It’s all a bit of a bal­anc­ing act

Canal Boat - - Back Cabin: -

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 web­sites­ance-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

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