Weil Mclain boiler: updating the original relays

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  #1  
Old 02-10-19, 01:46 PM
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Weil Mclain boiler: updating the original relays

I made a post about this on the thermostat controls board but I think it may be better suited for here.

I have a Weil Mclain WTGO-4 boiler converted to gas. It supports tankless DHW and 4 heating zones. The four heating sounds are two hydroair and two hotwater baseboard. Zones 1 and 2 have their own circulating pumps. Zones 3 and 4 share a circulating pump and are split by two taco 3-wire zone valves.

The current wiring and relay arrangement is quite a mess and also I believe it may not be done properly. Specifically, the slave relays are not wired through Zr and Zc on the Aquastat. I have to test more when I am back at the house but I believe either DHW is not getting priority or the slave relays are wired through the aquastats TT, meaning the zone 1 circ turns on when any zone is calling for heat.

My goal is to remove the old relays to (1) clean up the mess, (2) make trouble shooting easier, (3) support an ODR, and (4) more easily allow install smart thermostats. Also, I want to install some HAFC201 controllers for my two hydroair blowers instead of the simple RIBs they are using right now (I am sick of the mess of wires and the instant-on for the fan, which gives me 5-10 minutes of cold air).

Below is a schematic (missing a few details since I drew it from some pictures and memory) of the current hardware and set up. Next, I propose a few options I am considering. Please let me know if you recommend one over another or if you see any mistakes in my wiring. The two areas in the schematics I am unsure about about are (1) the best way to wire circ. 3 across two zones and (2) if its okay to power the zone 3b valve off of the transformer and through the dry contacts of the HAFC201.

Thanks for the help.

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Last edited by PJmax; 02-10-19 at 05:56 PM. Reason: resized pictures
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  #2  
Old 02-10-19, 04:52 PM
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Hi, I might consider this control instead of the one you chose, basically it will eliminate those extra transformers, allow you to control the ZV’s .
https://api.ferguson.com/dar-step-se...UCT_ID=4154363
Geo
 

Last edited by Geochurchi; 02-10-19 at 06:57 PM.
  #3  
Old 02-10-19, 05:49 PM
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Only one thread is allowed per topic. I deleted the other thread with my reply.
 
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Old 02-10-19, 08:24 PM
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Thanks for that, PJmax. Sorry about the double post; I realized it was probably better suited for this board after I browsed the forums a bit more.

Thanks for the post, Geo. My original plan was to slave a ZVC off the SR, but I figured just using the SR will save me some money. With my proposed option 3, which is what I am leaning towards doing, I would only have to add one transformer into the mix (or upgrade my current 40VA to a 75VA). If you are suggesting using a ZVC without the SR, maybe I am missing something, but I don't see a way to use a ZVC without the SR because of my three circulating pumps. Further complicating things, it will be difficult running additional wires needed between the valves and the ZVC (~50ft run on top of slab).

Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-11-19, 05:49 AM
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Hi, test across terminals RWC and see if there is 24 VAC present, if so you can not use additional transformers.
Geo
 
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Old 02-11-19, 08:29 AM
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Thanks, Geo. I am not sure I understand your comment. Hopefully I am not conceptually missing something here.

So in option 2 I drew above, I have a 24VAC transformer powering the zone 3A thermostat (via C) and that thermostat's R/W switch. It also supplies power at the the dry end-switch of Zone 3B's controller (X / X terminals). Upon call for heat, the stat (Zone 3A) closes R/W or the controller (Zone 3B) closes X/X. When either of these close, 24V from the transformer is sent to the 1&2 terminals on the Taco Valves. After the Taco valves heat at 1&2, the valve opens and the end-switch (terminals 2/3) closes. Since Taco valve end-switches are dry, they simply complete the circuit with the R/W terminals on the switching relay. Thus, we want R/W to be hot with 24V coming off of the relay since the 2/3 terminals on the valves that activate them are dry.

Please let me know if I am missing something here.
 
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Old 02-11-19, 10:33 AM
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Hi, my concern is wether or not that control supplies 24 VAC to the RWC terminals on that board, if it doesnít how will you get 24 VAC to supply the Ecobee Tstats?
Maybe itís me, I am more familiar with the the ZCV controls.
Geo
 
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Old 02-11-19, 11:00 AM
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Thanks, Geo.

The SR does supply 24VAC at the RWC to support smart thermostats. I haven't found any exact specs but I doubt its enough to support a thermostat and a zone valve, which is why I am including secondary transformers..

So my understanding, if we look at option 1 of my schematic, is:
  • Zone 1: the Switching relay supplies 24V out of R, which returns by W when the control board closes its X-X dry end switch. The stat will tell the X-X to close.
  • Zone 2: the switching relay supplies 24V through R-C to support constant power to stat. It also supplies 24V across the R-W switch of the stat, which the stat will close to complete loop and call for heat.
  • Zone 3a/3: an independent transformer supplies 24V constant to smart stat and 24V to the stats R-W. When the stat closes the R-W circuit upon call for heat, the valve is energized, opens and eventually closes its end-switch. The end switch closing on the valve will take power supplied along R from the switching relay and send it back on W, completing the call for heat.
  • Zone 3b/4: an independent transformer will provide power across the end switch of the HAFC201-4 controller. When that end switch closes (after stat calls for heat), the power from the transformer flows to the valve, causing it to open. Once it opens, it activates its end switch, which closes the 24V hot R-W circuit from the switching relay, completing the call for heat.
This is my understanding of how it works and is what drove my schematic designs. Please let me know if you see anything off here. If there are any issues in my logic, I am probably in over my head and should just pay the pros to do it.

Thanks again
 
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Old 02-11-19, 12:34 PM
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OK, looks like option 3 is the best where you only have 3 circulators, it gives you one transformer,only change I would make is to control the boiler from XX instead of ZC/ZR.
Anyone of your options would work but you only need 3 circulators.
Geo
 
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Old 02-11-19, 12:55 PM
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Thanks, Geo.

Are there downsides to using the Zc/Zr connections? I was leaning towards them over the X/X because Zc/Zr will allow my aquastat to prevent circulators from running when the low limit temperature is hit on the boiler, thus giving priority to tank-less DHW coil I have in the boiler.

Currently, I have been trying to find suitable reduced temperatures for my boiler in order to save on gas costs because I am running $300 a month for an 1800 sqft house that is barely occupied. The previous owner had the aquastat at 205/165, which I am guessing was to keep things toasty and offset temp decreases if someone wants to shower while zones were calling for heat. They do not have it wired for DHW priority right now. My thought process is that if I use the Zc/Zr to give DHW priority, this will allow me to run the boiler a bit lower temp and not risk running out of HW when heating zones are calling since zones will shut off due to the Zc/Zr circuit. New homeowner here so again, my logic might be garbage so feel free to call me out.

Thanks for the advice.
 
  #11  
Old 02-11-19, 04:20 PM
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Something doesnít add up, your circulators are controlled by the SR , prioritiy is also to control a circulator, how will the aquastat prevent the circulators from starting?
ZC/ZR will work
 
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Old 02-11-19, 05:01 PM
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Geo-

I found this explanation:

Taco ZR / ZC Control Terminals

Q.What are the ZC and ZR terminals on the SR506 and how are they used?

ZC/ZR terminals on the SR board go to ZC/ZR terminals on the triple aquastat with ZC/ZR terminals, using minimum 14 gauge wires. These terminals will prioritize domestic water coil. When there is a demand for heat from the thermostat, ZR becomes hot, sending 120 volts to the triple aquastat. When the boiler temperature rises above the minimum temperature setting (typically 140į), ZC becomes hot, sending 120 volts to the SR board and powering the relay for the circulators. To recap, the circulators cannot run until the boiler is keeping up with demand
 
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Old 02-11-19, 06:14 PM
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Yes, the SR will control the circulators. Zoesdad's post coincides with my understanding of how the ZC/ZR terminals work. So while the SR will sent out the call for the burner along ZR, it wont be able to run the circulators until the Aquastat sends signal back on ZC, which will only happen if the boiler temp is above the aquastat's Low setting. All manuals I have seen recomended using the ZC/ZR instead of T/T to allow aquastat to prioritize tankless DHW.
 
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Old 02-11-19, 06:34 PM
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If I may add my 2 cents. If you have a coil and are adding additional relays which you have you must use ZC (zone control) & ZR (zone relay) to prioritize your domestic hot water. Your triple aquastat has this function built in when using just the pump supplied with the boiler on C1 & C2.

Once you add relays the added zones do not provide that priority unless that ZC/ZR are used. Your added pumps will run regardless of how low the boiler temp gets.

One other thing concerning your zone valves in your diagrams. If this helps you do not have to use all 3 terminals. 2 & 3 are to turn on the burner. If you only want to open the valve and use relay turn on the burner you just use 1 & 2.

Just my thoughts.
 
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Old 02-11-19, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, everyone. The current set up definitely does not utilize the Zc/Zr at all, so zone circulators will run on call, regardless of boiler temp. I'll have to confirm exactly how this weekend but I know zone 2 and 3 relays are wired to the boiler through a RIB. This RIB must either directly fire the burner, which is extremely unlikely since it would bypass the Aquastat's high safety limit, or it splices the zone relays into the aquastat's TT. This would also be problematic because it means any zone call for heat runs zone 1 circulator (which is controlled off of the aquastat). I suspect it is likely this for two reasons (1) the hydroair zone (zone 1) has minimal delay in delivering hot air even though the blower is instant on upon call for heat and even when heat hasn't been called for hours and (2) Zone 3b is drafty and frequently calls for heat, which I believe, may be engaging it's cirulator and zone 1 criculator unnecessarily, ultimately increase boiler load and increasing my gas bills. This is a theory I came up with while away from the house so I will confirm this weekend. Assuming my theory is true, is there any reason this could have been done intentionally? All the circulators are in parrallel off of the boiler outlet, so I don't see a need for it to run to feed other zones. This is probably crazy, but could it be done to increase boiler load and avoid short cylcing? I have no clue about how this boiler was sized, except that the house is ~1900sqft, southern new england, fairly well insulated with a combination of new efficient windows and old windows with an extra storm pane of glass on the outisde. The boiler is a Weil Mclain WTGO-4 that was installed in 2008 and converted to gas in 2018.


Regarding bypassing the end switch on the zone valves, Spott; I was afraid to do that because my understanding is that there is a 1-2 min delay in the valve opening and the end switch closing when the stat calls for heat. I thought if I engage the circulator at the same time the valve begins heating, back pressure could build from the circulator before the valve has time to open. Maybe this is an unfounded concern?
 
  #16  
Old 02-12-19, 05:23 AM
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Good info I did not understand that was how those terminals worked.
Keep us posted on your progress, those controls make a nice neat install, I used the ZVC 406 when I wired my boiler, it’s like one stop shopping.
That HAFC201-4 has an option to select fan operation through an optional aquastat to keep the fan off until water temp is up to that setting, may help to prevent cold drafts.
Geo
 

Last edited by Geochurchi; 02-12-19 at 05:42 AM.
  #17  
Old 02-12-19, 09:12 AM
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Thanks for the feedback.

Yesterday I purchased the SR504-EXP-4, two HAFC201-4 controllers, and a 50VA transformer. I went with the SR504 so for now I can keep the two zone valves on separate zones (not a big deal but this way I can see which one of those two zones is calling for heat). Also, if I decide to go indirect hot water, I can recombine the zone valves into one zone and add the tank onto the SR and give it priority.

I will probably just use digital stats on Zone 2 and 3a for now (the old mercury stats there now are like 5 degrees off) and maybe do the ecobees next season (since these zones are heat only).

Next, I think I will leave the current transformer I have on Zone 3B to power the ecobee and HAFC201-4 on that zone and wire my new new transformer in my crawl space to power the two zone valves and eventually an ecobee on zone 3a.

The only thing I am not sure about right now is if I have 20AMP service to my boiler room to power the SR504. I can't imagine I don't, as I am sure some other equipment in there already require it. I also can't imagine the SR504 is more power hungry than my current set up.

Hopefully I can get this taken care of this weekend. I'll update with some pictures when I can.
 
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Old 02-12-19, 11:21 AM
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hi pbct-

I think the 20 amps is just the maximum load that the SR504 can handle. So I think thatís the only 20 amp requirement. Pretty sure thatís the case, and I think the typical circulators use less than 1 amp. The pros here would know for sure.
 
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Old 02-12-19, 01:16 PM
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Ah I think you are right, Zoesdad. I do see now that the input voltage spec for the SR504 is 120/60/1 VAC. Don't quote me on it but I am thinkings thats 120V, 60 Hz, 1amp? EDIT: it looks like "1" is actually the phase. I guess current can just be calculated from max anticipated load.
 
  #20  
Old 02-12-19, 02:57 PM
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P,
This is just a suggestion to see what you think.

Zone 1 will be your ZV circuit that will come off the boiler using your 50VA transformer for the ZV's and TT on the boiler, just like you would run a normal 2 zone ZV system. This would have nothing to do with your 504.

Now to your 504 for the 2 hydro air zones.

You are going to use your ZC/ZR terminals off your 8124 to the 504 and wire according to schematic. This will eliminate all your other relays and give you total control of your priority of your domestic hot water.

You want to use your ZC/ZR terminals and not XX. By using XX to TT on the boiler you will be activating your pump on the boiler no matter what zone calls. When you power TT on the boiler you it automatically powers up C1 & C2 which will start your pump for Z1 if it's calling or not and that you do not want.

Your stats and everything for zones 2 & 3 are going to go through your 504 and then through ZC/ZR will activate the burner.

You need all the help with the water temp you can get. Their first mistake was from converting from oil to gas on a boiler with a tankless coil. Gas burns at a cooler temp than oil and has a very hard time because of that keeping up with the hot water demand.

That is why you can't even buy a gas boiler with a tankless anymore. They just cannot provide enough hot water. Years ago with the high water content boilers and larger coils it was fine but now the typical boiler has about 14 gals of water and a much smaller coil than the old units so using your ZC/ZR terminals for domestic hot water priority is a must.

Just a thought, hope it helps a little.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyho..._PROD_FILE.pdf

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyho..._PROD_FILE.pdf

The above sight shows the schematic how it should have been wired using you 845 relay. Aside from your Hydro Air controls you could have used one more 845 and your transformer and accomplished the same thing I believe.
 
  #21  
Old 02-12-19, 09:29 PM
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I drew a schematic that I think captures what you described, Spot. One thing to note: is the zone valves that share circulator 3,is one zone baseboard heat and one zone hydroair. If my schematic does capture what you described, is this better than my proposed plan of putting the ZVs through the R,W on the switching relay?
 
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  #22  
Old 02-13-19, 02:02 PM
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By RW are you talking about stat terminals on the relay. You cannot put ZC/ZR -RW. ZC/ZR are line voltage, RW is low voltage.

Your current schematic is what I would do. It doesn't matter that one zone is hydro air. What does matter is that they are both ZV's which is what is going to the boiler so you can use the boiler pump and C1 & C2 to control those zones. All other zones are wired through your Taco and do not go back to TT which is good.

Unless I'm missing something this is what I would do.

If you had all pumps then you could not use C1 & C2. Even though your pump came prewired to those terminals you would have to use a separate relay as the others because TT activates C1 & C2. With ZV's you can use those terminals doing it this way.
 
  #23  
Old 02-13-19, 04:11 PM
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Hi, Spott. I think we may have some wires crossed in our discussion (pun intended). I think my last post was a little confusing. I do know the ZC/ZR are line voltage and cannot connect with R/W. I am just trying to understand the reasoning for putting the zone valve end switches to the TT on the aquastat instead of just running them to the RW on the switching relay's zone 3?

I think a rough schematic of the plumbing could help clear things up. This schematic will be from memory so it will have the general layout of the plumbing but will not be 100% accurate with regards to bends and distances. Also, I believe the zone valves are on the feed side but I can confirm this weekend, they might be on the return side. The zone valves were an add on to the system in the early 2000's to support the hydroair system for a 300sqft extension (if it were my design, I would have just done more HW baseboards for heat).

also, I forgot to mention; my motivation for getting all zones on the SR was to simplify the install of a ODR (either tekmar wired to Aquastats TT or a Taco PC700 wired to the SR board). I am not sure how to let the ODR run all zones if some call for heat by ZC/ZR while others call for heat through the TT on the aquastat.

Thanks for the help.
 
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  #24  
Old 02-14-19, 09:54 AM
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Your option 1 schematic zone 3A is wired correctly. Zone 1 comes off your XX to RW. Where are you getting your power for your stat on that zone and is there 24V at XX.

Looking at a schematic of your controller it looks like it has its own 24V transformer to power your stat circuit so you don't want to add another 24V to it.
Check XX on your 3B zone to see if there is 24V there already. You don't want to put another 24 to it.

You can either put both zones onto 1 set of RW contacts so the pump will run when either zone calls or you can put each zone on its own set of contacts as in your option 1 schematic and just tie your pump into both zones 3 & 4 so when either zone calls the pump comes on. The zones valves being positive shutoffs will not allow the water to flow to the unwanted one.

Either way you are removing your pump from C1 & C2 from your aquastat and as your schematic shows you do need that separate transformer to power your zone valves and then the end switches will go to RW.
 

Last edited by spott; 02-14-19 at 10:20 AM.
  #25  
Old 02-14-19, 11:33 AM
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Your option 1 schematic zone 3A is wired correctly. Zone 1 comes off your XX to RW. Where are you getting your power for your stat on that zone and is there 24V at XX.
I already have a transformer in place on the air handler for zone 1 that will power the HAFC201-4. The HAFC201-4 then provides RWC power to the stat in zone 1.

The XX on the HAFC201-4 are dry, so zone 1 XX will close to create continuity between the hot RW on the SR504.


Check XX on your 3B zone to see if there is 24V there already. You don't want to put another 24 to it.
Reviewing all paperwork on the controller indicates the XX are dry but can be made hot with a transformer, but I plan to test with a meter to play it safe. It also makes since cause the XX is designed to wire to a TT on boiler or RW on a switching relay, which are hot connections.


You can either put both zones onto 1 set of RW contacts so the pump will run when either zone calls or you can put each zone on its own set of contacts as in your option 1 schematic and just tie your pump into both zones 3 & 4 so when either zone calls the pump comes on. The zones valves being positive shutoffs will not allow the water to flow to the unwanted one.
This was the number one thing I have been trying to get after; that is, is it okay to wire zone valves into the RW on a relay? Of course the manufacturers would love for you to use a ZVC for the valves but I want to avoid this because of proximity of valves/stats/circulator would make it a pain to run the extra wires. A family friend in the HVAC business mentioned its tricky when you combine ZV and circulators? He also said he would have to see the system in person to really comment further. Either way, in my mind its just a set of simple on/off switches. As long as you can trace everything out and are confident there is only one power source per circuit, it should work, right? Of course verify proper voltages etc. But here, to me the end switches on the ZV which I want to wire to the RW on the relay, are no different than the switch in a thermostat that closes to create continuity on the RW and call for heat.

I was also unsure if it was okay to connect the circulator to two zone connections on the relay. Its okay to just bring the hot and neutral from each zone and connect them to pumps hot and neutral. So the three blacks wire-nutted together and the three white wires wire-nutted together?.

thanks for all the input.
 
  #26  
Old 02-14-19, 12:49 PM
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As far as your pumps go where are you getting 3 Blacks and White. You are going to put the pump for zone 3 on to the proper contacts and if you decide to split the ZV's to 2 sets of contacts 3 & 4 then you can just jump zone 3 to zone 4 on the pump terminals so the pump runs when either zone call. The RW terminals power the pump terminals so you can do it either way.

Each zone will have a pump on the line side and no pump on C1 & C2 and of course your ZC/ZR terminals are utilized from aquastat to 504.

Incidentally, your tankless coils has a 3.75 gpm draw as provided by the specs below. Your boiler has about 13.5 gals of water content. Look at Note #6 on right .

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyho...O-brochure.pdf
 

Last edited by spott; 02-14-19 at 01:09 PM.
  #27  
Old 02-14-19, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for the details on my tankless, Spott.

I am still undecided if I will separate the zone valves into two zones at the SR504. It will probably come down to if I have two extra wires running from the valves to the boiler room (currently its about 40ft run between the two with 20 ft of slab and finished walls in the way).

Just to make sure, if I do split the zone valves to zone 3 and 4 on the SR, this is how I should wire the pump?
 
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Old 02-14-19, 02:36 PM
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Yes, that's correct. If your zone valves are already wired why would you have to run new wire from the stat. If I'm understanding you already have 1 & 2 wired to your zone valve. To put one on Z3 and one on Z4 you just put the end switch ( 2&3) of each ZV to their respective RW contacts. If they're currently working you have all your wiring there but either way will work.
 
  #29  
Old 02-14-19, 04:08 PM
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Sorry, its a bit confusing how I've presented all this.

Right now, the valves are wired together so there are just two wires (the TT) that travel from the crawl space all the way back to the boiler room. I cannot recall if that TT run is a 2-conductor cable or larger with unused wires. If I want to separate the valves to different zones, I will need at least 4 conductors to go from valve crawl space back to the boiler room (two for each valve). So I guess, if there are four conductors in place already, I will separate the valves to their own zones. If there are only two conductors, I will probably not bother trying to run new cable. It gets even harder if I want to use a ZVC in the boiler room for these zones, since I will need 3 conductors per zone valve and 2 or 3 to each stat. That I know I do not have run already. I have a ton of 18-8 wire, but I have no idea how easy the fishing will be across finished space.
 
  #30  
Old 02-15-19, 05:03 AM
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My 2 cents, use the ZCV nice control easy to work with.
How does the slab fit into the picture? Post some pics so we can see what you have there.
Geo
 
  #31  
Old 02-15-19, 11:06 AM
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My 2 cents, use the ZCV nice control easy to work with.
How does the slab fit into the picture? Post some pics so we can see what you have there.
Geo
Back in the 90's, the one car garage for my house was converted to a finished kitchen. Around that same time, there was a flood in the basement, which prompted the previous owner to relocate the boiler. The kitchen is on slab with hardwood on top and finished external walls on each side and a vaulted ceiling. The boiler was relocated to a utility closet that is only accessible from the driveway. In that closet is the boiler, the relays, and the circulating pumps. Now the problem is, the finished kitchen ( which has no crawl spaces and no attic) lays between the utility closet and the zone valves, which are about 40 ft away in a crawl space. Installing a ZVC in the utility closet would require more wires that probably would be extremely annoying to run. Who knows, maybe I will be lucky and they left a conduit that will be easy to fish through. I could install a ZVC by the valves, but that is a $100 piece of hardware I didnt think was necessary. Plus, putting the ZVC in the crawl space away from the circ means it would still rely on another relay back in the boiler room to run the circulator. Either way, I think the wife would kill me if I bought another piece of hardware. She wasn't too happy about the $450 charge she saw from earlier this week.

I'll be back at the house this weekend so I should be able to update with some pics and stories.
 
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