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Taco Zone valve parts?

Have encountered a couple wax motor style 20 year old Taco valves in the last week where the stainless (I presume, might be some kind of chrome spring steel, didn't have a magnet) wafer or c-clip that engages the NC end switch had bent so that it did not open the switch when the valve closed, so the circulator kept running and the boiler kept temp. even when there was no actual call.

My field repair was just to slightly overbend the metal so that it reliably triggered (or really untriggered) the end switch.

Obviously, I'm concerned that if the metal bent on its own through use and I just bent it back, it will give way again much more quickly as the process will have fatigued the little wafer. This ought to be a 20 cent part, but so far nobody I deal with has owned up to what the inside of one of these heads looks like or availability of any parts, they just offer the kit for rebuilding the valve side, and/or a whole new head either of which costs like 2 bucks less than a whole new valve.

Taco is (relatively speaking) right down the street from me in RI, so I can go over there and give them a hard time and see if they would cough up a couple, but if anyone has a source or if there are Taco trolls (meant lovingly) here as usual, I'd be glad to get pointed in the right direction.

I'm always the last to know since I have hated those zone valves and avoided them myself because of the commingling of the operation circuit and the end switch which I find unforgiveable design shortcut, but it sounds like TACO has a new line of motorized valve and this vast installed base is going to be archaic albeit serviceable for a while. It would be nice to be able to get parts.

Before the days of multi valve controllers which help to insure that multiple transformers don't get at loggerheads through that 3 wire design, I used to regularly encounter wiring nightmares with larger installations of multiple valves and transformers and we just stopped putting them in, although you can't avoid servicing them right here in TACO's backyard.

Perhaps the upside is that those kind of problems might have been among the inspirations for TACO to push out front on multi-zone controllers intergrated with the logic explosion, and I have found generally at a more working class price point, so I suppose there might be an upside to this design I have long despised.

I'm sure I'm only starting an age old argument here as to what zone valve is the best to use, historically and nowingly. Even when I was avoiding the TACO valves, I hadn't found any that focus on renewal as a strong suit, but I don't go through enough to remained constantly on top of it or trying different valves, and in repair work I mostly only see the TACO wax motors anyway. But if this is an excuse for anyone to sound off on favorites, go for broke.

Thanks, Brian


  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,322
    I am looking forward to

    the new valves Taco is introducing this year. I actually was one of the few guys who had good luck with the Taco ESB valves. Honeywells are the most popular around me. It is hard to find a part in Western Mass for any other zone valve, this means I end up using honeywells as I know the partswill be availible for other people who may need to work on the heating system.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,628
    Brian, go over to

    400 Charles Street in Providence to Automatic Heating I am sure they will help you out.

    By the way I have been adjusting that little arm on those for years and they work fine after a slight bending adjustment. They get out of calibration so to speak with all the opening and closing of the valve.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    tim, that's where i bin

    but i agree that Automatic is a shop to recommend.  they have the valve side rebuild but didn't cough up any other parts or parts breakdown. But I got to give Mike, Sean,Ted, etc. a hard time.

    Well, I'm glad to know you aren't getting callbacks a week later after those highly technical adjustments to the end switch plate.

    Still, with that large an installed base, you'd think they could get a little better parts operation. I haven't seen the new TACO valve yet, but my first inquery is going to be whether it is built to be maintained with partys that don't cost as much as a brand new valve.


  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,628
    Brian, most controls today are not

    what they used to be with replacable components, that is just the way it is due to liability concerning non-professionals repairing equipment. Take what Automatic wants to sell you and be happy.
  • archibald tuttle
    archibald tuttle Member Posts: 1,085
    . . . but


    the parts they sell aren't the parts that are broken. If it was just a question that I had to get a kit rather than a single part, I could have to weigh the cost of that versus bending the plate, but the kit they sell is not for the electric or control side of the valve.  Non-expert repairs simply does not explain this phenomenon. Non-expert repairs can be made as readily with whole parts and kits as with individual parts.

    I do take your point that we have a throwaway mentality on components, that these commodity pieces cost 60 bucks and most folks (even professionals) will just put another one in because if they get a callback for a different failure on the same valve the homeowner might think they got cheated on the first repair. And it is hard to fault a valve that worked for 15 or 20 years. But with the quantity of those valves in servicew marketed over an arc approach 2 generations, once one identifies a simple easily remedied problem area that could be conveniently serviced, I do fault a manufacturer (not the wholesaler if that was unclear in my last post) that doesn't respond to service needs for its own widely used devices.

    How am I to imagine they will give a crap about helping me service their new line of zone valves that is 25% more expensive than competitive offerings around here. Maybe, once the valve has been in service for a long time and if they can demonstrate it has a 25% longer life they would have a marketing argument, but in the meantime, belief that they aggressively support their products is the only thing that could attract me, so a little thing like this really gets my attention.

    Another good example was Heatmaker/Teledyne/Laars 9600s (and presumably other models that use what is alternatively (and thus confusingly) labeled as the Thermostatic or Diverter Valve). The parts breakdown does not list the o-ring seal for the top of the housing for this valve. At least when I made a stink because the valve is a $300 part and the only problem is a bad o-ring, I was able to get somebody at Heatmaker to concede that there was a part number for that o-ring. I gave that to the wholesaler and was able to order them. Even that is too much of a run-around in my opinion. They did list a gasket kit, but nobody could tell me what was in it.

    Lack of good parts and service information is a strike against a manufacturer for me. It isn't because I object to a throwaway culture where that is more economically efficient. But buying a $300 part to get a 30 cent o-ring doesn't qualify as economically efficient.

    Am I the only one who made noise about this. If so, maybe they are right to withhold parts information from their distribution network and hope for planned  obselesence to swell their bottom line. As far as I'm concerned, it borders on a design flaw in the first place to use that slim an o-ring in that diameter in such a critical high heat location. Believe me, the new ones go in with the companionship of high temp silicone. Had the same kind of failures with Sparcovent o-rings and difficulty even getting new o-rings to seal properly once I obtained them which me right off of those units (another disappointment for a locally manufactured product.

    Well, guess I just wanted to vent, pun intended as an afterthought.


This discussion has been closed.