How to Balance a Heating System

In any house that has a heating system it is usually advised to balance the system. The reason heating systems need to be balanced is to supply an equal flow to each radiator or hot water coil throughout the house. Often in properties that have large pipe runs, the radiator on the end will not receive a very good flow. Likewise, some houses have radiators that are burning hot upstairs and luke warm radiators downstairs due to convection. All this can be solved  by balancing a system.

Before you read on please watch this instructional video on how to balance a heating system:

Balancing a heating system can flag up problems with radiator valves and other heating components. If you need to buy anything take a look at our recommended suppliers list at the bottom of this page.

Plumberparts have created a quick instructional video telling you how to balance a heating system yourself without calling the plumber. In addition to that we also describe it for you below.


How do you balance a heating system?

1. Make sure the heating system is on and all the relevant thermostats and programmers are calling for heat.

lockshield radiator valve

2. Close every radiator at both ends (you will need a little spanner to close the lockshield end pictured right when plastic cap is removed)

3. Working methodically around the house so you don’t miss any radiators. Open the TRV end fully and just crack open the lockshield end anticlockwise; usually a quarter turn. You should hear a faint hiss as hot water enters the radiator at the flow end. Sometimes it takes a minute or two to get hot. Be patient!

4. Adjust the TRV to the relevant setting.

5. Do this to every radiator upstairs. Wait 30 minutes and see if all the radiators downstairs are hot. If you find one is slightly cooler or cold, balance the remaining radiators downstairs accordingly until good flow is achieved.

6. If in a Bungalow, the same procedure can apply if you find certain radiators arn’t getting as hot as others.

Often you will find that one of the radiators you have balanced is only getting luke warm. DON’T open up the lockshield fully. Just open it a little more at the lockshield end. You should soon feel a difference in heat.