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Power open/close zone valve won't activate

Hello, we have a hydronic heat system with 3 zones. The zone valve are all White Rodgers 1311 102  3/4 in. 
One of the zones is not activating, as in not automatically turning when calling for heat. I can hear something turning in the valve when the thermostat triggers, but the wheel visible and accessible on the exterior does not spin to open or close. I can manually spin the wheel to open and close the zone, but it will also not close when the thermostat heat setting is met. 
Not sure if the whole unit is bad, or just an easy repair. 
The valves are older than 8 years, and we are on city water for the supply.
I'm hoping I can get some tips on what to replace.
Thank you


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,536
    If you can manually spin the wheel, but it doesn't spin when you hear something inside spinning... odds are that a gear inside is stripped. May not be repairable.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 5,253
    edited October 2020
    I'm not familiar with that model but you should be able to pop off the actuator and leave the valve intact. You usually need to manually open it first. Unless the valve itself is jammed up. Try swapping it with one from another zone.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 19,891
    They are famous for breaking the spline connection between motor and spool, when they stick. If so you need to remove the base from the valve, isolate or drain system first. A couple small copper tabs below need to be pushed min to turn base and pull out.
    Some times the spool brakes from the base, then a vice grips is needed to pul the spool out of the body.
    If the motor spins around and around, it needs to be replaced, may as well buy the entire valve.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
    You are better off replacing the whole valve and any others like it with Honeywell, Taco or not to leave @Hot Rod out Caleffi.
  • woodbutcher
    woodbutcher Member Posts: 4
    well, upon further investigation it seems there is some bigger issues.
    I have three zones, all three runs are 3/4 copper.
    The three zone valves are aligned left to right.
    Left most is WR 1361-102 3/4", middle is WR 1311-103 1", and right is WR 1311-102 3/4". (WR is White Rodgers)
    The one I started this post on was the middle one (1311-103 1")
    Looked at the back to release the body of the controller from the sweat fitting/mount and saw a lot of corrosion around the seat area. Released the locking tab to rotate it and it will not spin. Rusted in place. Also started dripping a bit so there has been a leak for a while. Took the front cover off to expose the motor and gears, and see that while the thermostat calls for heat, the motor is turning the majority of plastic gears, but not the one that is buried back inside, that is likely linked to that metal bracket that engages the 'wheel' on the valve. Is there a solenoid that is enabled to push the metal bracket into the wheel when calling for heat? Seems there is a gap between them when assembled now.
    Anyway, checked the other two valves and found the one on left also won't spin when releasing the locking tab and a couple drops of water appeared. The one on the right came right off as it should when i released the locking tab.
    So now my question(s) are what to replace the middle one with? As there are three different units on there, i'm not certain why.
    Is any of those better than the others? Should i replace the one on the left, or just the seals as it is leaking slightly, assuming I can get it to detach from sweat fitting. Both left and right are working as they should right now, aside from droplets of water from left one.
    Thanks for your help
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 19,891
    It could be one is a two wire? They all fit into the same body.

    Then plus side is that valve is a high Cv plenty of flow capacity.

    The down side is they tend to seize up easily, maybe especially on an OWF application with rusty water?

    I prefer spring return type. But I work for a manufacturer of them.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • woodbutcher
    woodbutcher Member Posts: 4
    edited October 2020
    so looking at the White Rodgers Product list, I see that the one on the left that was dripping slightly, and will not turn when i release the locking tab on the backing plate is 1361-102 3/4" 2 wire with 23.5 Cv. Currently working fine other than dripping.
    The middle valve which controls the second story of house and which is nonfunctional and heavily corroded on the rear plate, is the 1311-103 1" 3 wire with 37.0Cv.
    The valve on right which seems the most functional of the three, is the 1311-102 3/4" 3 wire with the 23.5Cv.

    I plan to replace the whole middle unit, which is the 1311-103 1", but am curious if i need to order an additional 3/4" valve assembly F84 0433, as i believe that one comes with a 1" sweat fitting.
    My zones are all 3/4" copper and i dont see the sense in replacing the pipes themselves.
    Also, if the fact that the 1" valve assembly allows the flow of more water because the valve is bigger diameter, then putting it on a 3/4" pipe would just restrict the water flow to the same as the other two, i would think?

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 19,891
    If you order the same numbers as what you have, first remove the motors, then pull the valve assembly out of the brass body, switch them out.
    Might take some emery cloth to the brass bodies if they are scaled at all. When you install the plate it should spin easily. Crap or limescale in the water is what causes the O rings to fail and develop the leak you see. At some point all O rings wear out.

    Be sure to carefully mark all the wires, those are complicated to wire from scratch.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • woodbutcher
    woodbutcher Member Posts: 4
    So i ordered and received a new 1311-103 1" and an F84 0433 valve kit for 3/4". The 1311-103 was the Valve asm currently installed on that zone.
    As expected, the 1311-103 does come with the 1" Valve Body to be joined to 1" copper, and the valve stem/O ring and Brass sleeve that inserts into the Valve Body is larger diameter, so would not fit into a 3/4" Valve Body on my system. Obviously.
    So once i drained the zone and removed the Valve asm from the existing 3/4' Valve Body fitting on that zone(which was basically not even engaging the sleeve anymore), i proceeded to install the new F84-0433 Valve Asm. Unfortunately the new Sleeve, would not easily insert into the Valve body, without being encouraged with a little blunt force. I tried re-orienting the sleeve to the Valve Body, but it would not slide in. So to not score/bend/damage the new sleeve or old Valve body, i removed the old sleeve from the Valve asm i had removed, and swapped it to the new Valve asm. Determined it was properly reassembled and installed into Valve body no problem. Hooked up all wires from old valve asm and it works fine.
    So, in hindsight, i think i could have gotten away with ordering a 3 wire/3/4" zone valve only, that would have come with the 3/4" Sleeve/Oring/Brass sleeve, thus saving myself $30 for the F84 kit.
    My thinking is the increased water flow rate for the 1" assembly is simply due to the larger diameter pipe, so using the 1311-103 to a 3/4" Valve Body/Valve asm, just puts the flow rate to the lower spec.
    Thanks for all the advice. Hopefully sharing my experience helps others