How to tell flow & return on rad pipes


Postby dajome » Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:00 am

I have a solid floor with live radiator pipes coming through - they both have identical standard valve heads on them and I want to put a radiator on - any easy way of telling which is flow and which is return?
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Postby nitro23456 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 8:30 am

the flow pipe heats up first obviously.
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Postby htg engineer » Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:46 am

Flow gets hot first.

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Postby dajome » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:04 pm

Thnx for replies guys - there's currently no rad attached and valves are turned off. Not sure of pipe run as under concrete but length will be several metres of 15mm - not sure heat will reach. Bit late after attached radiator cos need to make sure I get the TRV on right side first time.
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Postby nitro23456 » Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:11 pm

With the heating on you should still be able to touch the pipes under the valves.

Normally (but not necessarily!) the flow is on the left as you look at the rad.

What is the orientation elsewhere in the house? it is likely (but not necessarily!) going to be the same.

Failing this, I cant see what else you can do apart from fit a raf with your current valves.... find out which is which with the heating on.... and then change for a TRV
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Postby htg engineer » Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:29 pm

If there's no radiator connected the pipes wont heat up as the water is unable to circulate. So the above posts not really much use.

Check the TRV instructions, there's many on the market that can be fitted to either the flow or the return.


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Postby nitro23456 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:44 am

mine do.

Its a process known as convection and the heat will still pass through from the flow and return pipes on the circuit.
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Postby chris_on_tour2002 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:47 pm

most modern TRVs have no orientation, you can fit them on the flow or return and they will work. check the specification of yours as this is probably the case.
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Postby dajome » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:59 pm

Thanx for suggestions - I've got some 15mm polypipe somewhere so I'll just connect that between flow and return to create a circuit and as suggested, see which side gets hot first.
Many thanx
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Postby bobplum » Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:47 am

good morning
you could open one valve at a time catch the water in the bucket,time it see which heats up fastest
you can also buy trvs which can be fitted to either pipe so it wont matter which is flow or return myson i think do them
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