How to Balance a Radiator System
Balancing a radiator system is fairly simple to do for most people, requires only a couple of standard tools but most importantly needs patience.
First of all open all Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) to the maximum having already checked that the spindles are free (see page Radiator Balancing). Don’t touch the Lockshield valves yet. Turn the heating on and leave the system to warm up fully for say, half an hour.
Go from room to room placing your hand on each radiator and make a note of which radiators are significantly hotter or cooler than others. You do not want all the radiators being piping hot – too much to touch – just giving out plenty of heat.
If a radiator is cold or cool to the touch, start opening the Lockshield valve – either all the way, or if this involves turning the valve many turns, you could open it all the way, counting the number of turns and then close it back say, half this number. You have now opened it up more, but not completely.
It is important to realise that, with every valve you open, you change the fluid dynamics of the whole system – the heating water will always take the easiest route so opening one radiator valve partially then waiting 10-20 minutes then checking that radiator before making any other changes is less likely to cool other radiators too much.
Work your way around the system, opening Lockshield valves bit by bit on radiators which are cooler and partially closing down the Lockshields on radiators which are very hot. BE PATIENT! Pay particular concern to towel rail valves. Due to their design, it can often be that by opening a towel rail valve a small amount can significantly affect the flow of water through the valve and therefore around the system. A quarter turn of one valve may stop heated water from circulating around another radiator.
If you work your way around the system methodically and take your time – perhaps returning to this every day rather than every half hour, you will make a difference. You can of course be more scientific about the process and record the actual temperature of the radiators or the difference between the valves at either end but if you use the methodology described above you will crack it!
If you need some help balancing your heating system, call Surrey Hills Heating Ltd on 07944 575970 or email us using the link below.