Distributive heating system comb: purpose, principle of operation, connection rules

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Collectors (distribution combs) for heating are an important component of a modern heating system. The owners of country cottages and private houses are increasingly rejecting the traditional one-or two-pipe cabling and prefer the collector distributor.

Let's take a closer look at what the distribution comb of the heating system is and what are its advantages.

The content of the article:

  • The purpose of the distribution comb
  • The design of combs: from simple to complex
  • The principle of the distribution manifold
  • Calculation of bandwidth combs
  • Connection rules and installation features
  • What you need to know about the cons
  • Useful video on the topic

The purpose of the distribution comb

In simplified form, the comb can be represented as a pipe with a plug at the end and several taps in the form of nozzles, which allow directing the coolant to individual points. The number of taps is different - it depends on the specific heating system and the number of heating devices planned for connection.

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With the help of the collector, the coolant flows in the heating circuit are optimized. It also smoothes pressure surges (hydraulic shocks) that appear due to the operation of boiler automation that regulates temperature conditions.

The appearance of the distribution comb
Distributive combs are used in pair: feed (with red tubes) and reverse (blue). Together they form the collector distributor of the heating system

Heating combs are needed for arranging underfloor heating, but they are also used in radiator heating systems. Radiators are connected to the collector by the beam scheme, i.e. each of them has its own supply pipe and the return pipe, through which the coolant returns to the collector.

Such a distribution of heat ensures uniform heating of radiators and makes it possible to regulate the temperature in a single room or completely disconnect it from the heating system.

Another purpose of the comb is to connect additional devices - for example, in a house where there is already heating, a swimming pool has been built, and now it is required to ensure heating of water in it. You can connect to it and secondary energy sources - say, solar panels.

Simple distribution comb
The simplest distribution comb is an ordinary stainless steel pipe with welded outlets to it. It is suitable only for those craftsmen who want and can assemble a heating collector with their own hands.

We list what will be beneficial to purchase comb:

  • uniform distribution of the coolant, facilitating temperature control;
  • local installation of the set temperatures, heating only the necessary rooms;
  • protection of the heating network against water hammer.

Commercially available distribution dies today are cost-effective and high-tech. equipment with a mass of sensors that monitor the temperature, react to deviations, signal problems etc.

The design of combs: from simple to complex

The most affordable distribution will be a comb with manual shut-off valves made in China or Turkey. Metal-plastic pipes are put on the collet connectors located on it.

Distributive comb with valves
The budget distribution comb with valves has one significant disadvantage - water can drip from under the handle. Dribbling occurs due to wear of rubber seals.

Threads at the ends are needed to attach the valves and central supply / drain of hot water. In general, such a comb will cope with its function, but its term of impeccable service is not very long. If dismantling the valves and replacing worn seals does not lead to the original tightness, you will have to buy a new collector.

More complex on the device will be a comb with plugs on the return manifold (and on the forward too). Instead, in the future you can install flowmeters and thermal heads. Forward and reverse combs in such models are already connected by a bracket for mounting on the wall.

Distributive comb with caps
The presence of plugs makes it possible, if necessary, to improve the distribution manifold of heating. In order to have no problems with the installation of thermostats and other components in the future, it is necessary to provide convenient access to the comb at the stage of its installation

And, finally, a complex and expensive, but the most effective distribution comb with factory installation of flow meters and thermal heads. Flowmeters regulate the uniform delivery of the heat carrier to its intended purpose, and the thermal heads can adjust the temperature for each outlet separately.

Comb with flow meters and thermal heads
The caps of the flow meters allow you to visually monitor the coolant flow rate along the contours. Thermal heads regulate the flow of coolant in each of them

Even in the design process, it is necessary to make a choice between different types of combs, but in any case, the collector system - the preferred choice compared to conventional wiring according to criteria such as ease of use, durability.

The principle of the distribution manifold

In modern heating systems, two types of distribution manifolds are used - for boiler rooms and local ones. They have different dimensions and a slightly different principle of operation.

In the boiler manifold, the feed comb supplies the coolant to the links of the heating system, so it is equipped not only with cranes, but also circulation pumps. The second comb is the host.

In addition, pressure and temperature sensors are installed on the collector and a very important element - the hydraulic needle. It maintains an optimal temperature difference between supply and return.

Boiler distribution manifold
The boiler manifold is a distribution unit of rather impressive size, its combs are made of pipes with a diameter of up to 100 mm and above

The local distribution comb is different from the central collector installed in the boiler house, both in size and principle of operation. In the heating system there may be several. If in the main collector, the cooled water is completely replaced by hot water from the boiler, then in small dies, the circulating water is diluted.

The coolant in them moves in a closed circle until its temperature drops below a predetermined level. The observance of temperature conditions is controlled by a sensor, which, at a critical decrease in temperature, opens a valve blocking the water path from the boiler line. Hotter water flows, mixing with the cooled.

Local distribution comb
Fully equipped local comb with regulators, air release device, pump, manometer, thermometers allows you to fully control the movement of the coolant in the heating system (+)

There are no hydraulic shooters in such collectors; it is replaced by an additional circulation pump. He pushes the coolant in a circular space, periodically throwing a portion of hot water from the supply line. At the same time, the same amount of chilled water is returned there, but in the other pipe - the return. Local combs are used in warm floors, and to connect radiators.

The principle of the distribution manifold
Since the water in the heating pipes with a distribution manifold moves forcibly under the influence of a pump, the system will not work when the power is turned off

In order to achieve a highly efficient functioning of the heating system throughout the house as a whole, It is recommended that both a central distribution manifold and the required number of local combs. Together, they will give the desired result.

Calculation of bandwidth combs

The calculation of the parameters of the distribution comb includes the determination of its length, the cross-sectional area of ​​its cross-section and nozzles, the number of heat supply circuits. It is better if the engineers will do the calculations by means of computer programs, in a simplified version they are suitable only at the preliminary design stage.

In order to maintain the hydraulic balance, the diameter of the inlet and outlet manifold combs must match, and the throughput the total capacity of the pipes must be equal to the same parameter of the collector pipe (the rule of total sections):

n = n1 + n2 + n3 + n4


  • n is the cross-sectional area of ​​the collector,
  • n1, n2, n3, n4 - the area of ​​sections of the pipes.

The choice of the comb must correspond to the maximum thermal power of the heating system. How much power the factory product is designed for is written in the technical passport. For example, the distribution pipe diameter of 90 mm is used for power not exceeding 50 kW, and if the power is twice as high, then the diameter will have to be increased to 110 mm. Only this way eliminates the risk of unbalancing the heating system.

The rule of 3 diameters
The cross section of the collector pipe is equal to the 3 diameters of the connected nozzles, the distance between feed and return combs - 6 diameters, the distance of the pipes from each other is 3 diameter (+)

Useful is the rule of 3 diameters (see drawing above). With regard to the calculation of the performance of the circulating pump, then the basis is taken specific consumption of water in the heating system. Each pump is calculated individually for the contours and for the entire system. The figures obtained in the calculation are rounded up. A small power reserve is better than its shortfall.

Connection rules and installation features

Assembling the comb begins with attaching it with brackets to the wall, where it will be located openly or in a cabinet. Then you will need to attach to the ends of the main pipe from the heat source and proceed to the strapping.

Option 1. Without additional circulation pumps and hydraulic arrows.

This simple option assumes that the comb will serve several circuits (for example, 4-5 radiator batteries), the temperature is assumed to be the same, its regulation is not provided. All circuits are connected to the comb directly, one pump is involved. The characteristics of pumping equipment should be related to the performance of the heating system and the pressure generated in it.

Mounting distribution manifold
The master with experience of collector equipment knows how to correctly install the distribution comb and hide it in the cabinet so as to hide all the pipes.

Since the resistance in the circuits is different (due to different lengths, etc.), it is necessary to ensure optimal consumption of the coolant by balancing. To do this, on the return comb nozzles, not balancing valves are installed, but balancing valves. They can regulate (although not precisely, and by eye) the flow of coolant in each circuit.

Option2. WITH pumps on each branch and pressure balance with a hydraulic needle.

This is a more complicated option that will need, if necessary, to power consumption points with different temperature regimes. So, for example, in radiator heating water heating ranges from 40 to 70 ° C, a warm floor range of 30–45 ° C is sufficient, hot water for domestic needs must be heated to 85 ° C.

The hydraulic shooter is now playing a special role in the harness - a piece of blind from both ends of the pipe and two pairs of taps. The first pair is needed to attach the hydraulic arrows to the boiler, with the second pair of distribution combs are joined. This hydraulic barrier creates a zone of zero resistance.

Distributive comb with a hydroarrow
For boilers with a capacity of 50 kW and above, it is recommended to use the distribution comb with hydraulic shooters without fail. Its vertically mounted on the wall with separate brackets to avoid excessive horizontal overload

On the comb itself there are mixing units equipped with three-way temperature control valves. Each pump has its own pump working independently of the others, providing a specific circuit with the necessary amount of heat carrier. The main thing that the power of these pumps do not exceed the total main boiler pump.

Both considered options are applied at installation of distributive collectors for boiler rooms. Everything you need is sold in specialized stores. There you can buy any assembly or element-by-element (based on savings due to self-assembly). To further reduce future costs, distributive heating combyou can make your own hands.

A boiler room collector is located in close proximity to the heating equipment and is exposed to a high temperature that only the metal can withstand. The local distribution comb is not so strict thermal stability, for its manufacturing pipes are suitable not only metal, but also polypropylene, metal plastic.

For a local distribution manifold, the easiest way is to select suitable scallops from those that are commercially available. This should take into account the material from which they are made - brass, steel, cast iron, plastic. More reliable cast scallops, eliminating the likelihood of leakage. There is no problem with connecting to pipe combs - even the cheapest models are threaded.

Homemade comb made of polypropylene
Distributive combs assembled from polypropylene parts captivate with their cheapness. But in an emergency, the joints between the tees will not withstand overheating and flow

Craftsmen can solder a collector of polypropylene or metal-plastic, but threaded lugs all you have to buy it anyway, so for the money the product will not be much cheaper than the finished store. Outwardly, it will be a set of tees interconnected by tubes. The weak point of such a collector is insufficient strength at high heating temperatures of the coolant.

The comb can be both round, and rectangular, and square in section. Here the transverse area comes to the first place, and not the shape of the section, although from the position of the hydraulic laws, the rounded one is preferable. If the house has several floors, local distribution manifolds are best placed on each of them.

What you need to know about the cons

After the advantages of using distribution combs in heating systems have become clear, it makes sense to dwell on some drawbacks:

  1. High price. The collectors are made of durable quality metal, the cost of which is above average. Precision locking equipment is also expensive. The more contours serviced comb, the higher the cost of its equipment.
  2. Collector heating without a circulation pump does not work. Therefore, we must prepare for the additional payment of electricity.
  3. The consumption of pipes in collector heating systems is several times higher than in conventional ones, since each device must be pulled by a separate loop. All this complicates and increases the cost of installation work.

The collector system, according to experts and those who already use it, is the most modern, reliable and efficient. But at the same time, its arrangement and operation is costly.

Useful video on the topic

Installation of heating equipment with connection to the distribution comb:

Making a comb with your own hands:

As a result, we arrive at the following conclusion: compared with the traditional organization of the heating system, the distribution combs increase its efficiency, and only a financial issue somewhat inhibits consumer interest in this method heating. But if there is enough money, the use of junction combs is your ideal choice.

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