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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
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    3
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    Confused New Infinity two-zone system massively overheating basement zone

    I just had an Infinity system installed a couple weeks ago as follows:

    Carrier Infinity Damper System
    1 – 24ANB724A003 17 SEER Two-Stage Infinity A/C with Puron® Refrigerant
    1 – 59TP6A060V17-14 Infinity 96 Variable-Speed Two-Stage Gas Furnace
    1 – CNPVP3617ALA All-Aluminum Evaporator Coil
    1 – SYSTXCCITC01-B Infinity Touch Control Wi-Fi Enabled
    1 – SYSTXCC4ZC01 Infinity Damper Control Module
    1 – SYSTXCCSMS01-B Infinity Smart Sensors
    2 –Damper Side Mounts

    The plan called for a two-zone system, one for the basement and one for upstairs (single story rancher with basement apartment). First thing that made me somewhat lose confidence in my installer was the first day after they left, when the basement thermostat wasn't seeming to have any effect on the temperature. Long story short, they had never set up the basement zone - my touch controller was only showing one zone. I was able to get into installer mode and run the install process and it picked up the second zone this time. But I didn't feel great about the fact my installer had somehow failed to do this themselves.

    All was well for a couple of weeks until the last few days we've started to have some cold mornings. My set point upstairs calls for heat up to 72 degrees for a couple hours in the morning as I'm waking up. My basement tenant has his thermostat set to heat to 70, but his temperature was reaching 80-81 degrees in the mornings. The basement is holds heat very well and doesn't cool without AC or opening windows, but the upper floor isn't nearly as well insulated and will tend to need the heat running on low all morning to reach & maintain 72 degrees, and it appeared the dampers were not shutting off the flow of hot air to the basement even when it was well past its heat-to point (and also well above the cool-to temperature, not that it would be able to cool the basement zone while heating upstairs on a single system, but you'd definitely expect that at minimum the heat would definitely never be on when it's above cool-to temperature).

    I called and they sent a service tech - one of the original installers, in fact - within a couple of hours. He worked for a while and when he was finished explained that they had inadvertently cross-wired the dampers so that when the upstairs was calling for heat, it was being delivered to the basement instead. I was kind of skeptical of that explanation, because I was not lacking heat upstairs - it was just coming from both zones when it should have only been coming from upstairs. But I'm not the expert so I didn't say anything.

    A couple hours later I opened the basement door and was blasted with a wall of heat. The temperature was reading 86 degrees!! I went back to the touch control upstairs and saw that first of all, the tech had left the thermostat in heat-only mode with an upstairs set point of 76 degrees instead of returning me to auto mode and my scheduled comfort zone that heats to 70 during the day. So that's two more strikes: he didn't fix the problem AND he also left my heat jacked up super high.

    I couldn't even get the AC to turn on until I put the system in cooling-only mode and lowered the upstairs cool-to temperature to less than its actual temperature so that the upstairs would call for cooling, but I'm not sure if there's a minimum time delay to switch from the furnace to the AC and I just didn't wait long enough in auto mode or in cooling-only with the cool-to temperature higher than the actual temperature.

    It's been a couple of hours, and my touch control currently shows that cooling is engaged for the basement, which has only gotten down from 86 to 76 in the past 2 hours (cool-to set to 70). It shows that cooling is not engaged upstairs, which is currently reading 73 degrees with a cool-to of 78, but I can feel cold air coming out of the vents in both zones - I would venture to say it's even coming out of the upstairs vents with more force, and now I'm wondering if the dampers weren't even cross-wired to begin with but they are now??

    I've reported all this to my installer, but they've closed for the weekend and I'm not sure when I'll hear back from them, and meanwhile I'm starting to get really concerned that my installer possibly doesn't know what they're doing, and I'm not sure at what point I should consider cutting my losses and finding another company to try to salvage the mess. The installation company was very highly rated on Yelp, Google, and Angie's List with a substantial number of reviews so I was not prepared for so many mistakes to be made and feel low-key sick about how much I spent on this installation and the possibility that it might have been done so poorly that it will cost another pretty penny to make it workable.

    So... what does it sound like is going on here? any possible causes/solutions I could suggest to my tech when they come back out this weekend so they don't just keep aimlessly fiddling with things without actually knowing what they're doing? should I run far far away from my installer and try another company?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    26,211
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    I’m not reading all that. Basements have very little heat loss. As such they need a dehumidifier and separate “system”. Small mini split is generally fine!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    2,192
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    Equipment is oversized and it sounds like the dampers are not air tight.

    Are they Carrier Infinity Dampers?
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

    Serving Northeast Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,079
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    Your description leaves out a lot of information.

    1) Was the HVAC system zoned before the new installation?
    2) Is there totally separate supply ductwork for the upstairs and downstairs? Was this existing or did they install it?
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    78,386
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    Sounds a bit like the static pressure is too high and the Infinity control is opening the basement damper to lower the static pressure.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    3
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by firecontrol View Post
    Your description leaves out a lot of information.

    1) Was the HVAC system zoned before the new installation?
    2) Is there totally separate supply ductwork for the upstairs and downstairs? Was this existing or did they install it?
    The upstairs had pre-existing ductwork for an old furnace (single zone), and the basement had previously been on a boiler with baseboard radiators. They ran new ductwork throughout the basement with its own supply and return lines. The upstairs zone uses the original ductwork.

    All three of the installers I brought out for estimates initially were looking at minisplit solutions when we walked through the house but came back with quotes for two zone furnace/ac because the minisplit solution required so many units it was driving up the cost just based on equipment. The basement has 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a laundry room open to a hall, so was going to need 3-4 indoor handlers just for that level (at least the bedrooms and living room and possibly another for the open laundry room/hall area). There's also an addition on the back of the house that never had ductwork and is semi-detached from the rest of the house (previously on the boiler) so they did put in a mini split with two handlers to cover the addition, one upstairs and one downstairs.

    The one installer who gave me quotes for both options came back near $k for an all minisplits solution, using one outdoor unit with a ducted zone upstairs using single attic unit and ceiling cassettes, and 4 handlers in the basement, plus a second outdoor unit with 2 indoor handlers for the addition. All three quotes for two indoor minisplits for the addition and a two zone furnace/AC solution for the main house were in the $ to $ range.
    Last edited by beenthere; 10-20-2019 at 02:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    68
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    The furnace indicated is a Performance model not Infinity. I assume an error because it would not work at all if an Infinity furnace was not installed

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    3
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    Thread Starter
    Just realized I never updated here. The owner of the company came out and spotted the problem right away and it turned out to be installer error. The place where the damper needed to be installed was right where the duct exited the utility room through an unfinished wall (so just a piece of wood). Rather than cut an opening into the wood for the part of the damper which sits outside of the duct, they had installed the damper just inside the wall, which meant that something like 20-25% of the air was leaking around the damper because the duct was larger at that point and the damper wasn't able to actually seal it shut.

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