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Hydronic Systems

COURSE NO: M04-008
Hydronic Systems
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides basics of the hydronic system operation and will familiarize the reader with piping system layout and operation, as well as provide an awareness of common circuiting arrangements. Topics to be discussed include auxiliary hydronic system components such as pumps, expansion tank, terminal units, distribution piping and fittings.


The circulation of hot water or chilled water to provide heat or cool the spaces is known as "Hydronic" system. It is a closed system where cold or hot water/steam runs through a heat exchanger and air is then blown over the heat exchanger to get the desired room conditions. Traditionally, HVAC systems are designed as All-Air Systems, which means that air is cooled at one location and is than distributed to the required space through ducts. All-Air Systems achieve the task of cooling a building by convection only. Hydronic system provides an alternative to cool/heat through a combination of radiation and convection inside the building.


Hydronic heating has three advantages over other types of heating systems. These advantages are comfort, efficiency, and versatile installation. With hydronics, you can move 40,000 Btu's through a 3/4" copper pipe through walls and between floors - or anywhere you need the heat - quietly and efficiently. A forced air system requires a lot of duct space, about an 8" by 14" duct, to move that much air with that many Btu's into a room.


This 4 PDH online course is applicable to mechanical engineers, design and construction personnel, technical staff and facility personnel who are interested in gaining a better understanding of hydronic systems.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Understand the basic hydronic systems in heating and cooling applications
  • Understand the difference between once through, recirculation, open and closed systems
  • Describe the components of hydronic systems such as air separators, air vents, circulators, relief valves, expansion tanks, flow control devices, miscellaneous valve and fittings
  • Understand water system piping classification for main and branch feeders
  • Learn about the various piping circuits including one pipe, two pipe, three pipe and four pipe systems for various applications
  • Understand different type of heating and cooling terminal units such as unitary equipment, air handling units, baseboard heaters, convectors and radiators
  • Learn different type of hydronic pumps including circulators, closed coupled centrifugal pumps and horizontal split casing pumps
  • Understand pump cavitation and pump installation considerations; parallel or series arrangement
  • Learn basic hydronic system testing, adjusting and balancing (TAB) procedures
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review Appendix E, "Hydronic Systems" of the US Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USACERL) technical report 99/20, May 1999.

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
Hydronic Systems (8.3 MB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of twenty (20) questions to earn 4 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on Appendix E of this USACERL report.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: