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Wood boiler heating open system

rico7467 Member Posts: 40
If I build a manifold in my basement to supply 3 different things what's to ensure the water travels all 3 pipes and doesn't take the least restricted path?


  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,499
    It will take path of least resistance. What are the "three different things" you refer to? Is this an entirely an open/unpressurized system? Possible to pump each load? One pump and three zone valves?

    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited October 2014
    You can have a manifold with three zones.
    A zone can be a heat emitter. Radiant, radiator, fan coil,base board.
    You can have a zone for heating domestic hot water.

    What needs to be determined is the heat loss of a particular zone, that's step one. This determines btus needed for that zone which intern dictates pipe size, and flow rates to deliver the Btus to the zone.

    Now you can determine the pressure drop, or feet of head in that zone.
    Then you can select the right circulator to do the job.

    As solid fuel man said you can have one circ with zone valves, or a circ to each zone. Or one circ with no zoning if there is not a need to control each emitter loop.

    You are very vague with information to give a good answer to your situation.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,544
    If all three loops are flowing at once, no shutoff or zone valves, a balance valve is what you want.

    Here is a simple user/ installer friendly version. Just pull the ring and make the adjustment.

    Best the know the flow rate required to get the right valve, don't oversize the valve, find the one with the flow rate you need near the top of the scale so you don't valve away excessive flow.

    If the flow rates are low, under 2 gpm look into a radiant manifold, most have flow setters and indicators available, as well as zoning potential.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Backing up just a bit here. Water does not take the path of least resistance. Just like a flow of electric current, it will take all available paths -- in proportion to their respective hydraulic resistances.