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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    23
    I hope someone here can give me some advice, I am not an installer, just a poor schmuck who hired what I thought was a reputable compant to install a zoned system in our home we just built here south of Spokane - and we are having lots of problems with it.

    Rheem 4 ton, 3 zoned system, 2800 SF home (9ft ceilings first flr, 8 ft second) 2 zones down, 1 up. We had problems with the cooling on it back in the warmer months (system could not cool the house down, would run non-stop and then cycle off I guess to prevent freezing the unit up?) - we noticed that zone 1 on first floor, you could barely feel any air flow coming from the registers.. well they finally fixed that and the house cooled down okay without the unit running non-stop.

    But now, we are having a similiar problem with the HEAT in that we were noticing that there was very little air flow from zone 1 registers in heating call, and the system would run for about 30 minutes and was unable to raise the temp 3 deg (from 66 to 69) and then the AUXILARY heat would cut in (heat strips I guess, we sould see a little light turn on on the thermostats to indicate the AUX heat cutting in)... it still would run non-stop and we just gave up and turned the heating down to 66 so as to not run up the elec bill with those dang heat strips. So they came out and adjusted something under the house (the unit is in our crawl space) and replaced the thermoststs! (From invensys to Honeywells).. not sure why they replaced the thermoststs, that didn't make sense to me. Anyway, the system seemed to run a little better, until this morning with an outsie air temp of 34 deg, this system came on at 3AM, and NEVER SHUT OFF until 6:30 and then only for about a min. We have the house set to 68 deg. Is that NORMAL??? Air flow from the registers seems to vary quite a bit, I guess this is because of how many zones are making calls at the same time?

    My wife is starting to freak out, thinking that this thing is going to burn up its running so much. Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Can't tell much from here,what does the installing contrctor say??


    Posting pictures of the unit and dampers ,would help,might see something.

    Zoning is often poorly designed ,hope that's not your case.You may need to find another contractor with more zoning knowledge.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,248

    Exclamation Air Flow Review

    Originally posted by mparkes
    we just built here south of Spokane - and we are having lots of problems with it.

    Rheem 4 ton, 3 zoned system, 2800 SF home (9ft ceilings first flr, 8 ft second) 2 zones down, 1 up.

    But now, we are having a similiar problem with the HEAT in that we were noticing that there was very little air flow from zone 1 registers in heating call, and the system would run for about 30 minutes and was unable to raise the temp 3 deg (from 66 to 69) and then the AUXILARY heat would cut in (heat strips

    ... it still would run non-stop and we just gave up and turned the heating down to 66 so as to not run up the elec bill with those dang heat strips.

    So they came out and adjusted something under the house (the unit is in our crawl space) and replaced the thermoststs!

    Anyway, the system seemed to run a little better, until this morning with an outside air temp of 34 deg, this system came on at 3AM, and NEVER SHUT OFF until 6:30 and then only for about a min. We have the house set to 68 deg. Is that NORMAL???

    Air flow from the registers seems to vary quite a bit, I guess this is because of how many zones are making calls at the same time?

    Note that the Heat pump capacity is significantly reduced at < 40'F.

    No RHEEM equipment model numbers, heat strip rating
    ( __ 15Kw ?) nor Manual J info has been provided.

    Heating at least two zones to 72'F should not be a challenge for a Properly designed system at the Design Temperature.

    Air balancing for different zone calls needs to be THOROUGHLY investigated by an experienced, third-party, certified balancer.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    23
    Thanks for the replies -
    I will take some photos of the system and post here later - should I be able to get the manual J numbers from the installer? What other intelligent questions should I ask him, rather than just griping? I'd like to be able to approach a third party to come in and analyze the system and see whats wrong, do I just ask them if they are a "certified balancer"? thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453

    mparkes

    What seer rating is yur equipment - 4 tons on 2800 sg ft is pushing the limit - by rule of thumb - and if yu have variable speed blower, yur problems may be mutiplied. If you have high seer, then you don't have 4 tons anyway, so yur 'short' even more.
    Can't give you an answer to yur problem as I am not there,
    but I am sure that you paid a premium for that system & you deserve to have it right
    Sue the installers !! ( just kidding ) - but you do need attention by the installing company.

    I hope you all the best,
    Richard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    21
    Originally posted by mparkes
    [snip]
    Rheem 4 ton, 3 zoned system, 2800 SF home
    4-ton approx equals 1600CFM maximum air-flow, this is too small for 2800 sq.ft.
    If it's a heat pump, then it's BTU/h heating capacity is insufficient for the air flow requirements of the structure.
    (9ft ceilings first flr, 8 ft second) 2 zones down, 1 up. We had problems with the cooling on it back in the warmer months (system could not cool the house down, would run non-stop and then cycle off I guess to prevent freezing the unit up?) - we noticed that zone 1 on first floor, you could barely feel any air flow coming from the registers.. well they finally fixed that and the house cooled down okay without the unit running non-stop.

    But now, we are having a similiar problem with the HEAT in that we were noticing that there was very little air flow from zone 1 registers in heating call, and the system would run for about 30 minutes and was unable to raise the temp 3 deg (from 66 to 69) and then the AUXILARY heat would cut in (heat strips I guess, we sould see a little light turn on on the thermostats to indicate the AUX heat cutting in)... it still would run non-stop and we just gave up and turned the heating down to 66 so as to not run up the elec bill with those dang heat strips. So they came out and adjusted something under the house (the unit is in our crawl space) and replaced the thermoststs! (From invensys to Honeywells).. not sure why they replaced the thermoststs, that didn't make sense to me. Anyway, the system seemed to run a little better, until this morning with an outsie air temp of 34 deg, this system came on at 3AM, and NEVER SHUT OFF until 6:30 and then only for about a min. We have the house set to 68 deg. Is that NORMAL??? Air flow from the registers seems to vary quite a bit, I guess this is because of how many zones are making calls at the same time?

    My wife is starting to freak out, thinking that this thing is going to burn up its running so much. Any advice is appreciated!
    For zoning systems, a variable speed furnace/air handler should be used along with a 2-speed air conditioner or heat pump. Why? Zone demand.

    You haven't given us much info in your lengthy post.
    You mentioned a Rheem... does this product have a model number?
    What type of Zone system? Who manufactured it? What model/type of zone product?

    How was the duct system designed to seperate the the zones?
    Why did you install zones in the first place, why not have two systems: one for the second floor, and one for the first (either or both could then be zoned for more "comfort.")

    The more specific information, the better of a response you'll get. Give us homeowner information and not homeMoaner whinning.

    Rule of thumb:
    You get what you pay for
    Go with the cheapest, live with it.

    Want to see what Professionals use to zone standard residential equipment? Look here.

    Want to elimnate your problems? Go here.

  7. #7
    zoning systems work great, we have had not one problem.
    my thinking is maybe the duct design is not adequete. i would hire another contractor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    21

    Re: mparkes

    Originally posted by bornriding
    ... If you have high seer, then you don't have 4 tons anyway, so yur 'short' even more.
    What???
    What does SEER have to do with Capacity?

    Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

    The total cooling output of an air conditioner during its normal annual usage period for cooling, in Btu/h (W), divided by the total electric energy input during the same period, in watt-hours, as determined by DOE 10 CFR Part 430, Subpart B, Test Procedures. New equipment ranges from about 10 to 16 SEER. Higher SEER ratings indicate more efficient equipment.

    Ummm..
    Go here, and lurk the glossary, and maybe learn a few things

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Dothan, Al
    Posts
    3,453

    gate

    If you look at the BTU rating of the compressors in the high SEER systems, you should notice that the compressors for a certain size system will be reduced in capacity as the seer rating goes up. At least this is what I am discovering when looking at higher SEER equipment. Don't know how they retain the size rating, but the BTU's are lower. Which is how they can save energy. Even the 10 Seers don't put out full rating BTU's.
    Please, inform me if I am incorrect.

    Respectfully,
    Richard

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    23
    Okay lets see if I can supply a little more info instead of just whining!

    Rheem Model RPPA-049JAZ
    14 SEER
    8.70 HSPF

    Appears to be a Zonex zone controller.

    Heat strip appears to be
    208V/240VAC
    13.2/17.5
    Rheem model RBHK 24J18SUE

    HahA!!! - there it is - last 4 model letters - SUE!!! I just found the answers to my problems!

    I'll post some pix later.

    We did not go with the low bidder on this project, they were a middle bidder, about $14K for the system

    thanks for the replies!



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836

    Re: gate

    Originally posted by bornriding
    If you look at the BTU rating of the compressors in the high SEER systems, you should notice that the compressors for a certain size system will be reduced in capacity as the seer rating goes up. At least this is what I am discovering when looking at higher SEER equipment. Don't know how they retain the size rating, but the BTU's are lower. Which is how they can save energy. Even the 10 Seers don't put out full rating BTU's.
    Please, inform me if I am incorrect.

    Respectfully,
    Richard

    Yes they may produce less than 12,000 btus per nominal ton,but SEER is based on actual btus(not tons),and energy consumption,so SEER is comparable ,btu to btu.


    Now ,be careful if you replace a 47,000 btu ,4 ton,with a 43,500 btu 4 ton.Will it cover the load??

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,248
    Originally posted by mparkes
    Thanks for the replies -

    I will take some photos of the system and post here later -should I be able to get the manual J numbers from the installer?

    What other intelligent questions should I ask him, rather than just griping?

    I'd like to be able to approach a third party to come in and analyze the system and see whats wrong, do I just ask them if they are a "certified balancer"? thanks
    Riley Engineering
    504 West Thomas Moore Way Street, Spokane, WA 99201
    phone: (509) 325-2576

    Testing = *$,$$$.$$

    Testcomm Llc
    801 East 2nd Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202
    phone: (509) 533-0498




    [Edited by dan sw fl on 10-08-2005 at 12:49 PM]
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,248

    Question Match System .. Specs Review

    Originally posted by mparkes
    Para phrasing:
    Rheem Model RPPA-049JAZ RBHK 24J18SUE
    ... 14 SEER 8.70 HSPF ... Zonex zone controller.
    ... Heat strip 208V/240VAC 13.2/17.5 kW
    ... ~$14K for the system
    http://216.122.22.11/FetchDocument.a...5-54e1c792b8de

    page 6, 3rd line,

    47,000 BTUh at 47'F
    29,000 BTUh at 17'F
    Straight-line averaging
    39,000 BTUh at 32'F

    Strip heater 17.5Kw
    = 59,727. BTUh

    [Edited by dan sw fl on 10-08-2005 at 01:07 PM]
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

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