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Old 01-01-2011, 08:24 AM   #1
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


Hi,
I have recently purchased a new home which has an oil furnace with 3 zones. I replaced the thermostat in the main/lower level with a Honeywell RTH2300 programmable thermostat. The previous thermostat had W,Y,G,R,O and B wires connected. The O was a Brown wire but I don't think that matters. Following the instructions, I attached WYGRO/B and taped up the Blue wire. I left the jumpers to their default positions.

After doing this, it seems the thermostat controls the main zone just fine. Furnace fires up just fine when temp in that room drops. However, it seems the other 2 thermostats are not controlling any heat in those zones. If I crank the thermostat higher than what it is currently reading, the furnace doesn't fire at all. It seems that all 3 zones are getting heat when the main zone fires the furnace, but that zone gets heated much quicker than upstairs, so the furnace shuts off before upstairs gets a decent amount of heat and is staying quite cold.

As this is a new house and I've only been here for a couple nights so far, its hard for me to say how well the zone heating was working before I replaced the thermostat.... However in the past couple nights, if I turned up the thermostat in the other 2 zones, it did seem to get the furnace to fire.

Any ideas on what I've done wrong here, or what I can check?

Thanks !

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Old 01-01-2011, 08:46 AM   #2
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


Good chance you have power open power closed zone valves. And need a thermostat that has separate O and B terminals.

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Old 01-01-2011, 09:58 AM   #3
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


So I put the old one back and that definitely seemed to fix it. Unfortunately I don't see anything on the packaging that would tell me the difference from one to the other so I think I'll just troll through the installation instructions on the web and find a model that has separate connections similar to the original one.

Thanks!
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:35 AM   #4
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


White Rodgers makes one that works with power open power closed. I just don't remember the model number.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:20 AM   #5
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


I was actually able to find the installation manual for the old one that was currently on the wall when I moved in, and seems to be working. It's not programmable which is why I wanted to replace it.
Besides the 4 standard (white=heat, yellow=a/c, green=fan, red=power (jumpered r and rc)) it has a brown wire in the O terminal which the install guide lists as "heat pump changeover valve energized during cooling" and then a blue wire in the B terminal listed as "heat pump changeover valve energized during heating".

It sounds like that confirms what you were thinking. To my knowledge there is no heat pump so they must have set it up to just use the power when the heat/cool kicks in. The new thermostat did actually have a jumper on the back of it for the heat pump, but it sounds like I need to find something as you mentioned that has 2 separate ones so all 6 wires are attached.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:53 AM   #6
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


So I was able to find a 3M Filtrete one actually that had both connections. Hooked it up last night and everything was working great! The two non primary zones were independently controlling the furnace as they should.

Of course I decide to take it a step further and think, why not use the one that I bought that wasn't working, and see if that will work in the upstairs zone as that only had 3 wires. Bad idea. Apparently the "Y" marking on the thermostat for a slave zone isn't the same as the one on the primary zone and when I hooked it up, nothing happened. AFter a little research I found out that these slave zones may need a special thermostat. So I tried to put the old one back, and now, I'm back to the same scenario I was in. The primary zone controller (new 3M one) will turn everything on, but the other zone thermostats no longer work. Not sure if I've blown something on the control panel or something like that when I connected the programmable thermostat to the 3 wire upstairs. Any ideas there? Might be time to get somebody in here.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:22 PM   #7
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


May have shorted a relay or 2. Need meter to check.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #8
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Programmable thermostat and zone issues


Turns out something must be going on inside that main zone controller (the new 3M one). When I flick that thing from Heat to Off and back to Heat again, everything started working as normal.
I also went ahead and tried again to replace the second zone controller with the Honeywell programmable, using only the W/R/Y wire terminals that the previous one was using, and after once again flicking the main controller from Heat to Off to Heat again, it all came back up and working with the programmable in the second zone now.
Not sure why the main controller needs to be flipped between heat and off like that, but its reproduceable and seems to be working, so thats good enough for me for now!

Thanks!

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