How To Balance A Central Heating System

Balancing a central heating system is done to ensure that the correct amount of heat for all radiators in your system. This is best done when there is an imbalance in the heat spewed out by your radiators. Below, step-by-step instructions for how to balance a central heating system are provided.

1. Begin by turning off the radiators in your central heating system. You will need to wait for your radiators to cool down. This can take a couple of hours or so.

2. Find out which radiators first heat up by checking your central heating system’s pipework. If the pipework is hidden from view, you can check the temperature of the radiators by using a thermometer or manually checking the order by which the radiators in your central heating system heat up first. You may need to switch your radiators off and then on again, to find out which ones are first to heat up. It’s ideal to get the help of other individuals, if you have several radiators in your central heating system. Write down your findings on a piece of paper.

3. Proceed to opening your radiator’s valves, specifically the control valve and lockshield. You can locate the lockshield beneath the plastic cover, on a single side of the radiator, and the control valve should be on the other side.

4. Switch your central heating on again.

5. Begin with the first radiator to heat up. Attach a radiator or differential thermometer to the pipes – both outlet and inlet – and see to it that you do not attach this thermometer to the flow and return pipe. Thermometers for radiators may be purchased or rented.

6. Start to close the lockshield valve slowly, and then slowly open it until there is a 52-degree Fahrenheit (or 11 degrees Celsius) gap in the temperature of the outlet and inlet pipe.

7. Proceed to adjust each of the lockshields on every radiator, and follow the same procedure. Ensure that there is a 52°F or 11°C gap in the temperature of the outlet and inlet pipes. For each succeeding radiator, you will need to open the lockshield valve just a little more, and the last radiator in your list should be virtually to entirely open.

8. Should you fail to balance some of the radiators in your central heating system, then you might need to take them out and flush them. It is likely that these radiators need draining, as well as cleaning.

For more step-by-step guides on how to drain or bleed a central heating system, please visit our website. Also featured in our website are other tips for maintaining your central heating system’s components (pump, radiator, boiler, etc.) and extending its lifespan.