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  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    Zoning and thermostat question?

    Hi I am new to this and recently got installed a new XC95M modulating furnace, an XR15 condenser with a matching coil, and a 3 zone Honeywell system HZ 311 with Honeywell dampers and basic programmable thermostats. Everything works fine so far - given that we have tested the A/C only. My question is in regards the zoning system and thermostats - they are all for a single stage furnace and A/C (which is ok for the A/C). I asked my HVAC company about not being sure that it would work with a comunicating modulating furnace but I was assured that it is fine and all i need is a single stage thermostat and the furnace will be modulating the stages based on the temp of the return air. Is this true? Do I need a real communicating thermostats and a comunicating zoning board? What is the corect thing to be done in that situation - meaning taking full advantage of the modulating furnace by keeping it the way it is or change to different zonning and thermostats? Does Trane even offer zoning boards for comunicating thermostats?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Sep 2008
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    Western PA
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  3. #3
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    May 2000
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    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    That is not a wise combo. You will just be single stage and the modulating furnace will time up to a higher stage til it limits out or all stats satisfy. The 311 panel doesn't have adjustable high limit so chances are the furnace will overheat before the panel sensor shuts it down. Then you could have issues with limits failing. I would have gone with a XV95 2 stage and 432 panel that stages based on % of zones calling and switches to low if the air coming out gets too hot. I don't know if Trane offers a zone panel specifically for the XC95M or not. Hopefully one of the Trane fans can tell us.

  4. #4
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    Aug 2007
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    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    That is not a wise combo. You will just be single stage and the modulating furnace will time up to a higher stage til it limits out or all stats satisfy. The 311 panel doesn't have adjustable high limit so chances are the furnace will overheat before the panel sensor shuts it down. Then you could have issues with limits failing. I would have gone with a XV95 2 stage and 432 panel that stages based on % of zones calling and switches to low if the air coming out gets too hot. I don't know if Trane offers a zone panel specifically for the XC95M or not. Hopefully one of the Trane fans can tell us.
    Bad combination

  5. #5
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    Aug 2012
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    That's what I was suspecting. How can one fix that?
    Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    6,829
    Call the installing contractor company and have a discussion with them about what is installed in your home.
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    12
    I will , but I would like to know what is the best solution for this problem- obviosly my installer does not have the proper knowledge about this issue. I hope that out there is someone who knows trane and would recommend the proper fix.
    Thanks for the replies so far.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    Does Trane have a panel designed for the XC or not? If not, then not much you can do with that furnace. They could swap it out for the XV95 and use the 432 panel like I suggested. At a very minimum, I'd get the 311 panel outta there and get the 321 or 432 instead. Both of them have adjustable high limit. The 311 does not. You need the adjustable so the installer can set the zone panel to shut off the furnace when it gets too hot, not the furnace's safety. If you let the furnace's limit do it, it will rather quickly fail and leave you without heat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Any other options? Does anyone know if Trane offers zoning boards for this furnace? Any Trane installers out there? Thanks

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirinex View Post
    Any other options? Does anyone know if Trane offers zoning boards for this furnace? Any Trane installers out there? Thanks
    Yes, Trane has a communicating zone control that takes full advantage of that modulating furnace. The TZONE950 comfort control, with a ZZONE panel, and appropriate zone sensors.

    It is a fully modulating zoning system, and with the addition of the optional duct static pressure transducer, is basically "Plug-n-Play" to set up.
    If your existing zone dampers are power open power closed dampers, with very consistent travel times, you likely can keep your existing dampers, but it would be best to change them out for the AS/Trane dampers that are designed to work with the modulating zone control.
    The existing bypass duct and damper, if there is one, would need to be removed, or otherwise disabled so there is no bypass. The zone control will modulate damper positions and the blower speed as needed, so there is no need for an energy wasting bypass.

    While that would be the ideal setup, it isn't without significant cost.

    At the very least, your current zone panel needs to be replaced with one that has 2 stages of heating, so heating stages can be limited based on the number of zones calling.
    The heating capacity of the furnace will still modulate based on run times, 40% to 65% when only 1st stage is calling, 65% to 100% when both stages are calling.

    IMO, I don't believe the system will ever work well in the heating mode with your current zone panel.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  11. #11
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    May 2000
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    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    If being used on a 2 zone panel, will the furnace downstage to low if number of zones calling drops down?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    Yes, Trane has a communicating zone control that takes full advantage of that modulating furnace. The TZONE950 comfort control, with a ZZONE panel, and appropriate zone sensors.

    It is a fully modulating zoning system, and with the addition of the optional duct static pressure transducer, is basically "Plug-n-Play" to set up.
    If your existing zone dampers are power open power closed dampers, with very consistent travel times, you likely can keep your existing dampers, but it would be best to change them out for the AS/Trane dampers that are designed to work with the modulating zone control.
    The existing bypass duct and damper, if there is one, would need to be removed, or otherwise disabled so there is no bypass. The zone control will modulate damper positions and the blower speed as needed, so there is no need for an energy wasting bypass.

    While that would be the ideal setup, it isn't without significant cost.

    At the very least, your current zone panel needs to be replaced with one that has 2 stages of heating, so heating stages can be limited based on the number of zones calling.
    The heating capacity of the furnace will still modulate based on run times, 40% to 65% when only 1st stage is calling, 65% to 100% when both stages are calling.

    IMO, I don't believe the system will ever work well in the heating mode with your current zone panel.

    Ok - I see, finally some light on the problem. So if I were to re-use my power dampers- which are Honeywell two wires power open and close, what else would I need besides ZZONEPNLAC52ZA-which is (Four Zone Communicating Zone Panel with discharge air sensor, static pressure transducer and housing, supply, & return air static probes and connecting tubing.) And the TZONE950AC52ZA-(the actual XL950) and the TZONE940AW52ZA-(wireless zone thermostat) with a separate wireless sensor xl930 - for the 2nd and third zone or I could use two XL900 thermostats? Also Do I need a 24 volt relay for TZONE950?
    I would greatly appreciate the answer.
    Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    North Richland Hills, Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirinex View Post
    Ok - I see, finally some light on the problem. So if I were to re-use my power dampers- which are Honeywell two wires power open and close
    If your current zone dampers only have 2 wires going to them, they are power open/spring return dampers, and will not work with a modulating zone damper control.
    At the very least, the damper actuators would need to be replaced.

    what else would I need besides ZZONEPNLAC52ZA-which is (Four Zone Communicating Zone Panel with discharge air sensor, static pressure transducer and housing, supply, & return air static probes and connecting tubing.) And the TZONE950AC52ZA-(the actual XL950) and the TZONE940AW52ZA-(wireless zone thermostat) with a separate wireless sensor xl930 - for the 2nd and third zone or I could use two XL900 thermostats? Also Do I need a 24 volt relay for TZONE950?
    I would greatly appreciate the answer.
    Thanks
    The TZONE950AC52ZA will be the thermostat for one of the zones, and can be used for setting the temperatures and schedules for each zone. The other zones only need the ZZSENSEAL0400AA zone temperature sensors, no need for the TZONE940 sensors, unless you want a display in each zone.

    Since you have a communicating furnace, and single stage AC, the relay panel is not needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    If being used on a 2 zone panel, will the furnace downstage to low if number of zones calling drops down?
    It would depend on how the panel operates. Usually the feature to limit staging by the number of zones calling is only found on 3+ zone panels.
    There are a lot of zoning products, so I'm sure there are exceptions.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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