Quadrafire Heat Zone Control

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Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
I have purchased a Pioneer II-2 that is not yet installed. I purchased the heat zone kits to duct heat to two other rooms. I cannot find the answers to the following questions on the web sites or the dealer. Any help would be appreciated. Responses on this forum seem to be very good so I am optimistic.

1. Are the b vents that are used for the heat distribution insulated? If not, is there any advantage to it? The runs will be in interior walls so they should be warmer than an outside wall. Combustion air will be outside air. We live at 9200 feet in northern NM.
2. The ducts will be less than 10 feet in length. How hot do they get in a static condition? Without the fan running? Important question for the next set of questions.
3. The blower control for the heat zone kit is a simple rheostat. I have asked if they are thermostatically controlled and have been told they are not. I believe the main fan in the fireplace is thermostatically controlled. Does anyone know for certain?
4. If they are not controlled with a snap disk, I wish to add one to the circuit. White Rogers makes snap disks that should work but have max temp of 350F. Where should this be placed (considering service needs). First thought is the heat zone duct but it may not get hot enough at the register. Placing it near the stove on these ducts may be difficult to service. Next thought is to use the same location as the main blower if space allows. Anyone done this?

Thanks to all who post. I will provide an update once the system is installed. Have seen good install posts from at least two others for a pioneer and northstar but this topic is not covered.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,301
South Puget Sound, WA
The b-vent pipe is double-wall which provides an insulating layer of air between the inner liner and the outside. I think one can be confident that in order to pass UL testing that this is safe in a static condition like a power outage or electrical part failure, as long as they are properly installed. It appears that the primary blower is controlled with a thermostatic snap switch. The fan wiring diagram (4.3 on pg 22 of install manual) shows a manual bypass for this. It's what the red wire connects to. A simpler way to control an auxiliary blower could be with a remote 110v thermostat that turned on the blower when the room calls for heat.
 

Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
bgreen, I have read many of your posts on this forum and think your responses are top notch thank you for your reply. The thermostat idea seems to be an OK thought however the thermostat Will have no way of knowing whether or not there is any heat being produced by the fireplace (wood burning only) and if the fireplace is not operating and it turns on the fan that seems like it would be a waste of energy. I need something to operate only when the fireplace is being used. Thanks for pointing out the reference to the wiring diagram it does not show the location of the snap disc nor whether it is on the red or the black wire. I’ll think about this a little bit and see whether or not there is a way I can use the existing snap disc switch for all blowers but I am not certain what current capacity it has.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,301
South Puget Sound, WA
The issue with a second snap disk would be where to mount it and safely routing the live wires so that they are shielded from the heat. It might be easier to use a standard hi/lo limit switch like what is used on a furnace. These have a probe that normally goes into a furnace plenum, but it could be tapped into the B-Vent I suppose. This again brings about the issue of wiring. All control wiring & connections are supposed to have service access.
 

KC2004

New Member
Nov 25, 2020
24
Kansas City
I would look into possibly integrating smart switches into your system to control the power to the blower motors. If you go the smart switch route to control power, it opens up the use of temperature sensors in different locations of the house to trigger blower fans. I have our duct system and fans hooked up to Lutron Caseta fan controllers and use temperature sensors pulled into Apple's Homekit to create if/then logic sequences/automations. It opens up a lot of flexibility and creativity to your situation if you have the patience and knowlege of setting up the automations/logic how you want.

For ours, I can tell the main blower of the fireplace to turn off if the temperature gets to a certain point in our basment and redirect the air upstairs to our main floor and have it automated through a logic sequence. You're also able to see real time what is going on with your blowers and temperatures in the diffrent rooms when looking at the homekit app which is nice. It's a bit of an investment but we have our entire house setup with smart switches to control lighting and fans/temperature for the furnace and once it is setup, the convenience and flexibility of creating automations and different scenes throughout the house is really nice. Adding the ability to control and send heat from the fireplace where you want from the convenience of your phone or tablet is pretty cool.
 

Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
KC, thanks this might be a workable solution. Will start doing the research on this. Worst case is setting up to control the two fans with a single remote
 

KC2004

New Member
Nov 25, 2020
24
Kansas City
KC, thanks this might be a workable solution. Will start doing the research on this. Worst case is setting up to control the two fans with a single remote
You can do this with a Pico remote which comes with some of the light switches you can buy from the Caseta line or you can purchase one individually. If you do go this route and need one, I have several extra and could just mail you one. One remote can be tied to multiple switches to turn them all on or off at the same time.

Pico Remote Pairing

One thing to note with the Caseta fan speed controls, they are designed for ceiling fans and most of these blowers have a very different load than ceiling fans so the speed works a little strange. I mainly use the Caseta switches to control power rather than speed control. I use the reostat on our main fireplace blower to control the fan speed and on my duct kit I’m using an AC infinity blower which has its own controller and memory to go back to the same speed the last time it was turned on. Works well for my specific application but it sounds like you already purchased the duct kit and fans.
 

KC2004

New Member
Nov 25, 2020
24
Kansas City
KC, thanks this might be a workable solution. Will start doing the research on this. Worst case is setting up to control the two fans with a single remote
thinking about it, if I were you and planning to use the reostat controllers that come with the fan kits you purchsed, i would have the electrician wire the reostat controllers up to one of the Lutron Caseta light switches that does not have dimmer control. This way, it just controls power on and off to the reostat, and then you set the reostat to whatever fan speed you want to be the default speed. You'll be able to control both switches with your phone or a pico remote or if you decide to jump into the automations based on temp sensors, you can add those in as well. If you add one of the smart thermostats or already have one like the Ecobee, it has temperature sensors for other rooms to monitor temps throughout the house. You could use one or two of the sensors to control the different duct kit fans if you want to pull heat to one of the rooms where a duct is located based on the temp in the room. You could also trigger it to turn off the blower if it heats the room up to a certain temp assuming the blower kits are effective.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,301
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds unduly complicated. A straight mechanical alternative might be this:
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,711
SE North Carolina
PID control with k type thermocouple can be installed anywhere and has the 120v powered relays on board. Set it to cool mode. Once the temp is exceeded the fan comes on. Temp probe could really be placed anywhere. Once it drops below set point it goes off. Now what I was trying to figure out was a temp dependent barie speed fan control. I’m sure it’s been done but I never went down that path. Check out Auber instruments they have powered mechanical and solid state relay versions. I did not go far enough down the rabbit hole to determine if one PID could independently control two fans in cooling mode.
 

Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
begreen, nice work on the snap disk. First one I have seen that can handle the current comfortably. Will consider that but may go with the temperature controller as suggested by the " Minister of Fire". These are available starting at $35. Will report on final solution in about 6 weeks.
 

TonyB6

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
5
NW Indiana
We just had a pioneer 2 installed last week, we love it, puts out some serious heat. We also had them run ductwork and the blower upstairs. Kinda disappointed in the output on this. The smell, even 4 days later, is unbearable. Smells like melted crayons.
 
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Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
We have now been running the P2C for over 24 hours now. Once we got the unit going (start up was pretty long), I must say that I really like the aesthetics of the fire. It burns very well and is a pretty fire to watch. The heat output of the main fireplace is fantastic. The temperature of the air coming out is ~155 degrees F and quickly warms the room. The two heat zone kits are a huge disappointment. Attached picture shows the ducting. Each run is less than 10 feet and has the equivalent of 2.5 90 degree elbows. The one on the right travels to the room directly behind the fireplace and the one on the left goes straight down to the lower level. The air output (flow) is pretty good but the temperature of the air is tepid. Air exiting the grill is ~80 degrees which has no impact on the room temperature even after 24 hours of operation. It makes little difference if we shut down the main blower and one of the heat zone kits. In other words, solo operation of one or the other heat zone kits does not increase the exiting air temperature. At a cost of $250 plus installation, it will never pay back let alone make the room comfortable. The starter tubes were not cut per the installation manual. The tubes get cut for when the duct length increases and are not supposed to be cut if the run is less than 10 feet. Is it possible to cut the starter tubes shorter and increase the temperature of the air delivered. Any known downsides? I can't believe these kits are marketed as "Heat Zone". Right now, that's a joke. Any advice or suggestions to increase the exit air temp of the HZ kits?

IMG_8798.JPG
 

Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
BTW, I am using a temperature controller and it works great. The temp probe is located in the lower chamber of the unit where the ACC control is. Temp is set to 75 degrees and it comes on as it is supposed to.
 

TonyB6

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
5
NW Indiana
We have now been running the P2C for over 24 hours now. Once we got the unit going (start up was pretty long), I must say that I really like the aesthetics of the fire. It burns very well and is a pretty fire to watch. The heat output of the main fireplace is fantastic. The temperature of the air coming out is ~155 degrees F and quickly warms the room. The two heat zone kits are a huge disappointment. Attached picture shows the ducting. Each run is less than 10 feet and has the equivalent of 2.5 90 degree elbows. The one on the right travels to the room directly behind the fireplace and the one on the left goes straight down to the lower level. The air output (flow) is pretty good but the temperature of the air is tepid. Air exiting the grill is ~80 degrees which has no impact on the room temperature even after 24 hours of operation. It makes little difference if we shut down the main blower and one of the heat zone kits. In other words, solo operation of one or the other heat zone kits does not increase the exiting air temperature. At a cost of $250 plus installation, it will never pay back let alone make the room comfortable. The starter tubes were not cut per the installation manual. The tubes get cut for when the duct length increases and are not supposed to be cut if the run is less than 10 feet. Is it possible to cut the starter tubes shorter and increase the temperature of the air delivered. Any known downsides? I can't believe these kits are marketed as "Heat Zone". Right now, that's a joke. Any advice or suggestions to increase the exit air temp of the HZ kits?

View attachment 287800
I wish this blew heat like the blower on the unit. We just have one heat zone coming off, nowhere near the heat output as the units.
 

TonyB6

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
5
NW Indiana
Thanks or checking in. Did you try to make it better? What is the length of your duct run?
Only 4 fires in so far, not sure where to start to make better as far as heat output. Our run is about 8’ straight up with 1 90. More concerned with the nasty smell right now.
 

Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
TonyB6, Could you elaborate a bit on where you are measuring the temp? Is it the air coming out of the heat zone register? With 8' run, did you make any modifications to the starter pipe or use full sections of each pipe?
 

TonyB6

New Member
Dec 14, 2021
5
NW Indiana
TonyB6, Could you elaborate a bit on where you are measuring the temp? Is it the air coming out of the heat zone register? With 8' run, did you make any modifications to the starter pipe or use full sections of each pipe?
I put a thermometer on the register. I had it installed, I have attached a couple photos. The back side of the register, and the view from the top looking down at the firebox

image.jpg image.jpg
 

Will43

New Member
Nov 7, 2021
16
Angel Fire, NM
I have made two modifications since my last report. I have shortened the starter tubes and built a housing in the vent to full enclose the squirrel cage rotor. Now when the rotor spins it can only pull air from the feed duct and not the vent housing. There must have been quite a bit of mixing in the box which prevented a good draw from the fireplace. Anyway, I am now getting 130 deg + consistently from both HZ vents and can get it to > 150 F on occasion. This is now having a positive effect on room heating but by no means as effective as the heating in the room where the fireplace is. I knew it would not be as effective and can now say that the HZ kits are working. The motors are still too noisy in my opinion. Hearth and Home need to go back to the engineers and come up with a better blower inside the duct to pull more air and reduce the electrical motor hum! The temperature controller I am using is working well. The thermcouple is in the lower cavity where air is being drawn into the heating units. I have it set at 80 deg F and this is working well. Fans come on at 82 F and turn off at ~81 F indicated.
 
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