Balancing radiators in a heating system

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
Kitchen     
Dining Room      
Living Room      
Downstairs hall      
Upstairs hall (landing)      
Bed 1      
Bed 2      
Bed 3      
Bathroom      

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.

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