 12:19 PM
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I did! Do I set it to 200 or 500 therebare two choices for the v with the ~ on top?
Off to find a pair of rubber zoned shoes...
 
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Old 10-22-11, 12:34 PM
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Sorry, do I touch the probes to the screws at the same time or separately? Manual does not state this and I'm afraid to blow me or the place to kingdom come?!
 
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Old 10-22-11, 02:28 PM
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I'm afraid I skeert ya a bit too much! It's really not that bad, but caution is good. Just don't stick your fingers in there and you will be fine!

Touch both probes at the same time. One probe on one T4, the other probe on the other T4. Once with the thermostat all the way down, and once with it all the way up. Note the readings while the probes are touching the terminal screws. Put the meter where you can see it easily.

Use the 200 scale on the meter. You should read between 24 and 30 when the thermostat is all the way down, and zero when it's all the way up.
 
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Old 10-22-11, 02:37 PM
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Check out this video... gotta love the accent, but I'll betcha yer accent is better!

How to Use a Multimeter - YouTube
 
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Old 10-22-11, 02:43 PM
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26.2 on both readings up and down
 
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Old 10-22-11, 04:59 PM
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That would indicate one of two things... (maybe both, but not likely!)

1. the wiring between the thermostat and the control panel is faulty... and 'open' connection.

2. the thermostat itself is defective... you did say that you checked the batteries in it, right?

I'll give ya some more tests after I eats me din din... and has a few pints...
 
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Old 10-23-11, 02:35 AM
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Yes I changed the batteries twice! It reads the room temp perfectly, wouldn't this mean it's working? It also clicks when I raise the temp above the room temp like it's calling for heat but the red light does not go on on the zone control panel and the boiler does not fire. Rewiring sounds impossible for this novice!
Should I call an electrician?
 
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Old 10-23-11, 06:56 AM
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No electrician yet. Let's see if we can figure this out on our own first.

Usually, 99% of troubleshooting is visual. You may be able to SEE the problem if you know what to look for.

What color are the two wires on the T4 terminals in the control panel?

Does this thermostat also control an air conditioning system? If it also controls the A/C, there will be more than 2 wires connected... what is the make/model of the thermostat?

While the 'click' when the thermostat turns on would seem as though it should be triggering the heating system, sometimes that is misleading. There still could be a problem inside the thermostat.

How do you feel about removing the thermostat from the wall to check that there is no broken or loose wire behind it? If you are OK with that we can do another test while the thermostat is off the wall. Using the meter in the same way as before, set to AC volts, you can measure the voltage on the terminals at the back of the thermostat. If you get 26.2 VAC at the thermostat end of the wires, then it would seem that the thermostat is defective.

You can then turn power off to the boiler, remove the two heat wires (if you have A/C on this thermostat the heat wires are usually connected to the Rc / Rh and W terminals.) connect those two wires together and turn on the power to the boiler. T4 should light up, and the boiler should fire.

Before you do that though, take a bright flashlight and inspect where the two thermostat wires go into the control panel terminals. Look for a broken or loose wire there. You might even want to turn power off the boiler and loosen those two T4 screws and check that the wire is actually making contact. Pull the T4 wires out of the terminal and look. Sometimes the installers don't strip enough insulation from the wire and the terminal is only contacting the insulation on the wire... and of course it won't work that way!

Follow that thermostat wire out of the panel as far as you can see it... does it disappear inside a wall, or through the floor? Check as much of it as you can see for damage to the wire.

We can also test the control panel itself at this point. Can you find a short piece of wire somewhere around the home? You can touch this short piece of wire across the T4-T4 terminals. When you do this, if the panel is good, that zone should start. It may startle you a bit if it does, so don't freak out when it happens. The Thermostat voltage won't hurt you, but as before, stay away from everything else inside the control box. If you are uncomfortable about doing this with the power turned on to the boiler, you could shut the power off, loosen the screws, install the jumper on the T4 terminals, and turn the power back on with the jumper installed. This will simulate that thermostat calling for heat.

You could even use a paper clip for the wire, as long as it doesn't touch anything else.

By the way, take a look at your meter and the instruction and see if there is way that you can determine to measure AC CURRENT ... or even DC CURRENT ... sometimes there are other places on the meter to plug the probes in for this. If you can figure this, you can use the probes in place of the short jumper wire... I'll explain further if ya want.
 
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Old 10-23-11, 07:20 AM
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I took the thermostat off the wall at 5am! The wires are connected to the screws.
I just did then paperclip test on T4 with the power on and nothing happened.
The wires leading from the control panel wiggle round the boiler room and are then wired into old white cloth wrapped wiring (I'm guessing from the 60's) with things like thimbles, plastic hats? (You're probably laughing now!) with 2 red and 2 white wires inserted in each. Then they separate off to each of the thermostats in the house.
 

Last edited by NJT; 10-23-11 at 09:13 AM.
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Old 10-23-11, 07:23 AM
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Lux TX 1500a is the thermostat and 2 wired only. No ac connected
 
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Old 10-23-11, 07:27 AM
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Bingo!!!! 24.4 at the thermostat
You're a genius!!
 
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Old 10-23-11, 07:45 AM
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I did the paperclip test again and the boiler fired! I had done each screw separately the first time, not together... Ugh
I'm running out to buy a thermostat, my hardware close at noon and I need to get petrol, everything's 15 mins away in either direction, so I'm rushing
Yay!!!! I'll reply as soon as I get back with it. Hopefully this will sort it out
******** is my cell if you need to call me when I'm enroute
Thanks!!!
 

Last edited by NJT; 10-23-11 at 09:14 AM. Reason: you don't want every internet nut calling your cell!
 

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