Archives: 'DIY'

Balancing radiators in a heating system

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

This procedure is better done with two or three people.

Before you start, make a list of each room in the house that has a radiator in it. The list will look something like this:

Room Order Turns
Dining Room      
Living Room      
Downstairs hall      
Upstairs hall (landing)      
Bed 1      
Bed 2      
Bed 3      

Make sure all radiators and the boiler are cold.

On all radiators, make sure that all valves, both flow and lock shield, are fully open. Open the thermostatic valve on the flow pipe and then unscrew and remove the thermostat.

One person keeps hold of the list of rooms

Pick people to work different areas i.e. upstairs and downstairs

1) Turn the heating system fully on, including both the room and boiler thermostats.

2) With the list of rooms, walk around your rooms feeling the top of the radiators.

3) As soon as you feel heat on the top of a radiator, shout out the room name. The person with the list now writes an ordered number against the room name. See below:

Room Order Turns
Kitchen 7   
Dining Room 6   
Living Room 2   
Downstairs hall 5   
Upstairs hall (landing) 8   
Bed 1 3   
Bed 2 4   
Bed 3 1   
Bathroom 9   

4) Now turn the heating OFF!

5) Fully close all lock shields on all radiators in the house except the last radiator to warm up on your list (The bathroom in the example example above). On the last radiator, BOTH valves must remain fully open.

6) Starting in room 1 on your list, open the radiator’s lock shield by a ¼ turn.

7) In room 2 open the radiator lock shield by a ½ turn.

8 ) In room 3 open the lock shield by a ¾ turn.

9) In room 4 open the lock shield by 1 full turn.

10) In room 5 open the lock shield by 1 ¼ turns.

11) Carry on for each room by adding a ¼ turn each time. See below:

Room Order Turns
Kitchen 7 1 ¾ turns
Dining Room 6 1 ½ turns
Living Room 2 ½ turn
Downstairs hall 5 1 ¼ turns
Upstairs hall (landing) 8 2 turns
Bed 1 3 ¾ turn
Bed 2 4 1 turn
Bed 3 1 ¼ turn
Bathroom 9 Both valves fully open

12) Turn the heating fully ON.

13) Check that all the radiators are warming up.

14) If, at this point you find that some radiators are not warming up, put your ear by the radiator and listen carefully while you SLOWLY open the lock shield. As soon as you hear water moving STOP opening the lock shield valve. Repeat this on any other radiators that are not warming up.

15) When you are happy with the system, cover up all the lock shields, put the thermostats back on the flow valve as reset them as required.

Part 3 – Making the Oak beam coffee table

Monday, May 8th, 2006

You’ve read articles 1 and 2 in this series and you feel you’re ready to have a go at the work. Well, you’ll be pleased to know its actually quite easy. The most complicated part is planing the rough wood and ending up with a nice flat surface, so how hard can it be?


Part 2 – The things you’ll need to make an Oak beam coffee table

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

Early in 2005 we saw one of these in Guildford. Quite liking the design but unwilling to pay the price we decided not to buy it. After some pondering I decided that I’d like to have a go at making my own and given that I had a lot of the equipment necessary I knew I could do it for a fraction of the price.

Part 1 – Thick Oak beam coffee table teaser

Saturday, April 29th, 2006

Save yourself £200 on a thick Oak beam coffee table. Take a look at these pictures and come back later to see how its done.

Three Quarter view of the table
3 Qtr view of the table.

Grain at the end of the beams  End of the table
A view of the ends showing the grain in the wood and the splits caused by the wood drying out and a close-up view of one chamfered end of a beam. You don’t want to keep catching clothing on rough bits.