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chattering and buzzing in control panel

rofey Member Posts: 5
I have a propane boiler heating 8 zones, 4 radiant, 3 baseboard, and one for the hot water tank...all having worked well for almost 10 years. One baseboard zone causes a chattering (rapid clicking on and off) and now also a buzzing in the Argo ARM 6P control panel on the wall. I have tried two different thermostats and no thermostat (connecting the stat wires together manually) and continue to get the buzzing and chattering. We originally thought the problem was in the Argo control panel and replaced that, but still have the same issue. I have swapped switches in the panel from zones that are working to this problem zone but it hasn't helped. What should I do next?


  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,309
    What other controls do you have? The 6P is for 6 zones, you have 8.
    I'm confused as to what is actually chattering, and what is buzzing.
    I would make sure the 120v power is clean, then check the transformer going to the gas valve first, and work my way back to the panel thru the aquastat and other controls.

    If you could, either sketch out all the wiring, or look thru the manual and pick a wiring diagram that represents what you have. IOM.pdf
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 4,195
    Buzzing from the Argo board but what's the rapid clicking from? Thermostat?
    Is the thermostat heat only or A/C also?
    Is it a battery power thermostat or 24v powered?
    Buzzing and clicking noises from a cube relay in a zone board is sometimes the result of voltage from another source like a fan or time delay relay from an air handler or any 24v source in an HVAC system other than what comes from the board.
    See what happens if you remove the thermostat wires in the zone board (for the trouble zone) and then jump TT or RW on the board for that same zone. The noise should stop because you've eliminated the board itself. Be careful with the wires you remove. Dont ground them as they might be carrying (low 24v) voltage.
  • rofey
    rofey Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for your responses Steve & HVACNUT.
    I've attached some pictures below to hopefully help.
    Re: 8 zones, We have a smaller second panel for the other two zones. I've had no problem with them.
    This system is only for heat, baseboard and radiant, no AC.
    Steve - I'm not sure how to check that my 120 is "clean" or check the transformer and aquastat. I'm also not sure how to describe the wiring, I hope the pictures might help. I can say the Tstat wire goes to zone valve controller first with a return to the panel and also wire running between each controller so they are all in some way connected. It is all basically 2 wire tstat wire. (some with 3 wires but only 2 are used)
    The buzzing and clicking is in the panel and seems to be in a cube (the first from the left next to an orange block) as it rapidly clicks (when calling for heat) the LED light lights up in time with the click. When another zone clicks on, the buzzing and clicking in the problem zone stops.
    I jumped the tstat terminals for the problem zone and there was no clicking, the LED lit up (which it hasn't for some time).
    I then bypassed the original tstat wiring with new wiring from thermostat to the zone valve (where it goes first) and also replaced the wire back to the control panel. However it still buzzed and clicked. So original wiring doesn't seem to be bad.
    With wiring and tstat seemingly cleared I started to look at the zone valve controller more closely. When I manually pushed in the switch with my screw driver tip, the panel started clicking. However, while calling for heat - and clicking - I didn't get power on the orange wire at all. (the zone valve controller on the zone next to it showed power on that wire when calling for heat)
    Also the pump showed power and ran when I used the jumper at the tstat terminals for this zone, however when i used the normal set up the power tester lit up only in time with the clicking.
    I do get heat through the zone when another zone is circulating.
    What should I try next?

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,326
    I’m impressed
    Zone valve with a circulator per zone!

    With all that wiring any # of connections or switches or relays could be week.
    Get someone in there with a meter and start checking everything!
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,309
    That is quite the mess...lots of wires.
    All that work and they used, and incorrectly installed, an air scoop.
    Check valves would’ve been better than zone valves, and no wiring, don’t know why both were used.
    How are the zone valves powered? What is the VA rating of the transformer?
    Do you have thermostats calling zone valves, and their respective end switches going to T-T on the zone panel to turn on the circulators?

    From the manual

    Your new Argo ARM control should work well with all standard and most programmable setback thermostats. In the event the programmable thermostat you are using causes the control board relays to chatter, you will require an external 24V power supply (transformer) and an Argo IR882 Isolation Relay. Please refer to the literature with the IR882 for proper wiring and transformer sizing.
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,287
    OMG my electricians license is burning a hole in my pocket!!
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,689
    Wow. I've never seen so much unnecessary wiring and components. Can you just get rid the zone valve and run just the circulators? Thats really looking like an absolute nightmare.