Which Valve to Balance Flow?


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Old 11-27-06, 10:52 AM
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Which Valve to Balance Flow?

I am looking to balance the hot water flow in a hydronic system zone. The zone has one pump but splits to two seperate areas that "t" back together before interacting with the pump/boiler. The problem is that the shorter loop seems to get the lion's share of the flow (heat). I thought an easy fix would be to limit (restrict) the flow in the shorter loop with a valve. The questions is which valve is best for this aplication. It seems the options at the home center include ball, gate and stop valves.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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Old 11-27-06, 02:20 PM
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Your local plumbing supply house would probably have more options and better advice. A ball valve would likely suffice. I believe that typically it would be placed near the boiler return (near where you tee back together). On the supply side they can often create air and turbulence problems.
 
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Old 11-27-06, 04:09 PM
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Throttling

Many of the ball valve manufacturers state their valves shouldn't be used for throttling--off or on are the preferred settings. I'd think a gate valve would be a better choice.

Pete
 
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Old 11-27-06, 04:56 PM
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Ask at the plumbing supply for a "circuit setter", they might know that term. Or just explain what you want to do and they should know what to sell you. I agree, don't use a ball valve.
 
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Old 11-27-06, 05:49 PM
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Balancing Valves

pjsny:

Your strategy of limiting the flow in the short loop to get better flow in the long loop is correct; this is a common problem in hydronics & is done with BALANCING VALVES.

These are by Taco & others & usually of brass & sweat into the mains, as Xiphias states, on the main returns; they usually have only a screwdriver slot for adjustment to prevent inadvertent tampering; they never close completely to protect the other components in the mains; there is also a combo purge & balance valve if you need a purge station, but they cost 3 times as much as the cost of just the BV.

For this reason, ball valves, etc. should not be used to balance the circuits.

You'll have to go to a plumbing supply house; it's unlikely the big box stores would carry this item.
 
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Old 11-28-06, 06:28 AM
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Excellent advice from everyone except me! Well, ok, I did say hit the supply house.
 
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Old 11-28-06, 06:33 AM
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Thanks everyone. Excellent response. I will look into the balancing valve.
 
 

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