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Circulating pumps vs zone valves

BenWoj Member Posts: 33
Ever Since we've bought our new house, we've been remodeling and have only been using one zone out of the 4 to heat our house. Thinking about how I'm going to control my zones are now on my mind.

I've read that a constant circulation (variable speeds) in the zones is a great way to keep your temperatures constant, but a lot of set ups I've seen are zoned and only circulate when called. What is the ideal set-up for geothermal zones? Multiple circulators, or one circulator with multiple zone valves?


  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    How are the zones laid out? My preference is to zone almost exclusively for external gains (solar, woodstove, kitchen, etc.) and intermittent occupancy (guest wing, shop, studio, etc.)

    TRV's play far nicer with ODR and constant recirc than zone valves do.
  • BenWoj
    BenWoj Member Posts: 33
    I'm not to familiar with what TRV stands for. Could you explain a little more?

    Zones are currently set up as followed

    Zone 1- kitchen, dinning room
    Zone 2 - living room
    Zone 3 - master bedroom & bathroom
    Zone 4 - 2 small bedrooms
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    TRV = Thermostatic Radiator Valve a nonelectric proportional flow control that regulates air temperature. They've been around for something like 75 years IIRC and they "just work." On/off zone valves and tightly tuned ODR are not really compatible IME.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Its my long held experience that the human body can tell temperatures better than we can tell time.

    With a properly set thermostat like a T87F Honeywell round thermostat, if you set it at 70 degrees and leave it alone in a room, and you are sitting in a chair watching TV, reading a book or similarly occupied, when you first start to feel cool and notice it, you will not have the energy to get up and turn up the thermostat so you go back to what you are doing. Within a few minutes, you will hear the heat come on. As the room heats up, you will then after some time, realize that the room is getting hot. But you don't have the ambition to get up and lower the thermostat. A few minutes later. you will hear the heat stop. This phenomenon occurs within 2 to 3 degrees. Even with constant circulation, it still occurs. The human body is as accurate as a mechanical thermostat. Ask any mother who has bottle fed a baby. They squirt the warm formula on to the inside of their arm to see if it will burn the precious wonder's mouth.

    Zone valves are a wonderful thing for comfort.

    Cheap too.