To put it very simply, you’ll know your radiators are balanced if they all heat up at the same rate when your heating comes on.
If you’re not sure how balanced your central heating systems or radiators are, it’s a simple process to work out. Just feel each one in turn as the heat comes on. Ideally, the warmth will appear simultaneously around the house, but you may find one or two are slower to get going.
If this is the case, it means there needs to be more hot water flowing through it in order to balance it with the other radiators.
In the event that your radiators do need balancing, you could hire a plumber to help you. But if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves, you should be able to do it yourself with just a little trial and error and an adjustable spanner.
Lockshield radiator valve
You’ll be familiar with the on/off valve that controls the temperature of individual radiators, but you probably don’t know what the small valve at the other end of the radiator does. It’s called a lockshield valve which controls the water flow and is key to balancing your radiators.
The first thing you need to do is turn the heating off and let all your radiators cool down. Then take the plastic covers off the lockshield valves and use the adjustable spanner to firstly turn the valves clockwise until they are fully closed. Then, beginning with the radiator nearest to your boiler, open the lockshield valve a quarter turn.
With the second radiator, turn the valve a bit more than a quarter turn, and do the same with every radiator in turn, until the one furthest away from the boiler is fully open.
Then turn the heating back on and assess how evenly all the radiators heat up. Then make any minor adjustments you need to in order to balance the radiators.
Some people use special clip-on pipe thermometers to get a precise reading, but this doesn’t seem to be essential – after all, you’ll know if the temperature’s warm enough!
If you would like to replace your system with perfectly balanced designer radiators, visit one of our showrooms in Islington, St Albans or Brighton to see our range and to discuss your needs with one of our experts.