A zone valve, part of a water-based heating system, regulates how much hot water is sent to baseboard heaters in each zone of the house (the upstairs or downstairs, for example). When you turn on a thermostat, the zone valve opens, allowing hot water to go to the zone where you want heat. A zone valve contains an actuator, which opens and closes the valve and controls the flow of water. While zone valves are relatively inexpensive and easily serviceable, they are not always reliable. Sometimes, the valve will become jammed or start to leak and need replacing.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Soldering torch
- Angle driver
- Pipe cleaner
Install the zone valve in a location where you have room move the actuator's manual opening lever and remove the actuator cover to wire the actuator itself. Install the valve in an area where the valve won't encounter high temperatures.
Disconnect the unit's power supply and turn off the house's hot water supply. Install the valve on a new, well-reamed pipe that has no dents or corrosion.
Mount the valve on the pipe horizontally with the actuator above the centre line of the pipe and make sure it is aligned according to the directions that come with the valve. Alternatively, mount the valve on a vertical pipe. Place the valve on the return side of the heating coil and ensure that water flows through the valve in the direction indicated by the arrow stamped on the valve.
Wire the valve according to the diagram that comes with the valve instructions. Twist the ends of corresponding wires together and cover with wire nuts (included with the valve).
Sweat the joints with the solder and torch: deburr both inside and outside of the joint using an angle grinder and drill, sand down the outer surface and ream the inside with a pipe cleaner. Apply some flux to the joints and use the torch to solder the joints.
Move the manual opening lever from the AUTO position to MAN OPEN and back again to test the valve installation.
Tips and warnings
- Never use silver solder as its melting temperature is too high.
- Familiarise yourself with the installation manual that comes with the valve and follow the instructions precisely.
- Ensure the installation complies with local codes and regulations.
- Always disconnect the power and hot water before working on your heating system.
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