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Old 07-01-2014, 10:26 AM   #1
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Powered Zone Damper & Inline Motor - Duct Booster


My Honeywell M847D1004 appears to be on the fritz. The airflow in our master bedroom was nonexistent when I arrived home. I took the cover off of the actuator and noticed that fly wheel was not turning and when I would try to move manually - in hopes of opening the damper, it was non-responsive. I had the zone system replaced in 2011, and I believe the system included a 5 year warranty. Hopefully this will be covered. If not, my local a/c company wants 375 to replace part and install. Online the M847D1004 and 802360JA costs around 99 dollars, so most of the work is for labor. My question is, if this is not covered under my warranty, is this a DIY project - removing the old powered zone damper and replacing in the duct?

My second question is in regards to the same master bedroom. The duct work going to this room, goes out from the plenum and shoots up over an arch in the attic and then has about a 30+ foot run. The same company that quoted me 375 for replacing the zone damper and motor suggested an "Inline Motor" to be installed in the duct to boot air flow to the master bedroom. What do you guys think? Is a duct booster a good idea and if so, what about a price of 300 for motor and installation? My duct work is flex. Looking online the inline motor appears pretty cheap - 40 dollars or so, but where to place and dealing with electrical may be an issue for me.

Thanks in advance for any advice/suggestions.

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Old 07-01-2014, 04:24 PM   #2
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The $40 booster fans don't do anything. Were you comfortable with the zoning system? Why the suggestion of a booster fan?


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Old 07-01-2014, 04:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by taylorjm View Post
The $40 booster fans don't do anything. Were you comfortable with the zoning system? Why the suggestion of a booster fan?
The furnace and air condensing unit were recently replaced with new system. Upstairs use to be a nightmare with old 20+ year system. Upstairs is now cool after replacement. However, the master bedroom is experiencing cooling issues. That is how I found the problem with the damper motor yesterday; no air blowing from master vent.

I fiddled with the motor on the actuator and got the damper to open - now cool are is blowing into master. I believe the unit has been failing for a while and has restricted the air flow or at a minimum degraded.

When I called the A/C company that did the installation, they are the ones that recommended the in-line motor. I have complained about low air flow from that vent on several service calls and now after finding the issue with the damper motor, I guess that makes sense and I should try that before even thinking about a booster - which you indicate is not helpful.

The zoning system was existing equipment, but I am trying to warranty failed actuator from other company that did installation of zoning system. The Honeywell part has a 5 year warranty, so it should be covered. However, if they want to charge me 200 dollars to install, it will be cheaper for me just to buy a new actuator and do it myself.

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Old 07-01-2014, 05:35 PM   #4
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The $40 booster fans don't do anything. Were you comfortable with the zoning system? Why the suggestion of a booster fan?
Maybe I misread. I thought you had indicated that all booster fans are not effective. Which models would do well; so I can compare to what the a/c company would potentially install.

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Old 07-01-2014, 05:43 PM   #5
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There are some good ones and I would bet a reputable company would use quality equipment. I was saying that the $40 Home Depot blowers are useless.


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Old 07-01-2014, 06:14 PM   #6
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I'd wait until the damper problem is fixed, before getting a booster fan. With teh damper fixed, you might find the room cools good enough not to need a booster fan.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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Exactly. Try the damper issue first. I first used a zoning system with dampers, and it worked fine except when the 2nd story was calling for cooling, the a/c was running a lot just for that 2nd story because the airflow wasn't really there. Then I went through and removed the dampers, and put in booster fans to run when each room called for heat/cooling. Now, we have plenty of airflow and the a/c doesn't have to run all day just to cool one room upstairs.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:52 PM   #8
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What model of booster fans did you use? Yes, primary objective is to fix damper problem then reassess.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:02 PM   #9
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[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Active-Inch-In-line-Speed-Controller/dp/B00HS7W5ZQ/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1404262457&sr=8-6&keywords=active+air+fan[/ame]

This is what I went with because I couldn't find one that pushed enough air. I also went with the speed controller in order to tune it the way I wanted, and was glad I did. I looked at all different models and this had the best reviews. Now, it's not the quietest. If you crank it up you can hear the air rushing through the duct, but that's what happens when you try and squeeze 400+cfm through a 6" duct.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorjm View Post
http://www.amazon.com/Active-Inch-In...active+air+fan

This is what I went with because I couldn't find one that pushed enough air. I also went with the speed controller in order to tune it the way I wanted, and was glad I did. I looked at all different models and this had the best reviews. Now, it's not the quietest. If you crank it up you can hear the air rushing through the duct, but that's what happens when you try and squeeze 400+cfm through a 6" duct.

I have a few questions in regards to installation of the above mentioned "Active Air In-line fan". First, I measured the duct at the register and it is 6". The flex duct running to the vent is insulated - I am not sure of the exact dimensions, but it must have a lot of insulation around it - I am guessing it would be about 10". My HVAC company got back with me, and below is the duct booster they want to install;

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O6ECQC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2G5859HC U1M8W"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001O6ECQC/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2G5859HC U1M8W[/ame]

This appears to be the exact kind that was referenced as junk in an above comment. I could be wrong, but it looks like one of the cheap home deport models.

Looking at that model, it appears I would just cut the flex duct and stick between the two ends and then seal back up with cable ties and flux duct tape. However, with the other model recommended;

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HS7W5ZQ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3OJY9E0Z Y1FCH"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HS7W5ZQ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A3OJY9E0Z Y1FCH[/ame]

Would the same principle apply? It looks like it may be more difficult to attach the flex-duct in between due to it's size. Also is there an ideal location to install the in-line fan; e.g. - as soon as the flex duct exits the plenum or further down the line somewhere?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:49 AM   #11
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I'm not sure how they plan to install the one you listed, since you said your duct work is 6" and the fan listed is 10". If they are going to install the 6" model, then it won't do much. I've got about 3 different models like that one that I've tried and none of them did much. The Active Air one is installed the same way except I put a piece of flex duct on each side and strapped it up between the joists in my case.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by taylorjm View Post
I'm not sure how they plan to install the one you listed, since you said your duct work is 6" and the fan listed is 10". If they are going to install the 6" model, then it won't do much. I've got about 3 different models like that one that I've tried and none of them did much. The Active Air one is installed the same way except I put a piece of flex duct on each side and strapped it up between the joists in my case.
Yeah, I made a mistake on where I made my measurements. I need to measure at the register vs the vent - I am guessing there is some sort of reducer at the vent location because that is where the 6" measurement originated. It makes more sense that it must be 10" due to the physical size of the flex duct and what the hvac company listed for their part.

I will need a 10" Active Air In-Line Fan w/controller. Would love to see a photo on how you have it strapped up between the joists. Thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:16 PM   #13
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You lost me. Isn't the duct 6"? I've never heard of running 10" to the duct boot and reducing it to 6". If the duct is insulated and is 10", then I'd still bet the inside diameter is only 6".
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:20 PM   #14
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You lost me. Isn't the duct 6"? I've never heard of running 10" to the duct boot and reducing it to 6". If the duct is insulated and is 10", then I'd still bet the inside diameter is only 6".
The flex-duct is insulated and I am not sure what the inside diameter is since I have yet to cut open. The only measurement I made was at a register (aka overhead vent) and when I removed the cover, the opening was 6". However, I am a bit perplexed because of the part number that I received from my HVAC company. As you pointed out, why would they use a 10" fan if the true diameter of the duct is 6"?
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #15
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Well I asked for clarification from the HVAC company on the fan size and this is what they stated;

"It comes out as a 12" & reduces to a 10". Since we cannot get a 12" we will install this 10" model where it reduces. This runs over the attic to your master bed, bath, and closet. At least one of these drops may be a 6"."

So with that information, I am more confused on what size model to go with in regards to the Active Air in-line fan.

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