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Thread: Convert from zone valve to zone pumps

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Default Convert from zone valve to zone pumps

    Right now I have a 1 punp 3 zone hydro. One HW and 2 living. I want to add a radient underfloor loop via mixing valve. While doing this it seems cleaner to just do all the zones with new pumps and a 4 zone switch relay. I have the pumps already so the cost to convert is not an issue. The question I have is:

    do the pumps for each zone act as valves. What I mean is... If a zone is not active and another is.... Is anything needed to isolate the zone as a zone valve does? Or will the pumps do this? (i.e. when pump is not moving it is a closed zone) All the schemas I have seen show the boiler --> pump --> zone --> boiler.

    This is a nice little spring project I have planned.

    Curently I have one zone running way too many radiators. 2 floors on zone, small room on zone 2, HW on zone 3.

    I want to clean this up and have living spaces on 1, bedrooms on 2, Basement on 3, HW on 4.

  2. #2
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    You'll need a check valve in series with each pump, since the pressure differences created any one pump driving from the manifold will induce a reverse flow on the others. On very high head loops that may never present a practical issue, but on shorter hydronic loops that back flow can create unintentional heating of the "off" zones.

    When reconfiguring, try to avoid micro-zones, since that causes short-cycling efficiency losses and unnecessary wear & tear on the boiler. If your current smaller zone 2 has just a low-mass stick of fin-tube for a heat emitter, it's almost certainly short-cycling on that zone. Zoning it by floors is usually pretty reasonable, as long as the room-to-room balance has been properly dealt with by load-proportional room-to-room radiation sizing (based on the room-by-room heat loads, not the square footage of the space.)

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    I understand. The Taco pumps I have have the check built in. IFC. so that should cover that.

    TY for your reply it was dead on what I was looking for.

  4. #4
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    I question whether a "4 zone switching relay" will do what you want it to, because that usually controls ONE pump and four low voltage zone valves. For your system, you will probably need four thermostats and four pump control relays, and EACH of them would need the contacts, in parallel, to operate the boiler's burner.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member rockycmt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    I question whether a "4 zone switching relay" will do what you want it to, because that usually controls ONE pump and four low voltage zone valves. For your system, you will probably need four thermostats and four pump control relays, and EACH of them would need the contacts, in parallel, to operate the boiler's burner.
    I disagree. This is exactly what I will use.
    http://www.pexsupply.com/Taco-SR504-...witching-Relay

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