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BALANCING CIRCUITS

A heating system may be divided up into several sub-circuits.

If the circuits resemble electrical circuits wired in parallel then the resistance of each sub-circuit
should be similar to maintain the correct distribution of fluid.
The diagram below illustrates a system of parallel circuits.

The pump should be able to develop a pressure to overcome the resistance of the Index Circuit.
The other circuits should then have extra resistance added to ensure that all three sub-circuits
have equal resistance.
This extra resistance is added at the Balancing Valves.
A Balancing Valve is manufactured so that small changes in resistance can be made by altering the
valve setting.

If the index circuit in the above diagram is sub-circuit No.3, then the Balancing Valves of the other
two circuits will be closed down to give an equal resistance in all three circuits.
The photos below show typical balancing valves.

PIPE SIZING TABLE<FONT< P>

EXAMPLE 7
Size the pipework for the heating system shown below.
Determine which circuit is the Index Circuit.
Also determine the pressure drops in the three sub-circuits.
The total lengths of the section are:

The table below shows each of the 3 sub-circuit pressure drops.

The Index Circuit is therefore the Circuit to the Hot Water Indirect Cylinder with a pressure drop
of 9918 Pa.
The system should be balanced by slightly closing the valve on the heating return pipe at the boiler.

The Index Circuit pressure drop is 9918 Pa

The pump should be capable of delivering 0.411 kg/s against a pressure of 9918 Pascals (1.01
A margin may be added to these figures.

EXAMPLE 6
Size the pipework for the heating system shown below. Also determine the pressure drops. The
total lengths of the section are:

Pipe Sizing Example 8

HEATER BATTERY
Size the pipe and the pump for the system shown below.
Use mild steel pipe at average water temperature 75oC.
Length of run F&R =
65 metres.
3-port diverting
valve, pressure drop
= 0.5 bar.

Heater Battery
Output 45 kW
= 20

Boiler
Cast iron

PIPE SIZING TABLE

1
2
3
4
Heat
Pipe Total Water
Section Output Heat Heat Flow
Ref.
in
loss. Col.
Rate
section 15% 1+2
of 1.
kg/s
kW
kW
kW

5
Pipe
Size

40

6.75

51.75 51.75
/ 42
=
1.23

mm
dia.

6
7
8
9
10
Le Total Equivalent Tota Pres
TOTAL
ng length of Fittings
l
sure PRESSURE
th
Pipe drop
DROP
of
Len per
Col. 8 x 9
pi
m
gth metr
Pa
pe
Col.
e
6+7
m
Pa/
m
m
65 Heater battery 122. 220 26,928
4
= 20.0
Boiler

= 2.5
12 bends x0.5
= 6.0
6 valves x 0.25
= 1.5

valve

1 tee
= 0.2

= 30.2
TEL = 30.2 x
1.9 (le)
TEL = 57.38
metres

0.5 bar =
50,000 Pa
TOTAL
= 76,928 Pa
= 7.7 metres

Add margin of 20% on flow rate and 10% on the head.

Flow rate = 1.23 + 20% = 1.48 kg/s.
Pump head = 7.7 metres + 10% = 8.5 metres
Pump to be capable of 1.48 kg/s (l/s) flow rate against a head of 8.5 metres or ( 85 kPa or
85 kN/m2.)
Look up Biral Catalogue: HX 501 pump is specified.

EXAMPLE 1
Determine the smallest pipe which will carry 0.4 kg/s of water at 75oC using Copper, Table 'X'.
Consult the FLOW of WATER in PIPES TABLE (Copper pipe at 75oC).
The pipe diameters are written in bold type across the top of the table.
The pressure loss per unit length (Pa/m) and velocity (m/s) are written down the LHS of the table.
A red horizontal line is drawn across the table below 300 Pa/m.
This means that suitable pipe sizes will be found above this line.
The velocity follows a stepped line the lower blue line is the
1.0 m/s velocity line.

A 22 mm pipe will carry 0.4 kg/s but the pressure loss per unit length is below the red horizontal
line and outside the table.
The pressure loss is in fact (790 Pa/m) and is too high since the maximum should be 300 Pa/m.
The velocity is also too high at about 1.3 m/s, the optimum being 1.0 m/s.
If this is the case then look at the next pipe size up, at 28 mm.
The flow rates closest to 0.4 are 0.394 and 0.414 kg/s.
0.4 kg/s is in between these two flow rates.
A 28 mm pipe will carry 0.4 kg/s with a pressure loss of about 230 Pa/m and a velocity of 0.7 m/s.
This meets the design criteria and therefore 28 mm would be a suitable pipe size.

EXAMPLE 2
Determine a suitable pipe size for L.T.H.W. copper pipe for a flow rate of 1.0 kg/s.
A 42 mm pipe gives a flow rate of 1.0 kg/s with a pressure loss of 160 Pa/m and velocity of about
0.9 m/s.

EXAMPLE 3
Choose a pipe diameter for a heating system (L.T.H.W.) with a heat output of 32 kW.

First find the mass flow rate of water required.

A 35 mm pipe will give a flow rate of 0.76 kg/s with a pressure loss of 250 Pa/m and a velocity of
0.95 m/s.

EXAMPLE 4
Size the flow and return pipework to a 1.6 kW radiator.

A 15 mm pipe will give a flow rate of 0.038 kg/s with a pressure loss of 80 Pa/m and a velocity of

PIPE FITTING LOSSES

Pipework fittings such as bends, tees, reducers etc., cause pressure loss or resistance in a heating
system. When making approximate calculations 10%, 15%, 20% or more may be added to the
pressure loss in straight pipe runs.
For accurate calculations the fitting loss should be determined separately for each fitting.
The concept of equivalent length is used and is defined as the length of straight pipe which would
give a friction pressure loss equivalent to one velocity head.
The DArcy equation is;

H
Where;

4 . f . l . v2

2 .g . d

H = head loss due to friction in a straight pipe (m)

f = friction coefficient
l = length of pipe (m)
d = diameter (m)
v = velocity of fluid (m/s)
g = acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)

Where;

Pressure loss in a pipe section (Pa)

friction coefficient for pipe
length of pipe (m)
diameter of pipe (m)
water velocity (m/s)
density of water (kg/m3)
acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)

pl
f
l
d
v

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

(4. f .l)/d

( v2 . . g ) / 2 . g

or;

(4. f .l)/d

( v2 . ) / 2

(4. f .l)/d

( . . v2 )

For the friction pressure loss to equal one velocity head;

Velocity pressure

( . . v2 )

Then

(4. f .l)/d

1.0

The length (l) is now called equivalent length (le) and by rearranging the above formula
we get;

1.0 x d

le

d / 4 .f

4 . f . le

Values of equivalent length are given in the FLOW of WATER in PIPES TABLE for water at
75 oC, see CIBSE guide C (2001) section 4 , Flow of Fluids in Pipes and Ducts, Tables 4.9 to 4.33
for various types of pipes.
These values should be corrected for each particular type of fitting.
The correction factors of Velocity pressure loss factors are called (Zeta) factors.
The resistance in a fitting is converted to equivalent straight lengths of pipe, e.g. a bend may have a
resistance equivalent to 1.2 metres of straight pipe.
The TOTAL EQUIVALENT LENGTH OF A FITTING = Equivalent Length x Pressure Loss
factor (Zeta).
TOTAL EQUIVALENT LENGTH OF A FITTING (m) = (le) x (Zeta factor).
See CIBSE guide C (2001) section 4.9 for more details of fittings zeta factors.

EXAMPLES OF zeta FACTORS

The following are some examples of pressure loss ( zeta) factors for pipe fittings:

Index Circuit
The Index Circuit is the circuit with the highest resistance.
This only applies to systems where the circuits are divided.
The Index Circuit needs to be identified so that the pump can be sized.

Example 1
The system shown below is divided into two sub-circuits A & B.

Sub-Circuit A

Sub-Circuit B
Heat Emitters

No.1

No.3

No.4

No.2
Pump
No.5
BOILER

A pipe sizing calculation would determine which of the two sub-circuits had the most resistance
and therefore which was the Index Circuit.
The reason for finding the Index Circuit is to size the pump.
The pressure developed by the pump should be capable of overcoming the resistance in the Index
Circuit.
If the pump pressure can overcome the resistance in the Index Circuit, then it can overcome the
resistance in other circuits of lesser resistance.
If it was found that the Index Circuit was Circuit (B) in the above diagram then we would include
the flow of water through radiators No. 3, 4 and 5.

If we examine Circuit (B) then the Index Circuit flows past Radiator No.3 and No.4 and through
Radiator No.5. This would be the circuit with the highest resistance.
If the pump is capable of forcing water through the pipework to Radiator No.5 then there will be
enough pressure to force the water through Rads. No.3 & No.4 since they are closer to the pump.
This is the reason why only one radiator is included in the calculations for resistance in the Index
Circuit.

Sub-Circuit B is
Index Circuit
Sub-Circuit A
Heat Emitters

No.1

No.3

No.4

No.2
Pump
No.5
BOILER
Included in Index
Circuit

Example 2
A heating system is shown below.
There are seven radiators and seven pipe sections.
The pipe sections under the radiators are from tee to tee.

Section 2

BOILER

Section 3

Section 4

Section 5

Section 6

Section 7

Section 1

The Index circuit is the one with the highest resistance.

This is normally the longest run to the radiator that is at the greatest distance from the pump.
The first six radiators are not included in the Index circuit.
The index circuit below includes all seven sections but only includes; the boiler and fittings
around the boiler in section 1, tees in sections No.1 to No.6 and the last radiator and radiator
valves in the section 7.
together with the rad. valves is
included in the Index Run.

Radiator Nos.1 to 6 are not

included in the Index Run

Section 2 Section 3

BOILER

Section 4

Section 5 Section 6

Section 7

Section 1
Index Circuit;
Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.

Pipe Sizing for Heating Systems

All pipe sizing in building services is based on the D'Arcy equation, where:

H
where

4 . f . l . v2

2 .g . d

H = head loss due to friction in a straight pipe (m)

f = friction coefficient
l = length of pipe (m)
d = diameter (m)
v = velocity of fluid (m/s)
g = acceleration due to gravity (m/s2)

The object of pipe sizing is to obtain the smallest diameter of pipe without too high a water
velocity or too high a pressure drop and therefore large pumps.
It is more convenient to use pipe sizing tables when sizing pipes rather than the D'Arcy equation.
This is because the water velocity and head loss (or pressure loss) are unknown at the time of pipe
sizing,
and the friction coefficient (f) varies with Reynolds number which in turn varies with velocity and
diameter.
A FLOW of WATER in PIPES TABLE is provided in these notes.
The CIBSE guide provide pipe sizing tables in sections C4.11 to C4.45.

L.T.H.W. (Low Temperature Hot Water) PIPE SIZING

When sizing pipes for heating systems the water velocity should not exceed 1.0 m/s. (Except for
large diameters - see CIBSE guide tables B1.17 & B1.18).

This reduces noise and wear.

The pressure drop should not exceed 300 Pascals per metre run of pipework to keep pumps down
to a reasonable size.
This means that for every metre of pipework the resistance to water flow should be no more than

FLOW of WATER in PIPES TABLE

The table below shows pipe sizes for 15mm to 76mm diameter copper pipe.
To find a suitable pipe size for a heating circuit the flow rate is used to find an appropriate
diameter.
If the flow rate of water is known then look down under any pipe diameter column to ascertain the
corresponding pressure drop and velocity.
If the pressure drop and velocity exceed the criteria in the previous section then try the next pipe
size up.
If the pressure drop and velocity are within the criteria then the pipe is sized correctly

PIPE SIZING TABLE

The pipe sizing table shown below is an aid to sizing more complicated circuits.
A description is given in the Table below.

EXAMPLE 5
Size the pipework for section (B) of a heating system shown below.
Section B is in red.
Also determine the pressure drop in section (B)
The total length of the section is 8 metres (includes flow and return)
Section B supplies hot water to Radiator No. 2 and No. 3.
The amount of heat to be transferred to radiators No. 2 & 3 is:
1.5 + 1.0 = 2.5 kW.
The downstream tees will be included in this section.

Sizing Example 9
WARM AIR HEATERS
Size the pipes to Circuit A and Circuit B and the pump for the system shown below.
Use mild steel pipe at average water temperature 75oC.
Length of run Section 1 =
26 metres (F & R)
Length of run Section 2 =
43 metres (F & R)
Length of run Section 3 =
50 metres (F & R)

3-port
diverting
valve,

3-port
diverting
valve,

Section 2

Section 3
Section 1

heater.
Output 70 kW
Heater battery

heater.
Output 62 kW
Heater battery
Boiler
Cast

PIPE SIZING TABLE

Section
Ref.

1
Heat
Output
in
section

2
Pipe
Heat
loss.
15% of
1.

3
Total
Heat
Col. 1+2

4
Water
Flow
Rate

5
Pipe
Size

6
Length
of pipe

kW

kg/s

mm
dia.

kW

7
Total
Equivalent
length of
Fittings

kW

132

19.8

8
Total
Pipe
Length
Col. 6+7
m

9
Pressure
drop per
metre
Pa/m

10
TOTAL
PRESSURE
DROP
Col. 8 x 9
Pa

151.8

3.61

65

26

le = 3.5

26 +
20.13
3Gate valves = 46.13

140

140 x 46.13

= 6,458

@ 0.15 =
0.45
1 NRV
= 2.0
1 Boiler
= 2.5
2 Elbows @
0.4
=
0.8

5.75
3.5 x 5.75
= 20.13 m

70

10.5

80.5

1.92

50

43

le = 2.5
3 Gate
valves @ 0.2
= 0.6
4 Elbows @
0.5
= 2.0

43 +
12.75
= 55.75

160

160 x 55.75

= 8,920

2 Tees @ 0.5
+ 0.5 + red.
Reduction
502 / 652
=
Ratio = 0.59
= 0.25
2Tees @
1.25
=
2.50

+ 19,620 +
8,100

= 36,640

5.1
2.5 x 5.1
= 12.75 m

62

9.3

71.3

1.70

50

50

le = 2.5
3 Gate
valves @ 0.2
= 0.6
8 Elbows @
0.5
= 4.0
2 Tees @ 0.5
+ 0.5 + red.
Reduction
502 / 652
=
Ratio = 0.59
= 0.25
2Tees @
1.25
=
2.50
7.1
2.5 x 7.1
= 17.75 m

50 +
17.75 =
67.75

130

130 x 67.75

= 8808

+ 19,620 +
7,200

= 35,628

Index circuit is therefore to Section 1 & 2 since this has the highest
resistance.
Resistance of Index Circuit = 6,458 + 36,640 = 43,088 Pa.
Pump to be capable of (Minimum) 3.61 kg/s (l/s) flow rate against a head of
4.31 metres or ( 43.1 kPa or 43.1 kN/m2.)

Pipe Sizing Example 10

Size the pipes and the pump in the system shown below.
The heating system is for Factory Radiant Panel Heaters and the design
inside temperature is 15oC
Use welded mild steel pipe and fittings at average water temperature 75oC.
Section

Length (F&R)
(Metres)
25
30
18
15
40
18
15

1
2
3
4
5
6
7

horizontal tubes each.
To be sized from catalogue.
Required output each 40 kW.
Hydraulic resistance from

Each 3-port
diverting valve,
pressure drop =

Section
6
Section
3

Section
4

Section
Section
2
5
D.R.V.
D.R.V.
N.R.V.

Boiler
Cast
Iron

Section
1

Section
7

Pressure Drops from Equipment

3-Port Diverting Valve
Pressure drop 3 port valves

=
=
=

x g x H
1000 x 9.81 x 3.6 m
35,316 Pa

Powermatic Radiant Panels, type Aquamatic ARP (see
http://www.powrmatic.co.uk/)
Total emissions from catalogue , 75 MWT, 15oC ambient,
4 tubes horizontal - 734 W per m run. (from Table 5)
Pipe length of each panel is; 40,000 Watts output / 734 W/m = 56
metres.
Mass flow rate for each panel is 40 kW / 42 = 0.95 kg/s.
For each tube mass flow rate is 0.95/4 = 0.25 kg/s + 15% heat loss =
0.28 kg/s
From hydraulic resistance graph (on website), resistance for each panel
= 38 Pa/m run
Total resistance for each panel
38
x 56 m
= 2128
Pa.

Pipe Sizing Table

1
Heat
Section Output
Ref.
in
section
(kW)

6,3

40

40

40

2
Pipe
Heat
loss.
15%
of 1.
(kW)
6

3
4
Total Water
Heat Flow
Col.
Rate
1+2
(kg/s)
(kW)
46

46

46

1.1

1.1

1.1

5
Pipe
Size
(mm
dia.)

40

40

40

6
Length
of pipe

7
Total Equivalent length of
Fittings

(m)

(m)

18

15

15

8
Total
Pipe
Length
Col. 6+7
(m)

9
Pressure
drop per
metre
(Pa/m)

2elbow weld @ 0.4 = 0.8

1 st. thro tee
= 0.2
3 gate valve @ 0.25 = 0.75
Total = 1.75
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 1.75 x 1.8 = 3.15m

18 +
3.15
= 21.15

180

4elbow weld @ 0.4 = 1.6

1 st. thro tee
= 0.2
3 gate valve @ 0.25 = 0.75
Total = 2.55
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 2.55 x 1.8 = 4.59m

15 +
4.59
=19.59

2elbow weld @ 0.4 = 0.8

1 st. thro tee
= 0.2
3 gate valve @ 0.25 = 0.75
Total = 1.75
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 1.75 x 1.8 = 3.15m

15 +
3.15
= 18.15

10
TOTAL
PRESSURE DROP
Col. 8 x 9
(Pa)

21.15 x 180
= 3807
+ panel 2128
+ 3 port valve =
35,316

= 41,251
180

19.59x 180
= 3526
+ panel 2128
+ 3 port valve =
35,316

= 40,970
180

18.15 x 180
= 3267
+ panel 2128
+ 3 port valve =
35,316

= 40,711

Pipe Sizing Table

1
Heat
Section Output
Ref.
in
section
(kW)

80

80

2
Pipe
Heat
loss.
15%
of 1.
(kW)
12

12

3
4
Total Water
Heat Flow
Col
Rate
1+2
(kg/s)
(kW)
92

92

2.19

2.19

5
Pipe
Size
(mm
dia.)

6
Length
of pipe

7
Total Equivalent length of Fittings

8
Total Pipe
Length
Col. 6+7
(m)

9
Pressure
drop per
metre
(Pa/m)

10
TOTAL
PRESSURE
DROP
Col. 8 x 9
(Pa)

le = 3.3
1 DRV 60ooblique = 2.0
2 Tees @ 0.5 + 0.3 + red.
Reduction 652 / 802 =
Ratio = 0.59 = 0.25
2 Tees @ 1.25
= 2.50
2 Tees @ 0.5 + 0.3 + red.
Reduction 402 / 652 =
Ratio = 0.38 = 0.40
2 Tees @ 1.20
= 2.40
Total = 6.90
T.E.L.= 6.90x 3.3 = 22.77m

30+ 22.77
= 52.77

55

55 x 52.77

le = 3.3
1 DRV 60ooblique = 2.0
4 elbows@ 0.3
= 1.20
2 Tees @ 0.5 + 0.3 + red.
Reduction 652 / 802 =
Ratio = 0.59 = 0.25
2 Tees @ 1.25
= 2.50
2 Tees @ 0.5 + 0.3 + red.
Reduction 402 / 652 =
Ratio = 0.38 = 0.40
2 Tees @ 1.20
= 2.40
Total = 8.10
T.E.L.= 8.1 x 3.3 = 26.73m

40 + 26.73
=
66.73

55

(m)
(m)

65

30

65

40

= 2,902

55 x 66.73
= 3,670

Pipe Sizing Table

1
2
3
Heat
Pipe Total
Ref. Output Heat Heat
in
loss. Col.
section 15% 1+2
(kW) of 1. (kW)
(kW)
160
24
184
1

4
Water
Flow
Rate
(kg/s)
4.38

5
6
Pipe Length
Size of pipe
(mm
dia.)
(m)

80

25

7
Total
Equivalent
length of
Fittings
(m)
le = 4.2
3 Gate valves @
0.10 = 0.30
1 NRV
= 2.0
1 Boiler
= 2.5
2 Elbows @
0.3
= 0.6

8
9
10
Total Pressure
TOTAL
Pipe
drop
PRESSURE
Length
per
DROP
Col.
metre
Col. 8 x 9
6+7
(Pa/m)
(Pa)
(m)
25 +
92.5
= 4,410
22.68
=
47.68

Total = 5.4
T.E.L. = 4.2 x
5.4 = 22.68 m

Index Circuit
Sections

1,2,3
1,2,4
1,5,6
1,5,7

4410 + 2902 + 41,251

4410 + 2902 + 40,711
4410 + 3670 + 41,251
4410 + 3670 + 40,970

48,563
48,023
49,331
49,050

The circuit containing sections No. 1,5 & 6 have the highest resistance and are therefore the
index run with a 49,331 Pa pressure drop.
The pump should be capable of a minimum 4.38 kg/s (l/s) flow rate against a minimum head
of 4.93 metres or ( 49.3 kPa or 49.3 kN/m2.)
Allowance to pump size may be made for margin or inefficiencies.

Regulating Valves
A commissioning engineer would balance the system using double regulating valves (D.R.V.s)
or metering stations. This process is briefly outlined in BSE Notes Pipe Sizing section, page 9
entitled Balancing Circuits.
The drawing of the system for this example shows two D.R.V.s; one in section 2 and one in
section 5. Before these can be adjusted the sub-circuits No.3 and No.4 must be balanced as well

as sub-circuits No.6 and No.7. When these sub-circuits are balanced then the D.R.V.s can be
regulated.
The amount of extra resistance needed in the D.R.V. in section 2 is;
Resistance in section 5 =
3670 Pa
Resistance in section 2 =
2902 Pa
Difference between these resistances =
3670 - 2902
=
768 Pa.
Therefore the D.R.V. in section 2 is to be turned down to give a resistance to flow of 768 Pa.
This means that the circuits are balanced.

Diverting Valves By-Pass Pipe

The by-pass pipe for the 3-port Diverting valves should also be regulated with a D.R.V so that
when the valve is fully closed to the panel and fully open to the by-pass port, the resistance of
the by-pass section of pipework is equal to that of the radiant panel.
This means that the D.R.V in the by-pass pipework should be turned down to give a resistance
of 2128 Pa. from the panel (see Radiant panel section) plus the resistance of two gate valves.
See pipe sizing table pipe section 3.
2 No. 40mm gate valve @ = 0.4 therefore total = 0.8.
Equivalent length is 0.8 x le 1.8
= 1.44 metres.
1.44 x 180 Pa/m pressure drop
= 259 Pa pressure drop for 2 gate valves.
The total resistance applied by the D.R.V. is therefore 2128 Pa + 259 Pa = 2387 Pa

Panel pipework
resistance = 2128 Pa
(from catalogue)

Isolating Gate
Valves

3-port diverting valve (may be

installed on return depending
on manufacturer).

Flow

By-pass
D.R.V.
Return

Standard manometer tappings to

measure pressure difference across
an orifice

Diverting Valve Schematic Detail at Radiant Panel

Boiler Sizing
The boiler output is based on the total heat losses for the building plus hot water boiler power.
Other additional items that can be considered are; heater battery outputs and other equipment
that require heat.
For details of Boiler Power for Hot Water cylinder see Hot and Cold water section Hot water
generation & storage page 2.
Boiler output (kW) =

heat loss (kW) + boiler power for cylinder (kW)

Boiler margin.
It is useful to add a margin to the previous figure for;
1.
2.
3.
4.

In case of future extension.

Quick heat up when the system is cold.
In case of mistakes in heat loss calculations.
Loss of efficiency later in boiler life.

We could add between 15% and 33% as a boiler margin.

A large margin means the boiler is less efficient since it is firing for less time.
The more time a boiler sits idle with a full capacity of hot water, the more heat is lost up the
flue and to a lesser extent from the casing.
A suitable margin for most projects is 20% margin.
Total Boiler output (kW) = heat loss (kW) + boiler power for cylinder (kW) + 20% margin.
Note:
In most cases a margin has already been added to the heat loss to size heat emitters.
It should be remembered that if this margin is 10% and a further 20% margin is added for boiler sizing
then the net resultant margin is 32%.
In continuously operated heating systems such as hospitals, a smaller margin is acceptable since the
system is not heated from cold each morning.
Multiple Boiler Installations
In the past if two boilers were to be installed, each one was sized at 2/3rds of the total capacity.
This overall margin of 33% is on the high side so a lower margin is more acceptable.
A multiple boiler installation is a more efficient method of providing heating since the more
boilers that are installed the more they will operate at full load when switched on.
]

Recommendations
CIBSE guide F (2002) section 10.1.2.2 and BSRIA Guidance Note 12/97 Oversized Heating
Plant gives details of plant sizing.
As a guide to boiler capacity (heating load) the following yard sticks can be used; 90 W/m2 for
offices and industrial buildings, 110 W/m2 for retail, health care and education establishments.
Also for Hot Water calorifier sizing the following yard sticks can be used; 4 l/person for offices,
retail, education and restaurant establishments, 23 l/person for hotels, 33 l/person for health
care.
Other considerations for oversizing are;
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Oversizing boilers is a greater capital cost.

Seasonal efficiency will be less is boilers are oversized.
Oversizing of control valves means that they dont control the flow of water
effectively.
Oversizing pumps means that they consume more electricity than is necessary.
Also oversizing pumps means that it is more difficult to control the water flow.
Pumps that are too large will not be operating at the most efficient part of the
characteristic curve.
Pipe heat losses are increased.
Oversizing heat emitters mean that the system is more difficult to control with
temperature sensors since the room temperature will drift easily beyond the set point.
The heat gains from; lights, people and machinery will offset the heat loss in a
building.
This is not usually considered when calculating boiler outputs but helps to reduce the
amount of heat required in winter time.

Plant Size Ratio

CIBSE guide B1 (2002) section 4.7 gives details of Plant Size Ratio (PSR).
This is defined as; PSR = installed heat emission / design heat loss
Factors for PSR of between 1.2 and 2.0 are common.
A building with low thermal inertia heats up more quickly than one with high thermal inertia
and therefore a lower plant size ratio may be used.
The optimum plant size ratio is a compromise between the following factors;

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

occupancy pattern.
pre-heat time.
thermal response of the building.
greater capital cost and maintenance cost.
stability of controls..
seasonal efficiency.

Pump Sizing
There are two items required to size a pump;
Fluid flow rate
Pressure to be developed.

The pressure that should be developed by the pump should

equal the Pressure Drop in the system.
This is usually found from pipe sizing tables or from other methods.
See Science section of these notes - Fluids section; Head Loss due to friction in a pipe.
The flow rate of fluid is also found from pipe sizing tables or given in other data.
Add 20% margin to pump pressure to allow for future extensions and the system getting less
efficient.
The designer must be careful when adding a margin to pump pressure since too much pressure
can lead to pumping over in open systems and other problems.
For conversion;
Pressure (Pa) = density of water x acceleration due to gravity x head (m)
Or
P =
x g x H
Where,

g
H

=
=

Pump pressure (Pa)

Density of waterapprox.1000 kg/m3.
Acceleration due to gravity 9.81 m/s2.

P / x g

1000 x 9.81

9810

Therefore;

The flow rate of water that the pump delivers will be the flow rate in the section in which the
pump is installed.
A 20% margin may be added to this flow rate to allow for future extensions to the system.
A pump catalogue may be consulted to choose a suitable unit.

The operating point can be super-imposed on the pump graph for pressure (head) against flow
rate in kg/s or l/s.
It is best to choose a pump with the operating point near the lower speeds or the bottom end of
the performance curve so that the pump will not be operating at its maximum capacity, thus
allowing little room for error or margin.
A typical pump sizing curve is shown below with a system operating point superimposed on the
curve.

Operating point
Pressure (Pa) (kPa) or
Pump graph or curve

System
Pressure or

System
flow
rate

Typical Pump Sizing Curve

Not all system operating points are directly on top of a pump graph or curve as shown below.
It would be best to choose a pump on the curve above the operating point, i.e. Pump B since the
output of both pressure and flow rate will be slightly above that required and not below.

System
Pressure or

Operating point

Pump A

Pump B

Pump C

System
flow
rate

Flow rate (l/s) or (kg/s)

Similarly if a pump has three speeds then three curves will be shown.
It would be best to operate a pump at a lower speed if possible to prolong the life of the pump
and bearings.
The diagram below shows a 3-speed pump with the operating point between speed No.1 and
No.2.
The pump would then be installed to run at speed No.2; this means that if the system is
extended at a later date the pump speed may be increased to accommodate this increase in flow
rate and pressure.

System
Pressure or

Operating point

Speed 3

Speed 2

Speed 1

System
flow
rate

Typical Pump Sizing Curve - 3 Speed Pump

Example 1
Size a suitable in-line glanded pump to deliver 10 litres/second of water against a head of 7
metres (70 kPa).
Use the information from the Smedegard pump curves shown below.
The pump should have a duty and standby facility, that is; a twin pump abbreviated (D).
Manufacturers Information
The pumps shown are 1400 and 900 rpm.
Each pump is given a 3 number reference; the first number is the pipe size in inches, the second
number is the impellor diameter, the third number is the number of motor pole pairs.
The operating point can be super-imposed on the pump curves below for head (kPa) against
flow rate in l/s.
At first look at the pump curves the; 8-200-4(D) pump is close to the operating point.
It is sometimes best to choose a pump with the operating point on the flat part of the pump
curve, this gives some anti-stall facility and means that if the volume flow rate fluctuates then
the pressure developed will not change.
So, a 10-210-4(D) pump may be better suited to a load where the volume flow rate is not
This might happen in a circuit where control valves alter water flow rates.
Also the 10-210-4(D) pump has more margin for pressure and flow rate above the duty given in
the question.
A commissioning engineer would have to regulate the flow of water through the pump with a
regulating valve to achieve the design flow rate.
To choose a pump the engineer has to be aware of the type of system to which it is connected
and choose accordingly.

Consult; http://www.smedegaard.dk/media(93,1033)/Omega_UK_explanation_datasheets.pdf for further information on pump

sizing from Smedegard.
Some manufacturers curves give more details.
Pump efficiency and pump power can also be shown so that it is possible to choose a pump operating at the highest efficiency part
of the curve.
Another way to reduce flow rate is to change the impellor to a smaller size.

Heating Pump Sizing

The heating pump must overcome the resistance to water flow in the pipework system.
This resistance will be a combination of straight pipe losses and fittings losses.
To calculate the fittings losses + the pipe losses:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Look up the Zeta factor for the fitting in table C4.36.

Multiply all the Zeta factors in the section by the Equivalent Length for the pipe (l e) found in Table C4.14.
Add the EQUIVALENT LENGTH of fittings for the section to the actual length of the section in metres.
This gives the TOTAL EQUIVALENT LENGTH in metres.
Multiply the TOTAL EQUIVALENT LENGTH by the pressure drop in the section (N/m2 per m run).
The pressure drop in the section is found from Table C4.14.
This gives the PRESSURE DROP in the section (N/m2 ) or (Pa).

The pressure that should be developed by the pump should equal the Pressure Drop in
the Index Circuit.
The Index Circuit is the part of the system with the highest pressure drop.
Therefore:
Pump pressure =
pressure drop in Index Circuit.
Add 20% margin to pump pressure to allow for future extensions and the system getting less efficient.
The designer must be careful when adding a margin to pump pressure since too much pressure can lead to pumping over in open
systems and other problems.
For conversion;
Pressure (Pa) = density of water x acceleration due to gravity x head (m)
Or
P =
x g x H

Where,

Density of water (

Acceleration due to gravity (g)

=
=

1000 kg/m3.
9.81 m/s2.

Therefore;
H

P / x

1000 x 9.81

9810

The flow rate of water that the pump delivers will be the flow rate in the section in which the pump is installed.
A 20% margin may be added to this flow rate to allow for future extensions to the system.
A pump catalogue may be consulted to choose a suitable unit.
Smaller pumps can be in-line, that is installed in the pipeline.
Larger pumps may be seated on a concrete base, these tend to be end suction pumps where the water is sucked into the pump end
and comes out at 90 degrees at the outlet.
The operating point can be super-imposed on the pump graph for pressure (head) against flow rate in kg/s or l/s.
It is best to choose a pump with the operating point near the lower speeds or the bottom end of the performance curve so that the
pump will not be operating at its maximum capacity, thus allowing little room for error or margin.

Gas Properties
The Table below lists some of the more useful properties in building services for natural gas and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
Properties

Gross Calorific Value (GCV)

(MJ/m3)(kJ/litre)
Gross Calorific Value (GCV)
(MJ/litre)
Gross Calorific Value (GCV) (MJ/kg)
Net Calorific Value (NCV)
(MJ/m3)
Density of gas at 15oC
(kg/m3)
Density of liquid under pressure
(kg/litre) or (kg/m3)
Ignition temperature (oC)
Operating pressure (millibars)
Volume of gas per volume of liquid
(m3/m3) or (m3/litre)
Volume of gas per kg mass of liquid
(m3/kg)

Natural Gas

92.6% Methane CH4

3.6% Ethane C2H6
0.8% Propane C3H8
0.2% Butane C4H10

41.6

Liquid Petroleum Gas

(LPG)
Propane
100% C3H8

53.3
38.7

95
as gas
25.5
as liquid
50
86

0.78

1.85

0.0416

650
20
-

0.512 kg/litre
512 kg/m3

or

510
37
3
3
274 m gas /m liquid or
0.274 m3 gas / litre liquid
0.54

LPG (Gas) Pipe Sizing Notes

Allowable pressure drops
Medium pressure linesLow pressure lines Gas Pressures

450 Pa per m run ( 2 P.S.I. per 100 foot )

4.1 Pa per m run ( w.g. /100 ft)
Maximum 1300 Pa total pressure drop in any run.

First stage regulation at tank pressure is reduced from 6 bar to 0.7 bar.
Second stage regulation at building pressure is reduced to 50 mbar (0.05 bar)
At equipment and appliances 37 millibar (0.037 bar)

Natural Gas Pipe Sizing

Allowable pressure drops
The allowable pressure drop between the outlet of the meter and appliances must not exceed 1 mbar or 0.001 bar or 100 Pa.
Pressure loss is generally limited to between 75 Pa and 125 Pa from the meter to the point of use.
Gas Pressures
At equipment and appliances

SIMPLE METHOD OF NATURAL GAS PIPE SIZING

A simple method of sizing Natural Gas pipes is to use the tables below.
The three tables are for Steel, thin wall copper and thick wall copper.
An allowance may be made for fittings.
This allowance is to add to the measured pipe lengths, 0.3 metres for 90o bends and 0.6 metres for an elbow or tee.

Procedure
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Measure the length of pipe in each section.

Determine heat output of appliance or heat to be carried in pipe in MW
Divide this by Gross Calorific Value (GCV) of gas i.e. 38.7 MJ/m3 to give gas flow rate in m3/s.
Determine pipe size from relevant Table.

Example 1
Determine the steel pipe size for a gas boiler if the boiler rating is 28 kW and the measured pipe run is 10.2 metres with 3 elbows.
Procedure
1.
2.
3.
4.

Measure the length of pipe in each section answer 10.2 m

Add equivalent lengths for fittings answer 3 x 0.6 = 1.8 m. Add to 10.2 m gives 12.0 metres.
Determine heat output of appliance or heat to be carried in pipe in MW. answer 28 / 1000 = 0.028 MW
Divide this by Gross Calorific Value (GCV) of gas i.e. 38.7 MJ/m3 to give gas flow rate in m3/s answer 0.025 / 38.7 =
0.0007235 m3/s
5. Determine pipe size from relevant Table answer from Table 1 gives 20mm pipe because the flow rate lies between two
values on the table and the larger pipe size is chosen.
Table 1 below is used for Mild Steel pipe, BS 1387: medium grade.

Pipe length (m)

Nominal
Pipe size
(mm)

3.0

15

0.00104

0.00072

0.00057

0.00050

20

0.00219

0.00149

0.00120

25

0.00409

0.00275

32

0.00826

40

0.01258

6.0

9.0

12.0

15.0

18.0

21.0

24.0

0.00044

0.00039

0.00036

0.00034

0.00102

0.00090

0.00083

0.00076

0.00071

0.00224

0.00193

0.00169

0.00153

0.00142

0.00134

0.00574

0.00464

0.00393

0.00346

0.00315

0.00291

0.00275

0.00865

0.00700

0.00598

0.00527

0.00480

0.00440

0.00417

Gas Flow Rate (m3/s)

Table 2 below is used for Copper Tube Table X or EN 1057 thin wall, half hard temper.

Pipe length (m)

Nominal
Pipe size
(mm)

3.0

15

0.00079

0.00054

0.00043

0.00035

22

0.00244

0.00165

0.00126

28

0.00495

0.00330

0.00260

6.0

9.0

12.0

15.0

20.0

25.0

30.0

0.00032

0.00027

0.00025

0.00024

0.00102

0.00110

0.00079

0.00070

0.00063

0.00220

0.00197

0.00165

0.00142

0.00134

Gas Flow Rate (m3/s)

Table 3 below is used for Copper Tube Table Y or EN 1057 thick wall, half hard temper.

Pipe length (m)

Nominal
Pipe size
(mm)

3.0

15

0.00071

0.00047

0.00037

0.00032

22

0.00220

0.00149

0.00118

28

0.00456

0.00307

0.00244

6.0

9.0

12.0

15.0

20.0

25.0

30.0

0.00028

0.00027

0.00024

0.00020

0.00094

0.00087

0.00072

0.00064

0.00057

0.00205

0.00181

0.00149

0.00134

0.00118

Gas Flow Rate (m3/s)

It must be remembered that the above method of pipe sizing is not as accurate as using the CIBSE guide method as detailed in page
3, but can be useful for checking pipe sizes quickly.

CIBSE method of Gas Pipe Sizing

Use CIBSE guide Table C4.45 (steel) and C4.46 (copper) for natural and LPG pipe sizing.
If LPG is used then refer to correction factors on page C4.76 of the CIBSE guide.
Most domestic natural gas appliances operate at a pressure of 20 millibar (0.020 bar)
Domestic LPG appliances operate at a gas pressure of 37 mbar (0.037 bar).
For natural gas it is usual to limit the pressure loss to 75 Pa to 125 Pa from the gas meter to the point of use.
A maximum pressure drop from meter to appliance of 1millibar (100 Pa) can be used.

Natural Gas Pipe Sizing Example

Size the gas supply pipe shown below. Copper pipework is used.
Appliance pressure is 20 mbar.
Use the maximum pressure drop given above of 100 Pa from meter to appliance.

Section

Length
(metres)
8
4
13
5
4

1
2
3
4
5

Section 1

Gas Meter

Section 2

Section 5

Section 4

25 kW boiler

(12 kW)

4 kW gas fire

Section 3

H / GCV

Where;
Q
=
H
=
GCV =

Gas flow rate in pipe section (m3/s)

Heat output in pipe section (convert to MW)
Gross Calorific Value of gas (MJ/m3) given in Pipe Sizing Table.

For example, in Pipe section 1 the Heat output to all appliances is 25 + 12 + 4 kW = 41 kW.
Flow rate Q
=
H / GCV
Q
=
41 x 10-3 (MW)
/
38.7 (MJ/m3) from Pipe Sizing Table.
Q
=
1.05943 x 10-3 m3/s
Q
=
0.00105943 m3/s
Q
=
approximately 0.00106 m3/s
GAS

GROSS CALORIFIC VALUE

MJ/m3

Natural gas

38.7

L.P.G. ( Commercial
propane)

96

Gas Pipe Sizing Table

1
Heat
Section Output
Ref.
in
section
kW

2
Flow
rate
m3/s

Pipe
Size
mm
dia

4
Length
of pipe

Total Equivalent
length of Fittings

6
Total
Pipe
Length
Col.
4+5
m

7
8
Pressure
TOTAL
drop
PRESSURE
per
DROP
metre
Col. 6 x 7
Pa
Pa/m

9
Pressure
atstartof
section
Pa

10
Pressure
atend
ofsection
Pa

41

16

25

12

0.00106

0.000413

0.000103

0.00065

0.00031

28

15

15

22

15

13

Zeta factor for Tee

=
0.5 + 1.0 + 0.25 =
1.75
T.E.L. = x le
= 1.75 x
0.7
= 1. 23 m
Tee 0.5 + 1.0 =
1.5
T.E.L. = x le
= 1.5 x 0.4
= 0.6 m
3 bends @ 1.0 =
3.0
1 plug valve =
1.0
Total
=
4.0
T.E.L = 4.0 x
0.2
= 0.8 m
2 bends @ 1.0 =
2.0
1 plug valve = 1.0
T.E.L. = x
le
T.E.L
= 3.0 x
0.5
= 1.5 m
1 plug valve = 1.0
T.E.L. = x
le
T.E.L
= 1.0 x
0.4
= 0.4 m

8 + 1.23
= 9.23
2.2

20.31

8.3

38.18

1.3

17.94

3.0

19.5

4.0

17.6

4 + 0.6
= 4.6

13 + 0.8
= 13.8

5 + 1.5
= 6.5

4 + 0.4
= 4.4

Gas pipe sizes and pressure drops can now be put on the drawing.
Section 1
(28mm)
20.31 Pa p.d.

Section 2
(15mm)
38.18 Pa p.d.

Section 4
(22mm)
19.50 Pa p.d.

Gas Meter

Section 3
(15mm)
17.94 Pa p.d.

Section 5
(15mm)
17.60 Pa p.d.

25 kW boiler

(12 kW)

4 kW gas fire

Sections
1,4

Pressure drop
(Pa)

Pressure drop
(Pa)

20.31 + 19.50

39.81

1,2,5

76.09

1,2,3

20.31 + 38.18 + 17.94

76.43

The maximum pressure drop is in sections 1, 2 and 3 and amounts to 76.43 Pa.
This is less than the recommended maximum of 100 Pa; therefore the pipe sizes are appropriate.
If the pressure drop in sections 1, 2 and 3 and was too high then the pipe size in section 2 could have been increased to 22mm, and a
second calculation of pressure drop carried out.

Gas Pipe Sizing - Table - Page 1 2 3 4

GAS
Natural gas
L.P.G. ( Commercial propane)

(MJ/m3)
41.6
96

Gas Pipe Sizing Table

1
2
3
4
6
7
8
9
10
5
Heat
Flow Pipe Length
Total
Pressure
TOTAL
Pressure
Pressure
Total
Section Output rate Size of pipe Equivalent Pipe
drop
PRESSURE at start
at end
Ref.
in
m3/s
Length
per
DROP
of
of
length of
mm
section
m
Col.
metre
Col. 6 x 7
section
section
Fittings
dia
kW
4+5
Pa/m
Pa
Pa
Pa
m
m

Non-pressurised Cold Water Pipe Sizing

The method is similar to L.T.H.W. pipe sizing except that the pressure available is not from a pump but from the head available
from the tank.
The higher the tank is above the outlets the more head will be available to force the water through the outlets and overcome
pipework resistances.

Water level in tank
Cold Water
Storage Tank
Water flow in pipe

Available

Outlet

The Head Available develops water pressure and this water pressure is used up in overcoming the frictional resistance of the pipe
and in creating the velocity pressure for water flow at the outlet.
p1 - p2

frictional resistance

+ velocity pressure

h1 - h2

head loss in pipe due to friction

or,

where

p =
h =

pressure (N/m2)

In practice, to avoid additional velocity pressure calculations, it is usual to calculate the available pressure by considering the
difference in levels between the bottom of the storage tank and the height of the draw-off points.
The pressure losses in the system are frictional pipe losses and velocity pressure loss through sanitary fittings such as taps, cistern
Velocity head loss through fittings is as follows :Pillar tap
1m
1.5m
Ball valve
1m

Water Flow Rates

Cold water flow rates for sanitary appliances for small installations may be found from the table below.
Approximate hot or cold
water demand
Basin (spray tap)
Basin (tap)
Bath (private)
Bath (public)
Flushing cistern
Shower (nozzle)
Shower (100mm rose)
Sink (15mm tap)
Sink (20mm tap)
Wash fountain

Flow rate (l/s)

0.05
0.15
0.30
0.60
0.10
0.15
0.40
0.20
0.30
0.40

In larger more complex buildings where many sanitary appliances are installed simultaneous demand should be considered from
tables CIBSE Guide B (1986) B4.20 and B4.21

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

Calculate effective pipe length.

8.

Determine pressure loss due to friction for pipe from CIBSE guide tables.

9.

10.

11.

Calculate pressure available at the end of the section.

Subtract pressure loss in section from static pressure available.

12.

If pressure loss due to friction is less than pressure available,

Notes:1.
Keep velocity below 2.0 m/s for noise reduction see Table 2.19 in CIBSE Guide G (2004) Public Health Engineering.
2.
An alternative method of pipe sizing is to use a nomogram.
This can be found in CIBSE Guide G (2004) Public Health Engineering Figure 2.21.

Example 1
Determine a suitable pipe size for the system shown below.
DATA
Fittings include the following; exit from tank or large vessel, 3No. bends, 1No. gate valve, 1No. 15mm tap,
Length of pipe run is 8 metres and copper pipe is to be used.
The flow rate for a 15mm Sink Tap from above Table is 0.2 l/s.

Cold Water
Storage Tank

2 metres

15mm Sink Tap

The pressure available to force the water through the pipework and tap comes from the head of water above the tap.
The formula below gives the relationship between pressure and head.
P
Where;
P
=

=
g
=
h
=

pressure (N/m2)
density (1000 kg/m3 for water)
acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s2)

Therefore: P

The resistance to flow is from the fittings and pipework.

19,620 N/m2

Example 2
Determine suitable pipe sizes for the system shown below.
The building is a three-storey Nursing Home.
DATA
Copper pipe is to be used.
Flow rates are to be obtained from above Table.

Cold Water
Storage Tank

3m

3m
A

5m

Bath
(Private)
3m
3m

D
Bath
(Private)

B
3m
3m
E
C

3m
Bath
(Private)

3m
4m

From above Table the flow rate for a private bath is 0.3 l/s.
The pipe sizes, flow rates and pressures are indicated on the drawing below.
HOT AND COLD WATER PIPE SIZING TABLE
1

Ref Deman Flo Estimate Measured

d
d
Pipe Run
w
Units if
Pipe Dia.
Rate
require
(m)
d
(mm)
(l/s)

0.9

0.6

28

28

8.0

3.0

6
Length of
Pipe Equal to Resistances
(m)

10

Effective
Pipe
Pressure
Total
Pipe
Pressur Consumed Pressure
Length
e Loss Col. 7 x 8 Consume
Col . 5 + 6 (Pa/m)
(Pa)
d
(m)
(Pa)

Factors for fittings:

1No.Exit large vessel = 0.4
1No.Gate Valve
= 0.3
1 No. Bend
= 1.0
1 No.28 x 28 x 22 tee = 0.2
----------Total 1.9
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 1.9 x 1.1
= 2.09 m

8 + 2.09 =
10.09 m

1No.28 x 22 x 22 tee = 0.20

with 28 x 22 reducer:
A2 / A1 = x 0.0112 / x 0.0142.
= 0.617 gives
= 0.25
----------Total 0.45
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 0.45 x 1.0
= 0.45m

3.0 + 0.45
= 3.45 m

1250

12,613

12,613

11

12

Pressure
Available at End of
Section
(Pa)

Final
Pipe
Size
(mm)

Static pressure =

28

3m x 9810 = 29,430
Press. Available =
29,430 12,613 =
16,817 Pa

600

2,070

12,613 +
2,070 =
14,683

Static pressure =
6m x 9810 = 58,860
Press. Available =
58,860 14,683 =
44,177 Pa

28

0.3

22

7.0

0.3

22

3.0

0.3

22

3.0

10

1No.Bend
= 1.0
1No. Angle valve bath tap = 5.0
----------Total 6.0
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 6.0 x 0.7
= 4.2 m

7.0 + 4.2
= 11.2 m

625

7,000

14,683 +
7,000 =
21,683

Static pressure =
9 m x 9810 = 88,290
Press. Available =
88,290 21,683 =
66,607 Pa

22

1No. Angle valve bath tap = 5.0

T.E.L. = Total x le
= 5.0 x 0.7
= 3.5 m

3.0 + 3.5
= 6.5 m

625

4,063

12,613 +
4,063 =
16,676

Static pressure =

22

1No. Angle valve bath tap = 5.0

T.E.L. = Total x le
= 5.0 x 0.7
= 3.5 m

3.0 + 3.5
= 6.5 m

1No. 28 x 15 x 22 tee (already

included)
with 2 No.28 x 15 reducers:
A2 / A1 = x 0.00752 / x 0.0142.
= 0.287 gives
= 0.47
2No. Reducers
= 0.94
1No.Bend
= 1.0
1No. Angle valve bath tap = 5.0
----------Total 6.94
T.E.L. = Total x le
= 6.94 x 0.5
= 3.47 m

7.0 + 3.47 4000

= 10.47 m estimat
ed

625

4,063

4,063

41,880

41,880 +
14,683 =
56,563

11

12

3m x 9810 = 29,430
Press. Available =
29,430 16,676 =
12,754 Pa
Static pressure =
6m x 9810 = 58,860
Press. Available =
58,860 14,683 =
44,177 Pa 4,063 =
40,114 Pa

22

Re-calculate pipe ref. C for 15mm pipe

C

0.3

15

7.0

Static pressure =
9 m x 9810 = 88,290
Press. Available =
88,290 56,563 =
31,727 Pa

15

Cold Water
Storage Tank

28mm
0.9 l/s
12,754 Pa
16,817 Pa
Bath

22mm
0.3 l/s
44,177 Pa

28mm
0.6 l/s

40,114 Pa

D
B
Bath

22mm
0.3 l/s

31,727 Pa

15mm
0.3 l/s

Bath

Example 3
Determine suitable pipe sizes for the system shown below.
The building is a three-storey hotel.
DATA
Copper pipe is to be used.
Flow rates and simultaneous demand data are to be obtained from the
CIBSE guide.

Cold Water
Storage Tank

3m

5m
7m

WC WHB
1m

Bath

2m

Bath WHB
7m

7m

2
m

1m

3m
WC WHB

Bath

Bath WHB

WC WHB

Bath

Bath WHB

3m

WC

1

ed
d
Rate
d
h of
e
Units if
Pipe Dia. Pipe
Pipe
Pipe
require (l/s)
Run Equal Length
d
(mm)
to Col . 5 +
(m)
Resist
6
ances
(m)
(m)

10

11

Pipe Pressur Total Pressure

Pressu
e
Pressu Available
re
Consu
re
at End of
Loss
med Consu Section
(Pa/m Col. 7 med
(Pa)
(Pa)
)
x8
(Pa)

12
Final
Pipe
Size
(mm
)

Mains Water Pipe Sizing

Pipe Sizing Procedure
1.

2.

3. Estimate flow rates in each section.

(2003) part 2, Table 2.19.
4. Estimate pipe diameter from pipe sizing tables in
CIBSE Guide C.
5. Measure the pipe run from drawings.
6. Calculate length of pipe equal to resistance of fittings.
The Total equivalent length of a fitting = Equivalent
Length x Pressure Loss factor (Zeta).
7. Calculate effective pipe length.
8. Determine pressure loss due to friction from CIBSE
Tables.
9. Calculate pressure consumed due to friction (Pa) =
effective pipe length (m) x pressure loss due to friction
(Pa/m)
10. Calculate total pressure consumed = Friction loss +
Static pressure loss
11. Determine pressure at start of section.
12. Calculate pressure available at end of section =
Pressure at start of section - Total pressure consumed
If pressure available at end of section is less than the
maximum allowable pressure drop then we can accept this
pipe size.
13. Determine pressure required at end of section, this can
be the minimum pressure that is required for terminal
equipment.

14. If the pressure available at the end of the section is

more than or equal to the pressure required at the end of
the section then the pipe size is correct.

Water Flow Rates

Cold water flow rates for sanitary appliances for small installations may
be found from the table below.
Approximate hot or cold
water demand
Basin (spray tap)
Basin (tap)
Bath (private)
Bath (public)
Flushing cistern
Shower (nozzle)
Shower (100mm rose)
Sink (15mm tap)
Sink (20mm tap)
Wash fountain

0.05
0.15
0.30
0.60
0.10
0.15
0.40
0.20
0.30
0.40

In larger more complex buildings where many sanitary appliances are

installed simultaneous demand should be considered from tables CIBSE
Guide B (1986) B4.20 and B4.21.
Notes:An alternative method of pipe sizing is to use a nomogram.
This can be found in CIBSE Guide G (2004) Public Health Engineering
Figure 2.21.

1

10

11

12

13

Ref Demand Flow Estimated Measured Length of Effective

Pipe
Pressure
Friction Pressure Pressure Pressure
Units if Rate Pipe Dia. Pipe Run Pipe Equal
Pipe
Pressure Consumed
loss +
at Start Available Required
required
to Fittings Length
Loss
due to
Static
of
at End of at End of
(l/s)
(mm)
(m)
Resistances Col . 5 + (Pa/m) Friction
pressure Section Section Section
From
(m)
6
Col. 7 x 8
loss =
(Pa)
CIBSE
(m)
(Pa)
Total
(Pa)
(Pa)
Tables
Pressure
Consumed
(Pa)

14
Final
Pipe
Size
(mm)

Example 1

Calculate an appropriate pipe size for the system shown above.

Use Copper Table X pipework for water at 10oC..
The maximum allowable pressure drop along the length of pipe =
300,000 Pa 250,000 Pa = 50,000 Pa
Pressurised Cold Water Pipe Sizing Table
1

Ref

Demand
Units if
required

Flow
Rate
(l/s)

Estimated Measured Lengt Effective Pipe

Pressure
Pipe Dia. Pipe Run h of
Pipe Pressure Consumed
Pipe Length
Loss
due to
(mm)
(m)
Equal Col . 5 + (Pa/m) Friction
From
to
6
Col. 7 x 8
CIBSE
Fittin
(m)
(Pa)
Tables
gs
Resist
ance
s
(m)

10

11

12

13

14

Frictio Pressure Press Pre Final

n loss at Start ure ssur Pipe
+
of
Availa e Size
Static Section ble at Req
pressu
End uire (mm)
re loss
(Pa)
of d at
=
Sectio End
Total
n
of
Pressu
(Pa) Sect
re
ion
Consu
med
(Pa)
(Pa)

none

0.8

22

50

none

50

3500

00
00 0,0 smal
00
l

none

0.8

28

50

none

50

1000

0
00 0,0
00

28

1

10

11

12

13

14

1.

Reference the pipe section - section A.

2.
guide (attached). not required, see No.3 below.
3.
Estimate flow rates in each section. Keep velocity below 2 m/s. given
4.
Estimate pipe diameter from pipe sizing tables in CIBSE Guide C.
22mm (velocity too high at approx 2.4 m/s) or 28mm (velocity is 1.5
m/s).
5.

6.

7.

Calculate effective pipe length. - 50m

8.
Determine pressure loss due to friction from CIBSE Tables. See
Table 4.18 in Guide C (CD version).
9.
Calculate pressure consumed due to friction (Pa) = effective pipe
length (m) x pressure loss due to friction (Pa/m). Column 7 x 8 in Pipe
Sizing Table.
10. Calculate total pressure consumed = Friction loss + Static
pressure loss. There are no vertical pipe sections and therefore no static
pressure loss.
11.
Pa.

12. Calculate pressure available at end of section = Pressure at start of

section - Total pressure consumed.
300,000 175,000 = 125,000 Pa. (22mm) ..300,000
50,000 = 250,000 Pa (22mm).
If pressure available at end of section is less than the maximum
allowable pressure drop then we can accept this pipe size.
13. Determine pressure required at end of section, this can be the
minimum pressure that is required for terminal equipment. Given in
drawing as 250,000 Pa.

14. If the pressure available at the end of the section is more than or
equal to the pressure required at the end of the section then the pipe size
is correct.
28mm pipe is correct, 22mm is too small since there is not enough
pressure available at the end of the section and the water velocity is also
too high.

Example 2

Calculate an appropriate pipe size for the system shown above.

Use Copper Table X pipework for water at 10oC..
The maximum allowable pressure drop along the length of pipe =
120,000 Pa 90,000 Pa = 30,000 Pa
Pressurised Cold Water Pipe Sizing Table
1

10

11

12

13

Ref Demand Flow Estimated Measured Length of Effective Pipe

Pressure
Friction Pressure Pressure Pressure
Units if Rate Pipe Dia. Pipe Run Pipe Equal
Pipe Pressure Consumed
loss +
at Start Available Required
required
to Fittings Length
Loss
due to
Static
of
at End of at End of
(l/s)
(mm)
(m)
Resistances Col . 5 + (Pa/m) Friction
pressure Section Section Section
From
(m)
6
Col. 7 x 8
loss =
(Pa)
CIBSE
(m)
(Pa)
Total
(Pa)
(Pa)
Tables
Pressure
Consumed
(Pa)

none

0.5

22

14

1.6

15.6

1500

23,400

14
Final
Pipe
Size
(mm)

22

1.

Reference the pipe section - section A.

2.
guide (attached). not required
3.
Estimate flow rates in each section. Keep velocity below 2 m/s. given
4.
Estimate pipe diameter from pipe sizing tables in CIBSE Guide C.
22mm (velocity is 1.5 m/s).
5.

6.

Calculate length of pipe equal to resistance of fittings. 2 bends.

The Total equivalent length of a fitting = Equivalent Length
x Pressure Loss factor (Zeta).
See Pipe Sizing Heating Section - page 4 - pipe fitting
losses.
Copper pipe elbow (Zeta) = 1.0 x 2 bends = 2.0
Determine equivalent length from CIBSE table C4.18, le =
0.8
Total equivalent length of fittings = 0.8 x 2.0 = 1.6 metres.

7.

Calculate effective pipe length. - 15.6m

8.
Determine pressure loss due to friction from CIBSE Tables. See
Table 4.18 in Guide C (CD version).
9.
Calculate pressure consumed due to friction (Pa) = effective
pipe length (m) x pressure loss due to friction (Pa/m). Column 7 x 8 in
Pipe Sizing Table.
10.
Calculate total pressure consumed = Friction loss + Static
pressure loss. There are no vertical pipe sections and therefore no static
pressure loss.
11.
Determine pressure at start of section. Given in drawing as
120,000 Pa.
12.
Calculate pressure available at end of section = Pressure at start
of section - Total pressure consumed. 120,000 23,400 = 96,600 Pa.

If pressure available at end of section is less than the maximum

allowable pressure drop then we can accept this pipe size.
13.
Determine pressure required at end of section, this can be the
minimum pressure that is required for terminal equipment. Given in
drawing as 90,000Pa.
14.
If the pressure available at the end of the section is more than or
equal to the pressure required at the end of the section then the pipe size
is correct.
22mm pipe is correct.