Multi-Zone Control and Single-Zone Control for Heating

In this week’s Tech Tuesday, I want to speak about the
difference between a multi-zone control and single-zone control and how
technology has made this easier to implement.

Control
for heating systems is not a new thing. The building regulations require you to
have a means of thermostatic and time management. However, the level of control
I believe you should have (as a minimum) is multi-zone control.

In
a well-designed underfloor heating installation, a simple adaptation of your
heating system to a multi-zone control will realise savings of between 8 to 20%
on your heating bill – even on a radiator system, the savings can be
significant. What’s more, you’ll find your home is far more comfortable as you
can select the temperature required in each room.

What is multi-zone control?

The traditional set up of a heating system involves a single thermostat (typically located in the coldest room in the house). This thermostat then heats all the heat emitters at the same time until the thermostat in the coldest room is finally satisfied. This set up can often cause issues such as severe overheating in some rooms and underheating in others. A common solution has been to fit thermostatic valves to all the radiators in the system. However, if you’ve ever owned a thermostatic radiator valve, you know you seem to spend half your life is spent adjusting it with no real control over the heat in that room.
Until recently, to have a multi-zone control would mean new pipework, manifolds and full controls. However, technology has moved on, and you can now keep your existing plumbing system. By implementing a simple change in wiring and fitting of wireless TRV valves, you’ll have a much better level of control of your heating system.
If you fit underfloor heating in a new build space/ground floor, smart controls will allow you to have intelligent rad valves for your first floor and have them in a nice easy to control app.

At Multipipe, we have systems and knowledge to provide you with a fully bespoke control system that would fit your build, whether it be a new build or renovation.
Call us on 01245 850799 to find out more.
If you’ve any more questions about multi-zone control and single-zone control for heating, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

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Do You Install Your Hot and Cold Pipes in Floors?

Do You Install Your Hot and Cold Pipes in Floors?

Most of you are aware of the water regulation schedule; a government set document, which lays out rules for the installation (and manufacture) of pipes and fittings. In this article, I’ll look at one small paragraph: Schedule 2, section 7 under the heading of “Requirements for water fittings”.

Many times, I have seen and spoken to people about pipework in floors. When it comes to space heating (underfloor/rads etc.), it does not directly affect this (WRAS does not cover heating services). Still, I consider it good practice to adopt the principles of this regulation for radiators etc.

However, we should be more concerned about potable water (hot and cold-water supplies) as this water regulation is enforceable by law. Failure to meet these standards can result in fines or imprisonment, so ensure you read this carefully when embedding pipes and fittings in a wall or floors.


Ensuring You’re Regulation Compliant

The reason I created this article was to share my biggest concern surrounding what I see as a lack of awareness. I mentioned the water regulation to a college lecturer one day and found he was not aware of it.  This example may have been an isolated case, but if we are not teaching the new plumbers of this world, standards will slip.

WRAS has made a convenient guide to break down the entire section of the regulations, so it is well worth a read (you can find the link below this article). However, I’ve broken down the key points you need to consider when laying a hot and cold system on a screed floor.

‘No water fitting shall be embedded in any wall or solid floor.”

Clarification:

“water fitting” – this refers to any fitting, but also includes the pipe as well.

“Embedded” – this means in direct contact with the screed or plaster.

To conform to this rule we recommend that you either look at the installation of a manifold plumbing system, or you must look at boxing in any fittings under the floor, and this must then be accessible. As for the pipe, we recommend that you look at our pipe-in-pipe solution or sleeving the pipe yourself. Either way, the pipe should be free to be pulled out and replaced without having to dig up the screed.

Underfloor Heating Systems

NOTE: the pipe should sit above the insulation board to stop the
risk of freezing, however, if you are to install a UFH system, the pipe in the
pipe should be cut into the insulation board and then covered with an additional
25mm layer of insulation to stop the risk of overheating the cold-water pipe.

No fitting designed to be
operated or maintained, whether manually or electronically, or which consists
of a joint, shall be a concealed water fitting. This rule means any valves or
operated device (stop cock etc.) should not be covered. So, where you have
valves in a wall or floor they need to be boxed and have an accessible door)


‘Any concealed water
fitting or mechanical backflow prevention device, not being a terminal fitting,
shall be made of gunmetal, or another material resistant to dezincification.’


All our fittings are made
from a DZR material or come tin-plated. This method is to ensure that
dezincification cannot happen.

Ref: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1999/1148/schedule/2/made
Ref:https://www.wras.co.uk/downloads/public_area/publications/general/info_leaflets/para_7_guidance_version_2_july_2014.pdf/
If you’ve any more questions about installing hot and cold pipes in floors, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

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Customer Experience

Outstanding Customer Experience

I was so engrossed in a conversation about the fantastic sales
process we’d just experienced that I missed the turnoff home.

We were helping
our daughter to buy her first car. Having done our research, we headed off to a
local Toyota dealership expecting the usual high-pressure sales tactics. But we
were in for a surprise – a first-hand taste of Japanese customer-focused
business culture.

They greeted us
respectfully, answered our questions politely with a clear intention to make
this a good experience for us. There was never a sense of being driven towards
a decision to buy.

What a
refreshing change!

We did buy the
car and were so impressed that we started looking at something for my wife too.
They arranged for the Lexus dealer to call us, delivered a demo car to our
house and let us keep it for 36 hours.

Compare that
with the round-the-block test drive where they almost make you think they
suspect you’ll nick the vehicle!

They asked all
the right questions, spent an hour with us picking the colour and never pushed
to close the sale. On the way home, we couldn’t stop talking about it, which is
why we missed the motorway exit.

I’ve told heaps
of people this story. How do your customers talk about your
business?


If you’ve any more questions about Multipipe’s customer service, our team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

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UFH and Kitchen Units

Underfloor Heating and Kitchen Units

At Multipipe, we believe that fitting underfloor heating in
kitchen and specifically under kitchen units can massively benefit the
homeowner.

It’s a popular
misconception that underfloor heating fitted under kitchen units will do damage
to the kitchen itself or will even cause overheating of the items in the cupboards.

So, our reason
for fitting UFH under kitchen units is that you
are futureproofing it against changes. Typically, in the life span of the
pipework, you might change your kitchen over five times in its life span!

You might even
change the layout, which means you will get cold spots on your floor where
existing kitchen units used to be. Also, (especially in older houses) where you
have a cool outer wall and no insulation between the floor and the wall you can
get cold bridging. This term refers to where the cold air chills the wall to
such an extent that it will creep on to the floor itself.

Cold floors meet warm air

Now, as you have no pipes under the unit, this will then continue to creep into the room itself resulting in a 100 to 200mm area where the floor is cold, which is not ideal next to kitchen sinks where you tend to stand. Lastly, we have had one incident in the past where mould has started to grow under the units. This incident is due to a cold and damp floor meeting the warm air of the underfloor heating.

Some people shy away from doing this because of the increased cost. Still, generally for the size of the kitchen units, the increasing cost is marginal and to add floor heating later into an unheated area is far more expensive.

I hope you find this article helpful if you wish to comment, please do so on our social media or if you want to contact us to discuss further, please call on 01245 850799.

If you’ve any more questions about UFH and kitchen units, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

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The Importance of Screed in Underfloor Heating

The Importance of Screed in Underfloor Heating

In this week’s Tech Tuesday, I want to highlight the importance of screed.  This has been written in partnership with Gyvlon who experts in specialist screeds. As many people know, screed underfloor heating systems are the most common, as they are the cheapest and easiest to install and the easiest to implement. However, the importance of the screed is often overlooked. People will always speak about the importance of pipe centre temperatures going into the floor heating system and other aspects. The easiest way to get more heat out of your system is to have a more conductive, thinner screed.
When underfloor heating first started, there really was not much choice in screeds, and most people would stick to builders’ sand cement screed, which has one of the lowest outputs of any screed. However, in the current market, there are many different types of screed.  The main screed I want to speak about today is anhydrite screeds.  This free-flowing, self-compacting screed (providing it is laid correctly), can give you some of the best outputs for your underfloor heating system.



Even more impressive, you can typically save one to two inches (25-50mm) on installation height which can be either replaced with more insulation or lower the whole floor build, saving money. We find anhydrite screeds are nearly double the conductive value of traditional sand cement. Meaning the floor heating system is far more efficient and gives a much better output, reducing your running costs. Also, because you are laying less screed (as anhydrite screeds are stronger), you will find that the reaction times are much better, heating up quicker in the morning or when returning home, also reducing overheating making for a more comfortable living space.
So, the next time you look at doing a floor heating system consider the importance of the screed on floor heating and maybe look at alternatives that are going to give your heating system the best outputs rather than installing the lowest priced option.
One screed I would always recommend is Gyvlon Thermio screed by Anhydritec. This has the lowest build height for traditional UFH screeds and is the only screed on the market with a high guaranteed minimum thermal conductivity backed by a third party (BBA), nearly doubling the thermal conductivity of the screed making it an excellent complement to Multipipe underfloor heating systems. To find your nearest installer of Gyvlon Thermio screeds, please contact our technical support line on 01245 850799.
To find out more, please download the Thermio Screed Catalogue.
https://www.gyvlon.co.uk/uploads/Page/thermio+technology_uk.pdf
If you’ve any more questions about the importance of screed in underfloor heating, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

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The Importance of Commissioning Your UFH System

Commissioning Your Underfloor Heating System

In this article #TechTuesday will explain why it’s vital to commission, or ‘balance’ as it’s also known, your underfloor heating system.

Just as some traditional radiators occasionally get quite a bit warmer than others, your underfloor heating system can also suffer from the same problem. When this happens, it usually means that your central heating system is out of balance.


In some instances, radiators can be different temperatures due to the distance that water that heats them must travel from the boiler or pump. If your heating system is not balanced, then the radiators that are closest to the boiler or heating source may get a lot more heat than those that are further away.
Balance is achieved by adjusting the flow meters to ensure that the flow rates supplied to each zone are at the optimum level to provide an even and comfortable warmth across the whole floor.
Many companies sell controls that in theory “balance” the system. These work by using the actuator pin to either hold it half-open or pulse between open and shut. Either way, over the years, I’ve found these controls cause excessive wear on the actuator pins, and it seems I’m not alone. Many plumbers I speak to report issues of leaking value pins, which is why Multipipe recommends that you always commission a new underfloor heating system. A little work upfront will save trouble down the line – reinforcing your customers trust in your skills.
I do understand the need for auto-balancing controls, and these are very good when retrofitted to existing systems where you do not know the length of the coils to balance. In this example, they can save time and money but still provide system control.
However, when you’re installing a brand-new system and providing you lay your pipework in accordance to the drawings provided by your manufacturer, there is no reason why you cannot hydraulically balance your system.
Hydraulically balancing the system is far better: it doesn’t take long, and it means you’re not overusing the pins. This method also allows for better-balanced flow around the system, meaning the system will heat up evenly. This is especially important in a single room with multiple loops (where some loops are different sizes.)
Why choose Multipipe as your UFH supplier?
As part of our commitment to outstanding customer service, we at Multipipe are offering a new service whereby when you place your order we also support you with

  • A full set of loop layouts
  • A balancing and commissioning sheet designed to be left with the manifold and system for future reference.
  • Technical support – either by email or phone to ensure your install goes smoothly

If you wish to find out more contact us on 01245 850 799
Remember, that we have a fully qualified design team, and a technical line should you wish to discuss this further and make sure that on your next project you get the most out of your install.

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