How to calibrate a pneumatic thermostat

If you are in the HVAC business and work on controls you either have or will have the experience of calibrating a pneumatic thermostat. Jerry Condiff is the instructor that teaches both the basic and advanced pneumatic and VAV hands on training courses at Stromquist & Company.

If you have never calibrated a pneumatic thermostat in can be a bit daunting if you read the instruction sheets but here is a secret……….

If you have never calibrated a pneumatic thermostat in can be a bit daunting if you read the instruction sheets but here is a secret……….
It does not matter if you are calibrating a Honeywell pneumatic thermostat, a Johnson pneumatic thermostat, a Robertshaw, Barber Colman, a Siemens ( Powers) pneumatic thermostat ,or even a wireless pneumatic thermostat if you know how to calibrate one brand of pneumatic thermostat you know how to calibrate every brand of pneumatic thermostat. Each manufacturer of pneumatics uses different terminology to describe how to calibrate their pneumatic devices, which can be confusing if you work on different brands of pneumatic thermostats, but the bottom line is the calibration is always the same process. So watch this video and let Jerry Condiff, show you how easy it is to calibrate a pneumatic thermostat. To get information on our next pneumatics or VAV class at Stromquist & Company please contact Nancy at either 404.794.3440 or 800.241.9471

For competitive prices and great service the HVAC and building automation control pros trust Stromquist @ Company

22 Responses

  1. question?how do you calibrate a johnson controls t-3300 dual temperature dual dual pressure t-stat/

  2. Hi Eric ,

    I work in a chuch and we have pneumatic thermostate and i would like to buy a video on how to calibrate the thermostate. I had wach a video on line but I still do not undestands. thak you if you know where i can buy it . thank you Eric

  3. Question? The calibration he does resuts in the actuator stroking some. Settint the stat at ambient sets the is to satisfied which should mean no heat no cool satisfied no action needed. Meaning this calibration technique seems to be wrong can you expalain to me why the actuator is stroking to allow cooling when no action should be taken. Thanks Andy

  4. you show great presentation
    is this reverse acting or direct acting tstat

  5. Pedro

    You would need a pneumatic calibration kit. In the kit will have the gauge like he is using in the video. Please note he is showing where to install the gauge and about needing info about Spring range. Need to keep the pneumatic system free from dirt and moisture. The Video is a YouTube and there is an add on for Firefox called ANT that will download the YouTube video so you have watch it offline.. Good luck


    He shows you the proper way to calibrate a T-stat. You want to actuator to just start to open at room set point. There will be no lag in time for the actuator and will be more accurate.. take care

    You can get DA or RA Stats. They have DA/RA combo stats that will do both. Depends on what PSI of your pneumatic system.


    25psig Main – RA, Summer
    16psig Main – DA, Winter

    Enjoy Life

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  10. Hi I am a novice when it comes to these systems but are frustrated because no one I call out in our area can help,. Residential guys have not seen these systems , commercial guys don’t service houses. So here it goes. I have. Thermostat that I think needs calibration. It hisses and no matter where I move the dial nothing happens. Now the room is really hot and it still hisses. It is the first one in line of 12 zones(12 thermostats).

    Where can I get a pressure gauge? Once I perform the calibration like on the YouTube video, if that does no work, do I need a new thermostat and how hard is it to install?

  11. Rick –
    The symptom you describe is one we see frequently on commercial systems. A hissing thermostat usually means that air is bleeding from the stat at a fast rate due to an air leak. We recommend that before you attempt to recalibrate you should confirm that the downstream actuator and interconnecting air lines are not damaged. Low air pressure (due to the leak) will cause the heating valve to fail open making the room overheat. Once all leaks are repaired a simple test of touching the bimetal element to close the bleed port should cause the system to re-pressurize and close the control valve. Replacement stats and pressure gauges can be purchased at your local control distributor such as W.W. Grainger Co. or Johnstone Supply.

  12. if you have a heating and cooling valves with spring ranges 3-7 and 9-13 psi wouldn’t the calibration be 8psi ?

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  14. Purchased a new Barber Colman # 2212-118 Thermostat, from day one it has been hissing, this unit was installed by a licensed heating firm, can you tell me why it continues to hiss? This thermostat is approximately two years old, who should O contact to get it to function properly?

    Thank you,


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