Radiator balancing for numpties...


Postby supersadie » Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:37 pm

I have a conventional GCH system, not a combi. The boiler is working and as far as I know, so is the pump. I should say that the pump is upstairs and the boiler downstairs. The house was built in the 80s and the pump has been replaced in the last ten years. The downstairs rads are always cooler than upstairs. Recently I turned off the heating while away for a bit and when I turned it on the downstairs rads wouldn't heat beyond tepid.

Hot water isn't a problem.

Decided to balance the system (without thermometers!).

Opened all lockshield valves up and downstairs and also the handwheel valves. Now downstairs completely freezing and upstairs boiling. I am thinking of turning off all the lockshield valves upstairs to force heat into downstairs. Is that wrong? Should I just turn off some rads upstairs with the handwheel and leave the LSVs open somewhat. A couple downstairs never come on at all and the pipework is cold either side so I've left the handwheels and valves off on these.

Thanks for your help.
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Postby rosebery » Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:07 pm

Opened all lockshield valves up and downstairs and also the handwheel valves. Now downstairs completely freezing and upstairs boiling. I am thinking of turning off all the lockshield valves upstairs to force heat into downstairs. Is that wrong? Should I just turn off some rads upstairs with the handwheel and leave the LSVs open somewhat. A couple downstairs never come on at all and the pipework is cold either side so I've left the handwheels and valves off on these.

Thanks for your help.[/quote]

Opening all the lockshield valves has destroyed whatever balance you had on the system.

This link:

http://www.diydata.com/projects/central ... ancing.php

tells you how to do it. Now some old time served plumbers can do the balancing act by hand just by feeling the pipes but a thermometer is the way to go if you are not one of these.

It strikes me you may have more than a balancing issue though if two of your rads are normally cold and there is a differential between upper and lower floors. There could be a blockage in the pipework leading to those rads. Rads could be full of air. There could be a blockage in the primary circuit leading to poor circulation. It could be that the circulating pump isn't man enough for your system.

I have a feeling that you ought to get someone in to look at this for you particularly in view of curent weather conditions. But, if you want to have a go at one or two things yourself come back and we'll talk you through them.

Cheers
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Postby brickpoint » Wed May 05, 2010 4:26 pm

Sorry to hear about your problem, have you tried bleeding the radiators starting with the ones closest to the radiator and then working out?

I wish I could be of more help, if you need advice on pointing mortar then i'm certainly the guy to talk to.

hope it works itself out.
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