Isolation switch purpose, wiring, use:
What is an isolation relay or isolation switch used in heating or cooling systems & how is the relay wired? An isolation switch allows a low voltage (e.g. 24VAC) circuit such as a thermostat to control higher-voltage equipment such as electric heaters and the blower in an electric furnace.
Shown above: White Rodgers 90-340 24VAC Relay switch, model 90-340. This article series describes in detail the wiring & setting of HVACR controls and answers most questions about central heating system troubleshooting, inspection, diagnosis, and repairs. We describe how to inspect, troubleshoot and repair heating and air conditioning systems to inform home owners, buyers, and home inspectors of common heating system defects.
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2016/09/16 Bob said:
I have older electric furnace with heat and ac. I replaced the sequencers last year and the fan isolation relay last week. the wiring was suspect before the repairs, I had to rewire the 24 volt wiring.
The only wire now I am wondering about is the 240v wire from the heat sequencer to the isolation relay. The only problem I have is: only the high speed fan runs. the low speed fan does not run when heat is on, it continues to run the high speed fan. this is is fan auto and fan on. What is the proper wiring from sequencer to fan isolation relay to have low speed fan for heat? I have high speed for ac and fan on as wired.
This question was originally posted at FAN LIMIT CONTROL SETTINGS
Bob, sorry to have to be less than helpful but I think that considering the risks involved, what's needed is to identify the furnace brand and model, then pick up the wiring diagram. If you have that we need to identify the terminals on the isolation relay to be able to specify the wiring.
Above and at page top I'm showing two White Rodgers isolation switch control relays; the second one purports to be the isolation switch you have.
Thanks .... I do have the wiring diagram of the original furnace (wesco 1980 era). The unit was retrofitted with trane AC in 1998 so the wiring must have been modified at that time. the original diagram had only high speed wired up to a switch, did not have the isolation relay and only had red and white thermostat wires. the isolation relay is a 91-132006-13302 with 24v pair of connections and two 240v switch connections, 240 is connected to the bottom of the first switch with the high speed wire connected to the top.
The low speed wire is connected to the second switch with a 240 wire from the top of the sequencer sack to the center pole on the second switch. This is as close as I can describe since the unit was retrofitted.
For other readers: an Isolation Relay is simply an electrical control that isolates different voltages in an HVACR application, so that, for example, a 24VAC thermostat can control 120VAC or 240VAC powered cooling or heating equipment. Some isolation relays also support multiple switching such as multiple speed fans.
Do you think the blower fan is a model capable of multiple speeds but the controller is designed for only one speed? If that's the case, by adding a toggle switch you might be able to switch the existing single fan-on wire to swap manually between the two fan speeds.
I think the relay you cite is a 12 V White-Rodgers-rbm-91132009113200690340 isolation relay.
I found these White Rodgers 1F90 / 1F97 isolation relay wiring diagrams that might help. Click to enlarge any image:
I don't know much about the White Rodgers isolation relay, but if it helps sort out the fan speed question, Honeywell's R8285 is sold in different models that support just 1 vs multi fan speeds. Those instructions show the position and wiring for the isolation relay too. In a 2-speed fan operation with this control the fan runs in low speed until there is a call for heat, then the fan speeds up.
Also see these instructions illustrated below:
Bob said: how to wire double-pole double throw relay switch in a circuit
..., your comments helped me with a search string that found this link:
It shows the circuits on the relay I have. My blower does have a multi speed motor with 3 speeds of which I am using two. I will study the link above and see if I can figure out how to activate low speed for heat. I am currently wired up as specified in my previous message, this link should allow me to determine if I can change it or not. I'll let you know after I study it.
Mod reply: The article shows a 12-volt relay used to switch higher voltage circuits. The user needs to identify each terminal for proper wiring; usually they're stamped or marked on the relay case:
2016/09/18 Bob said:
Final resolution of my fan isolation relay / fan speed issue. Having reviewed the above links on the isolation relay, I can confirm my heating and cooling are properly connected to the relay's terminals.
Having confirmed that, I tested the thermostat wires again to see why heat would not turn on low speed blower but left high speed blower running.
I found, to my surprise, that the thermostat heats up the green fan wire at the same time it heats up the white heat wire. (I thought the white wire hot would leave green cold and the sequencer would turn on the low speed blower.)
Also, I thought green would only be hot if I used fan on the thermostat). With green wire hot during heat cycle, the relay keeps the hot wire from the sequencer from connecting to the low speed terminal. So problem, solved, I know why low heat doesn't activate.
My solution to this will be to add an additional isolation relay between the heat and fan only to achieve low speed blower on heat, high speed blower on fan only and high speed blower on cool. Thanks for all your help. I added this conclusion to share how these isolation switches work and can help solve problems.
Good going, Bob. This diagnosis will surely help other readers working on thermostat wiring or isolation relay wiring problems. Thanks so much for taking the time to follow-up.
PS: before adding another isolation relay, I'd double check that the white and green wires are not shorted together anywhere enroute. Disconnect the wires at both ends of their circuit and then check them for continuity. - Ed.
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(Jan 31, 2014) marie said:
My fan limit control says push man and an arrow, no white button, only an empty hole. What should I do? I set the numbers at their correct positions but the blower still remains on for a while and then comes back on after going off. I was lucky enough to replace my blower motor on my own after ordering it online. NO HELP FROM ANY MEN! The least of my worries was the fan limiter. Now after a month of heat I need help! Thank you
If your limit control has no actual operable push-pull button or switch, then it's a model that omitted that feature. The switch will still work automatically. The manual switch is an extra, not mandatory.
Be careful not to mess with, force, or bend the switch parts - doing so could make it unsafe.
(Mar 5, 2014) norm williams said:
have an olsen ultramax furnace NG that clicks on for 3 seconds off on for 4 seconds 3rd time kicks in to running. going to change the pilot assembly kit, hope that's all. runs a lot. put in a new thermostat already. hope to hear from you. norm
I don't blame you for thinking about the pilot assembly as it sounds as if the unit has trouble starting. Keep in mind that dirt or debris at the igniter or pilot could be the problem, as could a sensor, or at the thermocouple itself. Often by watching the flame at start up we can figure out what's going on. For example if a the pilot lights but then goes out I suspect that a thermocouple is bad.
(Sept 22, 2014) JT said:
Does the Honeywell fan and limit control have any part in controlling the fan in a/c operation or is that done strictly by the fan relay and thermostat? I just installed a new fan and limit control ion my furnace and the blower continues to run for 10 minutes after the a/c condenser shuts off?
The fan limit switch is a heating control and does not work during cooling
if someone puts the switch in manual FAN ON position then the blower fan will simply keep running.
(May 27, 2015) Ron said:
I need a replacement fan limit switch L4064w1296 19538c. It is no longer listed. I am using a dual energy system (oil/electricity)at my choice. Where can I get a replacement ?
A check with the manufacturer of your heating furnace and with your heating service technician should confirm that you can use one of the more generic fan limit switches.
(June 19, 2015) john.nordo said:
I have a 1971 GE split system HVAC unit at my residence. It has a single knob temperature adjustment for the fan blower timer. What is the proper sequence to adjust this style? It's set somewhere around 110 now
I dunno, John. Give us the model and serial number and we can perhaps locate the manual for you.
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