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zoned heating, actuator clicking when slave tries to turn on gas furnace

ginasginas Member Posts: 5
Getting VERY frustrated. Son- in- law tested power at slave thermostat, Power from new slave thermostat seems to send a signal to actuator from the slave and there is a clicking in the actuator which I had replace w/ a Honeywell compatible actuator last May. Guy from "Home Advisor" refuses to come back. Spent 3 hours here and installed it. Apparently, he did not know what he was doing. I digress. Main thermostat turns on and off the furnace (Thank God). Slave in family room makes the new actuator "click" (my daughter said that the clicking was coming from the actuator)but does not turn on the furnace. Is there a way to test the power GOING in and coming OUT of the actuator. Seems that there are 2 wires going in and one coming out. Too bad my son-in-law and his father (a contractor) live 85 miles away. Need to get this resolved. I spent $500 and am right back where I started. PSE&G sent me on a wild goose chase before all this analysis started. Please help. My feeling is that the tester which my son- in- law used at the slave thermostat wires after he removed it should be able to detect a signal going into the actuator and coming out.


  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,600
    You are talking forced hot air heat correct. For now why not just manually open the damper and let the main stat heat the house until you can get someone there to fix it. Pictures would help.
  • ginasginas Member Posts: 5
    Yes,, it is forced hot air. We have been just using the master. However, we would like to have true 2 zone since our only other option, besides calling an "expert", is to put the wire into the wall and spackle it up. We are going to finally put the house on the market in April and we want all things working. Have had an HVAC person come in, on PSE&G's recommendation, took me months to get back my service fee back after 3 pricing people stopped by. What a rip off! They wanted to reroute our whole system to the tune of $1,500 plus. I will first wait for my son-in-law to return. I took Physics in college, but that was a long, long time ago. I hate this! My plumber, who is also an electrician, said that he would recommend someone if worse comes to worse. He said that his neighbor is ALWAYS having damper problems. Just so happy that the Master is working! I really just want to be able to understand this. Does the actuator turn on the furnace as well as open the damper? As I said, there are 2 wires going in and one coming out of it to the furnace. I guess I answered my own question (or not)
  • ginasginas Member Posts: 5
    I found a review of a M837(???). Apparently, the clicking is due to stripped plastic gears inside the actuator. Don't see how that happened since I put the actuator in last May. It works fine w/ just the Master. So... I guess it is just a wasted $500 plus HOURS if my time researching.
  • unclejohnunclejohn Member Posts: 1,600
    Can you tell if the damper is open or closed? Sometimes the dampers are powered open, and closed. Normally the zone controller turns the furnace on and off. Personally I would remove the damper and go with a main thermostat for operation.
  • John Mills_5John Mills_5 Member Posts: 935
    If an old Trol A Temp damper, I'd replace with a modern damper and not put a new actuator on it. Those old blades get stiff. If budget permits, new panel, dampers & stats too.

    The panel turns on the furnace. If an old TAT damper it is PO/PC.
  • ginasginas Member Posts: 5
    I have decided to have my son-in-law use a clamp AMP meter. Sometimes the simplest answer is the best answer. I am thinking that the power is going into the actuator from the slave thermostat and not coming out to the furnace. I think that the damper is always open, and hence we always have heat throughout the house and added family room from the master thermostat. I think that the guy from Home Advisor who took 3 hours here put it together wrong and there is not a closed circuit before the actuator reaches a certain point and turns off. MAKES ME MAD! If that is the case. I will call Reinhart HVAC whom I should have called in the first place. They bought the furnace guy's business when he retired years ago. We have had excellent service from them twice for the stand alone AC in the addition with it's own furnace. Thanks for all of the help you have all offered. I am tenacious and WILL get to the bottom of this!
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Many clamp meters do not measure low loads well. A low or no reading may not be something you can trust.
  • ginasginas Member Posts: 5
    Spoke to my son in law yesterday and he said that he could use the meter that he tested the wires where the slave thermostat is. By chance, I saw a Reiner truck in the shopping center when I went to have lunch w/ a friend. I walked over and had a conversation w/ him. I told him what was going on and how I thought I should diagnose it (as above). He just kind of nodded his head. I got his card, complimented his company on the excellent service we had from them in the past and got the fees. Not too bad if the wiring is incorrect within the actuator. That is what I am thinking. If that is the case, I am going to give Home Advisor a piece of my mind . Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and New Years everyone! Better times are coming since this is the year to retire to NC!
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