A Step By Step Guide On How To Balance Your Radiators
Have you ever wondered why some of your radiators are warm but others just won’t heat up properly? It’s quite probable that you need to balance your radiators to achieve the maximum heat output to each radiator. This guide will walk you through how to balance your radiators correctly and get the heating system working efficiently.
Balace or Bleeding Radiators?
It can be confusing to know whether you need to bleed a radiator or if is unbalanced. Firstly, place your hand on the top of the radiator to see if there are any cold spots. If so, you will need to bleed the air out of the radiator. Click here to see how to do this. If you are unsure on how to do this, please contact us for more help.
If however, you have checked the top of your radiator and it has no cold spots, feel all around the radiator to see if the heat is equal. If any of your radiators only get partially warm, chances are you need to balance your radiator.
When you balance your radiators, you are allowing more water to flow to the colder radiators in your home and restricting the flow from radiators which are too hot.
So if your radiators aren’t working properly and you are not quite not sure whether to bleed or balance your radiators, do both. Here’s what to do next. Get the right tools you will need to do the job. You will need: a radiator bleed key, screwdriver, adjustable spanner and a digital thermometer.
There are two main valves that are fitted to radiators, they are:
1: Thermostatic Radiator Valve
Most modern thermostatic valves have numbers on the head, normally frost through to number 5. Once the temperature reaches the desired level, the valve regulates the hot water flow into the radiator and only uses as much energy as needed.
2: Lockshield Valve
It has a plastic cap with a screw on top. You need to get a screwdriver and remove the screw to get to the spindle. In fact, you might need to use grips of some kind to pull off the plastic cap. Underneath the cap it looks like the end of a flat-head screwdriver.
Balance Your Radiators- Step by Step:
1: Bleed your radiators that have cold spots with a bleed key.
2: Turn off the power to your heating and let it cool down.
3: Draw a list of the radiator locations in your home.
4: Open your thermostatic radiator valve on all of the radiators and the same for the lockshield valves. You will need a spanner or possible an allen key to do this.
5: Turn the heating back on and walk around your house with your radiator list. The radiator that is closest to the boiler is generally the one that will heat up first. The further away, the longer it will take to heat up. Now give each radiator on your list a number in order of how fast they started to heat up.
6: Go to the fastest heating up radiator and close off the lockshield all the way and then open it a quarter of a turn. Do the same for the rest of the radiators but the further away from the boiler you are, the more you need to open the lockshield.
7: Once the radiators have heated up, this is where the fine adjustments will be made with the digital thermometer. The temperature differential from both pipes should be around 15 celcius. It is better to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on this if possible.
Once each radiator has been balanced the same as the first one, your heating system will work morer efficiently and save you money.
How Often Do You Need To Balance Your Radiators?
Unfortunately, there is no rule of thumb for this you just need to monitor the radiators regularly to ensure they all heat up correctly. An annual boiler service is a great way to ensure that your radiators are heating up properly as the heating engineer should incorporate this into part of the service. If you have had a radiator removed, flushed or a new boiler fitted, it would be advised to balance your radiators again to ensure correct operation of your heating system. If you need us to balance your radiators for you, click here.
It does not take long to balance your radiators but it ensures that your heating system works properly and will help to reduce your heating bills. By balancing your radiators, you are also ensuring that the lifespan of the boiler/heating system increases as it works more efficiently than a poorly unbalanced system.