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Thread: natural convection

  1. #1

    Default natural convection

    i am curious if anyone could give me some tips on how to plumb to make natural convection happen i want to ellimenate the use of a circulator pump

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    New Hampshire


    Hot water is less dense than cold water, so you must arrange the system so the vertical components of the up-flowing part of the circuit are hotter than the vertical components of the down-flowing parts of the circuit.

    The most effective circulation will occur if you remove the heat from the circuit in a horizontal portion near the top and in the upper parts of the downflowing pipe.

    You should do some analysis of the pressure differentials available in such a system to determine if it has any possibility of providing the heat transfer that you require.

    You will need a vent at the top because a very small amount of air in the loop will defeat the circulation.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    Default convection

    You have to run the pipe uphill until you reach a point where the water is starting to cool down, or the farthest point in the system, (whichever occurs first), and then it has to go downhill back to the water heater. It cannot have any dips or rises or the convection will stop at that point.

  4. #4


    thanks for the help im trying to circulate water thru a coil in my coal stove into a hot water storage tank then with a circulator to my base board heat


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