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This has nothing to do with trains, although there are pipes, valves, hot water, etc. involved
. I am looking at my present zone valves that control each of five heating zones that heat my house. They are White Rogers zone valves. Anyone familiar with a hot water heating system may have come across this brand. The system operates as follows; When a thermostat calls for heat it sends a current to a relay ( Honeywell). In the relay box there is an electromagnet. When the electromagnet is closed (thermostat calling for heat), it closes two contacts. One contact sends low voltage to the zone valve causing it to open, the other contact sends power to the circulator pump. It's a fairly straight forward system. I really cannot complain as I have only had to replace four of the five valves once in the last thirty five years. They are alittle costly at $125.00 each the last time I purchased one about five years ago. The boiler, Weil McClain, itself is about fifty years old and has never given us any problems.
My question for you heating experts is should I consider switching to another brand of zone valve, and if so would they be compatible with my present system?
 

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Madman,

First off, let me say, I am by no means an expert. We had nothing but trouble with the zone valve controls (4 zones) on our boiler (Weil McLain) when we bought our house 12 years ago. I can't remember what brand they were, but they were small and seemed inadequate. About 3 years ago, I tried a new repair company, and they replaced all 4 with Honeywell units that are plain silver boxes about 4" square, with a commercial look to them. So far, they have worked like a champ, and the system regulates beautifully.

Good Luck
 

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I have never heard of such a wildly complex system!!! There are at least 3 layers of fault failure.... Here in the UK we have things called Thermostatic radiator valves. These are normally graded 1-5 and all they do is open/close when they reach the desired setting. The "combi" which produces hot water as well as heating, shuts down when the return to the combi is at preset temp. The house goes from cold to warm in under 10 minutes. The rating of the combi is 14Kw -a little on the large size -but my wife does like it warm!!!

regards

ralph
 

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Dan,

Has 1 of the valves gone bad?? If not then I would not worry about it.. 4 valves in 35 years means the next valve will fail 8 years from the last 1.. That sounds like a very good system to me.. Also there is nothing wrong with the White Rodgers, a very good brand..

BulletBob
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tend to agree Bob. Actually, of the five valves I originally installed, I have replaced all of them. But on average, the initial valves lasted over twenty five years. I'm glad to hear that someone else has heard of White Rogers. Not many supply houses in my area carry them.  
Ralph, are you talking about individual radiator thermostic valves ?  And what is the combi ?  I saw on TV a couple of weeks ago, that someone is using a tankless hot water heater, with zones to heat their house. They have a radiant heating system in the floors. I have radiant heat in the section of my house that is on a slab, the kitchen, and two small rooms attached, one being a laundry room, the other a sitting room as we call it.
My son and I just completed the radiant system in the kitchen and laundry room
 
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Yes, I do mean a thermostatic valve per radiator -they cost around £10 each. The panel radiators are around £30 each -there are normally two to a room, (I have heat reflective film on the wall behind them). The "Combi" is short for "Combination Boiler and Water Heater". There is no hot water tank and the combi circulates a mixture of water and glycol through its pump to the radiators. The exhaust from the Combi vents straight into the old Chimney Stack. It is a gas one and and has an electric compressor fan to boost thermal output. Hot water come out at "mains pressure" as it is simply fed from the cold water riser to the combi and thence to the hot water pipes. The entire thing simply hangs on the wall in our kitchen, It looks like another of the kitchen cabinets and fits inside a std 50x30 placement. Oh my mistake -I miss keyed ours is 24Kw model not a 14!!!

This one is the one we use:

http://www.glow-worm.co.uk/products/ultracom_cxi.asp

I do remember another thread in which someone was asking about replacing their "Furnace"... It was the first time I had ever seen anything like that!!!

regards

ralph
 

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Seems like the UK has advanced far past what you can buy in the US for hotwater heating. Were still in the days of steam radaitors and baseboard systems. .
 

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Ralph, the combi sounds like what we would call a summer/winter hookup. That system has been around for quite some time. I don't think they are as popular now as they once were. With the thermostatic valve on each radiator, your system must have a continuous loop with the radiators tapping into it for their supply and return.

About fifteen years ago we renovated a Boys and Girls Club building. It is an older building, I'd say maybe 95 or so years old. It was outfitted with cast iron radiators throughout. The boiler was a hot water boiler, surprising for an older building like that. Well part of the renovations were a new boiler, which it did need, and all new heavy duty commercial baseboard convectors. As an add the gym was outfitted with an air conditioning system. The air handler was tied into the boiler as it also heated the gym. I guess the basketball players didn't like crashing into the cast iron radiators. In the end, the system was so complicated, that the maintenance man couldn't operate it. A bit of over engineering if I ever saw some.
 

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Each radiator is fed by 10mm copper pipe from "The Manifold" which is in the ceiling above the "Combi". From what I remember this is simply a double spigot with dozens of 10mm pipe fittings on it. The whole lot has been buried in expanding foam for insulation purposes. We find it to be very economical to run -the "autumn quarter" gas bill was £90. The "winter quarter" one I am expecting to be around the £110 mark. We are very happy with it.


To each his own!!!

regards


ralph
 

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Even in US dollars that sounds reasonable Ralph. I wasn't implying that your system was outdated, I just know that that type of system has lost some popularity here. Most likely due to the fact that newer homes being outfitted with central air conditioning, tend not to have hot water radiation as their heating plant. It's simpler and less costly up front to heat and cool with forced air. One system does both. I still favor hot water heating, especially with radiators or radiant slabs. I feel it's cleaner that a forced air system.
 
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