Testing/heat question


  #1  
Old 02-18-03, 10:27 PM
Joe_F
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Testing/heat question

Problem: No heat in one zone, downstairs. Just lost it one day. Had it after the repairs below.

Equipment specs: 24V, heat only, natural gas, hot water baseboard. Three thermostats. Boiler is a 1968 era Burnham Holiday. (That thing looks heavy duty!!)

Parts changed thus far: Main gas control & thermocoupler (Honeywell V800A), Bell and Gossett 100 Series pump, Aquastat L8141 relay. New CT50A 24V Honeywell in the offending zone. Turning it on kicks the 100 Series pump within a minute or so.

Heat anticipator on the CT50A matched to .2 Amp as stamped on the V800A gas control. Arrow on the heat anticipator is a little confusing as to which side they want pointing to the scale, but it was tried both ways no avail.

Questions:

1) One zone's pipes are stone cold, others in the house fine and there's heat everwhere else. I can rule out pipe freezing, correct?

2) We tried to bypass the zone valves by tripping the lever in the offending zone to try to get heat, nothing. Those radiators are cold in that zone. We have bled the system, any ideas? Another bleed needed?

3) How can one properly test/check the green Zone valves (I believe they are Taco brand)?

Thanks for any input, ideas or expertise. I will supply all needed specs/#s of of the equipment if this is not sufficient. Just looking for some professional input.
 
  #2  
Old 02-19-03, 04:21 AM
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Question Bleeding

To bleed this zone...lower the thermostat 10 degrees below room setpoint temporarily in all zones not being bled,...shut off the boiler switch to control the circulator, shut off the return gate valves/ball valves on all zones, shut off the valves to the boiler to keep the water pressure out of the boiler when we fill it...Look at the boiler gauge hit the over-ride to the water pressure regulator that adds water to the boiler, if the water pressure goes up its adding water to the boiler within the boiler and you won't be able to add more than about 25PSI or the safety relief will open (@30),...with the zone lever forcing the valve open, and the gate return closed add water pressure and open the purge valve to that zone only...if water flows through the zone, it ain't froze...after a few minutes of bleeding close the purge valve and THEN kill the over-ride. open the gate to the offended zone. , and let the water circulate through this one zone only, make sure the boiler auto air vent cap is open at all times... this is usually located on the air scoop...look at the highest point in the loop and see if it has a coin vent, this may have some trapped air in it, let'er open a squirt or two, in case some air is trapped there. open up all the valves you closed, Turn on the boiler switch and get that one zone to call...see if she gets hot...
 
  #3  
Old 02-19-03, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the quick reply. Do you think we're dealing with a bleed problem here or some other issue?

I had heat after the repair. I was downstairs watching TV when I felt it to be very cold in the room.
 
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Old 02-19-03, 09:32 PM
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Smile I'm not a boiler pro but here's my .02 (.013 Canadian).

Joe_F:

If the system worked after repairs and then quit, the expansion tank could be water logged and either need draining or pressurizing, depending on what type you have.

Some reading on the subject:

http://www.acestimates.com/boil.htm

http://www.jcgbs.com/users/jft/expansio.htm
 
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Old 02-20-03, 08:13 PM
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Question

Joe_F:

Are ya warm yet or are you piling on the sweaters?
 
  #6  
Old 02-21-03, 03:52 AM
Joe_F
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Greg:

Actually, the heat wouldn't stop running yesterday. My mother came home and said that the foyer was a sauna. LOL (that's not the problem zone though).

She lowered the thermostats, but the circulator pump wouldn't shut off. Then, we shut the stats off, and still ran and ran, and ran.

My neighbor and I disconnected each thermostat one at a time, still ran and ran and ran. I just shut the pump off (electrically) as I didn't want to burn out the pump, nor just let it run and run.

How can I check those zone valves? Any idea where I should go to next.

These are Taco 577 (I believe) green zone valves. How do you check them? (there are three of them, one for each zone).
 
  #7  
Old 02-21-03, 07:14 PM
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I called Honeywell and Taco and spoke to some folks over there. Honeywell's tech line for consumers is lackluster, I believe I could probably write a better instruction sheet. LOL.

They want the heat anticipator up at .4 Amp on my setup. I called Taco and spoke to a guy there and he said put it at .9A. I followed that. Also, the pointer on the anticipator is not clear---the "pointer" they want you to use could be either side of this metal contact piece! Honeywell did clear it up for me though.

Long and short of it, is that offending zone has heat now. I'll monitor it ad see if it shuts off when it should.

Thanks for all the help and I will post back in a bit.
 
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Old 02-22-03, 06:28 AM
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I was shoveling snow while this one was in full swing, but I will throw out a few ideas now. You mentioned Honeywell zone valves initially and then mentioned Taco. If you have both, you need the anticipators to match the valve. The Taco valves draw mega-current and you need to put the anticipator all the way toward the high numbers. They want .9 amps and the anticipator only goes to 1.2 so push it all the way. If you have it at .2 or .4 you will either burn out the anticipator or short cycle the zone valve. Either will give you lousy/no heat. The purge idea was right and hopefully got the loop flowing. The expansion tank would not prevent flow but would make system pressure high when the heat is on. On your boiler, the chances of an airbound tank is remote unless you have a B&G Airtrol fitting on the outlet of the boiler. It is a Red thing that is the first fitting on of the top of the boiler and would have a line from it to your expansion tank. Let us know if you have it. As for the pump not stopping, usually it is a shorted wire between terminals 2 & 3 on your Taco power head. Taco heads also melt down occasionally and the thermal compound that activates it gets on the switch and closes it when it shouldn't be. I have not seen a Honeywell zone valve with a sticky end switch so I would pursue the Taco avenue first. All the end switches work in parallel so that any one can start the pump.
Post back with any other questions or results.
 
  #9  
Old 02-22-03, 10:04 AM
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your heat running away

It may appear that the heat is running away, BUT, you may also have an indirect water heater that was calling to heat up the storage of hot water...If its still running away, see if the relay TT terminals are closed and pulling in the relay, sometimes the relay box contacts might weld together and the circulator will run continuously...The possibilities!!!!
 
  #10  
Old 02-22-03, 10:28 AM
Joe_F
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Guys:

First off, thanks for all the help! (I hope I can return the favor to some of you in the automotive forum one day if you need it).

Let me clear up what is where .

1) The CT50A is installed in the downstairs rec room and was the zone with no heat. Now there is heat.

2) Upstairs has a T87F yoyo Honeywell changed by my dad in 1987.

3) The entrance foyer has the original 1968 Taco unit in there.


I moved the anticipator up on the Honeywell CT50A to near the .9 mark. Honeywell said .4, but the Taco folks said .9A as you stated, KField. I put it back to .9A.

How about the other units in the house? One is a T87F Honeywell "yoyo" and the other is the original Taco. Where should I set those anticipators to? The T87F was changed in 1987 when my dad was still alive at the time. The curent setting on that is around .5. Should I go higher?

On the original Taco, I cannot tell what the anticipator is set at or how to set it frankly.

Yes, all the zone valves are Tacos,#571-2 series to be exact. The furnace is a Burnham Holiday unit. There is an American Air Purger on it. There is an American Float Type Vent Valve, #700 Series on top of the fitting that is connected to the expansion tank.

I am hoping I can just swap the power head portion?

"HVAC": If you mean the Aquastat relay on top of the B&G series pump, that is a new #L8141E. I realize that it cannot be mounted a certain way or the contacts would always close . I am positive it is mounted right---it was shutting on and off before.

Yes, the heat is still running. I will investigate your suggestions on the Tacos. Can I shut the system down and just pull off the wires on each power head (in pairs) one by one to test for a shorted power head? The gentleman at Taco explained a little bit about how I should test them.

In theory, if we turn every thermostat down all the way, how long should it take for the pump to stop? This is what doesn't seem to be happening---the pump seems to run and run.

Thanks for the help and if you want a digital photo of anything, just let me know and I can shoot it and send it to you. I am indebted for all the help and I WILL figure this one out .

Regards,
 
  #11  
Old 02-22-03, 10:55 AM
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testing

I'm not suggesting the mounting was incorrect of the aquastat...but all the t'stats are connected to the TT terminals of the L81 control...this activates the burner and the pump...this is a low voltage connection (24V), pull off all the connections to one side of the TT terminals, and the burner should stop, if not the aquastat is junk...if it stops, reconnect one wire at a time to see which one is screwed up, and calling the burner and pump to run. just don't let any of the wires short to ground. Then trace out the offending wire!!! As far as the anticipator goes, remove the T'stat ( the T87 has three small flat tip screws ) and take a long jumper and put 10 wraps around your ammeter and connect to the RH and W terminal screws if you have a sub base or the two wire connections if you have no sub base. read the reading and divide by 10, this is your new heat anticipator setting, set it on the T'stat if you can't read it too well, Do like me and use a magnfying glass The numbers go higher to the left (Max=1.2) to the right is less than one .2,.4 ect.
As far as the Taco zone valve goes, it should close in less than a minute I would think, it has a wax substance that expands as it is heated up to make the end switch I believe the pump will stop before the valve closes all the way so that the pump won't dead-end when it's energized.
 
  #12  
Old 02-22-03, 12:34 PM
Joe_F
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I'll check it out and post back. Thanks for all the support.

Regards,
 
  #13  
Old 02-22-03, 07:17 PM
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If all of your zone valves are Tacos then all anticipators should be at or above .9amps. The anticipator must match the current draw of the zone valve. On the zone valves, the termonal marked #1(farthest from the mounting end) should come from the thermostat from that zone. #2 is 24 volt common and one side of the aquastat relay TT circuit. #3 is the other side of the aquastat TT circuit. To test which one is constantly completing the TT circuit, pull the wire off of #1 terminal, wait 2 minutes for valve to close if it was open and twist it to remove it. Look closely at the small cone shaped plunger underneath to see if it has the waxy thermal compound all over it. If it does, it's shot. Look at the contacts that ride up the cone and see if they are open. If they are, that isn't the valve causing the trouble. Do that with all of them. There is a date code stamped on the side of tha manual operating lever. Check that out just for laughs. Taco hasn't made a green head for quite a few years. The new ones are gold and have a closed micro-switch instead of the open contacts.
 
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Old 02-23-03, 01:23 AM
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KField:

To my recollection, all 1968 vintage. I don't think any of them were changed. My dad is gone 15 years, I remember some of the same sort of trouble the year before (1987) he passed away.

Oddly enough, my dad was like me in keeping records. The handwriting is literally on the wall. LOL. On 3/13/87 it says that the zone valves were switched (Zone 1 and Zone 3) due to no heat upstairs. Oddly enough, the "flag levers" on a couple of them were up, indicating manual operation.

I will set the upstairs stat to .9A as well, and I have three new power heads. Home Depot had them in stock for $45 each, which I believe is pretty cheap seeing the priceson the 'net for the same.

The new ones are gold as you said. I'll post back what I find. I was watching TV downstairs again this evening and the heat in that zone was lackluster again.

I'll print out your posts for use later on (It's 4:25 a.m.).LOL

Thanks again!
 
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Old 02-23-03, 08:14 AM
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One more note. You mentioned the levers and if the valve is mounted with the head on top, the lever should be up to be in automatic mode. If you pull it down toward the valve body, you are opening it manually. On your new gold head, when you operate the valve manually, the end switch closes to run the pump. On the green heads, when you open it manually, it does NOT close the end switch to start the pump.
 
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Old 02-23-03, 10:32 AM
Joe_F
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That would explain why they were all up . However, shouldn't the pump eventually stop even with them flagged manually?

I just went downstairs and pulled the flags up. I will also set the stat upstairs to .9A on the anticipator(That's the CT87) as you recommended I do, correct?

Thanks again for all the help----feel free to drop by my automotive forum if I can help in some way.
 
  #17  
Old 02-23-03, 11:01 AM
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VA ratings

The VA rating for your transformer is most likely 40VA,.... at .9 times 3 this =2.7 amps. plus a relays amperage ...most places use the 40 VA because they say it's unlikely that all 3 zones would call at once...this is very close to the treshold of the transformer...I would try run only two at a time...Sarco made this one of their big selling points at the trade fair I saw last year..The 40 VA transformer is max'd at 3 amps. They're cheap about $10.00 (Whole sale)...by Mars with multi taps.....just a word of caution though!
 
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Old 02-23-03, 06:08 PM
Joe_F
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I grab the concept of what you are saying---that the transformer could be taxed. Should I lower one anticipator setting? I can't figure out how to do the Taco, but I've done the two Honeywells.

I didn't have a chance to do the power heads yet---neighbor that helps out was busy today, so perhaps tomorrow after work .
 
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Old 02-24-03, 05:38 AM
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The anticipator MUST match the zone valve. No 2 ways about it. You can run 3 Taco zone valves on a 40va transformer. No problem there unless there is another load. Leave all anticipators at .9. If one thermostat is a taco, there may not be an anticipator, but you can bet it would match their valves. I agree with changing all the heads too. You will save a bunch of labor so re-invest the money in materials.
 
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Old 02-24-03, 05:58 AM
Joe_F
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Thanks guys. I will have a rebuilt heating system (not a bad thing really) when this is all said and done .

All of the anticipators are at .9 now that can be adjusted. The flags are up on the green valves. Still runs all the time. I killed the switch to the pump for now while I'm at work.

I'll try to get to it this evening and post back. I will keep you in the loop as to the progress.

Thanks,
 
  #21  
Old 02-24-03, 08:25 AM
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runaway....

if the burner & pump are running awayyou need to find out which unit is defective. Set all three thermostats 10 degrees below room temp. kill the boiler switch. remove all the low voltage wires from one of the T terminals on the relay control (L81 series), separate each and dont let them touch or ground. Turn on the boiler switch, if the pumps come on, the relay is junk, if it doesn't touch one wire at a time to see which one pulls in the relay, the one that does will tell you the problem circuit......Lets start there............
 
  #22  
Old 02-24-03, 09:09 AM
Joe_F
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Gotcha. I will approach it in the manner you describe.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. I know we'll figure this out---thanks to your help.

My neighbor and I usually do these things together. I'm the parts sourcing brains of the operation. LOL

I HOPE the relay isn't bad, as it is (the L8141E) is brand new, I purchased it a month ago.

If it is relevant, I did disconnect one wire on each thermostat (all three were disconnected at one point in time) and the pump still ran. I'll try it again to see what I get this evening.

Would a stuck zone valve still cause the pump to run even with the wires on the stats disconnected?

Thanks again. Sorry for the elementary questions---this is your area of expertise. LOL .
 
  #23  
Old 02-24-03, 09:57 AM
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Control

The connection to disconnect is on the L8141E NOT the thermostat. Leave the stat alone.
 
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Old 02-24-03, 10:18 AM
Joe_F
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Thanks again and will report back. Will also check out the zone valves for the waxy compound as recommended as well.
 
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Old 02-24-03, 10:42 AM
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Just make sure that you kill the power before 2 minutes before taking the power head off or it will be scrap. The plunger will pop right out if it is hot from being powered.
 
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Old 02-24-03, 01:22 PM
Joe_F
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Will kill the power for 2 minutes as suggested. I am going to print out this message now for future use .

Thanks!
 
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Old 02-25-03, 03:24 AM
Joe_F
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Hey Guys:

Seems to be working correctly now! I turned the pump back when I got home thinking it would run and run again.

No problems. Seems to be switching OK and not running excessively. Heat seems good thus far.

I will keep an eye on it and post back in a day or so.

Thanks for all the help and support, I greatly appreciate it and hope I can return the favor some day in the automotive forum which I moderate here.

Regards,
 

Last edited by Joe_F; 02-25-03 at 01:25 PM.
  #28  
Old 02-26-03, 08:53 PM
Joe_F
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Ok guys, working great and toasty in here. Pump runs quietly, comes on in regular intervals and shuts off as it seemingly should. Doesn't run forever like before.

Question on the position of the "flag levers" (the little silver levers on the Taco zone valves)

KField: If I have you right, these should be in the UP position? By up, I mean the silver lever flag shows. By down, I mean it is now hidden inside the body.

Mine are inconvenient in the heating room setup I have, but I had a look at my neighbor's. It would seem the flag should be down for it to work automatically.

1) Should mine be up or down?
2) What is the difference?
3) What advantages/disadvantages to either position?
4) If they are supposed to be down (what is marked as auto), why have an up position?

Thanks for the additional help guys. Want to knock this down 100%.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 04:28 AM
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resistance.........

Use your sences....With the zone valves not calling...and you try to force the valve open you will feel the resistance, and in order to keep them open..they must be forced to the side into a knotch on the body of the head, or it will spring back closed. If I don't haver a meter and want to know if it's open, I try force the valve open, and, if it goes to the other side easily, I know it's open. If you need to force it open, and it wants to return back closed, I know it's not calling.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 05:15 AM
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My description was that moving the lever toward the valve body would manually open the valve. Like hvac says, you will feel the resistance if you are opening the valve. The correct installation of that valve is with the head on the top but I have seen every angle of installation too. That is why up doesn't necessarily mean auto mode. If the lever is mostly hiden insode the head, you are in auto mode. If the lever is sticking out of the head and more toward the valve body, you have it opened manually and the heat will continue to run. You asked why to have a manual mode? Only so you can open the valve when there is not a call for heat, like when purging the air from the system or to override the thermostat for testing purposes.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 09:32 AM
Joe_F
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Thanks guys.

Sorry if I was not clear. The flags are out of the body now (which you state is open). Everything is working great. I suppose I could try them with them closed and see what happens then.

The valves are mounted with the flags at 12 o'clock. I suppose I should just shut it down for a few minutes and push the flags back in. Then, see what happens.


Thanks again and I'll report back.
 
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Old 02-27-03, 11:14 AM
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You have the valves in the manual open position and if the wiring was correct, the circulator would run constantly. If it is not running, you either have zone valve wiring trouble or a problem with the aquastat. Unless you troubleshoot the whole system, you will not get a true idea of where the trouble is. You are covering up the real problem right now by opening the valves manually, but when the weather warms up, you will overheat the house. If you want to do it step-by-step, I can tell you what to look for and where. It will require some simple voltage measurements and wiring checks to verify the low voltage wiring. I usually end up rewiring the spaghetti zone valve wiring because it is very easy to troubleshoot after all the duplicate wires and sloppy connections are removed or repaired.
 
  #33  
Old 02-27-03, 12:44 PM
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If the flag/ lever is up......

That is, on a zone valve with the power head at 12 O'clock, the valve is closed. No flow thru the circuit. No pump running. If the lever is in the LOCKED position, it will never close the valve. The other thing good about this feature is that if the power head fails (and they do) you can manually get the heat to flow if at the worst case even the pump fails by using gravity hot water(convection ). Till you get the repair part. KFIELD is right, fix the problem , don't cover it up. All valves should be in auto/ closed with no call, make sure this is happening. Don't forget, DHW is a zone too!
 
  #34  
Old 02-27-03, 01:41 PM
Joe_F
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KField:

I hope I'm clear. As I have the valves now, the system works fine. The pump comes on, circulates, and goes off. The house is warm without a problem. Better than it has been in years. The thermostats only need to be on 65 or so and the house is very comfortable.

Let me clarify: I don't plan on leaving it this way! I just wasn't sure which way (flag up or down) is automatic operation. As I said, the valves are not conviently located, but my neighbor has 571-2 Tacos as well so I just looked at his to see which is auto and which is manual. He has some green ones and some gold ones. I have three green ones, but I have new gold power heads if I need them. I'll happily install them if they turn out to be the problem .

When I go home, I will shut the circulator off for two minutes or so, then I will put the flags "down" on these valves. That should be automatic operation, which is what we want.

In turn, I will be home this evening and monitor how the heat works and if the pump comes on and off like it should.

I don't want to drive you folks crazy, and I appreciate you bearing with me . I surely will report back how turning the flags down works for me. I want to fix it right.

I wish this forum would accept pictures. I would shoot you an image of the power heads to show you where the flags are now.

I'll reply back in a few hours when I get home and pull the flags down.

Thank you all!
 
  #35  
Old 02-27-03, 04:49 PM
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Joe_F:

I've put in a request to have the codes turned back on a while back but havn't heard anything.
I guess I'll have to beg.

We have been getting around it by finding a host and posting the link.
 
  #36  
Old 02-27-03, 06:06 PM
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Photos....

Man.... I had the same problem, nowhere to post a photo... I found one, at no cost.... msnusers.com
 
  #37  
Old 02-27-03, 09:56 PM
Joe_F
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Seems to be working fine! I'll keep you all posted. The flags are down now.

Thanks!
 
  #38  
Old 03-01-03, 07:01 AM
Joe_F
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Update:

Working fine, heat to all zones, all zone valve flags down (automatic) as they should be.

Perhaps the wrong heat anticipator setting on the stats was part of the problem?

I cannot say thanks enough for the support I've gotten here. I saved several hundred dollars, did it myself and learned in the process. A heartfelt thank you to all involved!

It is one of the reasons I came here to be a moderator and still enjoy it !
 
 

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