3 zone hot water heat problem

I have a 3 zone boiler system that is managed from one thermostat. To tell why is a long story of an old house where I found that all three zones were wired to this mid-level zone. We were to be out of the house for awhile, so the t-stat program was overridden to allow the temperature to temporarily drop. Upon resuming the schedule, the middle zone is not distributing heat. The other two do distribute heat.
The two valves that are not using their mercury thermostats appear to be in the "open" position based on the "open" text that I see on the dial. The middle one does not appear to read "open" or "closed" and is not easily rotated. All three devices are labeled white-rogers 1311-102 3/4" .4A 25 VAC.
Does the system need bled? If so, is that something easily done? The pipes from the three valves are all warm/hot to the touch, but for some reason the water does not seem to be circulating through the middle zone.
Of course, being Saturday in a NE snow storm is limiting my options to call someone over.
Any advice on what it may be and/or whether it is something that is easily fixable?
Thank you, Dave
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Dave, it's hard to tell from the info you're giving, however, with the thermostat raised, check one of the working zone valves wires or terminals to see that you have 24 volts (which you should) now check the not working valve to see if you have 24 volts: If you don't - you have a wiring problem and if you do, you have a bad zone valve. In either case you should be able to open the valve manually and lock it open, which will give you heat to that zone whenever the thermostat calls and probably a small amount through convection when the thermostat is off

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Dave, let me revise my previous post. This is a pretty complex valve for an amateur and you probably should call a pro, however if you are up to the task: This particular valve has an "open" and a "close" circuit. With the thermostat raised, you should get 24 volts between terminals 5 and 4: If you do, you have a stuck or bad valve if its not opening

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Ok, I will check the voltage.
Now, as for setting it open (heat when called for, small amount when off), I would surmise that that is better than what I think is happening...which is the boiler is running continuously trying to heat that part of the house where the thermostat is located. Thank you for the quick replies. Dave
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If you can get the valve opened manually, hot water will flow through it whenever the thermostat calls for heat

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Moving the middle-level dial is difficult and immovable so far). It appears to be in between settings, as I do not see the text of being "open" or "closed" as I do on the others. Does this control all three valves since they are wired to it, or is it more likely that two are in constant "open" and the middle valve is simply regulating that particular zone and not allowing the distribution of hot water?
On the side of the boiler, there are three pipes labeled "family," "living" and "upstairs" corresponding to the three zones. Each of these has a ball valve with a spigot within a few inches. I'm assuming that these are to drain the system. On the pipes for the two working areas, i can feel heat on either side of the valve. On the one that is not working, I do not feel heat on the lower portion (which appears to be the feed for the living area). What are the ball and spigot valves for (bleeding)? If air somehow got into the pipe, or is there a chance a cold spot froze in the pipe when the temp was down, would it make sense to bleed this portion?
TIA, Dave
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yes, they are for draining and bleeding. You should have one zone valve for each zone and if all three are controlled by one thermostat, they should all open and all close by the one thermostat, which should also turn on the circulator that pumps the hot water through the valves and pipes. It sounds like the one valve is stuck. You should be able to turn the dial manually until it says "Open", at which point you should fee the water temp change in the pipe. Of course if its frozen, you're out of luck

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"You should be able to turn the dial manually until it says "Open", at which point you should fee the water temp change in the pipe. Of course if its frozen, you're out of luck"
The odd thing is, the water is "hot" on top of the ball valve and cold at the bottom...no one has changed the position of the ball valve and it is in the same position as the others?! I doubt this could happen, but could something get frozen in one of the lines?
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Just a follow up to the issue...
There was a frozen pipe in the basement crawlspace. The insulation installers did not extend the joist insulation 3 ft into a space where the water comes down from near the side of the house and back into the crawlspace. There was a draft in the space and evidently they thought that the towels/rags that someone had stuffed in there years ago (before we moved in) was sufficient?! Not only was it frozen there, but by the time I found it, it had frozen along a 8 foot section right to left to where the pipe extends back out (if you can vision an 8 foot living space area where the floor extends to a large window, the fin-tube runs along either side).
This also explains why the floor in that area is very cold all the time...I figured it was from the result of the large pane of glass, but in looking underneath it is because there is no insulation and is basically a large, exposed box. Insulation company is coming to fix this.
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You really need to make a call to a competent HVAC company. Let them worry about the snow and whether they can make it there or not.
~kjpro~
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I don't know the answer to your present problem, but . . . . .
If you have three zones of heating, wouldn't it be better to have each zone controlled on its own? Why not call in a pro and see what can be done. Overall it will save you money if you can keep the unused areas of the house a bit cooler.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

each zone

done.
the house

Yes it would. However, when we originally called someone in last year, the cost to fix the other two components to get them firing correctly was quoted at roughly 20% of a new system. We're not sure whether we want to keep this current system and our timeline is 4-5 years for that decision (and more importantly, budget availability). So, we decided to bide our time until the budget was available and in the interim, add insulation, and do other fundamental things before deciding on fixing the current system, upgrading or resizing it to meet the enhanced characteristics the insulation and other things provide, or overhaul the current system and replace with heating and cooling.
In the interim, given our house configuration, managing temperature from the middle zone seems to naturally regulate the other levels. We use our lowest level less frequently than the middle level and we sleep in the upper level, which benefits from the natural rise of the heat and we use the prog t-stat to allow the temp to drop at night.
Would it be even more efficient to revamp the system for 3 zone control? I don't know. However, I'm hesitant to put that type of investment in an old system that may only be in place a couple of years. Given this situation, we may be forced to acquire more quotes and bite the bullet.
Dave
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