Tech Q: Flair "Stack Pack" SL electric vent damper always open--fuse blown

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Old 11-25-12, 08:32 PM
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Tech Q: Flair "Stack Pack" SL electric vent damper always open--fuse blown

The circuit board has a warning printed on it that if the fuse is blown the entire circuit board should be replaced. So naturally I jumpered out the blown fuse & the damper works fine. So the question is--was this a ploy to sell more expensive parts?

IF it's really necessary to replace the PCB--didn't Flair go under several years ago? Everything I can find online looks to be pretty dated information.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 07:17 AM
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I found a Flair website: Flair Products Company
 
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Old 11-26-12, 09:12 AM
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Their website is the source of the dated material. Looks to me someone is maintaining the website until all the old inventory is gone. Looking through their product line is like browsing a 20 year old Sears catalog. Quaint--but not very useful.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 01:59 PM
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Are you saying you tried to contact the Flair company and got no response?

Is there any information about the damper circuit set forth in the I/O manual for your boiler?

If you have to replace the entire board, pay attention to the directions for that repair. It looks pretty straightforward, but there a few "cautions" involved.

Personally, I don't like the idea of any kind of blown fuse being permanently jumpered. Especially when it comes to venting natural gas appliances.

Some dampers have a switch that allows for the damper to be set in the open position (which "makes" the switch) all of the time. This would be a better option than the jumper, IMO.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 02:22 PM
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Actually I have contacted Flair and no parts are available--only complete damper assemblies. I only jumpered the fuse to test. The damper faults to OPEN with power off or fuse blown so the heating system is still functioning.
It seems obvious to me the fix is to simply replace the fuse but why the warning never to do that?

BTW according to Flair email (NOT the owners manual) the fuse can blow if someone touches the interlock switch while the power is on. Looking at the schematic in the manual - if the thermostat is calling for heat, AND you touch the interlock switch on the actuator shaft it will short across the transformer & blow the 1A fuse. Unlikely as that might be, it does sound more plausible than that same switch (SPDT) shorting internally across BOTH contacts at the same time.
 
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Old 11-26-12, 05:08 PM
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The damper faults to OPEN with power off or fuse blown...
Then it sounds like you've got nothing to lose by replacing the fuse. If it blows again, then you ought to think about replacing the assembly, or just leaving the damper open.

Maybe Field Controls has a replacement damper assembly for your boiler that'll be easier and cheaper to find online.


 
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Old 11-27-12, 09:23 AM
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Rockledge
Then it sounds like you've got nothing to lose by replacing the fuse
My thoughts exactly. In fact I may install a fuse holder in case it happens again.
I wonder how many pricey circuit board/motor assy's were sold just because the fuse popped?

Pity no HVAC pros have chimed in...I don't believe these are exactly rare, you know?
 
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Old 11-27-12, 03:49 PM
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Pity no HVAC pros have chimed in...I don't believe these are exactly rare, you know?
Yes it is.

"HVAC pros" in general are not engineers and are not going to take the time to troubleshoot a blown fuse to board level. They are going to replace the entire damper assembly as the manufacturer dictates. Liability is the issue. Nobody wants to get sued, and perhaps that's why you haven't gotten more involvement from the 'regulars' on this issue.

I'm gonna tell you the same thing they would tell you. Replace it.

PEX - Radiant Heat - Radiant Heating - Plumbing Supplies - PexSupply.com

You're welcome.
 
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Old 11-27-12, 05:00 PM
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No thanks.

NJ Trooper

"HVAC pros"... are going to replace the entire damper assembly as the manufacturer dictates.
Of course they would--because it's MY money they're spending, not theirs. There's just no way I will buy a $300 replacement damper rather than try a 50c. fuse first.

DIY...
 
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Old 11-27-12, 05:04 PM
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Once again... LIABILITY. It's not YOUR money they care about, you are correct. It's THEIR money, and house, and business...

I bet you (or your estate) would be in court in a HEARTBEAT if something happened after a 'pro' replaced a fuse that the manufacturer didn't recommend... yes you would.
 
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Old 11-27-12, 05:16 PM
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I understand the manufacturer's liability concerns and the pcb warning absolving them. Maybe a service tech has no time or inclination to troubleshoot (shame on the part swappers) BUT this is MY system and I am assuming the risk. Any worthwhile endeavor involves a little risk. I took off the training wheels some 45 years ago.

Seriously...it's a FUSE. It did its job and it needs to be replaced. Even the mfr. says so now that parts are no longer available to sell.

DIY...
 
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Old 04-03-14, 08:30 AM
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We feel compelled to weigh in on this. They say a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. In this case very dangerous. Flair did not put the warning mentioned above on the PC board to sell more expensive parts. The Stack Pack has a patented circuitry that checks the operation of both micro switches with every cycle. If one or the other switch should fail either with a welded contact or a broken circuit, the fuse is intentionally blown. This prevents the appliance from running with a closed damper which is a very dangerous condition that can kill people. If you jump the fuse you bypass this very special circuit and risk having an extremely dangerous condition.


We ask anyone who needs either technical help, new Stack Packs (oil or gas - in a multitude of sizes) or replacement parts to contact us.

Flair Products Company
 

Last edited by NJT; 04-03-14 at 09:38 AM.
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Old 04-03-14, 09:48 AM
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And I feel compelled to re-assert that an experienced electronics technician with 35 years of troubleshooting experience (me) only jumpered the blown fuse to test circuit operation, after studying the schematic to see how it works. The fuse was replaced and has been operating normally--with the full protection of your "crowbar" safety-- since 11/2012.

Thanks for bumping this old thread. I feel it's useful to know how things work out over the long term.
 
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