In some instances, radiators can be different temperatures due to the distance that water that heats them must travel from the boiler or pump. If your heating system is not balanced, then the radiators that are closest to the boiler or heating source may get a lot more heat than those that are further away.
Balance is achieved by adjusting the flow meters to ensure that the flow rates supplied to each zone are at the optimum level to provide an even and comfortable warmth across the whole floor.
Many companies sell controls that in theory “balance” the system. These work by using the actuator pin to either hold it half-open or pulse between open and shut. Either way, over the years, I’ve found these controls cause excessive wear on the actuator pins, and it seems I’m not alone. Many plumbers I speak to report issues of leaking value pins, which is why Multipipe recommends that you always commission a new underfloor heating system. A little work upfront will save trouble down the line – reinforcing your customers trust in your skills.
I do understand the need for auto-balancing controls, and these are very good when retrofitted to existing systems where you do not know the length of the coils to balance. In this example, they can save time and money but still provide system control.
However, when you’re installing a brand-new system and providing you lay your pipework in accordance to the drawings provided by your manufacturer, there is no reason why you cannot hydraulically balance your system.
Hydraulically balancing the system is far better: it doesn’t take long, and it means you’re not overusing the pins. This method also allows for better-balanced flow around the system, meaning the system will heat up evenly. This is especially important in a single room with multiple loops (where some loops are different sizes.)