Zone Controller

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Roadkill95, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Roadkill95

    Roadkill95 New Member

    New to Geo

    Hey, Nice forum

    I have a 1200sf ranch located in CT. The house was built in 1984 has forced hot air heat with AC on top of furnace with outside condenser. All Metal duct work with a cold air return in every room, hot air comes in near outside wall or window and return is on the other side of the room. ( I am told the duct work is a good and proper install?)

    Well everything is 24 years old and time to replace and I have been trying to research the GEO thermal.
    I do keep my house @ about 68 to 72 degrees all winter and about 72 to 75 in the summer. I never shut it off or down when not home, seems like it runs more if you do and I don't see the savings.
    The house is 2x4 construction with 12 in insulation in the attic and 3 in the walls.
    I use 800-900 gallons of oil per year.
    I do have plenty of land for pipe. I see they say 150 ft per ton for well install how about for a ground install? What about slinky?
    How many ton unit do you think would be neeed and approx cost? I am not having much luck finding a contractor that is experienced with Geo, What manufacturers of equipment are good quaility?
    Thanks for the help!!!! And advice
  2. Waukman

    Waukman Member

    Here are a few manufacturers:
    WaterFurnace - Smarter from the Ground Up
    GeoComfort Geothermal Heating and Cooling Systems
    Welcome to TETCO Geothermal

    Check them out and they should be able to help you find some local vendors. As to the size of the system it depends on your heat loss. To get a ball park size based on your current fuel bills check out this site:
    Replacing Your Furnace | CMHC
  3. Ona

    Ona Member


    I am currently installing a geo system for my home in Albany, NY. As a result, I have been researching intensively over the past 6 months. Last year we used 1026 gallons of oil (boiler was only 4 years old) and now we are installing a 3 ton geo system. I would imagine that your system would be 3 tons or less??? (not knowing anything about your heat loss)

    Regarding your questions on the type of loop, it will depend on your soil. In our case, we had stone 4 feet down so it was not practical to install a horizontal loop, our only choice was a vertical well. We still have not drilled, but it looks as if they will be going 420 feet down. Our well water is at 120 feet. If your soil is proper for horizonal, go for it! I'd also recommend at least 30 inches of insulation your attic.

    In addition to Waukman's great resources, another resource for finding knowledgable geo people is: IGSHPA (international ground source heat pump association) their website is: IGSHPA | Business Directory
    if you go to the right side of the page there is an option for looking at their business directory. A quick look shows 5 contractors in CT.

    Good Luck!
  4. mmar

    mmar New Member

    Re: New to Geo

    I dont know if you have found something yet, but they have incentive details, and an energy savings calc on their site.
    Geothermal Heat Pump

    Ive spoken to Aaron on the phone (cant remember the phone number now), and he seems really helpful and knowledgeable. He should be able to give you land req's and such.

    Geothermal is awesome! Down with Oil! (BTW, how much do you pay per year in oil?)
  5. Marc

    Marc New Member

    What is the "better" zone controller, WaterFurnace Intellizone or the Honeywell HZ432. Or is there another panel that you prefer?

    There are 4 zones in a mostly heating climate.

    I have a WaterFurnace dealer trying to sell me an Intellizone but its sometimes hard to believe my WaterFurnace dealer because he is always try to tell me "WaterFurnace is the best thing since sliced bread"...

    One thing I like about the Intellizone, though, is that I have found better documentation and more settings for when to ask the furnace for Y2 and W. Whereas the Honeywell is sort of a mystery box to me (maybe there is a more detailed manual out there?).
  6. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I googled that Honeywell part number and quickly came up with a 16 page install pdf. That zone controller is more sophisticated and user-friendly than other Honeywells I've used in the past. I like that the LEDs show a good deal of status info.

    The price is attractive as well.

    Intellizone has a couple additional advantages. Installer can 'weight' zones relative to one another according to their loads. Intellizone integrates blower CFM settings and indication on its board.

    Finally, single sourcing everything eliminates some finger-pointing if trouble arises later, but I appreciate that the additional expense may be an issue.

    BTW, be careful with design of a 4 zone system - must understand that 2 stage equipment runs at 67% of full load at low stage and that requires a substantial minimum airflow. If just one of four zones calls and it is small, system may become noisy and inefficient as it attempts to move the required minimum air.

    You may want to reduce the number of zones or add a barometric bypass or dump damper.
  7. Marc

    Marc New Member

    As for the airflow, the ducts were designed with this in mind and is currently working well.

    I may add that an Intellizone was just installed but is not working correctly. I am debating whether to have the tech replace it with the same or use a different unit.

    I really like the zone weighting on the system which makes me like it better than the honeywell.

    The problem I am having is that it is set on "Faster with Timer" and when I have a 70% weighted zone call for Y2 or W (with the other zones off) it only tells the furnace for Y1 even after the 15 min timer it is still only Y1...I even waited an hour (this zone calling W) and it was still only sending a Y1 signal to the furnace. This makes me wonder about the reliability of the intellizone and whether I should keep it or not.
  8. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I have mine set for normal. I experimented with setting a zone at 70% and sending it a Y2 call, and it went right to full bore and about blew the grills off the supply registers.

    Does Intellizone ever activate Y2 under any circumstances...possible setup issue?

    Folks are often too quick to condemn hardware, and the problem often turns out to be in the 'liveware'

    Could be a PIBKAC - Problem Isolated Between Keyboard And Chair
  9. Marc

    Marc New Member

    If multiple zones are calling for Y2 or W then they work. It seems like all the ratios are working and Y1 Y2 and W turning on at the correct time (with regards to the ratio weighting). Also, all LEDs on the board are confirmed to be working.

    Theres not really too much to this setup. Its set on Faster w/ Timer where the manual explicitly says if a Y3 call comes from a 45 or 70 weighed zone for more than 15 min then it will go to Y2 (and W 15 min after that if it is still receiving a W call). Where in reality, only Y1 is given as output from the intellizone. I see this as the timer in the intellizone not working. The intellizone correctly registers the Y1, Y2, and W LEDs as the input from this zone.
  10. teetech

    teetech Member Forum Leader

    Are you set for economy or comfort?
  11. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    My understanding is that there have been a number of firmware updates to the Intellizone program.

    I'm not yet privy to the details of those, so can't comment on the details.

    Are you absolutely wedded to "faster with timer"?
  12. Marc

    Marc New Member

    This zone is set on comfort.

    Faster with timer is a nice feature with this setup. There are two large 70% zones plus one 40% zone and the basement is set to 25% economy right now. The house is sort of an odd shape and we are maxing the geo out (when all zones are calling)about 10-15 degrees higher (outside temp) than the manual J called for so we are trying to make the zone panel a little more aggressive (to prevent a run away temperature drop) until the root cause on that side of the house can be remedied.

    That's where we ran into the problem of the timer on the panel not working like it should.
  13. teetech

    teetech Member Forum Leader

    Does the same thing happen on both 70% zones?
    It would interesting to know how the zone switches and SW 6 are set up
  14. Marc

    Marc New Member

    Here are some pictures I snapped with my phone. You can see that zone 1, 2, and 3 are calling, Y1, Y2, and W respectively and the output is a Y2 to the furnace.

    As I stated before, the system is set on faster w/ timer and when zone #3 calls for Y2 or W, all the panel outputs is a Y1 to the furnace even after 15, 20, 40 minutes. But when multiple zones are calling it seems to work as expected.


    Picture #2

    Picture #3

    Picture #4
  15. teetech

    teetech Member Forum Leader

    Two things I noticed
    1> Zone 3 is set to 25% not 45%, reverse switch 2 & 3.
    2> You have on O call on zone 4, I would get rid of that
    by removing the wire for now.

    An O signal is for cooling and could be confusing the board.
    Sometimes those little switches don't go to off & on easily so I take a small screwdriver and move them back and forth so they "catch". SW6 # 6 & 7 and zone switches would be good choices.

    To narrow things things down have you tried to shut other zones off and run zone 1 with a Y3 or W call?
  16. Marc

    Marc New Member

    Zone 3 is actually set on 70%. The picture may be a little fuzzy, all 3 switches are to the "on" position (switched to the right).

    For some reason when I took the picture I shut the basement thermostat off and it turned "O" on but left "G" off. I never noticed this before...but I normally don't shut off the T-stats.

    I powered down the unit and turned off the breakers then reset #6 and #7 on sw6 to off again.

    Then to test it:
    I shut the other zones off and put zone 1 to call "W" (Y1, Y2, W and G lights lite up on the board) and received no Y2 or W output after 30 minutes, only Y1.
  17. teetech

    teetech Member Forum Leader

    My bad, I meant zone 2 at 25%.
    Pics are a good thing and you did a pretty good job.
    Looks like you need a new Intellizone board.

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