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2 Pipe Reverse return system

TimcoTimco Member Posts: 2,814
First rad to get heat is last to get back to the boiler. Read Pumping away, found in the online store.

Working on steam and hot-water systems isn't rocket's actually much harder.


  • PabloPablo Member Posts: 1
    2 Pipe reverse return

    I'm looking for description a a 2 pipe revrse return heating system.
  • Brad WhiteBrad White Member Posts: 29
    2-Pipe Reverse Return

    What Tim said is correct but a better picture may be in order.

    The first radiator served starts the return as Tim said. This return, just started, then runs parallel to and in the same direction as the supply main. (You will have two pipes with flow travelling in the same direction.)

    Radiators drop off the supply and are picked up on the return. The last radiator supplied then is the last to give back it's return. (Technically and actually, this last radiator's return is the first back to the boiler.)

    Then, the return main makes a homerun back to the boiler.

    The reason reverse-return is used is that as far as the piping is concerned, each branch set has the same pressure drop. The first radiator served is closer to the circulator but also has the longest path back to the boiler on the return side. The last radiator served is further from the circulator discharge but is also the first in line back to the boiler. All the others are in between but have similar pressure gradients.

    Now, if all of the emitters (radiators) and the associated runouts have the same pressure drop, the system is essentially self-balancing. All will get the same flow.
  • JaredMJaredM Member Posts: 57
    Short and sweet

    First off, last on.

    Pretty simple.

    The way I first understood in my minds eye was to take a piece of paper and draw a square building. Put the boiler or heat source next to wall number 1. Now draw three radiators in the building, one each next to wall number 2, 3 and 4. Now pipe the radiators supply first with a large main starting at the boiler and reducing as you go until you get to the last one. Now draw a return pipe from the boiler in the OPPOSITE direction from the supply pipe doing the same thing to connect each radiator. If it helps, draw arrows on the pipes or use a highlighter to color code them and keep the supply and return straight in your mind.

    Congratulations, you have just drawn a reverse return piping system!

    Once you have mastered the concept with a simple system like the one above you can make more complex systems by expanding the concept.

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