Monotube heating the inefficient & costly heating

It is estimated that more than one million single-pipe heaters are still in operation in Germany. This type of heater works very inefficiently and has poor functions: It is distinguished by its poor controllability and high amount of energy consumed. So why was the monotube heater once so popular?? Due to the simple design. The low cost of materials. Read on to learn how the single-pipe heater works and what factors make it a very environmentally unfriendly heater.


1. What is monotube heating? 2. How to detect single-pipe heating? 3. Why replace single pipe heating valve? 4. Remove single-pipe heating radiator – What you should know 5. Disadvantages of single pipe heating – reasons why it should be replaced

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What is a single-pipe heating system?

Single-pipe heaters are
Heating systems that were especially popular in the 70s and 80s were. At that time, this type of heating was installed in almost every household because of the low cost of materials. Nowadays, however, the single-pipe heating system is no longer installed and this has its reasons. This type of heating can basically only be moderately optimized and expanded, this system therefore consumes a lot of energy and is environmentally unfriendly compared to other heating systems.

If you still have a single-pipe heating system in your old apartment, it is advisable to convert it into a two-pipe heating system or even install a completely new heating system. Heating renovation is financially supported with various subsidies, so planning may well be worthwhile as a long-term solution. For more on single-pipe heater replacement, see the Why Replace a Single-Pipe Heater section below?

How a single-pipe heating system works

This heating system has a very simple design. A single-pipe heating system has, as the name suggests, only one pipe system. This pipe system supplies hot water to all radiators one after the other through a ring pipe. Therefore, the radiators can not be regulated separately. Are all heated to the same temperature.

IN COMPARISON: In modern heating systems, additional branches are connected to the radiators so that they can be regulated separately.

This is how a single-pipe heating system works:

1. Water is heated in a boiler. 2. The hot water flows through the pipe system into the ring pipe. 3. In the ring pipe there is a T-piece, which divides the hot water into two channels, channel A and B. 4. The water flows through channel A through the radiator and heats it up. 5. Through channel B the water flows on to the next radiator. 6. The cooled water from channel A, after flowing through the radiator, mixes with the water in channel B and thus cools down the next radiator.

In order to warm each room, a much higher flow temperature must be set. This leads on the one hand to a Higher heating bill and on the other hand to an insufficient comfort. The reason for this is that the rooms heated first with this system have a much higher temperature than the rooms heated last.

Ideal room temperatureDepending on the living space, it is recommended to set a different temperature. For example, the bathroom may be slightly warmer at about 22 °C than the bedroom or kitchen at about 17 °C. However, it is impossible to set this individually with a single-pipe heating system. Depending on the radiator arrangement, this could result in a kitchen room temperature of 25 °C, for example. This is neither comfortable nor energy efficient.

How to recognize a single-pipe heating system?

At first sight it is difficult to recognize a one-pipe heating system or even to distinguish it from a two-pipe heating system. Especially it becomes difficult if the pipes and lines are laid in the floor or under the plaster are. 1. The pipe run of the pre-. Return always ends at the same string/ring. The pipe run of the pre-. Return always ends at the same string/ring. This means that the flow and return are connected to the same pipe. 2. Single-pipe heating systems require the use of special valves.

In addition, you can recognize single-pipe heaters because, as already indicated, they have a very high energy consumption and are difficult to regulate.

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Why replace the single-pipe heating valve?

Despite various heating subsidies from the government, a complete conversion, for example, to a two-pipe heating system is often out of the question for cost reasons, especially in apartment buildings. Replacing the single-pipe heating valve here can be a be a more favorable measure to optimize energy efficiency.

Older single-pipe heating systems have a fixed tee with duct A and duct B set. Channel B is also called bypass. Previously, this bypass could only be completely opened or closed – in other words, the Radiator gets hot or stays completely cold.

The single-pipe heating valve, which opens or closes the bypass, can be replaced with a valve that is does not open or close completely. Thus, the hot water flow. So that the temperature of the radiator can also be regulated.

Change single pipe heating valve

Although this measure is nowhere near as efficient as a thermostat, it can provide an Cost effective alternative its. Therefore, if you are thinking of changing the single-pipe heating valve, we have answered the most important questions about it for you:

Replacing single-pipe heating valve – Frequently asked questions:

Where to buy a single pipe heating valve?

One-pipe heating valve can be bought in specialized stores or online.

How much does a one-pipe heating valve?

Depending on the brand and material you can find valves from about 25 € up to about 80 €.

Who changes a single-pipe heating valve?

Only if you have experience with the specific piping should you tinker with the heater. If you are not an experienced craftsman, you should rather leave it alone and hire an experienced professional!

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Removing a one-pipe heating radiator – what you should know

Whether only a temporary removal, for example, to paint, or to replace the old single-pipe heating system with a more modern heating system – to remove or reinstall a single-pipe heating radiator, respectively can be tricky.

Removing the radiators is easy compared to mounting, because when mounting everything should be reinstalled exactly as it was removed at the time on the wall. The problem with removing radiators is that you can't directly tell whether water flow regulation has taken place at the leaders or at the return fittings.

Therefore you should dismantle and remount only take into your own hands, if expertise is available. Otherwise, you should hire a specialist company to remove the single-pipe heating radiator. Indeed, a trained professional can manipulate single-pipe heating to maintain the setting values. This can also save you from expensive whole house hydraulic balancing.

One-pipe heating removed – What are the heating alternatives?

If you are thinking of modernizing your single-pipe heating system, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of types of heaters available. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the perfect heater, because the choice of the heater depends on many individual factors: Budget, environmental friendliness, fuel, space in the house and energy efficiency of the building. In our detailed article on the most diverse heaters in comparison, you will find all the information you need to decide:

Which heater is the right one?

Disadvantages of single-pipe heating – reasons why it should be replaced

There are many reasons why the single-pipe heating system should be replaced. First of all, the single-pipe heating system is inefficient. There are high operating costs. Enclosed is an overview of the single-pipe heating disadvantages.

– The flow temperature of the water must be set higher than the temperature desired in the room, because the water loses temperature on its way through the various radiators. This leads to higher operating costs. – A single-pipe heater must operate at maximum energy even in partial load mode to reach the desired temperature. However, in partial load operation the warm water is not used optimally, as it circulates largely unused in the cycle. – You can use no modern heat generators such as condensing boiler technology or heat pumps are used.

Change energy supplier Leave the change to our energy experts. Energiemarie by Selectra finds for you the suitable electricity and gas tariff and takes over all further steps.

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