Radiator balancing: tips from the pros.

Radiators, much like life, need to find the right balance. Do you wonder why some people’s central heating systems seem to defy logic? The radiator in one room is volcano hot while the radiator in the next room is as cool as a cucumber.

Radiator balancing

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Has this happened to you? It happens to many of us every day and there is usually a simple answer.

Generally speaking, if your central heating has hot and cold spots, the system needs balancing. The way it should work is that all the radiators get equally hot in about the same length of time.

What you will need

• Radiator bleeding key
• Screwdriver
• Adjustable spanner
• Some old towels

What you will need to do

Firstly, as experts such as www.rjplumbingandheating.co.uk will confirm, the good news is that balancing the system is not a difficult job.

Begin by bleeding – letting the trapped air escape – all the radiators by using the bleeding key to unlock the air screw in the top corner of the radiator. Do this before turning the heating off, as balancing is best done from cold.

Most radiators have two valves located at opposite bottom corners. One (the flow valve) lets warm water flow into the radiator and the other (the return valve) lets it flow out. What you are going to do is control the flow of water through the radiator by adjusting these valves. This is where the old towels come in, as some valves might leak.

Turn the heating on and determine which valve is which by feeling the pipes – hot water will go to the flow valve first. Use tape to mark the flow valves because you will control the flow by adjusting the return valves. You might need to be quick or get some help if you have a powerful combi boiler.

Now open all the valves fully. As any professional involved in boiler installation in Woking and other locations will advise, this is simply a case of trial and error. Restrict the flow of any radiators that get the hottest until the cooler ones benefit.

If your central heating system does not have hot and cold spots, you don’t need to do anything. Balancing is only necessary if there is a fault.

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