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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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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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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