Three of four zones, baseboard heat, warm house, why not fourth
Just the other day the upper floor zone baseboard heaters stopped working and that floor is not at about 60 degees F. I replaced the zone valve in case that was the problem however the pipes for that zone remain cool while all of the others are very hot.
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Re: three of four zones, baseboard heat, warm house, why...
Go to the last heater in the zone and look for a bleed off valve so you can get the air out of the system. you may have to bleed it off several times as the air works itself thru the system. usually there is a automatic air vent on the very highest point that the system has. Let me know if this helps and have a Merry Christmas
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typically hydronic systems like that need to be bled, start with the highest radiator, the bleed valve have a little square head and you need to have a key that fits them, most supply HVAC houses have them sitting on the counter but you can ask them for one.
Choose two colors of the thermostat wire, and connect them to the NO and COM and connect them to the zone control board leads for the zone intended. Almost all zone valves spring return open when deenergized. So ensure the zone valve is open with the system is off. At the base of zone valve there is a set screw that needs to engage the damper valve shaft in the open position with the motor in the spring release position. Most zone valve are 90 degree moment from full open to full shut. If you have a Carrier zone valve, they go full open to full shut in 45 degrees of motion. Your open stop need to be set so the valve stops in the full stop position.
To help understand the operation of a zone system, say you have 2 zone system and zone 1 thermostat initiates a heat or cool demand. Zone 2 valves energizes and shuts and zone 1 stays open and allow air to heat/ cool zone 1. If zone 2 thermostat simultaniously initiates the same heat/cool demand, the zone 2 valve opens and both zone heat/cool. When either thermostat is satisfied the opposite zone valve closes and when both thermostat are satisfied both zone valves open.
Hope this helps you understand zone operation. The same works for higher multizone systems.
there could be a few things causing this, the first would be a bad thermostat. The second would be an improper setting of a heat anticipator on the thermostat, the third could be a stuck zone valve that is allowing heat to go in the zone as another zone is calling. Or it could be a stuck flow check also allowing hot water to flow through the zone much like a stuck zone valve.
If your thermostat is an older one with Mercury in it, replace it with a new one and dispose of properly. If the thermostat is newer, remove the cover or consult the owners manual to see if there is an adjustment that shuts off the thermostat a bit sooner to compensate for the heat that will be released from the system so you do not overshoot your setting on the thermostat. There may be either DIP switches to adjust the setting or a small pointer that slides over a small coil of wire and acts like a dimmer switch. Try adjusting and testing the system to see if it helps. Remember the original settings in case it does not help.
If you have zone valves (small boxes that allow flow of water to the zone) it may be stuck open allowing water to flow into that zone as another zone calls. You can test this by feeling the pipes at a baseboard when you know that the zone over heating is not calling for heat (turn thermostat to lowest setting). Check other zones to see if there is a call for heat in one of them. Make sure you adjust one of the other zones to force a call for heat in it, After a few minutes, feel the pipes in the zone overheating and see if the pipes are getting hot (be careful). This is the same test to check for a stuck flow check valve.
I'm not a fan of zoning but it sounds like they don't have the ducting done correctly. There has to be bleeder trunks installed in the unit because your are taking a unit that is designed to cool or heat a particular square footage and make it cool or heat a smaller area. This makes the unit way too big for the job you are asking it to do. If the ducting is improper, you are going to have issues like this. A lot of contractors will not admit that the ducting isn't correct due to the cost to correct it. I personally think (my opinion) that 4 zones are a little excessive. Sounds like you really need 2 units. It's hard to tell from my point of view since I'm not there to actually see what is going on. I would have a couple of different contractors come out and give you an estimate to fix the issue and then tell the installer to come and fix what they say is wrong.
is the system zoned? if so maybe the zoning control board to the damper motor is wired improperly. when a system freezez its because of 1- restricted air flow across coil, (maybe dirty filter) or 2-low refrigerant charge. again could depend on how its zoned.
pretty vague, but i'll give it a shot. i assume that your upper and lower floors are heated by the same unit. of course if your not sure you better check to see if there is a second t stat for up stairs in case there is a second unit that heats it. there may also be a zoning system that seals off upstairs ducts unless the zone stat for that area is calling for heat. so look for a second stat upstairs if you think it may be zoned. now to you original question. lets assume the unit is not zoned and only one unit heats both. then you may have a mechanical damper in the ductwork ,usually located close to the indoor blower that shifts to force more air upstairs in summer and more air downstairs in winter, these can usually be shifted as needed to control air to upper lower and are usually marked upstairs dornstairs etc. if you have no dampers etc, then you have reason to suspect the ductwork has come apart or been crushed before it gets upstairs. you'll have to go up or under the house etc and try to find duct problems.good luck