DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Balancing radiators

Postby endo » Mon Jan 05, 2009 4:13 pm

Hi All,

I've a couple of questions regarding the balancing of central heating radiators which hopefully some of you might be able to answer.

We recently moved into a semi which was built in 1993. It has a conventional boiler (not a combi). As microbore has been used, I have assumed it has a manifold type distribution, with drop down feeds to the downstairs rads.

With it being colder this winter we noticed that the upstairs radiators get hotter (and more quickly) than the downstairs rads. At the weekend, I checked every radiator and each lockshield valve and on/off valve (there are no TRVs) are all fully opened. I have experimented with two of the radiators in the bedrooms by closing down the lockshield valve and gradually opening them to the required temperature drop. I found that with both of these rads, they only needed to be opened about a 1/4 of a turn before they started to get too hot, so they're opened about an 1/8th now. What surprised me though was that I also noticed that the downstairs radiators seemed to get less hot and take longer to get up to temperature. The reverse of what I'd expected!

Is it satisfactory to have some of the lockshield valves opened by such a small amount?

If I'm doing this correctly, I would like to do the same thing to more radiators. All the upstairs rads and one downstairs. Will restricting the flow in this way on half the radiators put too high an increased load on the pump?

Thanks & best regards,

Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:38 pm


Simply Build It

Postby stoneyboy » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:06 pm

What happens if you turn off all upstairs radiators.
If your system is a two pipe system you should see a marked increase in the temperature of the downstairs radiators.
If you have a part or fully one pipe system the downstairs radiators may go off completely.
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 5340
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:44 pm

Postby endo » Tue Jan 06, 2009 1:11 pm

You're right Stoneyboy. If I turn off all of the upstairs rads, those downstairs are markedly hotter. I can't explain what I initially experienced with the downstairs rads but their temperature appears as hot if not hotter than before now.

Do you think the small amount I have the lockshield valves open on some of the upper rads is a problem? Only open an 1/8 to a 1/4 of a turn seems very small and potentially a load on the pump?
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:38 pm

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics