Water heating do it yourself: how to do it yourself

If a country house is actively used not only in the summer period, but also in the cold season, the creation of a high-quality heating system in it is an urgent need.

Different heat carriers can be used in heating mains: air heated to 60 ° C, water vapor at 130 ° C and water at 95 ° C. Most often used water heating.

One of the main advantages of this coolant is the ability to equip various water heating systems depending on the design features of the house, personal preferences and other factors.

In the article we described a detailed classification of water heating schemes, outlined the features of each option, and also provided recommendations on the choice of the main components of the system. The information provided will help to design the heating of a private house.

The content of the article:

  • Classification of water heating systems
  • Requirements for the operation of the heating system
  • Equipment power calculations
  • Water heating systems
    • Natural and forced circulation
    • Combined circulation systems
  • Ways of installation of water heating systems
    • Single pipe heating system
    • Two-pipe system and its variants
  • Open and closed heating systems
  • Elements of the heating system
    • Determining the right boiler
    • What are the heating radiators
    • How not to be mistaken with pipes
  • Water system "warm floor"
  • Plinth heating system
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Classification of water heating systems

Depending on the location of the place of heat generation, water heating systems are divided into centralized and local. In a centralized manner, heat supply, for example, apartment buildings, various institutions, enterprises and other objects.

In this case, heat is generated in CHP (combined heat and power plants) or boiler houses, and then delivered to consumers through pipelines.

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Single pipe heating circuit

The simplest variant of the heating device is a one-pipe scheme, according to which the coolant is supplied and discharged through one pipe

Two-pipe system type

In two-pipe heating circuits, the coolant is supplied through a pipe called the flow, and in the cooled form it is drained back to the boiler

Pump version of the heating system

According to the method of moving the coolant through the heating pipeline, the systems are divided into forced and gravitational. In forced (pumping) systems, water is pushed by a wet rotor circulation pump.

Gravity-type heating system

In heating schemes with the natural movement of the coolant, it moves according to gravitational laws: heated rises up the riser from the boiler, then under the action of gravity flows through the collector to devices

Heating circuit with upper wiring

By the type of connection of heating devices to the main pipe of the system are divided into schemes with vertical and horizontal wiring

Horizontal wiring heating

The arrangement of the heating system with horizontal wiring involves the use of a circulation pump that stimulates the movement of coolant along the contour

An example of a closed system device

The use of a pump in heating systems involves the construction of closed systems with a hermetic expansion tank.

An example of an open system device

If an open expansion tank is installed in the system to allow the coolant to expand in the system, it falls into the category of open

Single pipe heating circuit

Single pipe heating circuit

Two-pipe system type

Two-pipe system type

Pump version of the heating system

Pump version of the heating system

Gravity-type heating system

Gravity-type heating system

Heating circuit with upper wiring

Heating circuit with upper wiring

Horizontal wiring heating

Horizontal wiring heating

An example of a closed system device

An example of a closed system device

An example of an open system device

An example of an open system device

Local (autonomous) systems provide heat, for example, private houses. It is produced directly on the heat supply facilities themselves. For this purpose, furnaces or special units operating on electricity, natural gas, liquid or solid combustible materials are used.

Depending on the way in which the movement of water masses is provided, the heating can be with forced (pumping) or natural (gravitational) movement of the coolant. Systems with forced circulation can be with ring circuits and with schemes of primary secondary rings.

Water heating system diagram

Different systems of water heating differ from each other by the type of wiring and method of connecting devices. Combines their type of coolant that transfers heat to the heating devices (+)

In accordance with the direction of movement of water in the supply and return type highways, the heat supply may be with an associated and dead-end movement of the coolant. In the first case, the water moves in the highways in one direction, and in the second, in different directions.

Classification of water heating systems by type of movement

In the direction of movement of the coolant system are divided into dead-end and counter. In the first stream of heated water is directed in the direction opposite to the direction of the cooled. In passing schemes, the movement of the heated and cooled coolant occurs in one direction (+)

Heating pipes can be connected to heating devices in different schemes. If the heaters are connected in series, this scheme is called one-pipe, if in parallel - a two-pipe.

There is also a bifilar scheme in which all the first half of the devices are first connected in series, and then, to ensure the return flow of water, their second half.

The location of the pipes connecting the heating devices gave the name of the wiring: they distinguish its horizontal and vertical variety. By the method of assembly allocate collector, tee and mixed pipelines.

Top and bottom wiring systems

Schemes of heating systems with upper and lower wiring differ in the location of the supply line. In the first case, the supply pipe is laid above the devices that receive the heated coolant from it, in the second case the pipe is laid below the batteries (+)

In those residential buildings where there are no basements, but there is a loft, heating systems with top wiring are used. In them the giving highway is located above heating devices.

For buildings with a technical basement and a flat roof, heating is applied with a lower wiring, in which the water supply and drain lines are located below the heating devices.

There is also a layout with an “overturned” circulation of coolant. In this case, below the devices is the return line of heat supply.

Scheme of risers of water heating systems

According to the method of connecting the supply line to the heating devices, systems with top wiring are divided into schemes with two-sided, one-sided and overturned movement of the coolant

Requirements for the operation of the heating system

With all the diversity of water heating systems, a number of general requirements are imposed on their work.

They have to:

  • warm all the air in the rooms evenly;
  • be maintainable;
  • do not create difficulties during operation;
  • to be linked with ventilation systems;
  • to be regulated.

The principle of operation of the heating system is also common: water is heated, after which it circulates through the pipeline and gives off the resulting heat, warming the rooms.

Heat carrier of water heating systems

Antifreeze liquid can serve as a coolant in winter time. So that ethylene glycol present in its composition does not cause corrosion of pipelines

Equipment power calculations

Indoor temperature depends on the following factors:

  • air temperature outside the building;
  • house wall thickness and the quality of its individual elements;
  • heat capacity of materialsof which the house is built.

Calculating the need for your house in the heat, you need to take into account all factors, including heat loss through the windows and doors, walls and the floor to the ceiling. Special rules required in the calculation process should be applied taking into account the climatic conditions of the area in which the residential facility is located, and the degree of existing insulation.

Power calculation

The general meaning of the calculation is to calculate the total heat loss corresponding to the minimum air temperature in your area to purchase equipment that is capable of excess these losses to compensate

The greatest heat loss occurs through the outer walls of the house. With the increase in the temperature difference inside the house and outside the building, heat loss also increases.

If we take into account the material from which the outer walls were built, and the thickness of these walls, then for the external air temperature at - 30 ° C, the heat loss will be different and will be:

  • brick with internal plaster - 89 W / m² (2.5 bricks), 104 W / m² (2 bricks);
  • chopped with inner lining (250 mm) - 70 W / m²;
  • from a bar with an internal covering - 89 W / m ² (180 mm), 101 W / m ² (100 mm);
  • frame with expanded clay inside (200 mm) - 71 W / m²;
  • foam concrete with internal plaster (200 mm) - 105 W / m².

However, heat loss occurs not only through the outer walls, but also through other enclosing structures.

At the same - 30 ° C, they will be for:

  • wooden attic floors - 35 W / m²;
  • wooden basement floors - 26 W / m²;
  • double wooden doors without insulation - 234 W / m²;
  • windows with a double frame of wood - 135 W / m².

To calculate the total heat loss of the building, you need to calculate the area of ​​all enclosing structures in square meters, multiply on the standard heat loss by type of construction, taking into account the materials from which they are made, and summarize the resulting results.

The calculation should be made on the basis of the minimum seasonal temperature of a particular locality. Heat losses through the walls are calculated separately, because must take into account the area of ​​glazing and doorways.

Losses through overlaps without hatches in the attic or in the underground are calculated for the entire area as for single structural elements.

The heating boiler is chosen taking into account the fact that its capacity should be enough to compensate for heat losses with a 20-30 percent margin.

The procedure for calculating the thermal capacity of the equipment that will be used to install the heating system is given in the video clip in the final part of the article.

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Solid fuel boiler in a private house

For heating the coolant in water heating systems, all types of boilers are used, including solid fuel.

Electric unit for heating

The most compact, but not too economical version of the heating unit for water systems - electric boiler

Gas floor heating boiler

It is most advantageous to heat the coolant with gas, for processing of which both floor and wall gas boilers are used.

Gas wall heating boiler

For the arrangement of the heating system of summer houses, small houses and apartments wall gas equipment is used

Solid fuel boiler in a private house

Solid fuel boiler in a private house

Electric unit for heating

Electric unit for heating

Gas floor heating boiler

Gas floor heating boiler

Gas wall heating boiler

Gas wall heating boiler

On our site there is a block of articles devoted to the calculation of water heating, we advise you to read:

  1. Hydraulic calculation of the heating system on a specific example
  2. Calculation of water heating: formulas, rules, examples of implementation
  3. Thermal calculation of the heating system: how to correctly calculate the load on the system

Water heating systems

With all the external differences and different wiring diagrams, the basic principle of operation of water heating systems is the same. The heat carrier heated in the boiler is transported by pipeline to the heating devices.

Cooling down, the water transfers heat to the environment, after which it returns to the place where it will heat up. This cycle repeats over and over.

Natural and forced circulation

In private houses use the following types of heating systems:

  • with natural circulation;
  • with forced circulation.

Natural circulation. Its performance is based on the difference in density between hot and cold. The top positions of such a system are occupied by warm water, and the bottom positions are cold. Cooling down, warm water moves down, and when heated - up.

The second factor that ensures the natural circulation of water masses is the slope under which the pipes are installed.

Natural heating system

So graphically presented sources of circulation pressure. Firstly, its appearance is due to different water temperatures, and, secondly, the inclined position of the pipes (+)

Advantage circuits with natural circulation is its complete independence from energy supply.

She has more disadvantages:

  • short rangeI, not exceeding 30 m in horizontal dimension;
  • warm-up time - a long period of reaching operating temperatures at all points of the system at start-up after a long break;
  • risk of stopping work due to the formation of ice in the open expansion tank.

The diameter of the pipeline must be large enough due to the low circulation pressure in the circuit. This factor also affects the choice of batteries, because modern radiators have a too narrow cross section, which creates additional resistance, counteracting the circulation by "gravity".

In order to further stimulate the movement of the coolant, the pipeline is constructed with a slope so that an average of 3 mm per 1 running meter. Proper installation of pipes at the right angle is not an easy task, but without solving it, the system will function much more slowly and efficiently.

Schemes of water heating systems with natural circulation

Due to the fact that the coolant sequentially moves through the devices to the nearest battery supply line, it comes with a higher temperature (+)

To long-range radiators of gravity systems, coolant is leaking already substantially cooled. To maintain the heating temperature, cast iron radiators should be used. To balance the temperature difference, long-distance batteries must have more sections than those closest to the boiler.

Forced circulation provides a pump. In the scheme there can be one or several pumps. The use of several pumps is preferable: emergency shutdown of one of them will not disable all heating.

The coolant cyclically moves around a closed loop, which includes an expansion tank, which eliminates the evaporation of water.

Scheme of forced water heating system

A distinctive feature of the water heating system with forced circulation of the coolant is the presence in the pump circuit, which contributes to the movement of water

Benefits forced circulation systems:

  • for installation of heating will need more pipes, but of smaller diameter;
  • You can use different types of radiators and heat pipes with small diameters;
  • the temperature of the heaters is easier to regulate;
  • significantly increased the range due to the artificial stimulation of the coolant movement;
  • the possibility of using heating units with enhanced characteristics of the coolant.

Minus forced systems is dependent on the power supply. In order to avoid incidents with complete inactivity of heating, it is recommended to stock up on a diesel or gasoline generator.

In addition to the disadvantages include:

  • the need for accurate calculation pipeline diameter, because Too narrow channels will dramatically increase the hydraulic resistance, and when circulating through too wide pipes, the coolant will “make noise”;
  • considerable cost of construction because of almost double the length of the pipeline, the inclusion in the scheme of one or two circulating pumps, if necessary, booster pump;
  • mandatory use of expensive regulators coolant flow, its temperature and pressure in the system.

The correct choice of the type of circulation depends on the individual characteristics and the location of the building in which water heating will be installed. However, schemes with a natural movement in recent years have become increasingly rare to resort to, using them mainly in buildings for temporary residence.

Most often, private houses are equipped with systems for artificially forcing the coolant to move due to significantly greater possibilities.

Combined circulation systems

The combined system can function in both natural and forced mode. This means that during its installation it is necessary, as is the case with the use of natural circulation, provide for pipe slope of 3-5 mm per linear meter, as well as installation of the pump, as for forced circulation.

Usually in such a heating scheme there is a solid fuel boiler.

Combined heating system

The scheme includes: 1- electric boiler, 2- solid fuel boiler, 3- pump. This scheme is a combined heating system, in which besides the pump there is an inclined system pipelines, and the electric boiler is duplicated by solid fuel so that the system can work without electricity (+)

The meaning of using the combined system is that it will continue its work even in the event of a power outage. But the sudden cessation of heating in winter threatens not only lowering the temperature in the room.

The elements of the heating system can simply break down because the water, expanding when it freezes, will break their tightness.

Ways of installation of water heating systems

Consider the two main schemes of installation of heating systems.

Single pipe heating system

The single pipe design of the pipeline is characterized by a direct sequence of supplying the coolant to the radiators. The heat carrier fills and warms up first the first battery, then the next one, and so on.

Two pipes are fed to each radiator from one pipe: the first is needed to supply coolant, and the second is used to discharge partially cooled water.

Single pipe heating system

The one-pipe heating system is characterized by the series connection of all radiators, in which the coolant, after passing through the first heating device, enters the following

The peculiarity of such a scheme is the relatively low heating of the last battery compared to the first one, since water “gets” to it, having already given up some of its heat.

One more minus single pipe heating option It is considered that it is impossible to stop the flow of coolant to one specific radiator in case of breakdown. Have to shut down the entire system.

Two-pipe system and its variants

In the two-pipe heating scheme, as is already clear from the name, not one, but two pipes are involved. In addition, each of the batteries is connected to one pipe in the line through which the coolant flows, and the second to the pipeline with return flow. It turns out that separate pipes are provided for the hot and cooled coolant.

Two-pipe heating system

Two pipes are involved in this system: hot water flows into the radiators through the pipes one by one, and cooled coolant flows out through the second one from the batteries

Thanks to this heating design, the water in all radiators has almost the same temperature. The operation of such a system is easier to monitor, adjust and automate.

The two-pipe system, in turn, is divided into two types:

  • with the top laying of the giving pipe, i.e. with top wiring;
  • with the lower laying of the supply pipeline, i.e. with the lower wiring.

Systems with upper wiring are constructed mainly in multi-storey buildings with attic space. Schemes with lower wiring in priority in private low-rise construction, because they allow to hide the pipeline laying to the maximum and eliminate or reduce the number of risers.

Collector water heating system of a two-story house

The two-pipe heating system for a private house is often performed according to the collector scheme, although the latter may be one-pipe. The radial location of the pipeline sections can significantly reduce the cost of heating the coolant (+)

Comparative characteristics of single-pipe and two-pipe heating system given in the video material, which is located at the bottom of our article.

Open and closed heating systems

In addition to the types of water heating systems already considered by us, there is a division into an open and a closed structure.

Open heating system consists of a boiler (any other than electrical one is used), pipelines, heating radiators, and an expansion tank to which excess water flows when it expands during the heating process.

The tank is not sealed, water from the system can evaporate, so its level must be monitored and topped up if necessary.

Open system

In order for the open heating system with top wiring and natural circulation of the coolant to work more efficiently in winter, the supply standpipe is recommended to be insulated. This measure will exclude cooling of the coolant and, as a result, slowing its movement (+)

Pump in open heating system not applicable. The heating boiler is located at its lowest point, and the expansion tank at its highest point.

Closed construction sealed. It includes all the same elements as in the open. But since the movement of the coolant in it occurs forcibly, the mandatory list of elements is supplemented by a circulation pump.

Expansion tank, which is part of a closed structure, consists of two seamed parts, separated by a diaphragm. If a surplus of expanded fluid in the system occurs, it enters one of the reservoir chambers, forcing the diaphragm into a second chamber filled with nitrogen or air.

When the coolant expands, the pressure in the system rises; a part of the tank filled with water tends to force out and compress the gas mixture. If the pressure limit in the tank is exceeded, a safety valve is activated, which discharges the excess coolant.

Closed system

A closed heating system is characterized by forced movement of the coolant and the presence of a closed expansion tank with a membrane; this system is more complex than open

Each of the heating systems has its own advantages and disadvantages. They differ in a number of characteristics and are suitable for various objects. If you need to heat a small private house or cottage, use a simple and reliable open structure.

More difficult to install and operate closed heating system often used in solid cottages and high-rise buildings.

Elements of the heating system

Since we are going to install water heating in the house with our own hands, we need to have an idea about the components of the proposed design.

Determining the right boiler

The boiler is the heart of the heating system. It is very important to choose it correctly, because the reliability of heat supply largely depends on it.

Heating boilers

Heating boilers can be used either one by one or as a pair, for example, in addition to an electric boiler, solid fuel can be introduced into the scheme, in case of a power outage

Depending on the fuel used in the boiler, the following types of these devices are distinguished:

  • Gas. This boiler is most popular with consumers. It is easy to install, works without too much noise. Gas is relatively inexpensive and produces a lot of heat when burned. But to use it, you need to get permission, order the installation of the supply line and organize exhaust ventilation in the boiler room.
  • Electric. These boilers are the safest. The place of their installation does not need to be additionally equipped. Their work does not form an open flame and combustion products that could be poisoned. But the efficiency of this device is relatively small, electricity is expensive, and the energy-intensive boiler requires a reliable electrical network.
  • Fuel oil. Unlike gas, these boilers are equipped with a special type of burners. This equipment requires a special boiler room. Liquid fuel quickly pollutes the boiler.
  • Solid fuel. These devices burn coal briquettes and other solid fuels. If you are ready to harvest firewood or coal for the entire cold season, then you can use this option.

Combined boilers are considered the most reliable in which different types of fuel can be used. The disadvantage of such equipment is only one - such boilers are expensive.

What are the heating radiators

In order not to be disappointed as a result of the work performed, you need to take a responsible approach to the choice of radiators. At the same time, one should focus not only on aesthetic qualities, but on technical characteristics of batteries. And the technical properties are largely dependent on the material of manufacture of these products.


Modern cast iron radiators can look very attractive, especially if the interior of the room as a whole is designed in the same style as them.

Radiators are:

  • Steel. These inexpensive products are too corrosive. If in summer, when heating is not used, water is drained from the system, the life of steel radiators can be significantly reduced.
  • Aluminum. These attractive-looking radiators warm up quickly enough. Only significant pressure drops affect them negatively. In private homes, this danger does not threaten them.
  • Bimetallic. Such batteries from aluminum got resistance to corrosion, and from steel - high heat transfer.
  • Cast iron. These products are expensive, but they will last a very long time. They heat up for a long time, but then they cool for a long period of time. The heavy weight of cast iron products does not interfere with their operation, but may slow down the installation process.

There are new radiator models, on the inner surface of which a protective coating is applied. These batteries cost a little more, but the money spent on them pays off with interest.

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Cast iron radiators for heating systems

Heating devices made of cast iron heat up for a long time to the working temperature and slowly cool down. They are used in single-pipe schemes, in which temperature inertness is a priority due to cooling of the coolant on the approaches to the most remote radiator

Aluminum devices for heating systems

Systems with aluminum radiators are less inert. The branched surface of aluminum devices increases heat transfer, but they are inferior to cast iron in strength and resistance to pressure.

Bimetallic devices

To get rid of the shortcomings of aluminum radiators, their internal channels and manifolds are made of steel. Bimetallic devices have the advantages of aluminum, but ahead of them in strength properties

Low cost steel version of devices

Steel alloy panel radiators are the most affordable option in terms of price. They heat up quickly and cool down just as well, but attract with an abundance of models differing in height, depth, length and thermal power characteristics.

Cast iron radiators for heating systems

Cast iron radiators for heating systems

Aluminum devices for heating systems

Aluminum devices for heating systems

Bimetallic devices

Bimetallic devices

Low cost steel version of devices

Low cost steel version of devices

How not to be mistaken with pipes

For installation of the heating system will require a lot of pipes.

Which of them to give preference to:

  • Metallic. The service life of such pipes is not too long. Over time, metal products can rust. They are mounted using threaded connections.
  • Polymer. It is an inexpensive, but fairly reliable material, characterized by corrosion resistance. Even unprofessional can mount these pipes. The pipeline from polymer pipes will serve for a very long time.
  • Metal plastic. In the composition of these pipes aluminum and plastic. Pipeline of them collected on the threaded or press connections. As a side effect of the high thermal expansion coefficient of these pipes, they can crack with a sudden change in water temperature.

If the owners of the house have no restrictions in the means, it makes sense to arrange the wiring of heating from copper pipes. This is a very expensive material, but the cost of it is justified. Such pipes are reliable and durable.

They tolerate high temperature and pressure. For their installation use soldering - silver-containing high-temperature solder.

Everything that we told you above concerned radiator water. But water as a heat carrier can be used in other heating systems.


When installing a water heating system, you may need a lot of pipes, so you need calculate the feasibility of acquiring expensive products and focus on their real opportunities

Read more about the characteristics and choice of pipes for heating in the this article.

Water system "warm floor"

"Warm floor" can both successfully supplement radiator water heating, and become the only source of space heating, in the case of a low-rise building. The great advantage of the “Warm Home” is that this system provides conditions that fully meet the sanitary and hygienic standards of the room.

The height of the room air is heated unevenly: at the top of the room it is colder, and at the bottom - warmer.

Warm floor

Heated floor is a wonderful invention that allows to warm the room in height in full compliance with the sanitary and hygienic standards (+) imposed on it.

The temperature of the system is only 55 ° C, which corresponds to the design standards. Exercise installing underfloor heating spend on the entire area of ​​each of the premises. This is quite a difficult job that can be qualitatively performed only at the stage of building a house. Operation of the system also causes a number of difficulties.

Plinth heating system

If the installation of the “Warm house” is difficult, and the radiators spoil the interior of the room, you can use the plinth heating system.

With this type of heating installation of pipes is carried out by the baseboard, that is, just above the floor. In this case, the room, as in the case of the "warm floor" is heated in the correct sequence.

Baseboard heating

Thanks to plinth heating, there is no need to puzzle over how to fit pipelines, collectors and radiators into the interior of a country house so that they do not catch the eye (+)

At the same time, the floor is heated, which creates favorable conditions at any time of the year. Heating under the baseboard is becoming increasingly popular and is gradually coming into fashion.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Comparison of two-pipe and one-pipe heating systems:

The house you are going to live in all year round needs heating during the cold season. To make living conditions comfortable, you need to choose a water heating system that is most suitable for your individual conditions.

We hope that the information contained in this article will help you make the right choice. After all, high-quality heating is not only comfort and coziness. It is also a prerequisite for maintaining your health.

Is there anything to supplement or have questions about water heating systems? You can leave comments on the publication and participate in discussions. The form for communication is in the lower block.

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