How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Phil Your Own Question
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 6022
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
Phil is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Phil. I have the old "Danny Ramsey" 2 zone controller with 5

Customer Question

Hi phil. I have the old "Danny Ramsey" 2 zone controller with 5 wire dampers. A relay appears to be sticking and I'm getting the 24vac signal at my compressor unit intermittently. Tapping on the zone controller will eventually make the compressor kick on. I need a suggestion for a new controller that will interface the same and support the 5 wire dampers. The most basic unit would do. Any suggestions? I have to do this myself.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hopefully the picture of the old controller will attach. Here goes...
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
The 5 wire dampers present quite a challenge. I am not likely to take this challenge on, even if you tripled your offer. Sorting that control system out could take a long time. I would not surprise me if it spend 8 hours on it.
Your best bet in my view so far, will be to replace both dampers with 2 wire honeywell dampers, buy a honeywell zone controller. and then use that to control the furnace and condensing unit.
copy/paste that to your browser and study it for a bit, it will have wiring diagrams as well. with many different options...wireless and hard wired.
Let me know if you want me to coach you on that if you decide to go that way and it looks do-able on your end. I will submit and additional services request that hopefully will cover the time I think it will take.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I gather there are no obvious zone controller choices that support 5 wire dampers? Perhaps I'll just hardwire together a new controller like I have then. The relays are still available for about $6 each. I'm sure it would be much cheaper than buying new dampers along with the controller. Disappointing, at best.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, is that it? You got my money and I learned nothing. Will you be returning?
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I stay with a customer to the very end. However if the job looks like it will go light years beyond what I can afford to work for, in this case some pretty involved electrical engineering. I either opt out, so other of the experts here can decide if they want to work for the offered amount or not (us experts only get a part of your offer).
I have not seen any 5 wire damper motors on residential systems, they are common however on industrial processes.
If I saw a diagram of your zone control system I might be able to adapt one of the currently available zone controls to run those dampers.
The other complexity is how the furnace and AC are controlled by the zone controller... there is likely some electrical design work needed there if you switch to new zone controller.
If you can buy the relays and install them, that would be your best bet.
There is a chance that one of the printed circuit card traces has developed a cold connection..or the integrated circuit chip is at fault.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't see any obvious solder issues, but I realize that you can't always see them. There are no IC's, just a simple circuit board with very few traces, four relays, and terminals for hookup. Really, all I need to know is a simple way to send 24v to the condenser relay whenever the AC comes on. I can move the dampers manually twice a year if I have to, I just need my compressor to come on every time the thermostat clicks on so I'm not in the attic in the middle of the night.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Basically, it comes down to figuring out whether I can get the 24vac signal for the compressor Relay from another place besides the zone controller. I haven't begun studying the furnace board yet. Maybe I can get it from there. I just need to make sure that it only happens for AC and not heating.
Expert:  Phil replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
These zone controls can get tricky, If you can send me a wiring diagram perhaps glued to the cover on the exiting controller I might be able to show you how to do that.
Use the 'attach files' link at the bottom left of your reply screen to attach a well lit, well focused photo of it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Unfortunately, there is no diagram or cover. It's just the little relay board in the picture that I attached earlier. It sits in the attic on top of the furnace with wires going to it from two thermostats (4 wires each), two dampers (5 wires each), the furnace/Ac unit (5 wires with two wires also tied in that go down to the compressor relay). I had hoped it would be a quick " here's a cheap controller that will control two 5 wire dampers.". I'm going down an expensive road to find a way to trip the compressor relay, as the dampers seem to be working. There has to be a simple way. I'm afraid that I can't help you help me. My next course of action will be to identify the leads going to the furnace and see if I can get my compressor signal from there, like there was only one zone and no controller. I don't even care about the zones at this point.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'd like my money back. My question was not answered to my satisfaction and then I was passed off to someone without a word and they have yet to appear two days later. Clearly, I know more than your "expert" who told me immediately that my simple question wasn't worth his time and that it was an 8 hour engineering problem. Really? Read the transcript and imagine that conversation happening over the phone. It would take 2 minutes and I'd be able to ask for what I need to know. Was the run around that I got worth $16. What would that be as an hourly rate? 100% satisfaction? $5 downpayment until satisfied?
Make certain, for your sake, that I do not see a recurring charge on my Paypal account. I most certainly avoided every "free trial" offer on your site. I wish I'd read your reviews first.

Related HVAC Questions