Zone valve motor constantly running


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Old 02-23-15, 08:34 AM
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Zone valve motor constantly running

Hello,

Appreciate any assistance with this one. Noticed one of my zones was not kicking on heat. So far my troubleshooting / learning in the past 24 hours has lead me to the motor/valve.

When the tstat kicks on, the motor gets 25v and keeps spinning. The end switch appears to be working OK as the heat kicks on when the switch is pressed.

What I think originally happened, the unknown has failed. The motor spun and jammed the valve open and it was stuck open. After removing the motor I was able to get the valve to freely open/close, and the motor seems to spin ok now so all that seems well.

Question-what would cause the motor to keep spinning? Is there a switch in the valve that tells it to stop the motor? Should it stop when it feels resistance? Should I replace the motor or will I likely need to replace the valve? How can I further troubleshoot?

It looks to be a pretty standard setup. New to the home though so not sure on the history of any parts. Its a honeywell motor with 2 wires coming off of it, 4 wires on top that are all connected in parallel to the other zones.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 08:52 AM
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Its a honeywell motor with 2 wires coming off of it, 4 wires on top
Which is it? 2 wires? or 4 wires?

Are 2 wires yellow, and 2 wires red?

Can you not find the model number of the valve?

It sounds as if something in the gearing is stripped. When there is a heat call, the motor is always powered. When the valve opens, the motor is still powered, but it stops (stalls).

If the motor continues to spin something is stripped, broken, or improperly installed.

Replace the power head.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 09:07 AM
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2 off the motor, 4 on top of the wholve valve body. did not find model number, can look tonight.

So with the motor off the vavle it would be normal that it spins constantly? I figured that was wrong, maybe i should put it back on and see if it opens and closes properly.

The manual lever somehow got bent from me pulling on it trying to force the valve closed..Would it have anything to do with the manual / auto switch? If its stuck and thinks its in auto mode..would that keep it always spinning?

I did notice the motor was very hot before I pulled it off, which made me think it was constantly trying to open the valve...
 
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Old 02-23-15, 09:58 AM
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So with the motor off the valve it would be normal that it spins constantly?
Yes.... as long as it is not connected it will spin. Once installed it should spin until the valve is open and then the motor stalls. It is normal for the motor unit to be hot.

If the valve gets stuck open again it would be time to replace the head.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 10:20 AM
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Thanks. I will try just putting the motor back on and crossing my fingers, maybe the valve was just really stuck, it's definitely moving freely now. Appreciate the responses!
 
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Old 02-23-15, 10:58 AM
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Ohhhhh... I misunderstood you I think!

You took the motor OFF and it's constantly spinning. As PJ said, yes, that would be normal.

Noticed one of my zones was not kicking on heat.
You may have another problem... put the motor back on and let us know what happens.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 11:02 AM
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When it fully opens and trips the end switch it does click on, nothing in the house has been touched, cant imagine it being an issue anywhere farther than than the motor / valve. hoping maybe it was just stuck due to it being so cold the past few days or something... (negative temps)
 
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Old 02-23-15, 11:41 AM
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hoping maybe it was just stuck due to it being so cold the past few days or something... (negative temps)
Hate to have to bring up this possibilty...

It's very possible that you have a frozen pipe.

Never say never.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 11:51 AM
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The rest of the system works OK and when the vavle is manually held open it heats it fine, so I can say with 99.9% certainty that wouldnt be the case
 
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Old 02-23-15, 11:56 AM
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Great! should be good to go then.

Might want to pick up a spare head ... Justin Case.

How old are your valves? The older ones that have FOUR screws holding the power head in place can NOT be changed without draining, or otherwise isolating, the valve from the system.

If there are TWO screws, and two 'locating pins', the power head can be changed in about 5 minutes.

If you have the old style, there is an inexpensive (about $12 I think) adapter kit that converts to the new style... basically rebuilds the whole valve.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 12:06 PM
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Unfortunately theres 4 screws. When i started my uneducated troubleshooting, I started to pull those, when I got to screw #2 I saw a drip so tightened it back up.

The motor is held on by 3.

No clue how to drain/refill the system, suppose Illl cross that bridge when I come to it.

I dont use the 2nd zone (for my upstairs, just use a space heater when needed).. I figure I have that as a spare worse case scenario
 
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Old 02-23-15, 12:13 PM
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Unfortunately theres 4 screws.
Bummer...

I dont use the 2nd zone (for my upstairs, just use a space heater when needed)..
Risky business when it's this cold!

Hope you don't freeze up and rupture a pipe!

Cheaper to burn a little extra fuel than have a big mess on your hands...
 
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Old 02-23-15, 12:31 PM
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Well its the master bedroom up there, so the space heater is on all night when i sleep and its just 1 smaller room with an attached bathroom. It stays around 55 without turning the heat on up there, but i guess I never really thought about it. I suppose I should leave it on and just set it low just in case or if i'm out of town a few days and dont heat it at all up there. Thanks for making me double think that one.
 
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Old 02-23-15, 12:34 PM
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This whole situation and that last reply got me thinking.. I really only dont heat up there to obviously save on fuel..

However what if I were to leave that valve manually open? SO that when another zone calls for heat, it heats the upstairs.. just leaving the tstat off, so it never calls for heat on its own.

I figure if the boiler is already burning... how much more inefficient would it be if its pushing to an extra zone? Am I really benefitting at all by not using it?

My guess is no but I dont know how the boiler works well enough to know if pushing hot water up through the extra pipes would make it work any harder (aka burn more fuel) or not...hmmm, thoughts?
 
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Old 02-23-15, 12:41 PM
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Leaving that valve open will allow THERMOSIPHON to occur even when the other zone is NOT calling for heat. Hot water from the boiler is more buoyant and will 'float' up the pipe, pushing the cold water back down, setting up a natural circulation, which could likely OVER heat the area.

Why not just set the t'stat to something like 60-65 or so when it's really cold out.

If your home is well built, and the pipes don't pass through any marginally heated and insulated spaces in walls or floors, you MIGHT be OK to just leave it off, but it's a gamble when it is this cold.

Yes, you will burn more fuel. Keeping more of the home at a higher temp surely will.

Am I really benefitting at all by not using it?
Hard to say without knowing exactly how your home is constructed, because you have to weigh the chance of freezing a pipe and have a big plumbing bill with the cost of the fuel you might burn.
 
 

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