Forced hot water zone issue

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Old 01-10-16, 11:57 AM
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Forced hot water zone issue

Hello, I was wondering if someone on this forum might be able to help me with a heating issue we're having. Our house has 3 thermostats and I assume set up for 3 heating zones. However, Zone 1 always turns on anytime zone 2 or 3 turns on.

Zone 1 = first floor
Zone 2 = Bedroom 1 (second floor)
Zone 3 = bedroom 2 (second floor)

This is frustrating when the first floor temperature is comfortable but upstairs thermostat calls for heat and then the first floor becomes too hot. I've looked through this forum and others but can't narrow it down.

This is a picture of what the zone valves look like. There us a third just out of frame to the left.


But I noticed another zone valve that looks like this that doesn't have any wires hooked up to it.



For the three zones is there actually a "fourth" set of piping that goes out and into the furnace? This fourth zone pipe is much larger than the others and circles the entire basement. The picture below shows the three returns but there is actually a fourth pipe off to the right. I was guessing that this fourth zone is actually not a zone but a way that the water moves around should turn on when any zone turns on....sorry, there is probably a name for that but I have no idea!




My only guess is that a zone valve is broken on zone 1 which keeps it open any other zone calls for heat, or the zone that is not hooked up should be connected to what is currently connected to zone 1. This would allow the "fourth" zone to be open at all times but turn off the zone with the zone valve that is not hooked up. If that is the case, how difficult is it to move the wires from the old zone valve to the newer one that is not hooked up?

Does any of this make sense? Thanks in advance for any help!
 
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Old 01-10-16, 01:06 PM
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ID the zone valve for the first floor. I believe it is stuck open. It has a manual override lever on the side that travels in one direction for valve open and the reverse direction for valve closed.
ID the zone valve for the second floor bedroom 1 and observe the lever position. This is the closed position. Check that the lever for the first floor zone valve is in the closed position. If it isn't, manually move it in the opposite direction. It may take some effort if there is a calcium buildup.
Turn up the t'stat for the second floor bedroom 1. With heat going to bedroom 1, verify there is no heat from the first floor radiators. If this is the case you can sometimes unstick the faulty valve by manually moving the lever between open and closed.
If that doesn't fix the faulty valve, you need to get a new valve operator ( the part the wires connect to ), Hope this helps.
 
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Old 01-10-16, 01:38 PM
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I tried moving the valve lever a few times. It was hard at first but moves fairly easily now. All of the levers stay up even when the zone is on. Should they move to the open position when the zone is calling for heat?

I will test shortly and see if the sticky lever was the culprits.
 
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Old 01-10-16, 02:40 PM
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there actually a "fourth" set of piping that goes out and into the furnace? This fourth zone pipe is much larger than the others and circles the entire basement
That's it..... it just circles the basement and is connected to nothing ??

Does your boiler supply domestic hot water ?

You should start by identifying the zone valves. Set all stats to low heat. Have someone turn one stat on at a time. You should hear the zone motor operate. Sometimes it's louder when the valve closes. ID all the zone valves for future reference.

You should also become intimate with the plumbing. You should know what each valve does in the system. Your picture shows three shutoff valves and three drain valves. You should know which set of valves is for which zone.

Is that new un-wired zone valve in the loop in the basement that goes to nothing ?
 
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Old 01-10-16, 02:49 PM
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The zone valve that is disconnected seems to be Zone 1 but the fourth mystery zone also is in use when I run zone 1 so I'm not exactly sure. The fourth zone actually does seem to connect to one baseboard at the front of the house...so now I am suspecting there are four zones but only 3 are hooked up to a thermostat and the reason the zone 1 always turns on is because the zone valve isn't hooked up to stop it when zone 2 and 3 turn on. Would that make sense?
 
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Old 01-10-16, 05:36 PM
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The override lever uses a cam action to hold the valve open. When the override lever is moved in the opposite direction, internal springs in the valve body closes the valve, not the lever cam action. The override lever is not involved with the electrical operation of the valve.
 
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Old 01-11-16, 03:22 PM
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Turns out the manual lever didn't help. I tried to switch the wiring from zone 1 to the unwired valve zone, picture #2 in my original post.

Any idea if that type of zone valve needs 4 wires? The other valves only have 3 but I tried anyway. When I turned up the thermostat it turned on and made a noise like it opened the valve....then nothing. The boiler never turned on. Any ideas? Do I need this fourth wire?
 
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Old 01-11-16, 03:55 PM
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I combined your two threads. It's extremely hard to keep track of one problem in two threads in different forums.
 
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