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Why Use 4 Wires When You Can Use 10?

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8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab

Comments

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,882
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    And now for the rest of the story



    mattmia2HomerJSmithEdTheHeaterMan
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,734
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    Power open power close modulating valve?
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    All I know so far from the owner is that an a/c refrigeration mechanic named Virgil installed his system. Y'all remember Virgil?
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,457
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    So what does the relay go to?
    Rick
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,572
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    I am guessing they screwed the little relay on there to run the circ.
    I was reaching around in a dark in an attic a couple of years back and touched a 480-volt fan relay that was wired like that. I felt pretty lucky to not get bit :)
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    EdTheHeaterManSolid_Fuel_Man
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,607
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    i would guess the valve is power open and power closed with a spdt relay doing the job. maybe the thermostat was only two wire or the thermostat contacts were not heavy enough to do the job.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
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    I used to work w a guy who would always do stuff like that , hide low voltage splice and convert all t stat wiring to a10 wire and leave no wiring collar code ,he stated it was for job security but he never did service or went back to his jobs . So I know that it was a-pain for anyone to figure out his wiring without a lot wasting time even funnier when he would cross wire something and have to re check his own wiring total waste of time yet very funny for myself as I watched and would shake my head and think what a jack . It s always amazing what some will do to either avoid picking up some new wire or just use what they have and stick it to some down the road expertly .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,044
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    Zman said:

    I am guessing they screwed the little relay on there to run the circ.
    I was reaching around in a dark in an attic a couple of years back and touched a 480-volt fan relay that was wired like that. I felt pretty lucky to not get bit :)

    Off Topic: (but what topic is this random post about anyway)
    I remember in the 1970's when I was doing oil burner maintenance (We called them "Clean-outs" back in the day). Back then, about 1/2 of the heaters were still Coal Conversions with oil burners retrofitted from the 1940s. I had lost my flashlight. I was told to enter the home from the back basement door. The basement light was off. Most basement light switches were at the top of the basement stairs. ...and I could not see a thing in the basement. I'm probably 17 or 18 years old at the time.

    Now that the stage is set... here is my idea. Since I can't see a thing, and I could hear the oil burner running, If I could just find my way to the big burner door and open it, the flame would offer enough light to make out where the basement stairs were. Then I could make my way up the stairs to the light switch. ...eazy pezy, right?

    Blind as a bat, I feel my way through the cluttered basement in the direction of the all familiar oil burner sound. I felt the warmth of the boiler as i got closer and closer. I proceeded to feel my way around the boiler. Eventually getting closer and closer to the most familiar motor and ignition sound. Without the aid of the sense of vision, my hands are touching each individual part of the mechanism until I found myself jolted across the room about 6 feet. You guessed it! I touched a live 10,000 Volt ignition wire for the second time in my oil burner career. (on my first experience the guy with me said, "We all do it once, and you'll never do that again")

    After about 10 minutes of recovery, I exited the basement of the home and found a hardware store where I purchased a brand new flashlight. I returned to the basement to find the light switch at the top of the steps. I looked at the contraption that was heating the home and discovered the boiler was made by a company called Bethlehem Dynatherm. As unique as the down-fire GE boiler, there was nothing standard about this burner. All the parts were positioned haphazardly around the front door (if you could call it a door) of the boiler with an Ignition transformer just attached to some bracket with the ignition wires just dangling from the exposed electrode terminals thereto.

    That was the SECOND and last time I ever did that.





    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes Member Posts: 4,035
    edited March 2022
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    @EdTheHeaterMan Did you find your flashlight? I'd call that a shocking discovery! Feeling your way in a dark boiler room sounds kinda' fun on a bad day. :)

    So, I haven't been to this job yet so I don't know the details of the wiring, but I do believe that it is a power open-power close zone valve. I wanted to see what everyone's imaginations told compared to what was banging around in my head. I'll report back once I've been out there.
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    EdTheHeaterMan
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,044
    edited March 2022
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    @Alan (California Radiant) Forbes

    You are correct about power open / power close. Take this with you. Must have a matching thermostat to make this operate properly. Also the valve rotates in the same direction making 90° turns on each 1/2 cycle. On 2 calls for heat and subsequent satisfied thermostat... the valve will rotate 360°

    diagram from this one page document:

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyhouse.com/product_files/White Rodgers - 1311-102 - Wiring Guide.pdf

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    Haha!

    I just did a job which has 3 of those WhiteRogers power open/power closed valves. Another heating guy called me to see if I could get the new standard Honeywell valve he put in to work, and the customer wanted a WiFi thermostat too! 

    Well the 3 conductor thermostat wire was the ticket. This was a completly sheetrocked boiler room with exactly 12 inches to work in. One piece of 1/2" emt Coming from the ceiling with a box at the end and cables running all over to the 3 valves. No transformer to be seen. 

    I should have taken some pictures. Those old W-R zone valves are neat, but with 2 internal end switches, and the complex gearing they are a little complicated for no real good reason. I keep a pic in my "information" category on my phone to wire those. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,251
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    The relay could be sending 120v to a circulator?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream