Zoned Heating Piping Correct?

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Levski87

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Hello,

I have one boiler in my house that currently supplies heat to both my unit and the ground floor. The previous owner seems to have zone heating setup, but for some reason or another, has just the top unit call for heat and it automatically heats up the bottom unit. My tenant on the bottom unit says she doesn't get enough heat while my unit feels nice and warm. I'm curious why since she has adequate radiators setup on the ground floor.

Is it the way the piping is set up? Is my boiler not up to snuff? I've attached photos of the piping and where one zone valve goes vs the other. I feel the pressure forces the heat up, therefore bypassing the turn where the first zone valve is, which heats the ground floor.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/yPySWw2wTzKYxkWbA
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ksfXCFWp1igP5gMx8
 

frodo

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all see in your picture is one zone valve

heat rises. the top floor is going to be warmer than the bottom
a 2 story should have 2 zones upstairs and down stairs

a rental, should have there own zone. i would be raising hell. with the landlord
 

Levski87

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There are two taco valves as shown in the photo. What do you mean by there is only one zone?
 

Diehard

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???
I see 2 zone valves.
Doesn't the first floor have a thermostat?
Take some pictures further out with circulator, etc.
The info you show on the boiler does not show the heat output. Should see something on MBH.
 

frodo

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zone valve should have a manual override slide switch
slide it to open if closed

verify low voltage at stat
verify power to zone valve
verify transformer is operable
 

Levski87

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I will check on the manual override, but in terms of the piping setup, is this correct? It seems odd that one pipe is facing up with the zone valve while the other breaks off that main pipe and turns. Ironically, the one facing up is the one that gets more heat.
 

Levski87

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Also to note, the boiler has a 100k btu input and 80k output. The top unit is 1100 square feet and the bottom is 800 square feet.
 

frodo

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To be honest with you
you picture is to close to be able to determine what goes where
BACK OFF and take a picture of the whole piping arrangement thing

do you know how to post to the site?
click upload a file. on the bottom of this chat box
choose file. click enter
click full image
cousin it.gif
it is pretty simple
 

Diehard

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I believe this statement requires further clarification.
"The previous owner seems to have zone heating setup, but for some reason or another, has just the top unit call for heat and it automatically heats up the bottom unit."
So it sounds like you have 2 zones being controlled by one thermostat.
You didn't answer the previous question, "Doesn't the first floor have a thermostat?"

Sounds like your problem goes beyond the possibility of one of the two solenoids malfunctioning.
Without going into a lot of details as to why or why not the problem appears to be the lack of independent control of the two zones.


If that's the case, you can just refer back to frodo's first comments in post #2 and ignore his first line.
 
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Levski87

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My question is geared more towards the piping setup for the zones. Let's say in a perfect world, my zones are setup properly and they are both open at the same time due to a cold winter day. In my current piping infrastructure, knowing that heat rises, is my piping flawed or is it set up properly since one zone breaks off that main pipe and has the turn vs the other one that goes straight up?
 

Diehard

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Yes I did recognize that really was the gist of your question but until we got a clear picture of what the real setup was, it may not mean much.

Actually, yes the hot water rises faster in a vertical pipe on gravity systems but you don't have a gravity system. A pumped system should favor the path of least resistance(pipe size, length, number of fittings, etc.) There are a lot of other factors that would make a big difference the two areas in question.
So I take it there is no thermostat for the first floor. The fact that there are two zone valves would indicate that one reason for the change could have been trying to conserve energy by not allowing the tenant to get carried away with excessive high heat settings with windows open, etc.
If you're concerned with that type of thing there are other ways to handle it.

Let me just ask this one last time. Is there a thermostat on the first floor?
 
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Levski87

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Yes I did recognize that really was the gist of your question but until we got a clear picture of what the real setup was, it may not mean much.

Actually, yes the hot water rises faster in a vertical pipe on gravity systems but you don't have a gravity system. A pumped system should favor the path of least resistance(pipe size, length, number of fittings, etc.) There are a lot of other factors that would make a big difference the two areas in question.
So I take it there is no thermostat for the first floor. The fact that there are two zone valves would indicate that one reason for the change could have been trying to conserve energy by not allowing the tenant to get carried away with excessive high heat settings with windows open, etc.
If you're concerned with that type of thing there are other ways to handle it.

Let me just ask this one last time. Is there a thermostat on the first floor?
Correct. In the current system, the thermostat sits on my floor, which is the first floor. This thermostat triggers the heat, which fills the first floor and the ground floor.

Let me give some background. I recently purchased this home and what I noticed is that the previous owner had installed these zone valves (one to control the first unit and one to control the ground unit) and each one had their own thermostat. Over the course of time, I'm unsure of the reason, the previous owner decided to only keep the first floor thermostat and completely disconnect the ground floor one. He also, and this is my assumption, decided to open the ground floor zone valve to always be open and automatically get heat when the first floor unit called for it.

Due to this setup, I have noticed that the piping for the first floor is much hotter than the ground floor (this is tested by touching each pipe before and after the zone valve connections). The tenant on the ground floor has also highlighted that they don't get enough heat in the winter.
 

Diehard

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Correct. In the current system, the thermostat sits on my floor, which is the first floor. This thermostat triggers the heat, which fills the first floor and the ground floor.

Let me give some background. I recently purchased this home and what I noticed is that the previous owner had installed these zone valves (one to control the first unit and one to control the ground unit) and each one had their own thermostat. Over the course of time, I'm unsure of the reason, the previous owner decided to only keep the first floor thermostat and completely disconnect the ground floor one. He also, and this is my assumption, decided to open the ground floor zone valve to always be open and automatically get heat when the first floor unit called for it.

Due to this setup, I have noticed that the piping for the first floor is much hotter than the ground floor (this is tested by touching each pipe before and after the zone valve connections). The tenant on the ground floor has also highlighted that they don't get enough heat in the winter.
Well I'd say put a thermostat back in the ground floor. Or you'll never have both areas heated to the desired temperatures.
 

frodo

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couple of issues
one is the t stat for the bottom floor not being hooked up
the second is the flow rate of the heating water
has the system been maintained by a hvac company?
has the hvac company balanced the the flow between the 2 zones?
has a balance company balanced the system as a whole to achieve optimum heat transfer
the heated water must slow down in order for the heat to radiate

rule of thumb is 1.5--3.0 gpm [ a jumping off point] that changes due to a variety of factors
each system is different.
if your flow is more than 3gpm. you are not heating efficiently
 

Diehard

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LOL
I was not implying to put back the thermostat without hooking it up.:eek:

Sorry just couldn't resist!

But on a more serious note, never seeing a multi-zone system using zone valves, what do they use to balance the zones heating areas? Balancing valves?
 
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