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erie zone valve issue

erieerie Member Posts: 3
I have older Erie zone valves. The issue is that the gears on the motor have stripped out the plastic gears on the valve lever (the lever with the spring tension on it). My question is - when the motor is activated, is it supposed to be de-activated (electrically) at some point during the zone valve operation? The motor keeps on running - which has put too much stress on the gears on the lever that opens the valve (in the open position which is the peak of tension by the spring) - and it has stripped out a gear tooth in the open position - thus causing a loud clicking noise during the zone operation. OR - is this just a case a fatigued plastic parts?

These Erie zone valves are 20 years old.


  • billtwocasebilltwocase Member Posts: 2,385

    I would recommend that you start replacing them with Honeywell.They power open, and spring closed. I have had many problems with those thru the years with stuff like the plastic gears stripping ,the flat rubber washer coming unattached, and end switches on those. The 24 volt motor can be replaced though. Poor man's Honeywell
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 7,080
    20 years!

    That is a pretty good life cycle for a mechanical part in a hydronic system. Manufacturers design for a certian amount of cycles. So it depends on how long of a heating season, how often the valves opens and closes per season, operating temperature, if the zones short cycle in shoulder season, etc.

    Most motorized, spring return valves power open and the motor goes into a stall, or becomes a heater really :)

    Fluid quality also plays into the life expectancy , as the the motor has to work to overcome the friction if dirty fluid gets into the shaft seals and bearings.

    Composites are becoming more common in hydronic devices, they don't conduct the heat from the pipe up into the motor like a brass or metal gear, same with the valve case. Keeping the heat away from the gear train, bearings, and motor will extend the life of the device.

    Composite cases also eliminate potential rust or corrosion when the valve is used in chilled water application and sweats.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • erieerie Member Posts: 3

    Well, I spoke to my brother (the guy who installed the zone valves in 1993). He said he bought 4 extra valves back then -- and low-and-behold - tucked away in the attic is 4 brand new shinny zone valves. Even though they are from 1993 - they are new too me!

    Bill - these valves power open and spring closed just like the ones you mentioned. I was just wondering if when they power up - (and the valve opens) - do they stay powered or do they loose power..BUT as I read hot rods' post I see that they 'go into stall' or limbo land with power applied. And - hotrod - they sure do become a 'heater'.

    Thanks a lot for the info....Now I must bust my brothers ass because he didn't put a stinkin ball valve in to isolate each zone --- rrrrrrrr...
  • kcoppkcopp Member Posts: 2,774
    edited February 2013
    If you have....

    the direct replacement all you need to do is swap out the head and you should be good to go... no need to get into the copper. Just two torx head screws @ 2 & 8 o'clock.
  • erieerie Member Posts: 3

    I swapped the entire valve for a new one. The fittings that held the valve in place were threaded - kinda like a union on each side of valve.

    kcopp - the issue wasn't with the motor, it was with the plastic (composite) lever with teeth (valve stem paddle) that ride on the gear of the motor. The teeth stripped, and the motor gear would keep running - causing a loud click. To change the part that failed the removal of those screws (mine are old phillips head, not torx LOL) only gets you half way there. You must remove the jesus clip - retain the spring and remove the 'valve stem paddle' (as it is referred to in the repair kit). It would have been impossible to do in place anyway - so removal was the only option.

    I also can see that there is a erie zone valve "c' class repair kit available for around $27 bucks. It has the part that failed (the valve stem paddle) - I guess I will rebuild the one I took out, fill it with vegetable oil, and store it - to have another spare.
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