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Old 07-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #16
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Powered Zone Damper & Inline Motor - Duct Booster


Well, I'll tell you what I did. I have an upstairs bonus room that's against the roof, and it gets really hot. It's a separate zone, like you have. There's about 40' of 8" rigid duct feeding 2 - 6" runs to that room. In summer, the room was pretty much unusable. I put in the active air 8" fan, which has close to the same performance as the 10" model. I tied it into a relay and it goes on when the zone damper opens and that room calls for cooling. It made a 1000% difference. I didn't use the fan controller because with that long of a run, I figured I'd try without it first, and it's fine.

So, do you put in the 10" model, and pump a bunch of air into your bedroom, bath and closet? Where is the damper you were talking about, does it also feed all three rooms? If you put the 6" fan, and put it on the master bedroom, air will take the path of least resistance and it will probably pull air backwards from your closet and bath to the master bedroom, which won't work.

I went with the active air fan and speed controllers because I got tired of trying the cheaper fans that didn't do anything. I figured with this model, if it's too much, I can turn the dial down, and I do that in winter when heating the upstairs is easy. So you may want to locate the dial somewhere accessible to change it. So you can either go with the one the hvac company recommended, and cross your fingers it's enough, because there's no modifying it, or get the bigger one, and dial it down if necessary. Up to you.

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Old 07-08-2014, 01:48 PM   #17
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I will also add this. The fan that your hvac company recommended is very different than the centrifugal active air fan. The one fan I think said is rated at 650cfm, and the active air was something like 750cfm. Not that big of a difference really. But the first fan will tell you it's rated that with no restrictions, just free air flowing. When you are trying to force more air through the ductwork, that fan will just bog down and do nothing. The centrifugal fans were amazing. I tried an 8" fan like your link, plugged it in my garage, and it's a fan, no big deal, you can feel the air moving, etc. When I replaced it with the active air fan, I plugged it in on my work bench, and I thought it was going to take off! Huge difference! I mistakenly, waved my hand over the intake, you know, because that's what guys do, stupid things like that, and sure enough, it tried sucking my hand in! (kinda like when the waitress brings your plate and tells you it's hot, what's the first thing you do?)
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorjm View Post
I will also add this. The fan that your hvac company recommended is very different than the centrifugal active air fan. The one fan I think said is rated at 650cfm, and the active air was something like 750cfm. Not that big of a difference really. But the first fan will tell you it's rated that with no restrictions, just free air flowing. When you are trying to force more air through the ductwork, that fan will just bog down and do nothing. The centrifugal fans were amazing. I tried an 8" fan like your link, plugged it in my garage, and it's a fan, no big deal, you can feel the air moving, etc. When I replaced it with the active air fan, I plugged it in on my work bench, and I thought it was going to take off! Huge difference! I mistakenly, waved my hand over the intake, you know, because that's what guys do, stupid things like that, and sure enough, it tried sucking my hand in! (kinda like when the waitress brings your plate and tells you it's hot, what's the first thing you do?)
Ha, thanks for all the advice and info - this is the first time I have dabbled in HVAC related content as you probably can tell.. Yes, the flex-duct in question is the one that has the damper motor that supplies the master bed, bath, closet and "more".

I am going to have to double check when I arrive home, but if my memory is correct this specific flex-duct exits the plenum and immediately following is the motor that controls the damper. It then runs about 1 feet and splits into three sections - two 10" (I am guessing this is where the sections reduces) run straight ahead and feed an office and guest bedroom. The problematic section is the one that shoots over an arch in the attic and into the abyss - a region of the attic that is difficult to access. I need to get a ladder and squeeze into a tight spot and determine how that one section is feeding master bed, bath and closet. I have yet to see that area, but it certainly sounds like it is being taxed since is must be further split to cover those three registers. Again, this is preliminary since I have yet to see with my own eyes.

Quote:
If you put the 6" fan, and put it on the master bedroom, air will take the path of least resistance and it will probably pull air backwards from your closet and bath to the master bedroom, which won't work.
This statement scares me. I am confused on where the best location to install the active air fan would be - right after the damper and push air to all three sections? If those sections all reduce to 10", does that mean I need to purchase a 10" active air fan so that it fits properly between the flex-duct ends?

I am probably in over my head on all of this, but I am simply going to have to learn. I just paid a company to install a new furnace and air condensing unit and I have had nothing but problems. Reverting to "If you want it done right, do it yourself". Also, the statement you made about running a relay so that the active fan motor would engage after the damper is opened seems critical for all for this to work correctly - as running with the damper closed seems pointless. Do you have any resources on how to get this all working? Thanks for all the help!
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:08 PM   #19
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Well, you could put in a 12" fan right after the damper. The nice thing about these fans, is even the 12" running at full speed only pulls about 3amps. So it's not a big energy hog. You might have to close off some of the dampers to the other rooms if you want to force the air to the master bedroom, but when you do that, you can get some wind noise. So you may end up tweaking the dampers in the rooms, and the speed on the fan to get a good balance of everything.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Active-Air-Inline-Fan-12/dp/B003IM058Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404849669&sr=8-1&keywords=active+air+12%22+fan[/ame]

That thing moves a lot of air, so I'd definitely get a speed controller for it. My dampers are 24v ac, and they receive power to open them, so I bought a relay with a 24v ac coil, and the contacts were rated at something like 10amps at 120v.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:14 PM   #20
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Also, here's a quick description of the purpose of the relay part.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-...e-cheap/#step0
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:19 PM   #21
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Quote:
My dampers are 24v ac, and they receive power to open them, so I bought a relay with a 24v ac coil, and the contacts were rated at something like 10amps at 120v.
Mine is 24v ac as well. Do you have a URL to the type of relay you purchased? Just wondering how this how connects. Thanks
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:24 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by taylorjm View Post
Also, here's a quick description of the purpose of the relay part.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-...e-cheap/#step0
Great, just saw your link after I sent message.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:58 PM   #23
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This one has nice screw terminals, but might be too tall for a standard box to fit in, depending on how you mount it.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Packard-C230A-Pole-Contactor-Volt/dp/B003U7W3SM/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1404852513&sr=8-4&keywords=24v+relay+120v[/ame]


This one is similar to the article. The 24vac would go to the coil terminals 1 and 3 and the black wire for your power supply would go on terminals 4 and 2.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Supco-General-Purpose-Current-Contacts/dp/B004XS148C/ref=pd_sim_indust_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QHNV80JC9SHC4B 63J8V[/ame]
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:59 PM   #24
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Last night I checked the layout of the flex-duct we have been speaking about. This one specific flex-duct exits the plenum and has an exhaustive run. I am not sure if this is common as my experience is zilch.

Basically it exits the plenum at 12" and shortly after is the damper. It continues to run about 2-3 feet where it splits off into a 8" run to a dining room, 12 inch run over an arch, 10 inch run that splits off to a 6" run to a bedroom, 6" run to an office and 6" run to a bathroom. The 12" inch run over the arch is the one that feeds the master with an 8" run and then there is two additional 6" runs that feed the master bath and master closet - the master closet has some type of reducer because at the register it is only 3" yet the flex-duct is 6".

SO.. The only feasible location that I could see the in-line active air fan going is the location after the damper motor and prior to splitting into the 8"/10"/12" sections? Will that work, or is that going to be too many different routes to provide ant type of performance gain? I have attached a crude drawing of the layout.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:18 PM   #25
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So, what was the purpose of the damper? If it was for a 2nd story, or just a lengthy run I could understand, but it seems to be cutting off half the house. Not just a bedroom, but 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a dining room? Is there another trunk off the other side with a damper? Where is the thermostat that controls that damper located?
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:21 PM   #26
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It's no surprise you don't have any flow to the master bedrooom. They started off with a 12" run, then branched off to a 10", and 8", which is fine, but kept the 12" running to the master bedroom. That 12" isn't going to get any flow at all, unless there's another damper on the other side of the plenum that cuts off everything to the rest of the house.

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