ZoningSupply.com - Zone Control

HVAC Zone Controls & Zoning Dampers

Support

Upgrading thermostats; solving a "common" problem

HVAC Contractors, Support, homeownerszoning supplyComment

So, maybe you have decided to upgrade to a Wifi thermostat, or even just a standard "programmable" thermostat... only, you come to discover that your old thermostat has one less wire connected to it than the new thermostat needs.   This is usually the "24VAC Common" wire sometimes just called "C" or "24C".   This means that your old thermostat was either mechanical, power stealing, or battery operated... which isn't a problem if you don't want a modern thermostat.  MOST modern thermostats (especially WiFi) need a "C" wire from the 24V transformer to power the thermostat... this means getting a "C" wire to the thermostat.

This isn't a new problem, it started showing up in the 1980s with the first programmable thermostats... over the years, I have suggested and used several different methods to overcome this issue both with zoning and with typical single thermostat applications.  Until recently, I couldn't really recommend anything other than running a new wire... and running a new wire isn't always possible.

METHODS to add "C" Wire

  1. Run another wire to the thermostat
    The most straightforward and full-proof method is obvious: run another wire.  If possible, this is ALWAYS your best solution.
  2. Power thermostat from separate transformer
    Don't use this method... it is risky and not all thermostats support the ability to separate the "R" from the equipment transformer.
  3. Use the "G" wire for "C"
    This method DOES work but it limits the functionality of your thermostat control.  (ie. you will not be able to independently control fan from the thermostat)  The reason this works, is that the equipment automatically turns the fan on during a heating or cooling call, so the "G" wire controlling the fan from the thermostat is only necessary to turn the fan on by itself.  You will NOT be able to turn fan on from the thermostat by itself with this method.
    NOTE: This works with MOST equipment, but you should check or test before employing this method. (#3)
  4. ADD-A-WIRE Device
    It is the BEST method and really the only method I would use if a wire cannot be run.  This is a relatively new concept to me... it has been around for a few years at least but we just started recommending it within the last 2 years.    Several companies have started offering an "ADD-A-WIRE" device that allows the addition of a "COMMON" wire.  These devices range from $15 - $40 and are very simple to wire (you have to be able to get to your equipment furnace/blower). 
lux addawire.JPG

How an ADD-A-WIRE Device works:

venstar addawire.JPG

It will come in 2 pieces, one is a small box with several connections labled "R", "C", "Y", "G", "W".  You will follow the included wiring instructions to connect this box at your indoor HVAC equipment.  The other piece that comes with the ADD-A-WIRE is a wiring connector with 3 leads, this connects at the back of your thermostat as shown in the wiring instructions.
Once these two pieces are wired properly you will have the "C" you need for any thermostat... it's almost like magic (electrical engineering magic).

NOTE: Make sure all wiring is done with the power to the HVAC equipment OFF at the breaker.

A few different models to choose from (prices on amazon at time of writing)  There are many others available but they all do the same thing (NOTE: we are not compensated by any of these companies or any others for our opinions):

For more information about specific use with zoning and zone control systems such as SmartZone... contact us

Another thing to consider:  The ecobee3 and ecobee3 LITE both come with an "ADD-A-WIRE" type device.  So, if you are thinking about a WiFi thermostat and are afraid you will need to add a wire... keep the ecobee in mind.  See our WiFi stat roundup for more info

De-humidification and SmartZone - Zone 1 Thermostat Control

HVAC Contractors, Other HVAC, Supportzoning supplyComment

Although SmartZone does not have any built-in capabilities for controlling DE-humidification (DH) or Humidification, some applications are possible by using a thermostat on ZONE 1 that does have the capability to control DH.

DE-humidification, in most residential systems, is simply running the equipment in COOLING with LOW speed fan instead of HI speed fan.

Before we get to zoning, the equipment being used must have the capability to control humidity.  This usually means it has a terminal (DH/BK/DS) that is energized or DE-energized by a thermostat to control fan speed of the equipment.  Controlling fan speed allows the equipment to DE-humidify the air when the fan is running in low speed.

Back to zoning, using zone 1 thermostat to control DH is not as simple as wiring directly from the thermostat to the equipment.  PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS.  The equipment and the zone thermostats are running on different transformers and this will case problems and potentially damage to some components.  You could isolate the output from the thermostat with a relay to get around this issue of different transformers but you would still have an issue with this method of wiring "around" the zone controller.  The issue can arise when zone 1 calls for DH but the equipment is already running in heat, this mixed signal might just be ignored by the equipment but we cannot take that for granted... all equipment works differently.

ecojay smartzone de-hum using y2 -BASIC.JPG

The best way to control DH using SmartZone on single stage equipment is by using the method below.  It may seem a little UN-orthidoxed but it is a valid APP note from the engineer at Ecojay (It's intended to work this way).

  1. Select a DH enabled thermostat of your choice
  2. Connect Y2/ECO on SmartZone Zone 1 to Zone 1 Thermostat DH/DS/BK
  3. Connect Y2 on SmartZone Equipment toEquipment DH/DS/BK
  4. Set Zone 1 "STAT TYPE" to G2
  5. Set DIP switch #4 to "LOCKOUT"

Zone 1 thermostat will now enable and disable DE-humidification any time the equipment is running in the cooling mode.
NOTE: When starting cooling from OFF state, 90 second delay will occur before HIGH speed fan will energize.

Using this method we are assuming that the equipment is expecting DS/BK/DH input terminal to be ENERGIZED for high speed fan and DE-ENERGIZED for low speed fan.  This method should not be used for more than 3 zones or with multi-stage compressor equipment.


SmartZone-2X
149.00 199.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart
 

This application will work with Ecojay's SmartZone-2X and SmartZone-4X.  Learn more

 Click for SmartZone-2X/4X Install Guide

Click for SmartZone-2X/4X Install Guide

Need more than 40VA to power LOTs of dampers on one SmartZone?

HVAC Contractors, Supportzoning supplyComment

Some systems with many small ducts leading to each zone can require lots of dampers.  The example below is a 2 zone system that requires 6 dampers per zone (12 total).  If you look at the zoning guide, you will find that you should budget for at least 55VA for this system... but you only have 40 VA transformers.  75 and 100 VA transformers can get VERY expensive!  Instead you can use two 40VA transformers, but not how you think.  It can be dangerous and unreliable to connect transformers in parallel to create ~80VA.  We recommend the method below that employs the use of a simple relay to separate half of the dampers to be powered from a second transformer and the other half being powered by the SmartZone and it's transformer.

See the SmartZone Install Guide to calculate required VA.

It is always necessary to verify that the PRIMARY side power is sufficient to power the transformer connected.  A dedicated PRIMARY circuit is best but not always possible.  If sharing the 110V or 220V circuit, make sure the total power required for all devices connected (including zoning transformers) doesn't exceed the capacity of the circuit (usually 15 or 20 AMPS).

Where to get a relay?
Any 24V relay with a DPST or DPDT configuration will work.  The one pictured in the above diagram is available at ZoningSupply.com (see below).   If you are chosing your own relay, the "Contact" current rating will determine how many dampers can be connected.  (For example: A 10 Amp relay can handle up to 10 power open, power closed dampers)

24V Relay - DPDT
16.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart
 
Power Open/Close Motor
59.99 79.99
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Ashrae 62-2 Ventilation (Fresh Air) sizing & calculation

HVAC Contractors, Support, Other HVACzoning supplyComment

Many homes these days have such tight seals around doors, windows, and even closed-cell foam insulation... they are almost air-tight.  You can think of an old house like an antique metal or wooden ice box where modern homes are more like Yeti coolers.  While this is great for keeping temperatures steady inside the home, it also can trap moisture and toxic gases inside.  Fresh air ventilation is necessary to keep a healthy and efficient home.

But how much fresh air is needed?  If you bring in too much, you will make your HVAC equipment work too hard and loose efficiency.  If not enough fresh air is brought into the home, the air can become humid and allow mold growth or VOCs and other toxins can build up.  Luckily, the national organization ASHRAE has a specific recommendation for the amount of air based on occupancy and square footage of the home.  See table below.

However, this table should not be taken as gospel.  Just like other HVAC calculations and estimations, many factors are not really being taken into account with this rough estimate based on # of bedrooms (occupancy) and square footage.  Some adjustments may be needed based on factors such as climate, ceiling height, other air-leakage, etc.  To comply with 62-2 is the baseline & adjustments can be made in the field by setting run-time.

Learn more about how SmartZone-4X can control fresh air more efficiently than a separate fresh-air controller in the Install Guide

2016 USER QUESTIONS - SmartZone Advanced

Support, homeownerszoning supplyComment
 Photo by BackyardProduction/iStock / Getty Images

QUESTION: I have two 9580 thermostats one in the office, the other in the main hangar bay (two zones).  When heating both zones or only the hangar, I need the furnace to go full blower with normal scheduling through stages 1 and 2.  When servicing only the small office area, I don't want the system to advance from stage 1.  Unfortunately, the office is so small and the modulating schedule of the furnace is still too much airflow for the office (the zone bypass when servicing the office is the main hangar modulating damper that is controlled via SPC (excess dumps into hangar)).  This damper will be wide open during call for hangar heat.  The main damper control logic is managed through a 3PDT  24 Vac relay. So, I need to block out stage 2 from only 1 zone (office).  The zone ramping schedule of the 9580 works well with the 100k modulating furnace control board, and would like to keep that capability. 

ANSWER: Configure the zone 1 thermostat connector STAT TYPE to G2 (conventional gas/electric) or H2 (heat pump) to allow the thermostat to control staging and use the hangar thermostat on zone 1. Wire only the stage 1 circuits (Y1 and W1) on the office thermostat to the zone 2 thermostat connector (Also connect R, C and G wires). Set dipswitch 4 to the LOCKOUT position. This will configure the zone controller to allow 2nd stage only when the hangar thermostat calls for 2nd stage regardless of whether the office thermostat is calling. When the office thermostat is calling and the hangar thermostat is not, SmartZone will not allow 2nd stage to operate.


I called last week to inquire about using this zone controller in a hangar that had a small office area and a large bay. I advised the call taker that I had Honeywell 9580. I also asked about the capability of the zone controller to handle the smaller office area’s lower CFM requirement and whether or not I could defeat the step-up from W1/Y1 to W2/Y2. I was told that the controller can be set up to defeat the stage step-ups.

After reading the manual, I found that there are no multi-stage inputs on the controller board from thermostats. So, basically, the capabilities of the Honeywell 9580 are wasted. Also, the stage defeat is for the whole system, not zone-specific as I need. It would be pointless to defeat stage increases while heating/cooling a large hangar space

ANSWER: The SmartZone controller typically controls staging based on the total system conditions which is the most efficient way to operate a multi-zoned multi-staged hvac system. However, the zone1 thermostat connector on SmartZone can be configured to allow the thermostat to control staging (refer to the top of page 10 of the installation manual). When the zone1 thermostat is configured for staging the ability to lockout 2nd stage with only 1 zone calling is disabled. With the thermostat controlling staging your ability to limit staging will be determined by the features of your Honeywell 9580 instead of the SmartZone control.


I have a honeywell mastertrol2 mm2, i wanted to update my thermostats but my zone controller has separate b and o wires going to thermostats . Will updating my zone controller to a smart zone 2 help this problem?

ANSWER: Updating your zone controller to a SmartZone 2 zone controller will allow you to use any 24VAC thermostat. SmartZone controls are designed to be universally compatible with 24VAC thermostats including WI-FI models used to control your thermostat remotely through the internet on your smart phone or tablet. You should be able to connect any 24VAC thermostat to a SmartZone control without any problems.


Do you have a digital thermostat that you recommend or sell to go with SmartZone?
 From ecobee.com

From ecobee.com

ANSWER: ZoningSupply does not carry thermostats, however, SmartZone controllers are compatible with any 24VAC powered 5 or 6 wire thermostat. Popular brands our customers install with SmartZone include Honeywell, ICM, Braeburn, Nest, Ecobee, Aprilaire, Lux, Lyric,  and MANY others. We suggest you avoid using low priced 'power stealing' thermostats as they may cause intermittent issues if your utility power fluctuates. Power stealing thermostats are typically low priced and can be identified by the lack of a C (common) terminal on the thermostat wall mounting plate.
If you are looking for a WiFi thermostat check out this other article:

http://zoningsupply.com/blog/best-wifi-thermostat-for-zoning

SmartZone-2L
from 99.00
TEMP SENSOR:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

2016: QUESTIONS from ONLINE CUSTOMERS

Support, homeownerszoning supplyComment

QUESTION: Will SmartZone replace Honeywell Trol-a-temp?

ANSWER: The SmartZone-4X is a "drop-in" replacement for all of the Honeywell boards.

 Photo by spates/iStock / Getty Images

QUESTION: I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Are there any qualified installers for the Smart Zone dampers?

ANSWER: Although we have customers in other parts of Canada, we do not have any specific HVAC contractor customers in Toronto. Any reputable HVAC contractor with previous experience installing zoning should be able to install the Ecojay SmartZone controls or dampers. Many do-it-yourself folks have also successfully installed Ecojay's controls/dampers without difficulty. If your contractor is not specifically familiar with SmartZone controls they can reach our technical support line, 844-ZONE-123, for assistance if needed. Feel free to contact us with additional questions.


QUESTION: I have an old DuroZone system (model SMZ-SW) that has stopped working and am looking for a replacement solution and have been researching the Smartzone option.  I have a few questions and wanted to see if you could help me.

  1. I'm not sure what has failed with the DuroZone system, but I wanted to first see if I replaced the controller with the Smartzone controller if it would work.  Will the Smartzone controller work with the DuroZone dampers ?
  2. Would you be able to put me in touch with an installer who could do the installation and testing of the smartzone controller ?  I'm not overly handy and would prefer a knowledgeable installer to do the install and tests.

ANSWER:

  1. Ecojay's SmartZone products are compatible with your current DuroZone controller.  Your existing thermostats and dampers are normally compatible with SmartZone.as well. Wiring the dampers into SmartZone may be different depending on the model dampers you have. We can provide damper wiring instructions when you or your installer inform us the damper models you have. 
  2. The change out of your existing Durozone controller should be simple for any competent hvac contractor even if they haven't used Smartzone before.  Zoning Supply can also be contacted for technical support toll free if you or the installer need technical assistance. 

QUESTION: I have a Honeywell Chronotherm 111 system with one main panel and three mercury thermostat controllers. I have been informed that my control panel is inoperative and three dampers have failed. I would like to upgrade the system with out
losing the capability/control of the temperature in each room. I am in dire need to correct/improve my system with the Honeywell product.

ANSWER: The Honeywell Chronotherm III thermostat (models T8600, T8601 & T8603) are 24VAC powered according to Honeywell's spec sheet and should be compatible with any Ecojay SmartZone controller.


QUESTION: My customer has a Carrier/Parker zone system, not sure what version. I want to replace the complete system minus the dampers. Currently there is a main controller, bypass controller and six zones. The bypass could be converted to a dump zone. Wireless is also an option. What do you think?

ANSWER:  From our knowledge of the Carrier-Parker controls, it is VVT control system  and Carrier released two generations of the product line that we know of.  One or both generations used dampers that had DC powered, multi-position actuators. Carrier has also tended to use a more proprietary control flow using a pulsed or multi-position damper actuator which do not have an internal stop switch.  SmartZone outputs 24VAC continuously on either the OPEN damper circuit or CLOSE damper circuit with the actuator using an internal stop switch to switch off power when it reaches stop in either open or close position. This is typical of most conventional residential/light commercial zone control brands and product-lines today. If your customer's current system does not match this specification you will need to change out the damper actuators if installing Ecojay SmartZone or any other major 24VAC brand control product. Ecojay's damper actuators have a torque rating of 18 in-lb/2 Nm and can work with a round or square shaft of 1/4" to 5/8" diameter.
SmartZone is expandable up to 20 zones, capable of 2C/3H stages and is compatible with any conventional 24VAC controlled equipment including heat pump or heat pump with dual fuel. SmartZone is also compatible with all off the shelf 24VAC thermostats. If you are able to supply the specific product model your customer is using I can probably be more specific about the compatibility issues.


SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart

QUESTION: I have a Honeywell Trol-a-temp Model MABS-2 422041-2 with a Mastertrol Add-a-zone model MAZ-1 TAT422027. This is a 4 zone electric system, heat pump with Emergency heat. I have the Master which control s the Emergency heat plus e thermostats. I would like to upgrade the Panel so that I can put a digital thermostat as the master.

ANSWER: SmartZone-4X will work for you.
http://zoningsupply.com/buy/smartzone-4x


QUESTION: I am looking to use this product with a 2 zone system that has 2 wire dampers. I have to power 4 dampers per zone. Will this produced do so? I am using 8" round dampers and there are 4 per floor.

ANSWER: All Ecojay SmartZone controls are compatible with 2 and 3 wire dampers. They can even be mixed on the same zone. SmartZone can support up to four 2 wire dampers (up to ten 3 wire dampers) on each zone.  Dampers and thermostats are powered from the SmartZone controller. It is important to determine the VA capacity of the transformer needed to power SmartZone as the number of devices powered from the controller increase. In your installation, the transformer used to power the SmartZone controller will need to support the power demand of the zone controller (12VA), 8 dampers (2-wire dampers at 7-10VA each), and 2 thermostats (2VA each). Total potential transformer VA demand from these components collectively total 96VA (12+80+4). However, assuming your 2 wire dampers are power close/spring open, power demand from the dampers will occur only when the dampers are closed. With a 2 zone system, you will never see both zones closed at the same time (all dampers default to open when no zones are calling) so your maximum power demand will be only from 4 dampers. This changes the maximum potential power demand to 62VA (12+40+4). A 75VA - 24VAC transformer will be capable of providing adequate power for your system. This size transformer is readily available on Ebay and many other web stores.  If your 2 wire dampers are power open/spring close (this type is typically used only for fresh air ventilation) then you will need a transformer with a VA capacity of 100VA minimum.  Visit our zoningsupply.com website and review the ZS2X/4X installation guide for more information on installation. Thank you for contacting Zoning Supply with your question. We appreciate your interest in our SmartZone products.


QUESTION: The 9580 thermostat uses delta T (difference between actual room and called for temps) as part of the staging calculation.  If the staging function of the thermostat is replaced by the zone controller, how does the controller get delta T, or is is not used?  If not, ow does it determine staging...is it rate of temp change sensed by the probe?

ANSWER: SmartZone uses algorithms based on time and supply air temperature (as measured at the supply air plenum) to control staging. Each time the equipment is started SmartZone will require a minimum run time in stage 1 before it will consider staging. This initial run time allows for the equipment to achieve a stable temperature in heat or cool before determining if staging up is necessary. After the initial run time requirement is achieved SmartZone compares supply air temperature to the cut-in temperature settings and will stage up if conditions are met. When the equipment is running stage 2 SmartZone will compare supply air temperature to the cut-out temperature and will return to stage 1 if conditions are met. SmartZone staging algorithms will vary the time and temperature elements based on equipment type (gas/electric or heat pump) and mode of operation (cool or heat). The SmartZone Installation manual included with your product provides detailed information about the sequence of operations for adjusting staging settings including the specific algorithms used for each equipment type and their modes of operation.

 

2016 : QUESTIONS & ANSWERS about SmartZone - D

Supportzoning supplyComment
 Photo by perrygerenday/iStock / Getty Images

Do the wires from the condenser-outside and the system board on the air handler connect to the terminal labeled Equipment on your install sheet ? 

Assuming you are installing zoning for the first time, the wires connecting to the equipment connector on SmartZone are the same wires that connected to the single thermostat you used to control your equipment before installing SmartZone.  The terminal labels from your thermostat should be the same or similar to those on the equipment terminal.  If you see only a Y and W terminal on the thermostat then the wires from those thermostat terminals will go to Y1 and W1 respectively on the SmartZone equipment terminal.  Your hvac equipment controls will be powered by a 24VAC transformer that should be connected to the C and Rh (or you can use the Rc instead of Rh terminal because the two are jumpered together) on the SmartZone equipment connector.  Typically the wires connecting to the SmartZone equipment terminal will come from your hvac equipment control board located in the blower cabinet.  In some installations, the Y wire is typically yellow colored  (or Y1 and Y2 if you have a multispeed system) may come from the outdoor condensing unit.   If you have a heat pump you should also have a wire (typically orange) in the W2/OB equipment terminal on SmartZone.

What is the O/B dip switch and what does O-B do?

The dip switch for O or B determines the way the refrigerant reversing valve works for cooling and heating mode.  The setting you use will be determined by the hvac equipment brand you have.   O will energize the reversing valve during the cooling mode and B will energize the reversing valve during heating.  Typically Rheem/RUUD equipment will require the dip switch to be set to B and all other brands will use O, however, check with the equipment manufacturer to be sure.

Feel free to contact our technical support line at 844-966-3123 if you need additional information or assistance. We appreciate your interest in our line of Ecojay SmartZone control products. Thanks for contacting us with your questions.


CUSTOMER EMAIL: I have a 10 year old Honeywell EMM-3 zone controller. I turned the heater on this year and nothing....The system led on the emm-3 was off, I hit the boot button and the led came on and the heater started to run but a couple of minutes later the led went off and the heater stopped.  Did this twice. Am I correct in assuming its the emm-3 that's bad?  If so I would like to replace it with one of your Ecojay zone controllers.  I have a two zone system installed around 2006.  Will your system work with the existing other components...from what I've read I assume yes.

ANSWER:   Based on the information you provided it would seem likely your EMM-3 zone controller has bit the dust.  You should check to make sure the R and C wires at theZONE PANEL TRANSFORMER connector at the bottom right corner of the zone board are securely tightened to ensure the transformer power connection wires are not loose and causing intermittent power loss.  Ecojay's ZS2X-2.0 and ZS2L-T are compatible replacements for your EMM-3. If your dampers work properly with the EMM-3 they should work the same way with Ecojay zone controls.  Same goes for your thermostats.  (Must have a COMMON wire)

 


What is the difference between the 2X and the 2L (SmartZone Lite)?

 

The 2X and 2L-T are the same functionally speaking. They are both multi-stage compatible (up to 2 cool/3 heat stages) for conventional gas/electric, heat pump and heat pump with dual fuel hvac equipment.  Both display supply air temperature, each zone's thermostat call and damper open/close states and equipment operating mode. The most significant difference is the 2X has more granularity for adjusting equipment high/low temperature limit equipment protection settings. The 2X limit settings can be adjusted in 1 degree increments and the 2L-T gives you the option of 2 fixed low and high limit temperature settings. The 2X includes a supply air temperature sensor in the box whereas the 2L can be ordered with (ZS2L-T) or without (ZS2L) a sensor. We strongly encourage ordering a supply air temperature sensor with the 2L. Do not use the sensor from your existing EMM-3.  Beyond those differences, the ZS2L-T is at a lower price point. Both zone controllers, as do all Ecojay products we offer, include a 5 year replacement warranty.


CUSTOMER EMAIL: I recently purchased and installed several of your 3 wire zone dampers using an existing control system. During the process I released the clutch and opened and closed the dampers several times for temporary operation.  Do I need to go thru a setup process?  Can the actuator figure out the damper position?

ANSWER: The actuators will "reset" themselves back to correct open and closed positions the next time they are powered by the SmartZone panel.  There is no need to adjust or configure the dampers after the clutch has been pressed and damper blade rotated.  If, however, the "u" bolt that holds the shaft is loosened then the damper blade should be oriented is in the same position as the motor (open or closed) when it is re-tightened.


Question: What would be the best settings for a Carrier 5 Ton Geothermal Unit with 3/2 Heat Cool?  Would you set all zones to HP or (Zone 1 to H2) and (Zone 2&3 to HP) and set the Ecobee zone 1 to have some or all control?

I am a little confused by this... Thanks!

ANSWER: Since the zone controller, by default, controls staging for the entire system and knows what all zone are doing you don't need to use the Ecobee on zone 1 to control staging unless you have a particular situation or preference to use it that way.  Your equipment will normally operate more efficiently under most circumstances which should translate to lower utility costs if you allow SmartZone to handle staging.

The most common practice we see with heat pump equipment using SmartZone is to use a HP thermostats on all zones.  This tends to be the least confusing way of operating the system.  One not is that you can ONLY control Em. Heat from ZONE 1.  For this reason, some people choose to use a GE stat on zones 2 - 4 to eliminates the confusion about where emergency heat can be manually controlled.  Since, most thermostats can be configured for both HP or GE operation so it is your preference. The critical step is that you set the STAT TYPE on SmartZone to the type of thermostat installed on each zone.  See INSTALL GUIDE


EMAIL QUESTION:  I have a 2 zone forced air (gas) heat/cooling system controlled via a DuroZone SWZ-SW zone controller and paired with DuroZone Multiline dampers (4) total. Current thermostats are White-Rodgers. I want to replace the current thermostats with a pair of Nest thermostats. Apparently the existing zone controller is not compatible due to the reliance on both O and B wires to tell the zone controller what mode the system is in (heat or cool). I stumbled on to this site and the recommended zone controller. Would the SmartZone 2x work in this case? If so are there any guides on installation that would make this easy to accomplish?

ANSWER: SmartZone control products are compatible with the Nest thermostat and all 24VAC hvac equipment including gas/electric, heat pumps and heat pumps with dual fuel.. You can follow the link below to view the SmartZone Installation manual on the Zoning Supply website. Please contact us by phone at 844-966-3123 or email with any questions about SmartZone installation, operation or zoning in general.

http://zoningsupply.com/smartzone-guide/
HERE IS HOW TO WIRE THE DAMPERS: http://zoningsupply.com/blog/smartzone-can-be-used-with-any-24v-damper


QUESTION: I have a Lennox variable speed modulating furnace. Will your system work with my furnace?

ANSWER: If your controls are 24VAC (most residential hvac systems are) the furnace should work with our SmartZone controls.  If you are not sure if you have 24VAC controls, remove your thermostat from the wall and look for wiring terminals labeled W, W1 or W2. These are the circuits that control the furnace for 24VAC systems. If you have any of these terminals on your thermostat and have wires connected to any of them your furnace is compatible with SmartZone. 

QUESTION: Can more then one damper be wired to one damper output? Have 3 zones that have 2 supply ducts each.

ANSWER: You can connect 4 spring dampers and 10 power dampers to each damper connector so you will easily be OK.  For 3 zones you will need the SmartZone ZS4X four zone controller.

Honeywell TrueZone ARD Dampers wiring to SmartZone

Supportzoning supplyComment

The latest form Honeywell ARD dampers is a nice looking product and works nicely with ecojay SmartZone.  Wire as shown below.  Other damper wiring at www.zoningsupply.com/blog


SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart
PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
from 99.00
Diameter:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

SmartZone has the simplest setup and best features of any zone control. Find out more about SmartZone and why it's the smart choice: www.zoningsupply.com/buy-smartzone/

Damper Wiring: Yet another 5-terminal damper style wired to SmartZone

Supportzoning supplyComment

We confirmed today, thanks to a helpful customer, how another DuroZone damper wires using 3 wires (even though it has 5 terminals).

If your damper motors look like the one shown, wire to SmartZone as shown.

If your motors looks different than this, see our other posts about damper wiring:
4-Terminal and 8-Terminal Damper Wiring

If the motors you have are not compatible with SmartZone, you still don't have to replace the whole damper.  You can replace just the motor (actuator) on just about any standard residential damper with the SmartZone / Belimo motor.

Power Open/Close Motor
59.99 79.99
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Zoning System Troubleshooting

Supportzoning supplyComment

Because a zone control system interacts with so many different parts (thermostats, transformers, heating/cooling equipment, dampers & temperature sensor), a zoning system can be daunting to troubleshoot when there is a problem.  However, we have realized that there are really just a few common issues are the cause most all of the issues. With a combined 20+ years of zoning questions and technical support calls, we have tried here to boil down to the top 5 reason 99% of zoning systems have a problem.  These do not include a potential problem with the configuration of the Zone Control itself.  The troubleshooting of the zone control configuration is covered well in most Installation Guides.

1. Equipment
   Refrigerant charge, fan speed, wiring, power, etc.
   Always verify that the equipment is working properly first!
2. Thermostats
  a. Incompatible with zone panel
  b. Defective thermostat
  c. Wiring defect
3. Zone Dampers
  a. Actuator failure
  b. Mechanical failure
  c. DUCT Sizing (not enough or too much CFM)
  d. Wiring defect
4. Bypass/Relief
  a. Actuator failure
  b. Sensor (Static Pressure sensor defect)
  c. Mechanical failure
  d. Setup (Modulating calibration or weight arm setting)
  e. Orientation of installation (SPC or barometric bypass)
  f. Improper sizing (not enough CFM capacity)
  g. Wiring defect
5. Power
  a. Transformer fuse
  b. Wiring defect
  c. Primary circuit problem (shared/capacity, breaker)
  d. Improperly sized transformer (not enough VA)

For help troubleshooting your system contact the experts at zoningsupply.com directly via email or phone.

EASIEST TO TROUBLESHOOT ZONE CONTROL ON THE MARKET:

SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Replace Honeywell Zone Controls with SmartZone

Supportzoning supplyComment

Good video that shows the basic wiring steps for replacing a honeywell truezone with SmartZone.  The video features the HZ322 but also applies to the HZ432, HZ311, & HZ221

SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart

If you have any questions about replacing your zone control with SmartZone, contact us for expert zoning support!

SmartZone can be used with any 24V Damper

Supportzoning supplyComment
honeywell ard mard to smartzone wiring
smartzone to honeywell damper
smartzone durazone damper

There are many different models of 24VAC dampers available on the market.  Some have 2-wires, some have 3 wires, some have 5 wires and some even have 8 wire terminals.  Nearly all of these can be used with the SmartZone products (2L, 2X & 4X).  Both 2 and 3 wire dampers are straight-forward to wire and even shown in the installation guide that comes with SmartZone.  However, some of the less common types of dampers (4, 5, 6 & 8 wire) require a little more understanding.  How to wire some of them are shown below.

If you have any other type of damper, please contact us and we will help you.

 

Better dampers available from ZoningSupply:

PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
from 99.00
Diameter:
Quantity:
Add To Cart

Replacing old 2-wire spring damper with a high quality ecojay damper

Supportzoning supplyComment

UPDATE: March 2017 - NEW Dampers available now.  TAKE-OFF ROUND, INSERT ROUND & RECTANGLE Dampers all available now ... scroll down to see all damper models. OR click here.

Some older zone control panels have only two connectors for damper wiring (common & power-close).  These were designed when predominately 2-wire (spring open) dampers were used for zoning.  In recent years, 3-wire (power-open, power-close) dampers have become more common because of their low power consumption and higher reliability.  You might think you have to upgrade your zoning panel to accommodate for these preferable 3-wire dampers... not with Ecojay dampers and belimo actuators.  The wiring diagram below shows how to connect the Ecojay Power Damper to an older zone panel that is only designed to work with 2-wire dampers.

If you are planing to replace the zone controller with SmartZone, this diagram is NOT necessary.

If you have any questions, call or email us.

Why a temperature sensor is so important with Zoning

Supportzoning supplyComment

Equipment Protection

Protecting the equipment from running too hot or too cold is very important consideration when selecting zoning panel.  By the nature of zoning, airflows in the duct work are being adjusted as zones open and close. Even in Pressure Relief is adequately designed using a bypass or other method, temperatures across the coil and the furnace can fluctuate.  An example is on a mild 60 degree day, a single small zone calls for heat.  In this case, a large percentage of already “heated” air is being re-circulated or forced back through the furnace to be “re-heated.”  This condition can cause temperatures that will cause the fail-safe temperature sensor to trip on the equipment.  The same thing can happen in the cooling mode with consequences that look like frozen coils and potentially damaged compressors.

The need for protection has OFTEN been overlooked with zoning and has caused many failures that have been generically blamed on “zoning.” Much of the negative feelings about zoning has been caused by this problem.  The solution is available on most modern panels:  A supply air temperature sensor (discharge air) that allows the zoning panel to cut off the equipment when the temperature is too high or too low.

Staging

The zoning panel used here is determined by the equipment being used on the application.  If the equipment is single stage,  any zoning panel available should work that meets the other guidelines described here.  When multiple stages are being used, there are many less options.  First of all, many inexpensive zoning panels do not control more than one stage (although most of these don’t meet other criteria described in this book either).  Secondly, and often overlooked is the staging control method.  Many available boards simply control second or third stage based on time alone.  In other words… if stage one is on for 8 minutes, turn on stage two.  More accurately, some panels include a 2nd stage lockout if only one zone is calling.  Best of all, some panels available use a supply temperature sensor to stage based on both time and temperature.  With a temp sensor controlling stating the most efficient use of equipment can be made, not to mention the protection from freeze or overheating it provides.

 
Replacement: Supply Air Sensor
20.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart

SmartZone Static Pressure Control for Modulating Bypass

Supportzoning supplyComment

Why SmartZone Static Pressure Control so much better?  It's pre-wired, saving lots of time and hassle.

Much better than the competition... more accurate and the easiest by far to install.  The video below shows that a typical static pressure control takes more than 4X as long to install when compared to the same ECOJAY SmartZone Static Pressure Control (ASPC)

Air Pressure Switch (Bypass Control)
68.00
Quantity:
Add To Cart
 

What type of damper is best Spring or Power?

Supportzoning supplyComment
smartzone damper sizes.png
smartzone 8 inch spring damper.png

Damper Type Selection

There are two basic types of dampers available in mass today.  Although, there are other damper types such a “balloon” type and pneumatic controlled dampers (used more commonly on DDC systems not included), for this context we will discuss these two main types of dampers:

  • Spring Open or Close (Spring Damper)
  • Power Open & Power Close (Power Damper)

Power Dampers

Power Open /Power Close dampers use three wires to either power open or power close.   They zone panel is responsible for supplying a 24VAC signal to either the PO (Power Open) or PC (Power Closed) terminal of these dampers.  This type of damper was traditionally reserved for “higher-end” or commercial applications because of the cost.  In recent years, however, motor prices have decreased and power dampers have become much more affordable (often no more expensive than the spring equivalent especially when labor and reliability are factored in.)  Primary advantages of Power Dampers include lower power consumption, quiet operation and more reliable parts.  Given the choice, Power Dampers, are almost always preferable.  The only exception to this is when code requires Spring Dampers.

PRO-Grade Power Zone Damper (Round)
from 99.00
Diameter:
Quantity:
Add To Cart
 

Spring Dampers

The way Spring Dampers work is they have a motor that, when energized by the zoning panel, it closes the damper.  When the damper is ready to open, the motor stops powering the damper closed and a spring opens the damper blade back up.  Spring Dampers have been used in an “economy” application for many years.  The two primary advantages of a Spring Damper are: 1. If the system loses power they “fail” open… but if the system loses power, the equipment isn’t going to be running either and therefore will not matter in MOST cases.  2. They only require two wires for operation.  One of the negative arguments against Spring Dampers has historically been reliability.  This mostly a result of one of its benefits… the cost.  The inherent lifecycle of any spring actuated mechanism (even if it is in the millions) is less reliable than a system that doesn’t include this potential failure point.   In addition to this, the motor that is used has to be a very specific model that allows for running backwards without damage yet still has to be powerful enough to overcome the spring trying to pull the blade in the opposite direction.  This leads to probably the BIGGEST downfall of using a Spring Damper - the power consumption.  Most Spring Dampers on the market use 3 to 4 times the power of the equivalent Power Damper (10-12 VA vs. 2-3VA).  This could be the difference in using a standard sized transformer and having to go to a very large (and expensive) over-sized transformer.   In summary: spring dampers are NOT recommended unless absolutely necessary for some reason.

Spring Zone Damper
from 99.00
DIAMETER:
SPRING DIRECTION:
Quantity:
Add To Cart
 

The parts that make an HVAC Zoning System

Supportzoning supplyComment

Elements of Zoning

A Zoning System consists of 4 primary pieces:

  1. Thermostats

  2. Zoning Control Panel

  3. Dampers

  4. Equipment

1. Thermostats

SmartZone Thermostat Zoning

Thermostats are used in just the same way that a typical thermostat is used except with a zoning system there is ONE thermostat located in each area or “zone.”  Instead of connecting these thermostats to the equipment like a typical application, with zoning all the thermostats are connected to the Zoning Panel.  Suggest purchasing on Amazon.com or from wherever 24VAC thermostats are sold.

2. Zoning Control Panel

SmartZone-4X
199.00 299.00
 

The Zoning Panel is the “brains” of the operation.  This computer-like electronic board, reads the calls from all the thermostats and makes decisions about what to energize on the equipment (heat, cool or fan) AND which dampers to open or close.  Zoning Control Panels come in MANY shapes, sizes, and colors but with SmartZone you are just selecting the number of zones)

3. Dampers

 

Not only are the thermostats connected to the Zoning Panel but so are the dampers.  A damper is to airflow in the duct like a faucet is to water in a pipe.  In other words, the damper acts like a valve in the duct system to divert air to the zones where it is needed.

4. Equipment

Finally, the Equipment is also connected to the Zoning Panel.  The equipment refers to the heating and cooling (HVAC) unit.  This can come in many shapes, sizes, and configurations.  In order to apply zoning to any equipment, the correct zoning Panel mush be chosen.  Some Zone Panels are very specific and can only be used with certain types of equipment while some are much more versatile and can be used on almost ANY type of equipment used.


The above four parts make up the pieces of a Zoning System, but since in a standard system you already have two of these parts (THERMOSTAT and EQUIPMENT).  The addition of a zoning system really consists of adding only two different parts, a ZONING PANEL and DAMPERS.   This makes zoning one of the easiest and affordable ways to gain the much desired improvement of comfort and efficiency.  With these parts installed properly a user can enjoy the ability for both added comfort and increased energy savings.

2, 3, or 4 Zone KITS
from 499.00
# of Zones:
Damper Sizes:
Bypass:
Quantity:
Add To Cart
 

What size dampers do I need?

Supportzoning supplyComment

Damper Size Selection

Typically in an existing install, the duct size will determine the damper sizes needed.  But if starting with a new duct system 2 variables must be known to determine damper sizes.

  • Total CFM of System

Calculate using the “whole house load” with maximum diversity.

  • Zone CMF (needed for each Zone)

 Total the rooms associated with each zone separately to get the “Zone CFM” (No diversity)

Round Damper Sizes

Round damper sizes range from 4” to 18” typically in 1” increments up to 10” and in 2” increments up to 18”.  There are two numbers that must be used when designing a zoning system with regard to all dampers.  

Ecojay smartzone damper sizes
  1. Design CFM – Used to properly size the dampers based on a maximum FPM air velocity at the register to avoid air noise and still provide enough throw to heat or cool the space.  (Typical acceptable FPM 600 to 800)

  2. Max CFM – The maximum amount of air that might move through a damper if it is the only zone open.  This assumes the pressure relief is also sized properly (see Pressure Relief below).  This will result in more air noise but must be kept at an acceptable level (no more than 900 FPM).

The chart shows the recommended round damper sizes to be uses for Design and Max CFM. 

NOTE: These are rough estimates & other duct restriction variables could affect the size damper needed.  Consult an HVAC professional if you are unsure.

Replace a Honeywell 4 Zone with SmartZone-4X

Supportzoning supplyComment

UPGRADE your system with an easier & better zoning control.  The SmartZone-4X is a drop in replacement for many zone control systems.  This is a quick diagram showing where to plug in the wires after disconnecting them from your old HONEYWELL system.

Honeywell HZ432, HZ-432, HZ322, HZ-322, HZ311, HZ-311, HZ221, HZ-221 can all be replaced by the SmartZone-4X in most cases.  For more information go to http://www.smartzoning.com