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Best Place to install balancing valves

stuman
stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
I have the primary side now all done, using a Boiler feeding into a low loss header.
On the secondary side I have 1/2 " pex staples on the plywood on the first floor. There are 4 loops, all different lengths. To balance the flow and have even floor heat, where should I place the manifold with the small valves, on the pressure going into 1/2" pex or on the return side and which would work better ?

Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,328
    The return side works better.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    GroundUpDerheatmeister
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    Is there a reason or just your personal recommendation ?
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,399
    Almost all premade manifolds have the flowmeters on the supply side (which are also the balancing valves most of the time), and the shutoffs on the return. Flowmeters will not operate on the return, as there is no venturi effect. The shutoffs can be used as balancing valves, but their actual purpose is only a shutoff.
    Zman
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,328
    You see folks put them in either location. I agree with this way of thinking. http://www.haysfluidcontrols.com/blog/benefits-of-installing-balancing-valves-on-the-return-side-of-coils/

    The venturi exists anytime there is flow. I have observed that the valves are easier to adjust and are not as prone to erosion wear when they are on the return.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Derheatmeister
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    thks for explanation....I will put them on the return,also trying to save a few bucks
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,399
    Zman said:

    You see folks put them in either location. I agree with this way of thinking. http://www.haysfluidcontrols.com/blog/benefits-of-installing-balancing-valves-on-the-return-side-of-coils/

    The venturi exists anytime there is flow. I have observed that the valves are easier to adjust and are not as prone to erosion wear when they are on the return.

    Pipe a set of radiant manifolds backwards and let me know how good the flowmeters work. Spoiler: they don't.
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    like putting in a check valve backwards...
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,328
    GroundUp said:

    Zman said:

    You see folks put them in either location. I agree with this way of thinking. http://www.haysfluidcontrols.com/blog/benefits-of-installing-balancing-valves-on-the-return-side-of-coils/

    The venturi exists anytime there is flow. I have observed that the valves are easier to adjust and are not as prone to erosion wear when they are on the return.

    Pipe a set of radiant manifolds backwards and let me know how good the flowmeters work. Spoiler: they don't.
    That would be because they are designed to be directional.
    @stuman do you have a specific product in mind or is your question general in nature.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Derheatmeister
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    general questions before starting to pipe secondary side and thks for information
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    edited July 2021
    Another question is do I need need valves on both supply and return to balance system, is there any advantage to piping on both ? Would this make it easier to remove air from branch
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 1,882
    Use reverse return piping on the manifold first then use the balance valves to fine tune ....
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
    Retired_guy
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 873
    I agree with ZMAN And Ground up.

    Another feature is keeping a higher pressure on the inlet of the zone assures there will always be better circulation in that zone. Higher pressure always go to the lwer pressure side of the zone.

    Jake
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,399
    Are you planning to use a premade manifold set and are wondering which way they should be piped, or are you planning to use tee style manifolds with external balancing valves? The way the original question was worded, I understood that you had a premade set in mind and were wondering which (supply or return) side the balancing valves were supposed to be on. If that's the case, the side with the flowmeters (typically glass globes with plungers inside to show flow) ALWAYS goes on the supply side. The flowmeters will NOT work at all if they're on the return manifold. The flowmeters almost always double as balancing valves, so again, the supply side is where they belong- the knobs on the opposite manifold are just shutoffs though could be used for balancing purposes. If you're building manifolds out of tees or using copper log manifolds or something similar, then yes the balancing valves should be on the return. Having a means of isolation on each loop is always a good idea, no matter what. Both for purging air and potential future service, the ability to completely isolate each loop separately is a valuable option. Reverse return is completely unnecessary if you have balancing valves
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    edited August 2021
    I'm looking at making my own using copper tees for the supply side and premade with valves on the return side,sound like it would be good idea to have valves on the supply side too.Sounds like a great idea to be able to isolate each loop awhile....will do that as well.
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,399
    Copper manifolds with 8 shutoffs and 4 balancing valves are likely going to cost a whole lot more than a basic stainless or brass manifold set which already includes both as well as flowmeters, isolation valves, drains, unions, and thermometers. Is there a particular reason you want to make them yourself?
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    Thinking.... it would be cheaper to make the unit yourself. Want to keep them very simple as well.
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,399
    You can buy a set of SS manifolds with everything you need for less money than you can buy the 4 balancing valves alone. And they'll perform better, look better, and be simpler than nearly anything you could build.
  • stuman
    stuman Member, Email Confirmation Posts: 21
    thanks for all the useful info , I have ordered a SS manifold.
    Retired_guy