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Add-a-vent Damper not opening

sapana
sapana Member Posts: 5
When my Carrier furnace was installed approx 18-20 years ago they talked me into adding an "add-a-zone" damper to regulate the heat going upstairs. It is now stuck in the closed position and I can't get it to open so no heat is going upstairs. The valve is controlled by a totaline star remote thermostat model PE110RF. I have changed the batteries on the thermostat but the valve is still not opening. Is there a way to manually open the damper valve or disable the add-a-vent so the valve will open up?

Thanks in advance for any advice or ideas.
Steve

Comments

  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,185
    Post a pic of the damper. (Use the little picture icon right above the text box.)

    Often zone dampers are power-close spring-open, it may be as easy as removing one (low voltage, non hazardous) wire to get it to open temporarily, until repairs can be made.

  • sapana
    sapana Member Posts: 5
    Thank you - hopefully this pic will suffice?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,542
    I have many questions about this....
    sapana
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,890
    Does the system have power ? is there any lights on the receiver ? Did the thermostat loose communicating with the receiver ?
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • sapana
    sapana Member Posts: 5
    Big Ed 4 - yes everything functions and heater works except the damper won't open. Is there a way to test / check the communication link between the thermostat and the add a vent receiver?

    Thanks
    Steve
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,890
    It should show if the thermostat and receiver is communicating . You can goggle that . It is what I would do... If all is good I would chech to see if voltage is opening up the damper . Do you have and know how to use a voltmeter ?
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,185
    Can you tell how many wires are going into the actuator, the thing with the blue tape on it? In the curved slot at the top of it there is a little teat between the two screws at either end. That shows the position of the actuator. (Closed, as you suspected.) If there are only two wires going into the actuator, just take one apart at the wire nut (orange cap screwed onto the wires to keep them together). It should open up, takes a few seconds & will make a whining kind of sound.

    That should get the heat back to upstairs long enough for a service tech to make it out to you.

  • sapana
    sapana Member Posts: 5
    Ratio, there are 3 wires (white, brown, red) running to the actuator (see attached photo) - there is a loud buzzing sound coming from the actuator as well. Can I disconnect any of those wires to try and release the damper?

    Thanks Steve
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,890
    It seems to be an power open ,power close damper ... Brown is common , red open and white close . So it would not be an spring open damper ..
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    sapana
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,330
    edited January 2020
    ratio said:

    Can you tell how many wires are going into the actuator, the thing with the blue tape on it? In the curved slot at the top of it there is a little teat between the two screws at either end. That shows the position of the actuator. (Closed, as you suspected.) If there are only two wires going into the actuator, just take one apart at the wire nut (orange cap screwed onto the wires to keep them together). It should open up, takes a few seconds & will make a whining kind of sound.

    That should get the heat back to upstairs long enough for a service tech to make it out to you.

    I would not recommend this. If you tie the wires to the actuator motor together, you will short out your transformer and destroy it.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    pecmsgsapana
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,185
    Zman said:

    ratio said:

    Can you tell how many wires are going into the actuator, the thing with the blue tape on it? In the curved slot at the top of it there is a little teat between the two screws at either end. That shows the position of the actuator. (Closed, as you suspected.) If there are only two wires going into the actuator, just take one apart at the wire nut (orange cap screwed onto the wires to keep them together). It should open up, takes a few seconds & will make a whining kind of sound.

    That should get the heat back to upstairs long enough for a service tech to make it out to you.

    I would not recommend this. If you tie the wires to the actuator motor together, you will short out your transformer and destroy it.
    Ahhh, that parenthesis was just a description of what the wires looked like. I guess I wasn't too clear, sorry for the confusion. In any case, as @Big Ed_4 noted, it's a power-open power-closed actuator, so removing power to it won't result in it closing. That's why I said 'If there are only two wires…'

    The fact that it's buzzing tells me that it's powered & likely trying to open. Take a small screwdriver or something similar & gently try and help the little teat to move towards the other side of the curved slot. If you get it to move, then you can remove the red wire from the top of the white module & carefully isolate/insulate it with a wire nut/electrical tape to disable the add-a-zone.

    Again, this is a temporary fix to get heat upstairs, until the problem can be properly located & repaired.

    sapana
  • sapana
    sapana Member Posts: 5
    Thank you everyone! At this point I think I'm going to just schedule someone to come out and repair it - appreciate everyone's input! Thx
    Steve