Kentucky Climatemaster thermostat diagnostic data question

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by JeffM, Apr 7, 2016.

  1. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    Hello. After long and bitter battle I finally admitted defeat and replaced my Waterfurnace Premier unit. I put up a good fight, replaced a blower motor and flow center over the last year; in the end, though, with federal tax credits ending this year, I gave up and replaced it with a Climatemaster Tranquility 30 unit. Hard to complain about the WF as it lasted 22 years with almost no trouble until the past year.

    Through the process of helping my WF limp along I've developed an interest in system performance (loop temp, pressure, flow rates, etc.) and was really looking forward to the diagnostic information transmitted to the thermostat with the new Climatemaster. However, I ordered a zoning package and the installer informed me that the Climatemaster thermostat won't handle zoning so he put in Honeywell thermostats that won't display diagnostic information. Bummer!

    So, my question is - is there any alternate way to access this information? I understand there is a dealer diagnostic tool available (ACDU02) but it's about $440. I'm not THAT interested. I'm wondering if anyone has developed a workaround for this?

    I've read enough to confirm that my installer knows his stuff, but it seems really strange that an industry leader like Climatemaster would offer one of their top end products that isn't zoning-friendly.

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Does the Honeywell report to a zone control or to the heat pump?
  3. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    Hi Mark. I'm not sure I understand the sequence of communication. The zoning system is controlled by a EWC Controls BMPLUS 3000 unit. Does that answer your question?

  4. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    When a thermostat generates a call for heating or cooling what turns on the heat pump? the zoning control or the thermostat calling?
  5. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    I've done a little more investigation. The thermostat sends commands to the zoning board. Zoning board controls heat pump.

    I think the diagnostic data from the heat pump is "lost" because the zoning board doesn't pass it through to the thermostat display. I called the manufacturer of the zoning board (EWC) and there is no option to pass that data through.

    I wonder if I could splice in a thermostat between the heat pump and the zoning board that would "read only." That is, could I splice it in and use it only as a display?

    Thanks again.
  6. arkie6

    arkie6 Member Forum Leader

    How much is the Climatemaster communicating thermostat? If it is significantly cheaper than the diagnostic tool, then you might check with Climatemaster and see if the communicating thermostat could be connected to the DXM2 control board and just set its setpoints so far out that it never provides a call for heat or cool. The question for Climatemaster is would the DXM2 control board respond to the calls for heating and cooling from the zone controller with the communicating thermostat also connected but not providing any calls for heat or cool? Note that a standard thermostat and zone controller connect to the DXM2 board in a different location than the communicating thermostat or diagnostic tool.

    See page 5 of this document that shows were a conventional thermostat or zone controller connects (P1) and where the communicating thermostat connects (P4).

    I'm actually interested in the response to this question as well as I have plans to install a Climatemaster TE038 along with the communicating thermostat. I have zone dampers installed but no zone controller yet. I'm planning on initially just controlling the basement dampers with a simple slave thermostat that only provides control to the dampers but does not turn the unit on. That way the basement would get heating or cooling if necessary only when the main floor zone calls for heating or cooling. This is a well insulated ICF home with full basement and I think this will work ok, but if this doesn't work to my satisfaction, then I will be looking at a zone controller and buying another thermostat for the main floor, but I would like to have the Climatemaster communicating thermostat connected for system monitoring if possible.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
    Mark Custis likes this.
  7. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    Thanks, arkie6 and Mark. The CM communicating thermostat is $250-300 retail. I've been offered one for $200. If I can figure out a way to configure it, it would be worth $200 to have access to system data.

    That's a really interesting idea to connect a CM thermostat and set it so that it would never call for heat or air. I'll try to call CM technical support Monday. I'll post when I get more information.
  8. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Not a fan of zoning, but if someone must, we would use a more sophisticated product than the EWC. I prefer staging to be directed by indoor temperature not timers or outdoor temp.
    You will not be able to use a CM stat as you hope.
    Fault codes can still be read without the service tool and since your installer likely has a service tool you'll be able to see what transpired if there is a failure.
    Other than that you wouldn't leave the diagnostic tool on during regular operation, so you would tire of it very quickly.
  9. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Hey Arkie:

    If too many cooks spoil the broth then too many control boards can blow up equipment.

    Cut the high dollar t-stat out of the control system. Add a cheap dumb stat to respond to the zone needs and communicate with the zoning board. The zone control knows nothing. It does what a thermostat asks for heat or cool.

    The heat pump and the high dollar stat communicate with each other to produce a visual interface that you can see. Tag the stat to the heat pump around the zone control. Do not let the smart stuff have anything to do with the zoning.

    BTW: If they zoned your system you should have a control for each
  10. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    I spoke with CM technical support this morning. What a disappointing experience. Honestly, I wish I would have called them BEFORE making the decision to purchase their product - I would never have chosen to be a CM customer if this is their idea of "customer support." The guy had zero interest in trying to understand my question so I don't have much to report. He tried to refer me to the CM MARKETING department! ???

    Mark, Joe, arkie - I've learned far more from your comments and you're just replying out of goodness of heart. Thank you.
    Michael Mulder likes this.
  11. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Since I have been unable to walk for the last year, trips to other peoples basements are limited. I have only seen one of these stats working in real time. Find me links to the i/o manuals and I will look for a way to let you have your zoning and monitor the heat pump.
  12. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    Thank you, Mark. I sent you a private message.
  13. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader


    Got the mail and the files, I have been to KY

    Give me a day or so.

  14. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    An update: I tried installing a CM communicating thermostat, set so it did not call for heat or air, and it didn't register any diagnostic data. Just displayed "N/A" in every field.

    However, my installer sold me a diagnostic tool at a very reasonable price so I am able to monitor system performance. I still think the lack of ability to capture system information if using a zoning system is a design/engineering flaw that CM should address.

    Thanks to all for your help. Mark Custis even talked with me on the phone and used his CM connections to help. I really appreciate this online community!
  15. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    The result was predictable. The "communicating" stat must link to something that communicates with it (i.e. the heat pump). Your zone control interrupts the signal between the the two with isolating relays.
  16. JeffM

    JeffM New Member

    I hoped that connecting the CM communicating thermostat directly to the heat pump board (not after the zoning board) might take the zoning board out of the equation.
  17. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    CM thought it would work.
  18. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    "I hoped that connecting the CM communicating thermostat directly to the heat pump board (not after the zoning board)"

    I see, it wasn't clear to me how you installed it.
  19. SolarPower

    SolarPower Member

    I am going to dig up this old post. I have a communicating thermostat. The ACUO2 service tool connects up to the board with a four-pin connector.

    The service tool looks just like the communicating thermostat. Can I connect the communicating thermostat to the same 4 wires like the service tool connects to just get the iGate info and system errors?
    (I just looked at the control board and it looks like the service tool connects to the same wires as the communicating thermostat.
    This would indicate that this would not work and I would need to get the service tool to make this work.)

    Then I would connect up a Wi-Fi thermostat to control the system. I would also like to get a thermostat that can turn with a .5 degree difference. I don't want to loose the iGate service info.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019

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