Mono tees installed backwards

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by Mad Plumber, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Mad Plumber

    Mad Plumber Mad Skills

    Aug 13, 2005
    Will a heating system function properly if the monoT's were installed backwards?

    We have a basement that will be heated with 3 hydronic wall units (like kick heaters).
    This is a separate zone.
    The mono T's, one per heater, were installed backwards I believe.
    See picture.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2008
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Oct 20, 2005
    New Hampshire
    You will get some of the intended effect of the monoflow tee if it is installed backwards as shown in the picture, as the first tee branching off to the heater.

    The monoflow tee is intended to work as a venturi where the flow through the run of the tee, into the large end of the nozzle and out the small end of the nozzle, produces a low pressure at the outlet of the small end. The differential pressure (now higher at the first tee and lower at the second tee) causes flow through the heater in the branch loop.

    There are 4 ways to install a single monoflow tee. Three are wrong.

    1. The correct way is at the return from the heater to the main pipe, the second tee of the pair in the direction of the main flow, with the venturi element (the small diameter internal to the tee) pointed in the direction of flow.

    2. The second way, that will have some effect, is to install the monoflow tee at the first branch to the heater with the small end of the intenal element pointing "against" the flow, as in the picture. That condition will cause more pressure loss in the loop but it will cause some flow to go through the "side loop" and through the heater.

    3. If the tee is installed backwards (flow going into the small part) AND at the second tee where the flow is returning from the heater, it will not work properly but there will be some flow through the heater loop.

    4. If the tee is installed in the correct direction (flow coming out of the small internal portion), but at the first tee off the main line to the heater, it will not work properly but there will be some flow through the heater loop.

    It is possible to install TWO monoflow tees, one as described in (1.) above and one as described in (2.) above, to increase the flow through the heater. It causes more pressure loss in the loop and reduces the flow that can be driven by the circulator pump.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona

    At one time B&G made two different MonoFlo tees. One for the supply and one for the return. Then they realized that they were essentially the same so the started making just one version, but they put a red band around one side so the installer would know which way it went depending on whether he was using it for a supply or return. They work just as efficiently either way as long as the flow is going in the correct direction. If the heater is below the main supply pipe, then the unit needs MonoFlo tees on both the supply and return connections.
  5. geno54

    geno54 New Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Have come across a few mono-flo systems that were piped backwards when a changeout was done. One system was done 5 years prior to me getting there and figuring it out. It works but not very well. You may have uneven heat distribution and air problems (not being able to get the air out because of vent being on wrong side of radiator).
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