BALANCING radiators - Spelt right this time!

I have been watching the advice about balancing radiators with great interest, an easy thing to do with great benefits. I have a 3 story house and the ground floor is much hotter than the top floor. I am definitely going to spend some time in doing this. Where can I get the radiator thermometers from?
TIA
Angela
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Angela
I couldn't find the clip on thermometers anywhere, so I bought the digital thermometer recommended here from CPC (part number IN0229366) at 30 (http://tinyurl.com/s9aq ) and followed the advice on balancing at the FAQ .. www.diyfaq.org.uk/plumbing/plumbingpage1.html#balancing
Firstly I found huge variations in temperature across the radiators, some were 2-3 degrees (indicating very fast water flow) and some 25 degrees. The boiler pipes showed a 20 degree drop until I switched the (Grundfos 15/50) pump to it's maximum speed.
I could get readings easily from the radiator pipes as they were all painted, but the brass/copper fittings of the boiler in/outs made it hard to get a stable reading (the non contact thermometer doesn't like shiny surfaces). I sprayed a blob of matt black paint onto the pipes and solved that problem.
I went around the house carefully setting everything, and as indicated in the FAQ, nothing really happens to the flow rates until the valve is wound down less than half. My valves had two and a quarter turns lock to lock and I found the radiators that had the lowest drops needed to be wound to about 1/3 or 1/2 turn from closed to have any effect.
Once the 3-4 radiators with low drops were restricted down, the other slow radiators started coming closer to the 11 degree drop. As the valves were getting close to their final settings, I found the boiler drop was down to 6-7 degrees and I could set the pump back to "2".
Finally I found some other useful comments on the www.eco-hometec.co.uk site here http://tinyurl.com/k0rx The comments here about the operation of the thermostatic valves has made me think about replacing my pump with the Grundfos Alpha + which electronically modifies the flow to suit demand as the thermostatic valves open and close. A few of my rooms are in irregular use, so I tend to leave them on minimum, this causes other valves (bedroom particularly) to whistle a little as they modulate the temperature. It might be the new pump could supply a lower pressure in this case (talking myself into another DIY task).
The only hassle I found was the house getting up to temperature (even with 25 on the stat!) or the boiler taking thermal rests after a couple of hours of running. You need to make sure the boiler has been supplying hot water to the rads for at least 5-10 mins before you take a reading. The digital thermometer was a much better way than waiting for clip on stats to stabilise.
Good luck. It looked a bag of worms when I started but to run round the house and see 10/12 degrees across all the rads and boiler was a job well done. Thanks to the group and faq for help.
Colin
PS Tiny URL was broken by the time I finished typing this, the Grundfos pump info is here: www.grundfos.com/web/homeUK.nsf/Webopslag/DMAR-4QHJ4E
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On Tue, 18 Nov 2003 11:14:43 +0000 (UTC), "Colin M"

The non contact thermometers are much better than the pipe clip ones for doing this job. The bi metal pipe ones take ages to work and if not positioned exactly on unpainted pipe work can be very inaccurate.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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assembled some random characters on their keyboard which said:

I agree Peter, although I didn't try with conventional thermometers, the instant readings of the IR device made the job much faster than clipping and unclipping thermometers and waiting for readings to stabilise.
It was possible to work from one radiator to the next quite rapidly whereas the analogue method would not have been so easy.
Colin M
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There was a thread not long ago indicating even more reasonably priced ones from one of our standard suppliers. Ain't it always the way? :o(
Go get one
mike r
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Angela wrote:

Plumbworld, and they're quite nice actually. Get a pair, so one for each end. Go to Plumbworld.com > Tools > Gauges >Thermometers http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/acb/showprod.cfm?&DID &CATID9&ObjectGroup_ID5
Clip on bi-metallic thermometers are 4 each plus delivery at 3 for orders under 300.
Personally I like their combination temp/pressure units for use in the boiler cupboard.
--
Toby.

'One day son, all this will be finished'
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D5
Never mind that - have you seen the offer they've got on what looks like the Sol thermostatic shower mixer valve? Cheaper than BES, and they're throwing in a shower head too!
http://www.plumbworld.co.uk/acb/showprod.cfm?&DID &CATIDq&ObjectGroup_ID E0
-- John Stumbles -+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-|-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+ -+ procrastinate now!
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Cheaper? over 6 more expensive.
--
--

Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com ).
Version: 6.0.538 / Virus Database: 333 - Release Date: 11/11/2003
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only require one for this task?
Cheers
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wrote:

That is correct.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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to stabilise ie about a second each
mike r
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Yes, one is all that is needed.
With the IR device I could tell within a few seconds that the boiler had switched off as the inlet temp dropped by a couple of degrees between measurements. I doubt you could see that with the mechanical devices and their inertia.
Colin
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Sad but true...
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