It’s all a bit of a balancing act
QThe central heating article in December’s Issue of Canal Boat was very timely as I’m planning on improving my system, but the one aspect not covered was how to balance the heating system.
My improved system will have four radiators and a horizontal calorifier. One branch from the Mikuni boiler will supply three main starboard side radiators; a second branch will supply the calorifier and a small radiator in the shower/toilet. Can you advise me how to balance the system?
RAY, via the CB website
ATONY REPLIES... I’m not a heating engineer as such, but go online and have a look at these websites homebuilding.co.uk/how-to-balance-radiators orlovekin. net/radiator-balancing. They advocate different methods.
It is important that the calorifier is fitted with the equivalent of a lockshield valve on its hot inlet, so you can adjust the flow through it to avoid it ‘short circuiting’ the radiators.
When balancing, treat it as another radiator. The heating engineers I have seen balancing existing systems in houses tend to just use their hands to assess the radiator outlet temperature, so I suspect it may not be a particularly critical task.
Because of your type of boiler, do not fit any thermostatic radiator valves, otherwise the boiler is likely to run for long periods at reduced output, leading to carbon build up.
Avoid thermostatic radiator valves
Use a lockshield or equivalent