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I recently bought a house with baseboard heating. This is my first house with such a heating system and I've gone about trying to see how it is laid out but it is challenging given I don't want to tear out any walls.

There is a gas-fired boiler in the basement. There are three heating loops (zones). Each loop has a shut-off valve on both the supply and return side. They are not automatic valves, they are manual ball valves. From what I've worked out, Zone 1 has 30 linear feet of radiator (baseboard), Zone 2 has 23 feet, and Zone 3 has 35 feet. I'd like to confirm this though.

What I was thinking is I could isolate two of the three loops, turn on the heat, and just go near each one and feel for warmth. This would confirm which baseboards are on which loop.

I assume I need to close the shut-off valve on both the supply and return side to completely isolate the other loops. Are there any other precautions or steps I should take beforehand or be aware of?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. I'm pretty sure only one valve per loop will stop the flow through the loop; the second one is for isolation if you want to (e.g.) replace a pump. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 6 at 2:02
  • Thanks for the feedback! I skimmed through the tour page. Just to make sure - was there something wrong about my question? Was it not direct/answerable enough? – Nukesub Jul 6 at 2:05
  • Good question. Perhaps people are not sure why you need to do these tests. Can you instead adjust the three thermostats so only one is active, and then see which pump is on? It also feels like you're hoping to do high-precision heat calculations when rule-of-thumb is generally just as good, and a whole lot easier. – Daniel Griscom Jul 6 at 11:28
  • Ah, gotcha. I'm not actually ready to do any estimates yet. I more wanted to know if there was anything I should know about shutting off a loop. There is only a single thermostat that either turns the boiler on or off. Each loop (zone) must be manually opened or closed. At least for now. – Nukesub Jul 7 at 0:53

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