When choosing between zone pumps and zone valves for designing your heating or cooling systems, you immediately think of the cost. Zone pumps are practically more expensive than valves. In zone valve systems, the valve opens when the room thermostat needs heat. The zone valve end switch signals the circulator and boiler to turn on.
After supplying the heat, the zone valve closes, and stops further flow into the zone. Pumps and valves may be different from each other, but they can work together in certain cases. Valves can be used effectively in systems having smaller zones with few circuits. Each system has its own benefits and limitations, so, when faced with a decision on which one to choose, you must know their differences.
How zone valves and zone pumps differ:
- Balancing process with valves is harder than zone pumps. If only 1 zone is open, the entire system is still operating as if it is a single circuit.
- Zone valve systems are lower in cost as compared to zone pump systems. This is because valves require only low-voltage control wiring. While pumps may cost from $150 to $200, a valve is only $50 to $60. However, it would make more sense if you use valves and just one pump. In this case, your control wiring would be the same.
- The expected life of valves is expected to be less than pumps due to excessive head pressure.
As usual, there are problems to face
Because of constant speed of pumps, a lot of zone valves have been damaged. This is due to high heat pressure as the pump increases its speed. When there are less flow requirements, the pump heat tends to be higher.
With rising differential pressure, you’ll notice a strange noise, valve malfunction, hammering damage, or premature valve wear when the valve seat is opened with force.
ECM Technology is born!
With the new ECM circulators, you can eliminate the problems associated with zone pumps and valves. ECM circulators adjust the output to meet your system’s requirements. This advanced technology eliminates the problem of using constant speed in the two systems.
Installing zone pumps or zone valves may not be in line with your profession, and may appear difficult when choosing between the two. If you want a perfect installation, you can ask the help of a professional company offering flat rate on materials and labor. They can make your life easier.