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Loop Balancing

I was wondering how much value people have found in having flow meters in your loop returns? It's useful information for sure, but just how necessary since floor temperature is really the feedback.

For my job I'm using a copper distribution header instead of an integrated manifold. This leads to inline balancing valves, but the ones with flow meters (that I'm aware of) are significantly more $$. It adds up with all the loops. Set-up speed is not a big concern for me.

Thanks much in advance.

Comments

  • Mark Wolff
    Mark Wolff Member Posts: 256
    Flow Meters

    If you have balancing valves of one sort or another on each loop, you don't need flow meters as well. To balance each loop, first try opening all loops on the manifold and using a laser temp. reader choke back each loop until all the return temps are the same, the shorter loops will be choked back more than the longer loops, and the heat will radiate out perportionally.
  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258
    Flow meters

    I find the visual flow meters (Rehau, old Wirsbo, Watts) to be difficult to read at low flow rates. An infrared thermometer is useless when trying to read the temperature of a pipe or pex tubing - not enough surface area. The new Wirsbo Tru-Flow manifolds with the digital flow meter are very effective at measuring flow rates and balancing flow. Good luck! -DF

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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I always

    try to keep all the loop lengths within 10% of one another. Little if any need for balancing.

    Those small flowmeters are great for the first week or so. Seems the windows get cloudy and render them usless just when you discover you are ready to make some balance adjustments.

    Really a low tech "hold you hand on them", or an inexpensive strap on thermometer is fairly accurate way to balance.

    Balancing temperature by adjusting flow is tricky at best, especially in the flow range commonly seen in those loops :)

    hot rod

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