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Dr-Fix-It! Notebook Archive:
Analog Logic! Pneumatic Controls.
Pneumatic Comfort Controls For HVAC
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Analog Logic!

    Wouldn't it be great if someone would invent a comfort control system that would be safe, silent, durable, economical, precise, infinitely adjustable and immune to power surges? Well, someone did...more than 100 years ago!

    Pneumatics are my favorite controls. I marvel at the ingenuity, the simple precision and the versatility of pneumatic components. Unfortunately, this white-haired grandfather of comfort controls is frequently the object of much scorn. I have heard people say that they actually HATE pneumatics!

    Most pneumatic components don't move. There are no indicator lights. One component may perform a certain function when piped one direction and perform an entirely different function when airflow is reversed. The hoses are usually the same color so control panels can become confusing squirrel nests.

    I think we need to look in the mirror to find the real culprit. I've seen a technician who wouldn't think of trying to troubleshoot an electric control panel without a multimeter walk up to a pneumatic control panel without a pressure gauge in hand. Without even trying to understand the system, he proceeded to over-ride controls. That is tragic because, once a pneumatic system is properly balanced, there is almost never a reason to change component configurations. The problem is usually elsewhere but the controls get the blame. An uninformed or uncaring technician can ruin a balanced system in seconds.

    I have just completed  Dr-Fix-It Explains a Common Pneumatic Comfort Control Circuit. Please take a moment to read it and let me know what you think. It is the first in a series of pages dealing with my favorite ... pneumatics!


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