Check out some frequently asked questions about underfloor heating systems. And remember to get in touch if you’ve any further questions! Call us on 0333 200 4365
In short, leaks are highly unlikely. However, if you do need to join or repair pipes, we have a special range of fittings that are designed specifically for the job. You can view our range of pipe fixings here.
In smaller and domestic installations it is unlikely you will need to join pipes anywhere other than at the manifold. Pipes are supplied in various coiled lengths that allow an installer to run full, continuous loops. Your design drawing will have calculated your layout for you and this plan will show how long each loop will be. Pipe coils in lengths closest to your requirement/s will therefore be supplied.
At a glance, underfloor heating can look complicated. All those pipes converging on a manifold, the actuators, cables, valves, pump and thermostatic controls might look frighteningly complex, but the reality is that underfloor heating works very logically and simply.
The manifold is a simple way of connecting several coils of pipe to a single, regulated heat source (for example your boiler). Manifolds are supplied fully assembled and include all the components required to make them function. Comprehensive instructions are supplied and technical support is always available from us before and during the installation process. For more information please click here.
Here is a simple example of how all those parts are connected and work together in a single loop system : As the room thermostat calls for heat, the actuator (an electrical solenoid valve) opens to allow water to flow around the loop of pipe. The temperature of the water being fed around the loop is regulated by a thermostatic valve so it does not get too hot. When the room thermostat is satisfied with the room temperature, it sends an electronic message to the actuator, instructing it to close and the flow stops. Simple ! As you add more loops for more rooms it may begin to look more complicated but each zone is simply opening and closing at the command of each room thermostat whilst sourcing heat from a common supply.
Or simply purchase one of our Underfloor Heating Kits and enjoy all of the benefits of Underfloor Heating in one simple, convenient package.
How can water in an underfloor heating system work at a cooler temperature than the radiators in the rest of the house in a mixed wet system?
Wet underfloor heating systems actually use the boiler’s return water. In a heating system, return water (water returning to the boiler having been around the system) is cooler than the flow (water from the boiler that has just been heated). Providing the temperature of the return water is adequate, this is warm enough to heat your floor/s. Of course though, as water passes through or under your floor it will continue to transfer heat to your floor as it cools. At this time, a sensor on the manifold detects the temperature drop and if necessary automatically adds water from the boiler flow (water that has just been heated) to always ensure the required temperature is maintained in the underfloor loop.
This is a very simple, cheap and sustainable way to extract as much heat as possible from your system which would otherwise be wasted.
Fitting underfloor heating is probably more labour intensive than a conventional radiator system, but it is not difficult. The basic principle is the same – you have two pipes (flow and return to the manifold) the same as a radiator system but you use the whole floor as your radiator instead of one wall mounted radiator.
Installing the manifold is very straightforward. It may look complicated but it is simple, convenient way of connecting several loops to a regulated hot water supply.
Compared to hanging a radiator, underfloor heating takes a little longer to fit, but still only requires two connections. You have a large coil of pipe that must be laid in or under the floor which of course takes time. However, there are many advantages (as described here) to an underfloor system – not least all the savings that can be made in operating costs. So the time invested when installing your system is recovered many times over during the life of the building.
Initially, underfloor heating is slightly more expensive to install than a conventional wet radiator system. It takes longer and there are more components required. But it is a much more efficient system to run, and it does not have exposed hot surfaces like radiators. Underfloor heating systems do not require as much maintenance as radiators and they produce a more controllable sustainable environment. So over a period of time, these systems will reduce running costs, maximise available wall space and remove potentially hazardous hot surfaces from your environment.
The most obvious difference between a conventional radiator system and underfloor heating system is the response time – both on heat up and cool down.
It takes longer to heat up a concrete slab for example using lower temperature water than it would to heat a small radiator with hot water. Similarly, a concrete slab (when warm) will take a considerable time to cool down. This makes the response time to control input much slower. However, underfloor systems are not really designed to provide instant heat control, they focus more on providing a comfortable even climate with no local ‘hot spots’.
Point of interest
A feature becoming common on underfloor systems is ‘night set-back’. This works in the following way:
Take a concrete slab for example. This takes some time to reach operating temperature so heating up every morning would also take time. The room thermostat is set say to 20ºC during the day so the system will heat the floor to achieve an ambient temperature of 20ºC. When you go to bed at night you may not want to maintain this temperature, but instead of simply switching your system off it enters ‘night set-back mode’.
‘Night Set-Back’ (when enabled) is a feature where the system allows the slab to cool down slightly – typically by about 40ºC. So the slab temperature will only fall during the night to 16ºC. Depending on conditions, this can take several hours. The system remains at rest until it reaches it’s set-back temperature. When the morning comes the floor is not heating from cold, so it only has to raise it’s temperature by 4ºC to return to the daytime setting of 20ºC. This of course does not take as long.
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