Troubleshooting Your Balancing Valves When Your System’s Water Flow is Too Low or Too High

by Marie from Flo-Pac, LLC.

It’s not uncommon to run into water flow problems when installing new balancing valves in a water system. Luckily, issues related to excessively low or high water flow are usually fairly straightforward to troubleshoot and fix. Let’s examine the most common problems and how to fix them.
If the water flow is too low:
1. Is the strainer clogged? Check the coil strainer first. You may need to manually clean it or back-flush it to remove particle matter.
2. Is the valve installed in the correct place? Check the valve’s location and GPM.
3. Is the system pressure too low? Low system pressure is often caused by problems with the hook-up supply and return valves – check the pressure here first. Also, check the head available in the coil and ATC valves. It may be is too small for the drop through those valves.
4. Is the balancing valve plugged up with debris? Cleaning the cartridge solves this problem quickly.
5. Is the ATC valve port closed? Is the Cv wrong? If so, be sure to open the ATC valve port and check the Cv.
6. Is the system valve partway closed? Be sure that all manual system valves are open.
If the water flow is too high:
1. Is the valve installed in the correct place? Check the valve’s location and GPM.
2. Is the water system pressure too high? First, check on the differential pressure across the automatic balancing valve to see whether it is higher than 32 psi. Since it’s important to maintain pressure below this number, close the return-side ball valve until the difference is below 32 psi.
3. Is the valve installed backwards? A straightforward but common problem. Check the flow arrow to see if water is flowing in the right direction. Simply reverse the valve if necessary.
If your balancing valves are making a considerable amount of noise, visit this troubleshooting guide for advice on fixing them.

Updated: August 15, 2011 — 11:21 am

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