Optimal wiring of heating in a private house: a comparison of all typical schemes

Alexey Dedyulin
Checked by a specialist: Alexey Dedyulin
Author: Mikhail Yashin
Last update: April 2020

When solving the problem of heating the housing, there are many combinations of constructing a system for supplying and removing coolant. Each heating distribution in a private house can be classified according to several criteria.

We offer to understand the nuances of arranging and working possible options. Understanding the principles of design, the pros and cons of each type of wiring, will help to plan the geometry of the system and its structure, taking into account the individual characteristics of the room.

Modeling Optimal Contour Geometry

For one private house, several closed water circuits can be designed that will heat different rooms. They can differ significantly from each other by the type of wiring.

When designing, first of all, they proceed from the operability of the system, as well as the optimal geometry from the standpoint of minimizing costs, ease of installation and the ability to fit heating elements into the design of the premises.

Natural and forced water circulation

Heating the coolant for heating the house occurs in one or more devices located indoors. This can be stoves, fireplaces, as well as gas, electric or solid fuel boilers.

The water pressure in the circuit is provided either by using circulation pumps or by aligning the geometry of the system, which allows creating conditions for natural circulation.

Also, a central heating system for several houses can be a source of hot water. In case of low pressure, it is possible to connect circulation pumps to create additional pressure and increase the speed of fluid movement through the pipes.

Circulation pump for heating system
Installing a circulation pump creates sufficient pressure in the system, making it possible to use wiring options that cannot be used in natural circulation

When choosing option c natural coolant circulation or low pressure in the pipes with centralized heating, it is necessary to carefully consider the possibility of maximizing the use of physical laws that allow you to start and maintain fluid movement.

An obligatory wiring element in this case is the acceleration collector. It is a vertical pipe through which hot water rises, then is distributed over the heating devices and, having lost the initial temperature, flows down.

Due to the different density, a difference in the hydrostatic pressure of the hot and cold liquid column occurs, which is the driving force for the circulation of water.

Vertical and horizontal wiring

The supply of hot water to the radiators can be carried out in various ways. The wiring is conventionally divided into vertical and horizontal, according to the position of the pipes (risers) that supply water directly to the heating radiators.

Horizontal and vertical heating distribution
In modern homes, horizontal rather than vertical heating is more often used. The reason is that the radiator layouts on different floors rarely coincide.

Vertical diagrams with the top supply of hot water, the difference in hydrostatic pressure between the warm and cold segments of the circuit is used to the maximum, so they are almost always used for natural circulation, as well as for low pressure in the system.

In addition, such schemes are operable in the event of an emergency shutdown of the pump, which may occur due to its breakdown or lack of electricity.

Wiring with a lower feed is practically not used for heating with natural circulation. If there is good pressure in the system, its use is justified, since such a scheme has two significant advantages, relative to an alternative option.

Benefits of the scheme:

  • shorter total length of pipes used;
  • there is no need to hold pipes in the attic or technological niches under the ceiling of the second floor.

Horizontal layout heating distributions are used for one-story private houses. If a building has two or more floors, then it is often used when vertical struts are undesirable from a design perspective.

Horizontal pipes supplying and discharging water can be organically fit into the interior of the premises, as well as hidden under the floor or in niches located at the floor level.

Choice of one or two pipe option

The supply of hot water and the discharge of chilled for the heating system of a private house can be done using one or two pipes. Each option has positive and negative sides, as well as features of use depending on the type of wiring.

Type of two-pipe wiring in the room
From the perspective of interior design, the presence of a second pipe does not have any effect on the appearance of the heating system due to the lower version of connecting the system to radiators and the ability to reduce pipe diameters

Using a single pipe connection

The water heating scheme of a private house using one pipe to supply hot and drain cooled water is called a single pipe. The main advantage of such a system is to minimize pipe lengths.

The main advantages of the option:

  • lowest costs for the purchase of elements of the heating system;
  • most simple and quick installation;
  • least risk of accident.

Main minus single pipe heating is a gradual decrease in water temperature, which passes sequentially through all radiators in the circuit.

Therefore, it is necessary to use a slightly larger surface area of ​​the last radiators (a larger number of elbows), which often eliminates the cost benefit of minimizing the length of the pipes.

In addition, due to this drawback, there are restrictions for one circuit on the number of connected radiators. If there are too many of them, then the latter along the movement of the coolant will practically not radiate heat.

In addition, there is a problem in calculating heat transfer. It should be borne in mind that disconnecting the first radiators from the heating system leads to an increase in the temperature of the incoming water for subsequent devices.

It is pointless to use single-tube schemes with a vertical bottom wiring, since the length of the pipes will be the same as the two-pipe version, which eliminates all the advantages, but leaves minuses.

Lower one-pipe and two-pipe distribution
If the return of the coolant occurs along the same route as the supply, then the total length of the pipes with both options is almost the same

The heater is usually connected through bypassto be able to turn off any of them without stopping the circulation of water along the circuit.

To save on taps, you can not bypass the water through the outlets, but then you will have to stop the operation of this part of the system and drain the water if it is necessary to replace or repair the radiator.

The most economical option is to use one steel pipe with a diameter of 1.5-2 inches without heating radiators. The absence of faucets and fittings makes this system also the most practical due to minimizing the risk of leaks or water breakthroughs.

Read more about calculating a single-pipe heating system in this article.

The use of a two-pipe heating option

The heating circuit scheme, when one pipe is used to supply hot water to heating devices, and the second - to return the chilled one, is called a two-pipe.

Its main advantages:

  • the temperature of the water supplied to all radiators is the same;
  • turning off one or more radiators does not affect the temperature of the supplied water to other heating devices;
  • restrictions on the number of radiators for one heating circuit depends only on the throughput volume of the pipes.

The main disadvantage of this wiring is a slight increase in the footage of the pipes.

This leads to some additional disadvantages:

  • costs for the purchase and installation of elements of the heating system increase;
  • complicated integration into the interior of a private house.

The number of fittings and taps with a two-pipe system is almost the same as with a single-pipe system.

Horizontal single pipe and double pipe
For the associated coolant motion scheme, the total length of the pipes when using a two-pipe system increases by the distance between the first and last radiator. Sometimes it is insignificant compared with the entire length of the contour.

Depending on the relative movement of hot and chilled water double pipe wiring diagrams are divided into two types:

  • in passing;
  • dead end.

Passing scheme. Both flows move in the same direction and, thus, the cycle length of the coolant revolution is the same for each radiator. In this case, their heating is equal in speed when the heating system starts.

Dead end option. The direction of movement of hot and chilled water is oncoming. Heating of the radiators closest to the boiler is faster.

The lower the speed of water, the more noticeable this effect, therefore, with natural circulation, the heating of some rooms will occur much more slowly than others.

If you use a circulation pump or the distance between the first and last radiator in the circuit is negligible, then the effect of uneven heating with a dead end two-pipe wiring is invisible. Then the choice in favor of one or another option is due solely to considerations of the convenience of carrying out the return pipe.

Distribution manifold incorporation

Recently, a popular way of organizing water heating is the so-called “beam pattern” using a distribution manifold.

This wiring method reliably works only with good water pressure in the system, so it is not used for natural circulation.

Radiation home heating circuit
Radial wiring involves connecting each heater (or a small group of them) directly to a distribution manifold that distributes hot and collects chilled water

Beam radiator connection system

The most uniform and controlled separation of the coolant flow by heating devices can be done using distribution manifold.

The device includes two combs, in one of which hot water comes from the boiler and is distributed among the radiators, and the chilled water returns to the other and goes back to the boiler.

The radiators are connected through the distribution manifold in parallel, therefore, with this wiring, the minimum temperature difference of the coolant supplied to the heating devices is achieved.

This greatly facilitates the calculation of the parameters of radiators at the design stage, and also makes it easy to adjust the power of each device during operation.

The second significant advantage of this wiring is the ability to control the flow of coolant to all devices from one place. The collector is placed in a special cabinet with access to indicators and controls: valves, taps and pumps.

This is convenient from the position of regulating the microclimate of the house and makes it easier to fit radiators into the interior of the room.

The disadvantages of systems with a collector heating wiring diagram should include the maximum length of the supply and exhaust pipes to the radiators. This option is the most expensive at the cost of the circuit elements and the most difficult to install, and also requires a certain qualification.

Distribution manifold with appliances
Using a collector to connect various types of heating devices requires a good understanding of the topic of water heating, and sometimes hydraulic calculations for the normal functioning of such systems

Usually pipes in radial heating mounted in the floor screed. This means that it is necessary to design and install such a system during the construction or overhaul of a private house.

It is quite difficult to make a collector version for connecting radiators or to change the geometry of circuits in rooms with internal repairs already carried out. This is the second significant minus of this type of wiring.

Rules for using underfloor heating

A comfortable and very popular way of heating residential premises is arrangement of a warm floor. If the heated area is small, then you can get by with one pipe placed in the floor screed.

Manifold for underfloor heating
Connecting the underfloor heating system through the distribution manifold is the only option for heating large areas in this way

For large areas, the use of a single pipe is impossible for the following reasons:

  • the amount of heat supplied is not enough to heat the entire room, in addition, this heating will be uneven;
  • with a long length, there is a strong hydrodynamic resistance of the fluid flow, which leads to excessive energy costs for creating pressure and increases the risk of water breakthrough at the joints.

Therefore, with a significant area of ​​the warm floor, the use of several pipes is not a wish, but a necessity.

In this case, the connection is through a distribution manifold.

Often the collector is equipped with a mixing unit to adjust the temperature of the water supplied to the pipes of the warm floor. The fact is that for radiators, as a rule, they use liquid with a temperature range of 70-80 ° C, while for a warm floor it is necessary about 40 ° C.

The temperature control through the mixer is reliable, which is very important, since an excess of temperature can cause a significant deformation of the floor covering: linoleum, laminate or parquet.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Schematic representation of the heating distribution in a two-story house with a large area. Two-pipe passing and deadlock system and underfloor heating connected via collectors. Elimination of the conflict of circulation pumps using a hydraulic arrow:

Radiation scheme for heating a two-story building. Since the finishing work has not yet been carried out, all the wiring is clearly visible. The nuances of laying pipes on the floor under a concrete screed:

The opinion of a practicing master in installing heating systems about the various schemes used in private homes. Overview of the pros and cons of natural circulation, single pipe, double pipe associated and dead end, as well as collector wiring:

Presented wiring for heating homes are typical and can be modified taking into account the geometry of the premises, the required temperature values ​​or other factors. When modifying the schemes, it is necessary to comply with the laws and basic principles of physics, hydraulics, materials science and other disciplines.

In the case of solving complex or non-standard tasks, it is better to contact specialists, because remodeling heating systems can come out even more expensive than their modeling and installation.

If you have questions or have a desire to share personal experience in installing heating in your home, please leave comments on this article. You can supplement your review with a photo - the contact form is located below.

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Visitors Comments
  1. Vyacheslav

    I did the simplest in my house. Having installed a gas boiler in a niche, he brought a riser from it and, under the ceiling, with a slight slope, let the supply pipe run along the walls throughout the house. From the supply pipe, I connected the pipes from above to the devices, from the bottom I connected radiators to the main pipe, transporting the cooled coolant back to the boiler unit. I installed a pump at the entrance. Despite the presence of a pump, he still installed pipes with a bias towards the boiler. This is done only in order not to freeze in the event of a power outage for some reason, when the pump stops working. Then the water heated in the boiler will be able to independently move through the pipeline without a pump.

    • Irina

      Instead of a gas boiler, I have a fireplace stove with a water circuit. And instead of slopes (in case of a power outage) - a battery with an adapter for 220 V, and if for a long time - a generator. Everything seems to be fine, but there is a problem - the volume of liquid in the system barely reaches 20 liters, and according to the description of the stove, it is necessary from 40 to 130 liters. Maybe someone has encountered such a problem?

      I want to add an old 30 liter storage water heater to the system, but I don’t really understand if this will solve the problem, because the water heater, unlike batteries, will not cool the water, it will only increase the amount of circulating liquid. Help advice, gentlemen, please!

  2. Talibov Tariel

    Vyacheslav, you are just great ...! If you show off, it means that not everything is as good as “drawing”.