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Heat in one zone but not the other

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gymnast46
gymnast46 Member Posts: 5
edited February 2023 in Oil Heating
Hoping you folks can help. I'm in Vermont and we're expecting windchills of -40 tonight. All zones in our house are fine but one of the two zones in the apartment out back isn't working. I replaced the thermostat with one that I know works but no luck. The second floor is heating nicely but not the first. The status light flashes blue as it's supposed to.
In the last picture the bottom of the pipe on the right is hot but is cold higher up. With the plunging temps tonight, every serviceman in town will be already booked. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.






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  • gymnast46
    gymnast46 Member Posts: 5
    edited February 2023
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    .
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    Hard to figure the whole layout... and I'll refrain from commenting on using a water heater as a boiler.

    OK. Having said that. In the picture showing the service tag, I note a manifold (threaded iron pipe) towered the bottom with two copper pipes coming up. One has a valve that says Apt 1st and the other has a valve that says Apt 2nd. The one that says Apt 1st you show the pipe above the valve as cold and the pipe below the valve as hot.

    There's your problem. That valve isn't opening. There is likely to be a lever on the valve somewhere which you can move to open the valve manually -- see if you can find it. Or find where the two wires from your thermostat attach to it, and jump a wire (insulated, please where you hold it) across the two terminals and see if that opens the valve.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • gymnast46
    gymnast46 Member Posts: 5
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    Thanks for getting back with me.

    I touched a jumper wire between the red and white contacts and it produced a small spark. I figured I'd better not continue doing that.


  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,127
    edited February 2023
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    Deleted post.

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,280
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    Interesting. I presume you didn't leave it on there long enough to see if the valve opened? What the spark indicated is that either the thermostat connected to the other end of those two wires wasn't calling for heat at that time -- or that there is a break in one of those two wires.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • gymnast46
    gymnast46 Member Posts: 5
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    I'm out of my element with knowledge in this area. The system was woring fine yesterday but stopped over night. Frigid temps are expected today and tonight but it wasn't that cold when it stopped working so I kind of doubt that frozen pipes are involved (yet).
  • leonz
    leonz Member Posts: 1,127
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    Hello gymnast46,

    The first photos you provided for us are for the water heater not the hot water heating system.

    It will be faster for you to hire an electrician for an hour to find the problem if it is the zone valve that is defective for the first floor apartment.

    Once the electrician takes the cover off the zone valve for the first floor apartment he can test it to see if it is operating correctly by using a jumper wire.

  • gymnast46
    gymnast46 Member Posts: 5
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    Thanks leonz. This shows my ignorance. Thanks for the explanation. Finding an electrician (or plumber or any type of contractor) for that matter is tough at any time but especially tonight. Its currently -19 degrees with lower temps and high winds forecast. Happily, I finally got a propane fireplace working in the apartment so the tenant gets a little relief from the cold.