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Thread: Honeywell Valencia problems

  1. #1
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    Default Honeywell Valencia problems

    So I've just spent quite a bit of time and effort replacing my cheap crappy valve bodies with Honeywell Valencia's.

    One reason I did this is because my old valves did not match the HR92's well (seemingly) and would not fully open or fully close without using Stroke 1 mode.

    I was expecting the Valencia to be a better match with the HR92, but so far I'm pretty disappointed!

    My living room is currently set to 21 degrees, but the room temperature is only 20 degrees. The controller reports a heat demand of 42% from the zone, the boiler is up to temperature and the valve position on the HR92 reports 74% which should be more than enough as with my old valves they would start flowing at a valve position of about 30%. (Not coincidentally a valve position of >30% starts to generate heat demand on the controller)

    Despite all this the radiator is cold and no water is flowing! It seems that no water actually flows through the valve until the valve position is past 74%. So my boiler is sitting there cycling producing its flow temperature with not a single radiator in the house flowing at all. (As this is the only zone on at the moment) DOH!

    Surely this is not normal ? Any advice from the experts ?

    Yes, I've had the gear adaptor off and refitted it, multiple times, yes I've made sure to fully unwind the black wheel before fitting the HR92 and it goes through it's calibration process, yet every time, the threshold at which it starts to allow water to flow is >75% which is not normal in my experience. With my old valves they started to flow at about 30% pin position, which corresponds with the point where the HR92 starts to call for heat.

    I also notice that as I screw the adaptor on with the black wheel fully wound out that I can clearly hear that the pin is being pressed down somewhat as I can hear the flow rate changing. So even with the black wheel wound out fully it is already not allowing the valve to flow fully.

    It's as if the pin is too long! Surely I don't need to file the pin down ???!

    Hopefully someone has an idea because at the moment I feel like I've wasted a lot of money and time and have ended up changing a system that was working acceptably to one that is not working properly at all now as it is calling for heat from the boiler when the radiator is not flowing.

    Edit: If I unscrew the white base from the valve body by about 1 1/4 turns (until it doesn't quite push the pin down with the black wheel wound out) it seems to work as I would expect. However leaving the base loose like this is not acceptable of course.

    Edit 2: If I enable Stroke 1 mode it partly works around the issue too with the point where the valve starts flowing being much closer to the point where it starts to call for heat. But part of the reason for changing valve bodies was that I was having to use stroke 1 mode to work around problems with the old valves, also the issue of the adaptor restricting full flow remains, and I know from past experience that this radiator needs full flow from the valve to achieve room set points in winter.

    I can't understand how Honeywell could have screwed up the compatibility of the HR92 and Valencia ? One of them has a pin that is too long.

    Now I understand the reports I've seen on this forum of people with the boiler firing when no radiator is getting hot...
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 21st September 2018 at 02:30 AM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I don’t see that problem here. Screwing on the base doesn’t affect the flow. It's only when I turn the wheel that that happens.

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    Did you leave the internal balancer insert set at the default factory position ?

    If so, that causes the valve to be half closed already before you even screw the base on...in that case yes screwing the base on doesn’t close it further.

    However If you unwind the balancer to a neutral position (I chose to use the lockshield valve for balancing) the issue is as I describe - screwing the base on closes the valve by about half as the pin is nearly 2mm too long and total pin travel is only 4mm.

    And of the remaining 2mm of pin travel available, once the HR92 has calibrated water doesn’t start to flow until an indicated pin position of about 55-75%. (It does vary a little from one radiator to another) unfortunately it starts calling for heat just above 30% (remember the graph I posted a while ago?) so there is a huge range from 30% to 75% where it calls for heat from the boiler but the flow only goes through the automatic bypass valve. Incredibly wasteful.

    I still have two new unused valves for radiators that aren’t currently fitted as well as the old valves so I can take some comparative pictures viewing in the side port to illustrate what I’m talking about.

    I’m still baffled this thing got off the drawing board...even with the balancer insert set to the factory half closed position I still see no flow until 75% calibrated position on the HR92 AND maximum available flow is considerably restricted as the valve is never allowed to open more than 50% due to the balancer insert. This is a problem on two of my radiators that do need the valve fully open in winter or the room won't reach the set point.

    Almost seems like Honeywell didn’t check compatibility between their two products. They seem to be physically incompatible pin dimension wise. Sure they “work” after a fashion. But not as well as a cheap 3rd party valve, whose pin height and travel were a much closer match for the HR92, despite their other failings like corrosion and weaker return spring.

    For the moment I've set all the HR92's to Stroke 1 mode as a workaround while I investigate the issue further - that at least seems to largely solve the calibration issue - in stroke 1 mode it calibrates such that water does start to flow at about 35-40% indicated position instead of 55-75%, which helps with the wasteful boiler recycling issue, and temperature regulation seems a lot better as it is actually able to reach the set point now whereas before it would be sitting on 74% indicated pin position running the boiler at 42% duty cycle but not allowing water to flow through a cold radiator despite the room being more than 1 degree below the set point.

    However it doesn't solve the issue that none of the valves are physically able to open more than about 50% of their true full pin travel (available with balancer wound mostly out) so none can attain full flow when the HR92 commands the valve to be fully open. This will definitely be an issue for me on two radiators this winter which really do need full flow available, so I'm trying to figure out what I can do about that.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 21st September 2018 at 10:49 AM.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I didn't adjust anything. Stock Valencia, stock HR92. I'm fairly certain that screwing the HR92 base to the TRV doesn't start to push the pin. I can certainly hear no effect on the water flow.

    I wasn't even aware of an internal balancer, and I suspect most people will be in the same position.

    P.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    I didn't adjust anything. Stock Valencia, stock HR92. I'm fairly certain that screwing the HR92 base to the TRV doesn't start to push the pin. I can certainly hear no effect on the water flow.

    I wasn't even aware of an internal balancer, and I suspect most people will be in the same position.
    Guess I'm the only one who read the supplied information sheet then...

    The balancer is the black plastic insert around the pin with a hex on it. The information describes how you can use this instead of the lockshield valve for balancing if you choose. The reason to use it would be so that when radiators are removed and lockshield closed, the balancing setup is not lost as the lockshield can just be restored to fully open rather than having to remember where it was set.

    You can turn this in or out even by hand to act effectively as an "outer limit stop" for the pin travel. As you turn it in it closes the rest position of the valve but also reduces the available pin travel. In the default position they ship in the available 4mm of pin travel is reduced to about 2mm and the valve is about half closed - even with no base screwed onto the valve.

    Trust me, I spent several hours yesterday studying these valves and this problem - including fitting an HR92 to a spare valve not yet installed and watching the motion of the plunger in the valve in response to HR92 calibration, movement to different pin positions with set point etc, and it's easy to blow through the bottom of the valve to see at exactly what indicated pin position the valve actually starts to flow. (It moves a long way before the rubber seal unseals as it compresses a lot)

    And I saw the same results on the free floating test valve as I do on the ones installed on the radiator - with the default insert position the valve never opens more than about half way and in stroke 0 mode, doesn't start allowing anything to flow until around 75% indicated. This is definitely not the way things should be.

    Do you run yours in stroke 0 or stroke 1 ? If the former, have you ever noticed a time where a radiator is cold but a significant heat demand is indicated for the radiator on the new firmware heat demand page ?

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    Do you run yours in stroke 0 or stroke 1 ? If the former, have you ever noticed a time where a radiator is cold but a significant heat demand is indicated for the radiator on the new firmware heat demand page ?
    Default stroke (0), and no I've never noticed a radiator calling for heat but remaining cold. Maybe in the first couple of weeks during the learning cycle, but nothing since then.

    But - as you've amply demonstrated - I don't pay as much attention to things as you do! ;-)

    P.

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    Let me start by saying that I don't have any of the Honeywell products you have in my own system.

    I've got Tower radiator valve bodies, which are fitted with Peggler I-Temp controllers.

    Once I had fitted the I-Temps, I found that most of them faulted out at the initialisation/calibration phase of their installation and so everything was stopped in its tracks even though the two components were listed as 'compatible', according to the fact sheet.

    After playing around with loosening the I-Temp from the body, I found I could force the calibration to complete, but you obviously can't leave things like that, so after a bit of trial and error measuring I decided to make some packing washers in the range of ~ 1.0mm to place between valve body and I-Temp.

    Having a lathe, I was able to make mine from brass bar and part them off to correct thickness.
    After fitting, all worked perfectly. Maybe you could do similar with fibre or plastic washers if you can't find a better fix?

    Washer size: ID 23mm OD 28mm thickness to suit.




    Martin.
    Last edited by blowlamp; 21st September 2018 at 12:58 PM.

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    I adjusted all the little black plastic hex thingies so that screwing on the HR92 base just barely touches the pin without pushing it in. I wouldn't call those black plastic hex thingies a "balancer", I'd call them an "adjuster". Seems to work well in my case. Valencia are definitely not that fantastic, I've had 2 or 3 sticking closed for me (2-3 years old).

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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    Default stroke (0), and no I've never noticed a radiator calling for heat but remaining cold. Maybe in the first couple of weeks during the learning cycle, but nothing since then.
    The HR92 will learn what valve position is needed to maintain the temperature, so eventually the room may have climbed to it's set point, however no water flow until so close to 100% would greatly reduce the effective operating range of the valve making it difficult for it to regulate the temperature.

    And it would never change the valve position to heat demand mapping - that seems to be fixed to start demanding heat at about 30% pin position. So the issue of the boiler running without water flowing would never fix itself.

    If you normally have multiple zones on at once you might not even be aware it's happening, but we have time periods where only one radiator is on, so a single cold to the touch radiator that is calling for heat from the boiler causing the boiler to run for no reason is quite obvious, and that's what triggered my investigation in the first place.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 21st September 2018 at 03:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rotor View Post
    I adjusted all the little black plastic hex thingies so that screwing on the HR92 base just barely touches the pin without pushing it in. I wouldn't call those black plastic hex thingies a "balancer", I'd call them an "adjuster". Seems to work well in my case. Valencia are definitely not that fantastic, I've had 2 or 3 sticking closed for me (2-3 years old).
    Honeywell calls them an "Integrated balancing insert" in the instruction sheet. They are most definitely a balancer, just like a partially closed lockshield valve is. Anything that limits the maximum flow when a TRV is fully open to less than it would otherwise be can be considered to be a balancing valve...

    How you describe yours adjusted is how they come out of the box. I just opened one of the two I have left over for the first time and that is how it is set, as were all the others. I've attached a picture to illustrate the differences:



    The middle is my old peggler bulldog valve, the left is a Valencia with the out of the box balancer insert adjustment and the right is a valencia with the balancer wound out.

    I've tried to align them so that the top face of the threaded section is in line as shown by the bottom red line, and the top red line showing the tips. This is the critical distance that affects calibration and operating range of the HR92.

    It can be seen that the Valencia on the left has its pin position protruding exactly the same amount as the bulldog valve, however with the balancer insert unscrewed it is nearly 1.5 to 2mm longer.

    With the balancer screwed in as supplied the total pin travel is significantly less than the bulldog valve, by about 1.5mm. Doesn't sound like a lot but consider that the HR92 only has just under 4mm pin travel available in total.

    It can also be seen by the small vertical red lines I added inside the valves that the Valencia on the left is roughly half closed compared to the one on the right, so there is no doubt that the default balancer adjustment restricts the flow. (I can also clearly hear the difference on the radiator - the adjustment on the right is silent, the one on the left hisses fairly audibly like any partially closed valve would)

    Let's say that the half closed position is sufficient for most radiators, (which it probably is) there is still the matter of why the HR92 calibration routine is so far out in stroke 0 mode - I don't actually understand why to be honest, that it is winding out 75% of its calibrated range before the rubber seal even lifts off the seat, compared to stroke 1 mode where it is starting to lift off it's seat at 35%.

    Obviously the physical pin travel is the same in both cases, only the scaling of the reported position is changing, however since the heat demand is based on the "calibrated" movement scale, it's rather important that the point where heat demand is issued is also the point where water can start to flow.

    If it opens too late compared to the heat demand (as it was here) you'll get calls to the boiler that can only flow through the ABV (assuming no other zones are demanding heat) while if its the reverse, you'll get temperature overshoots when other zones come online, since the valve has to close much more to block flow compared to where it stops sending a heat demand.

    Stroke 1 seems to be a workable compromise at the moment but I'm still not particularly impressed by the calibration errors on the HR92 compared to the old valves, nor am I thrilled about the prospects of noiser HR92's that consume their batteries faster, as they do in stroke 1 mode. I had to use stroke 1 mode on a few of my old valves and I was hoping to be able to set them all to stroke 0 mode...
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 21st September 2018 at 03:06 PM.

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