No Heat Upstairs Zone

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  #1  
Old 11-13-11, 07:49 AM
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No Heat Upstairs Zone

Hi. My upstairs heating zone is not activating. The thermostat indicates that it is calling for heat ("Heat On"), but the boiler doesn't seem to fire up. Also, the pipe on the upside of the TACO valve remains slightly warm at best.

For comparison, when I activate the first floor zone, the boiler fires up and then the lower floor zone pipe above and below the TACO valve because extremely hot.

I replaced the head on the TACO valve earlier this year and that solved my problem. Could it be the same thing again this soon?

I have bled the system already to check for air and there did not appear to be any.

I am a little confused because when I call for heat on the upper floor alone, the boiler does not kick on. (oil) It does for lower zone.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 08:54 AM
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New developments. After running the downstairs zone which was always working, I shut the thermostat off and decided to do a simple exchange of the two thermostats to see if it would reveal a problem in the upstairs zone thermostat.

I switched them and immediately went down to the boiler. There I found that both the TACO valves were hot AND the pipes above and below both valves (including the previously cold one) were now hot. It appeared that now, the valve was passing hot water through to both pipe zones and functioning properly.

Yet still no heat upstairs.

I then tried to check if there was air to bleed out of the system and, as far as I can telll there was none.

And still the boiler also does not trigger on unless calling for heat to the downstairs zone.
 
  #3  
Old 11-13-11, 09:55 AM
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When I manually open the TACO valve for the non-functioning upper floor zone, the boiler starts and the heat goes on. Bad TACO valve head again?

I am waiting to see how well it heats.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 10:30 AM
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The thermostat in each loop sends a signal to the pump/circulator to run and at the same time opens the motorised valve to let the water circulate. For hot water to pass through the valve it must be returning to the boiler. Check to see if the return pipe is hot. If it is, then probably someone has turned off or down the radiator valves.
Did you do a visual on the motorised valve, is it turning.
 
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Old 11-13-11, 01:19 PM
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Thanks Perry.

If I understand your response correctly, I think you are thinking of a radiator system. Mine is not a radiator system.

Does that change your response in any way? Or am I missing something in the terminology?

Thanks again. I appreciate your time.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 02:23 AM
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Correct. Nevertheless all liquid based systems are controlled the same way.
 
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Old 11-14-11, 06:20 PM
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With all due respect to Perry525, but that description of how the system works is incorrect.

The thermostat, upon a call for heat, closes the R/W circuit, & sends power (24 VAC) to the zone valve. Once the zone valve opens, it closes a circut between the middle & bottom terminals (presuming the valve to be a 571 series) which in turn closes the T/T circuit in the aquastat on the boiler & causes the burner &/or circulator to run via relays in the aquastat.

jjd1965,
To answer your question about the zone valve head: It certainly sounds like you have another bad one but before you replace it, you need to do some testing. Post back if you need help in that area.
 
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Old 11-15-11, 10:27 PM
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Oddly enough, I opened the valve manually and it heated the upper zone. I then closed it manually and left it on while I went out to take care of some things. Upon my return I found that the valve was opening and closing as called for by the thermostat and is now functioning properly.

What do you think?
 
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Old 11-16-11, 02:38 PM
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Could have simply been stuck or the end switch contacts may have needed that one time manual opening. If it continues to work properly, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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Old 11-19-11, 03:30 PM
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Well, the heat is back out again unless I open the valve manually.

Would you please advise me of the testing steps to determine if replacement is required?

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-19-11, 03:37 PM
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When you open the valve manually, is the lever hard to move the entire length of travel or just near the end? Do you have a volt meter & know how to use it?
 
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Old 11-19-11, 08:04 PM
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Thanks.

It is hard to move the entire length of the travel.

I do have a volt meter and have used it before. Yes.

I appreciate your help.
 
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Old 11-19-11, 08:18 PM
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With the lever being hard to move the entire length of travel tells me the valve is not opening & the problem goes beyond just the end switch. Time for some meter use:
Disconnect the wire on terminal #1. Connect the meter to that wire & terminal #2. With the stat not calling for heat you shoud not get 24 volts & with the stat calling for heat you should get 24 volts on your meter. If this is not the case, remove the stat & install a jumper between R (Rh) & W. If you now get 24 volts, the stat is the problem. Try that & we'll continue if needed.
 
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Old 11-20-11, 07:22 AM
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Thanks. Quick question. I have the same thermostats calling for heat on both levels. I switched them before and still had the same problem still on the same upper zone. Both are set up/wired the same.

Would this not mean that the problem is not the thermostats? They have been set up this way for years since before I owned the house.

Thanks for all your help.
 
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Old 11-20-11, 07:58 AM
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Having switched stats & the problem remaining, it's pretty safe to presume the stat isn't the source of the trouble.

If you don't get the voltage readings you should, there could be a problem with the wiring between the stat & valve.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 08:54 AM
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Well, guess what. I replaced the TACO valve and everything was fine. Heat working as it should, problem solved.

At some point last night, my entire heating system failed. Despite the fact that both thermostats are calling for heat, the boiler is not firing and no heat is being produced on either upstairs or downstairs zone.

The water pressure had increased significantly within the boiler, so bled some of the water out,

When I opened both TACO valves manually, it made no difference at all. The boiler does not fire. The new TACO valve when opened manually has some resistance, the older TACO valve when pushed to open does not give any resistance at all.

It looks like the Thermostats are calling for heat, but boiler is not firing.

UPDATE: Hit reset button on boiler and it started. Kicked up a little smoke but that dissipated. I am assuming I am OK but waiting for house to heat up.
 

Last edited by jjd1965; 12-10-11 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 12-10-11, 11:42 AM
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I presume the boiler is oil fired. If you can provide a make & model of the boiler, I might be able to find out some burner specs.
When was the last time the burner was serviced?
 
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Old 12-10-11, 11:50 AM
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It appears to be a R4184 D 1027 Honeywell. The breaker keeps popping, so I guess I need a service call unfortunately. I thought they last cleaned it as a part of another service call about 1 year ago, maybe 18 months tops, but I think closer to 1 year.

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-10-11, 11:55 AM
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The smoke is an indication of the burner attempting to fire but for some reason failed to do so. The causes are numerous.
 
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