Arrangement and installation of a balancing valve for a heating system

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How often does the hous­ing office receive ques­tions regard­ing heat­ing of res­i­den­tial premis­es? Con­stant­ly! Some res­i­dents in the house are con­stant­ly cold, oth­ers have heat, and oth­ers have annoy­ing sounds from the pipes. But, unfor­tu­nate­ly, util­i­ties can­not please all res­i­dents at the same time. But there is a solu­tion to this prob­lem, and this is a bal­anc­ing valve for the heat­ing sys­tem.

Causes of uneven heat distribution in rooms

Mod­ern high-rise build­ings and pri­vate hous­es are heat­ed by a heat­ing sys­tem con­sist­ing of radi­a­tors and pipelines. Both ele­ments form one struc­ture, along which the flow of hot water is even­ly dis­trib­uted to heat the liv­ing space.

How­ev­er, despite the fact that the water pipes are made of durable met­al, and pro­fes­sion­als are involved in the design of the heat­ing sys­tem, prob­lems often arise with uneven sup­ply of hot water through the pipes. Addi­tion­al rea­sons can also be low pres­sure, high water flow rate or a large amount of cold air inside the pipes.

Fig­ure 1: Device for mea­sur­ing pres­sure in pipes

What is a balancing valve for?

There are sev­er­al ways to solve the prob­lem of uneven dis­tri­b­u­tion of heat in rooms. Because of their inter­nal mal­func­tion. In oth­er cas­es, such as self-reg­u­la­tion of the hot water flow or a decrease / increase in pres­sure inside the pipes, it is nec­es­sary to use a bal­anc­ing valve for a two-pipe heat­ing sys­tem.

It is made in the form of a small arma­ture with a valve at the top. The bal­ancer is built into the heat­ing sys­tem and reg­u­lates the flow of warm water through the pipes. At the same time, he also ensures that the pres­sure in the water sup­ply remains with­in nor­mal lim­its. Then the liq­uid inside the struc­ture does not stag­nate, grad­u­al­ly moves through the pipes and even­ly dis­trib­utes heat.

Fig­ure 2: struc­ture of the bal­anc­ing valve

In addi­tion, the instal­la­tion of a bal­anc­ing valve pro­vides such advan­tages as:

  1. Sav­ing mon­ey on heat­ing bills.
  2. Cre­at­ing the most com­fort­able air tem­per­a­ture in the room.
  3. Sim­pli­fies the start of the heat­ing sys­tem.

Anoth­er not unim­por­tant advan­tage of this device is the fact that it can extend the life of the bat­ter­ies. Soon­er or lat­er, but any heat­ing sys­tem has to be bal­anced, due to con­stant pres­sure surges and harsh oper­at­ing con­di­tions in the cold sea­son. There­fore, the old heat­ing sys­tem may fail. In the best case, it will stop heat­ing one of the parts of the build­ing, in the worst case, the pipes will not with­stand the pres­sure, and their con­tents may begin to leak.

Fig­ure 3: Ben­e­fits of installing a bal­anc­ing valve (1 — cost sav­ings, 2 — cre­at­ing a com­fort­able room tem­per­a­ture, 3 — makes it eas­i­er to start the heat­ing sys­tem, 4 — extends bat­tery life)

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Types of balancing valves

You can install a bal­anc­ing valve on any heat­ing sys­tem. But besides the usu­al two-pipe room, there are oth­er pipelines. For them, the design­ers invent­ed oth­er ver­sions of the device, which can be clas­si­fied accord­ing to dif­fer­ent prin­ci­ples of oper­a­tion.

  • Accord­ing to their func­tion, valves are divid­ed into man­u­al and auto­mat­ic. Such a device can be placed on one of the seg­ments of the bat­tery, where you can eas­i­ly reach. If a per­son plans to use the bal­anc­ing valve con­stant­ly, then it is bet­ter to use the man­u­al ver­sion of the device. It has the form of a noz­zle on a pipe with a valve, with which you can con­trol the flow of hot water. If the room is hot enough, then just turn the valve, and the valve will cre­ate an obsta­cle inside the pipe. Thus, the bat­tery has less heat source, and grad­u­al­ly cools down.

There are also options for man­u­al bal­ancers, which are designed to imme­di­ate­ly adjust sev­er­al radi­a­tors at the same time. This ver­sion of the device helps a per­son to set the same air tem­per­a­ture in all rooms of his liv­ing space.

The auto­mat­ic type of bal­anc­ing valves per­forms this process inde­pen­dent­ly with­out human inter­ven­tion. Usu­al­ly they are installed in pairs on one pipeline, then the min­i­mum and max­i­mum amount of heat that the bat­ter­ies must gen­er­ate is select­ed (the cal­cu­la­tion is made by pro­fes­sion­als). And the bal­anc­ing valve reg­u­lates the heat sup­ply in accor­dance with the sched­ule entered into the device.

Fig­ure 4: man­u­al bal­anc­ing valves for dif­fer­ent bat­tery types
  • Accord­ing to the engi­neer­ing sys­tem, valves are divid­ed into com­bined and spe­cif­ic. It is clear from the name that bal­anc­ing of a par­tic­u­lar type is intend­ed for a nar­row pur­pose. One type of valve pro­vides only heat­ing in the room, oth­ers deal with water sup­ply, and still oth­ers pro­vide air con­di­tion­ing. Com­bined ones com­bine all three pur­pos­es, while hav­ing a more com­plex design and high­er cost.
  • Accord­ing to the method of the lock­ing mech­a­nism, valves and balls are iso­lat­ed inside the pipe. Inside the device there is a part with the help of which the flow of water is reg­u­lat­ed. Most often, buy­ers pre­fer mech­a­nisms with valves. In their opin­ion, they are more accu­rate in the tun­ing process. But ball valves, on the con­trary, are less accu­rate. But if not ordi­nary hot water flows through the pipes, but a vis­cous sub­stance with good heat trans­fer, then the sec­ond type of valves will be more suc­cess­ful in use.
Fig­ure 5: Bal­ancer Mech­a­nism with Shut­off Valve (Sec­tion­al)
  • accord­ing to the adjust­ment para­me­ter. Bal­anc­ing valves are divid­ed into four types: con­sum­able — cal­cu­lates the flow of flu­id in pipes, tem­per­a­ture — mon­i­tors the set tem­per­a­ture, to bal­ance pres­sure and com­bined — com­bine all oth­er types of adjust­ments.

How­ev­er, it is worth remem­ber­ing that the set­ting of the hot water flow in the heat pipe is not the only vari­able in this process. As the heat sup­ply decreas­es, the pres­sure inside the pipes begins to rise. There­fore, it is not enough for an ordi­nary per­son to sim­ply select the set­tings of his bal­ancer. Before you start using it, the device must be con­nect­ed to the heat­ing sys­tem, and then set to it the start­ing set­tings for the min­i­mum and max­i­mum flu­id flow. Only a pro­fes­sion­al can do this. After the instal­la­tion process, a reg­u­lar user can make their own adjust­ments to the oper­a­tion of the device with­in the set­tings of the wiz­ard.

Fig­ure 6: bal­ancer adjust­ment para­me­ters (1 — con­sum­ables con­trol the amount of water used with a meter, 2 — adjust the water flow, 3 — adjust the air tem­per­a­ture, 4 — reg­u­late the pres­sure in the pipes, in the image there is a device for check­ing)

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Balancing valve installation

The only clas­si­fi­ca­tion that was not indi­cat­ed in the pre­vi­ous para­graph con­cerns the instal­la­tion of an apart­ment bal­anc­ing valve in the heat­ing sys­tem. They are divid­ed into sev­er­al types in accor­dance with the method of fas­ten­ing the rein­force­ment:

  1. Thread­ed;
  2. Flanged;
  3. Weld­ing.
Fig­ure 7: The image shows a man­u­al valve with thread­ed fit­tings for instal­la­tion

The strength of the bal­anc­ing valve does not depend on how it is attached to the main struc­ture of the heat­ing sys­tem. It already depends on the fac­to­ry that was involved in the assem­bly and devel­op­ment of the device.

How­ev­er, in order to keep the over­all design strong and secure, and serve its own­er for more than one year, there are sev­er­al tips.

First­ly, there is already a hint on the body of the bal­anc­ing valve on how to install it cor­rect­ly. At the junc­tion of the fit­tings with the pipe there is an arrow, which dur­ing instal­la­tion must coin­cide in direc­tion with the flu­id flow. Thus, the clos­ing valve or ball itself will cre­ate resis­tance dur­ing tem­per­a­ture adjust­ment.

If there is no such arrow, then the man­u­fac­tur­er has made sure that the valve is installed regard­less of the direc­tion of flow.

Sec­ond­ly, before you start installing the valve, you need to take care of its safe­ty in case of pos­si­ble mechan­i­cal dam­age. To do this, in front of the valve, you need to make a lay­er of a fil­ter and a sump.

Third­ly, the mechan­i­cal impact on the valve may be due to tur­bu­lence. To reduce its impact on the struc­ture, the valve should be installed only on straight sec­tions of the pipe. The dis­tance between the bend of the pipeline and the valve is indi­cat­ed in the instruc­tions for the device. For each mod­el, this para­me­ter may be dif­fer­ent.

Balancing valve setting

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After the valve has been installed, the process of adjust­ing the bal­anc­ing valve begins. Of course, the heat­ing sys­tem itself already has its own char­ac­ter­is­tics in which direc­tion the liq­uid should flow through the pipes, at what speed and under what pres­sure. How­ev­er, it fails over time. And there­fore the bal­ancers reg­u­late this process instead of it.

Before start­ing the indi­vid­ual set­tings of the bal­ancer, it is nec­es­sary to find out the char­ac­ter­is­tics of the pipeline itself, and adjust the val­ues ​​​​of the device to them. But even this is not done accord­ing to any for­mu­la from the school cur­ricu­lum and a cal­cu­la­tor.

To do this, the installer of bal­ancers must have a spe­cial table in which the main val­ues ​​​​of all vari­ables in the pipeline are select­ed and their com­pli­ance with the stan­dards of the device itself. For fin­er adjust­ments, spe­cial tools such as a flow meter may be required.

Fig­ure 8: the image shows a device for check­ing pres­sure in pipes and oth­er para­me­ters — a flow meter

Conclusion

The bal­anc­ing valve is a great alter­na­tive to oth­er heat sources like space heaters for sev­er­al rea­sons. First­ly, they are intro­duced direct­ly into the heat­ing sys­tem. Sec­ond­ly, they save mon­ey to pay util­i­ty bills. Third­ly, they extend the life of the pipeline in the room. Fourth, it does not take up much space. And not unim­por­tant fifth plus, because of which it is worth buy­ing this device — it’s sim­ple con­trol.

The device built into the bal­anc­ing valve for the heat­ing sys­tem is very easy to use when it comes to room appli­ances. To adjust the tem­per­a­ture in them, it is enough to turn the valve a lit­tle, and the device itself will make all the oth­er set­tings for the per­son. The auto­mat­ic type of device does not need human par­tic­i­pa­tion at all. It adjusts to the envi­ron­ment.

There­fore, the only thing that depends on the buy­er today is to make their choice in favor of a qual­i­ty man­u­fac­tur­er, and not a cheap bal­anc­ing valve, it is also nec­es­sary to find a suit­able mas­ter who will help with its instal­la­tion.

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