One zone not working - baseboards


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Old 01-02-18, 04:30 PM
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One zone not working - baseboards

DISCLAIMER: I know next to nothing about heating and cooling. In fact I had to do a lot of research just to try and figure out what type of system I have so I would have a basic enough of an understanding of my system to even ask a question on this forum.

The problem that I am having is that a few of my baseboard heaters don't work and they all appear to be on the same zone (I manaully traced out the pipes to come to that conclusion). Here are some of the details of my system....



- I have a two story home
- I have a gas system
- I have a well water system
- I believe I have a 4 zone series loop heating system
- Two of the zones are for the baseboard heaters downstairs
- Two of the zones are for the baseboard heaters up stairs
- The two zones downstairs are controlled by a thermostat downstairs
- The two zones upstairs are controlled by a thermostat upstairs
- The zone that isn't working is upstairs.
- The other zone upstairs is working fine.


I have edited and attached some pictures of my system and I can provide more pictures upon request.

PICTURE 1 shows the zone pipe setup that my sytem has. Zone 3 is the zone that isn't working.

I'm not sure if I'm using the correct terminology by saying this but the pipes on the supply side are all really hot to the touch by the zone control valve but the pipe for zone 3 stops being hot about two feet past the zone control valve. The pipes for zones 1, 2 and 4 stay hot to the touch for as long as a can trace them.


In PICTURE 2 I have added a dotted red line to show approximately where the pipe stops being hot to the touch. I have traced out that pipe and know that it goes to the three baseboard heaters upstairs that aren't working. Am I wrong to think that this IS NOT a water pressure problem because the other zone that goes upstairs is working properly?


PICTURE 3 shows the return side of the pipes. The odd thing is that the pipe on the return side for zone three is noticeably warm/hot to the touch near the shutoff valve. It stops being warm/hot about two feet from the shutoff valve.


The only thing that I have done to try and fix this problem was to turn the bleed valve on the baseboard heaters. The first two heaters in the series loop did bleed air but the third one didn't. I only tried that because I saw a youtube video on how to do that. It was really easy to do but it didn't help my problem. Also when I turned that bleed valve a little bit of water came out but not much at all. Now when I turn the bleed valve again no more water comes out.

How should I go about fixing this issue? Do you think the culprit is the zone 3 control valve? Any advice or tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 01-02-18, 04:37 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I moved you to your own thread.

Are those B & G 109024 zone valves ?
They should have a manual lever on them where you can open
the valve manually to see if you get water flow.
 
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Old 01-02-18, 05:41 PM
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Thanks for moving to my own thread. I didn't see that you did that and I already posted a reply update in the original thread. I'll post it again here in this thread. To answer your question they are B&G valves but they don't have a valve to put into manual mode (at least I didn't see one and the instruction book said to remove the valve all together to go into manual mode).



OK I decided to remove the zone control valve for zone three. When I did this it put the system into manual mode. I could instantly hear the valve had opened up and that water was circulating through the system. I was also able to go to each baseboard in order down the series and turn the bleed valve. When I did that a little air came out initially and then a steady stream of hot water. So I was able to get the system to work that way.

Next I was able to locate a few spare zone control valves still new-in-box. I have attached two pictures. PICTURE 1 is the old control valve and PICTURE 2 is the new control valve. There appears to be some major black soot or oxidization on the old control valve. When I placed the new control valve on the system I could hear the water stop circulating and within minutes I noticed the pipes were cool and the baseboard heaters were no longer heating.

I was sure that the zone control valve was the problem but now I'm back to square one, albeit with a new control valve in place.

Any ideas?
 
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Old 01-02-18, 06:05 PM
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Well.... not quite at square 1. You know it's not a mechanically defective valve. It would appear the problem is electrical. Do you have a meter ? You can check the wiring on the valve for 24vac. If it's not there when the stat is calling for heat..... the stat may be bad.

The stat most likely only has two wires on it (Rand W) which you could short out to determine if the stat was bad.
 
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Old 01-02-18, 06:13 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply.

After all of that troubleshooting I picked up the spare control valve and realized the box said "Refurbished January 2015." I never thought to check if the new control valve was refurbished because it was in the original box complete with instructions.

So I decided to get the other spare new-in-box control valve and try that one. Once I put that control valve on it everything working properly.

So it looks like the problem was definitely the control valve and I just happened to put on a defective replacement control valve the first time around. Once I replaced that with another control valve that is actually working the system came back online.

I did hours of troubleshooting for what turned out to be a 3 minute fix. But I learned a TON of info about my system so I'll chalk it up as win. Thanks for your replies and help PJmax

I do have one more question for future reference.... Would it be okay just to leave the zone control valve in manual mode? Could that cause harm to the system?
 
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Old 01-02-18, 06:21 PM
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Good job.
Hours spent troubleshooting are never lost as long as you learned something,
 
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Old 01-02-18, 06:42 PM
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It won't do any damage but you will have uncontrolled heat through that zone.

Whenever any other stat calls for heat it will send hot water to that zone also because the ZV is the only thing normally stopping the flow of water to unwanted areas.

Hope this helps a little.
 
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Old 01-03-18, 11:32 AM
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I have one final question. I want to replace the thermostats in my home because they are old and outdated mercury thermostats and there is often a burning or singeing type smell coming from the thermometer coil and I figure that can't be a good thing.

I have a multi meter and I checked the Red and White wires on the thermostats and they read 28VAC when they are on.

Is there a certain type of thermostat I do or don't need to replace them with? I don't have AC in my home so I probably don't need some fancy expensive thermostat but I'd like to put in something that has a digital read out and that is possibly programmable.

I was doing some research and I don't have heat sensors so I don't think I can program them to turn on at a certain temperature but I would like the option to turn them up or down at a certain time (i.e. have the temp at 74 from 4pm to 6am and then turned down to 68 from 6:01 am to 3:49 pm)

Can anyone tell me the type of thermostat I will need and also possibly give me some recommendations for replacement? I can do the research and do some price comparison and go from there but any ideas you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 01-03-18, 12:14 PM
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You can use just a simple 24V programmable tstat.

Go to this sight and click on thermostat and you can see what is available.

If you see one that interests you scroll down to description or manuals and get all the info you'll need.

http://www.supplyhouse.com/

Hope this helps a little.
 
 

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