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Switching relay problem.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Bad Wolf, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    507
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    I’ve got an interesting problem.The sytem is a TARM Excell 2000 with an ARGO ARM-6 switching relay to control my 5 heating zones. It has an isolated switch relay (X-X) that opens a valve and turns on a circulating pump.
    One day I noticed that all my zones were calling for heat but the pipes were cold. I could tell the valve was not open so as I started to trace the wires I jiggled the wires on the X-X connections and the valve opened. This happened a couple of times so I cut the last inch or so of wire off and reconnected them. This seemed to solve the problem but last night it happened again.
    This time however after jiggling the wires and having the valve open I was watching the panel and the whole thing goes dead. Figuring it was the 120 volt feed I pushed on those wires and lo and behold everything comes back on. It did this a couple of times and then finally stayed energized.
    Of course this happens during the worst cold snap we’ve seen in 10 years (2 degrees last night).
    Any idea what the h**l is going on? I’ve tightened the connections, disconnected and reconnected the wires and blown out the dust.
    The system is in its 6th season and I’ve never had this problem before.

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  2. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
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    507
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Called the tech at Argo and the best he could offer was that the board was failing. That it must have developed a break in the circut board and by pushing on the wires and flexing the board I was making and braking the path.

    So I ordered up a new one. $200 I hadn't planned on spending, but I can't trust the current one and knowing Murphy, it will crap out at 2:00 a.m. the next time it goes below zero.

    Once I replace it I'll have a look at the backside of the circut board and see what I can find. At least I'll be able to salvage all of the relays.
  3. MarkW

    MarkW Member

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    NE Ohio
    Yeah, Murphy's gremlins will do all their dirty work at the most inconvenient time.
  4. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    1,621
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    Northern Maine
    May be too late, but I'm a huge fan of Taco's switching relays. Very neat installation and easy to wire with all the redundant neuteral connections.

    TS
  5. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    507
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Too late. I ordered a new one yesterday afternoon. Its an identical unit so swapping over shouldn't be a problem.

    As a plug for a vendor http://www.simplyplumbing.com/ I ordered it at 3:00 p.m. and its out for delivery this morning and he had the best price $183.
    Others wanted as much as $245. (google is your friend)

    Pretty timely too since it did it again last night. At least it's warmed up to 20.
  6. Bad Wolf

    Bad Wolf Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    Messages:
    507
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Replaced the relay box today. Only took 50 minutes once I had all the wires labeled. Afterwards I took the bad board out of the box and flipped it over. What I found was the first pin (120 volt line) had a bad solder joint. Not sure how it lasted this long or if it somehow degraded over time, its obviously had some arcing. Its the bottom left. The contact at the other end for the X-X switch had a similar bad connection. I soldered the two pins and will keep it as a spare. HPIM4625.JPG
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2014
    ewdudley likes this.

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