GCH in house, with a Combi boiler. 7 rads in total, semi-detached house, all bar one have TRV's. Room stat present in non-rad area. Boiler located on ground floor, has 'thick' (22mm?) pipes from boiler which then drop via 'T' pieces to the smaller 'normal' (15?mm) pipes that run under kitchen floor to the downstairs rads, thick pipes continue upstairs (at some point dropping to smaller size to the upstairs rads).
Not 100% sure of order of rads downstairs, despite there being only two. Upstairs it's bathroom (directly above boiler location) then through bedrooms, and then drops down to feed downstairs hall rad as the last one on the 'upstairs' leg.
Boiler appears very capable of heating entire house and then some. I've no cold radiators anywhere, though I suspect the kitchen one could do with being a double rather than a single - this is the coldest room of the house (not *that* much cooking goes on as I mostly live on my own, plus it's north facing, and has unheated west-facing hall to side door too).
I'm finding that the heating has to be on for 3-4 hours in order to get the whole room up to temp. The TRV's do their thing, cycling on and off. Lots of cycling on and off in some cases. I suspect this might be partly down to the radiator being fiercely on due to the boiler being so energetic (even when set to minimum), so the TRV turns off prematurely, rad cools, room stops heating up, TRV comes on again... only to go off again a short while later due to radiator being burnyhot again.
So I thought I'd balance the system (it's clearly not, since all lockshields are fully open everywhere) to see if this would improve things.
I've borrowed one of those point-and-click temperature sensing things, which is great. But...
What I've found is that with everything wide open, there's about a 6C drop between flow and return at the boiler. Pump is integral to boiler btw. On individual rads, there's a negligable drop on the return from the rads. They'll happily sit there at around 63C both sides of the rad, with slight fluctuation as the boiler cycles on and off. No short cycling. Boiler apparently has an integral bypass (a bit of pipe, unclear if there's any automatic valve on it at all). Manual also states that a flow valve should be fitted between flow and return in order to limit flow to acheive design temp drop across system. I figure that'll be my bathroom rad then, since it's non TRV.
Struggled to get a 11C drop across the radiators unless they're only just cracked open on the lockshields. Boilers rated for 11-17C drop across the entire system, depending on rads served etc.
What I'm struggling with is the drop measurement though. If the boiler's firing, it's quite a long cycle, and it brings the flows up to about 62C at each rad. I can then get an 11C drop. When the boiler's not firing and just circulating, the drop reduces quite a lot, though eventually (now that I've throttled back even the bathroom rad by a looong way) the boiler's not fired for long enough that I'm seeing a flow of about 54C and a return of about 48C. Boiler *eventually* kicks in and fires again. It's not overheating due to lack of flow (all the TRVs are still wide at this point despite the lockshields beingn throttled back a long way to almost closed for almost all rads) and can't hear kettling either.
So, when measuring this drop, at what point in the cycle do you do it? with the boiler firing, so you get maximum input, and wait for maximum temp of return from the radiator?
Is it worth me throttling back *every single radiator* in order to get anywhere near 10C drop across them, and something between 10-17C drop across the boiler? Isn't that going to put more stress on the pump? And will it actually improve the TRV characteristics?
I've balanced a system before in my old place, but that was a) all on one level, b) no TRV's, c) very clearly defined system with boiler at one end, radiators in a line away from that, thus making it easy to balance with the furthest being fully open and still seeing a 11C drop across it, with progressively closer rads to the boiler being more and more throttled back.
This place? it's all bizarre and odd and a bit confusing.