baseboard heating system

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    • #275209
      Avatar photoMasterPlumbers

        i have a one loop hot water baseboard system with each baseboard branched off of loop with monoflow tee’s, upstairs is cold while downstairs is comfortable, can someone advise me to the easiest way to balance the system out, i wanted to put zoning valves in the system but dont know what would work best, i.e thermostat in each room , or somehow make a second loop still using one pump, please help, new homeowner learning the ropes. thanks

      • #291427
        Avatar photoGuest

          As the upstairs is cold, there is a lack of flow or lack of baseboard there, so check the temperature drop across the baseboard – if it is greater than 20F from one end of the baseboard to the other, the flow rate is too slow and the baseboard has some type of design, clog, or operating problem (like pressure too low in system creating an air trap.) It may just be that there is not enough baseboard in the rooms upstairs, so you can do a heat loss estimate and baseboard comparison for free at

          If there is little insulation in the attic, a good cure is to add insulation to modern standards, then there might not be a need to change the system.

          The flow to each baseboard or radiation upstairs depends upon water flow rate through the main, so check the temperature drop from the boiler and back to the boiler to make sure it is not greater than 20F – if it is, a circulator with a little more flow may be necessary.

          Some possible cures for the system:
          1. install non-electric radiation valves on the downstairs radiation while leaving the upstairs as is. By turning the downstairs radiation controls to maintain desired temperatures, the heating rate downstairs will even out while lengthening the circulation time to the units upstairs before the thermostat shuts the burner off.

          2. Run the circulator all the time (it does extend circulator life for very little cost) and permit the burner to go on and off with the thermostat. This would extend the heating time upstairs.

          3. A combination of the two above.

          4. If the upstairs and downstairs are on separate circuits, zone valves in the circuits controlled by a thermostat on each floor can help.

        • #291428
          Avatar photoSylvanLMP

            Easiest way to balance out a poorly designed system is as follows.

            1- Use a ball valve or a balancing cock (Brass valve like a gas valve) that you can throttle down the amount (volume) water leaving a particular zone.

            By slowing down the return your allowing more heat/volume to go to the starving zones

            When I do multi zones with one circulator I use a temperature gauge on the RETURN water of each zone.

            Then I run the system to full demand and adjust the valves by the return temperature thus assuring the system is completely balanced for the heat loss of each zone.

            Once it is set I remove or lock in place the valve handles (balancing valve) so no one can tamper with it.

            Another simple fix is to install a good quality non electric zone valves with a remote sensor to fine tune each room rather then rely on a thermostat.

            Hydronic heating is the simplest heating as it is very,very,very forgiving as most heating guys have no clue to being able to size a system properly.

            So if the boiler is to small these jack legs just boost the temperature If the boiler is too big so what the owner pays the fuel bills.

            Harold is completely correct as you do not want your return delta to be over 20 degrees as we do not like to thermo shock the boiler.

            Also running the circulator constantly is the way to go If your stand by losses are not to high, (INSULATE the piping)

            If you do decide to hire a “heating guy” or ask for his/her license Or what “Formal training” have they had.

            If your in doubt you maybe better off with a licensed stationary engineer rather then just a plumber dabbling in heating.

            Most of the stationary engineers I worked with are pretty sharp when it comes to on going training.

            If you have any questions please feel free to E mail me.

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