How to select the right room control for your heat emitter

How to Select the Right Room Control for Your Heat Emitter

Do you remember the delights of the brown & beige Honeywell thermostats? The good old days when ‘stats were far simpler to work with and to wire. But let’s be honest, they were inefficient!
Room control technology has come on leaps and bounds since the old fashioned bi-metallic thermostats (the clicky thermostat). The industry now has a far better understanding of how the various heat emitters need different controls to provide the best performance. Next time you are looking at a room control system for an underfloor heating system, make sure you pick the right one.


Most older thermostats work on the theory of a 0.5 – 1°C span (or gap) from switching the system on from the temperature setpoint. This theory stopped nuisance switching whereby the thermostat would click in and out every 5 seconds on a radiator system.
These days modern houses are far more energy-efficient, and therefore a span of 0.5-1°C is far too much and can seriously overheat your room. If you apply this same switching theory to an underfloor heating system, then you would see massive over-and-under shoots in temperature.
Fortunately, modern heat emitter controls now come with built-in intelligence and self-learning capabilities which reduce the chances of under and overheating. For instance, these controls will learn to react when they perceive the need to switch on or off the heating system. This artificial intelligence learning may result in some ‘mad moments’ where you feel that the room temperature is correct, but the system has switched on the heating. In this scenario, we must learn to accept that technology is smarter than us! The system has ‘learnt’ that whilst the current temperature is just right it will start to fall in about 15 minutes and therefore has started the heating system to prevent a drop in temperature BEFORE it happens. Smart huh?
In my own home, I have a screed underfloor heating system (the Altis Flow) and because I run my heating based on “always-on” my house is kept between 0.1-0.5 degrees from the setpoint temperature at all times. Awesome! Check out our How You Should Run Your UFH System blog for why I set my system up in this way and the benefits.
Next time you specify controls for a job, make sure they are the best option for the emitter you have. Remember, cheapest might not always be the best in the long run.
If you’ve any more questions about how to select the right room control for your heat emitter, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

Underfloor Heating Systems and Cold Weather

Underfloor Heating Systems and Cold Weather – Why aren’t I Warm Enough?

Whilst we’re all dreaming of warm summer days and the easier jobs that seem to come with it; there’s no doubt that the dreaded cold weather is good for business. As an industry, I think we have developed a love/hate relationship with freezing conditions. On the one hand, it’s good to be busy and get the money rolling in, and on the other, there’s frozen pipe emergencies and unrealistic customer expectations. Can we ever win?
Over the years, I’ve noticed that many of the customer calls I receive during the winter months have a similar theme when it comes to underfloor heating. Why aren’t I warm enough? Why isn’t my system heating the house like I thought it would? I understand the customer’s frustration. They have invested in a system and want it to perform – it’s not unreasonable to want to be a toasty warm 25 degrees inside whilst it’s minus 6 outside is it?
I’m sure, like me, you’re secretly rolling your eyes at the thought of explaining that whilst modern underfloor heating systems are excellent at generating high heat outputs they don’t have infinite capacity. They are influenced not only by how well they are installed but also by the type of house in which they are installed.

The current trend for new-build constructions aiming to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint means that these new buildings are so well insulated that a whole home could be heated from a candle. Okay, it’s an exaggeration, but you know what I mean. However, there is a big difference between these new builds and a ‘normal’ British home. The majority of owner-occupied dwellings in England were constructed in 1980 or before, and as of 2019, more than three million owner-occupied houses were built before 1919. That means that most homes in the UK could lack the insulation that will allow the newly installed underfloor heating system to meet the homeowners’ expectations.
To help you overcome any challenges you might encounter, I’ve listed below a couple of helpful tips to help you explain to a customer about the limits of a ‘normal’ house and their underfloor heating system.

  1. The heat loss. Depending on how involved you get with a job, we always recommend that heat losses are assessed and carried out for each property. Trying to implement current industry guides and best practices will not work on a pre-1950’s property due to the nature of construction.
  2. Customers need to understand that their underfloor heating system has been sized to operate in a way that mitigates the heat losses from the property based on a particular outdoor temperature. However, suppose the actual external temperature drops well below that used in the calculations. In that case, the UFH system may not maintain, and certainly not increase, the indoor temperature past a base temperature.
  3. Advise your customer on the best running practises for their underfloor heating system. Our previous article “How You Should Run Your UFH System” can be used to help explain the benefits of running the system all the time and reduce the amount of off time.
  4. The heat source. The most significant issue we see with an air source heat pump (ASHP) is the unit freezing in cold weather. This is because the potential energy outside is limited (by the cold temperatures), meaning that when we put a massive load into it, to heat a whole heating system, the unit goes into a defrost cycle. The air source heat pump then starts using your generated energy to defrost itself. Again, this hits home the importance of the article above and running the system content, especially on ASHP. Remember that an ASHP might not be the right decision for high heat loss houses.

If you’ve any more questions about underfloor heating systems and cold weather, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

Pipe in Walls


In this tech Tuesday I would like to speak to you about more of a problem. As we move closer to aesthetically pleasing homes, one thing is for certain. People do not like pipework on walls. These are typically hidden after with ugly boxing in running the lines of your lovely new home, or even worse they are not boxed in meaning every couple of year you have to paint them but more serious could be a scald risk.

Why Not Bury Them in the Wall?

Why not bury them in the wall? More plumbers are moving to put the pipe into the wall themselves and plastering over them, which is great. Plastic pipes do mean that you do not have to protect them as they are corrosion-free. But before you get the paintbrush out you do need to consider the type of pipe you have in the wall, and how later on you can find that pipe to avoid embarrassing calls to your plumber when you have gone through them.
Always ensure any all plastic pipe (normally called PEX or PB pipe) is wrapped in a foil tape, this ensures when you pass a detector over it picks up the pipe! If however, you have Multipipe MLC because the metal barrier you do not need tape and it can still be happily buried in walls.
Call us on 01245 850799 to find out more.
If you’ve any more questions about our MLC pipe, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

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

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

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

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

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

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

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

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

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

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

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.

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram

Installing A Heat Emission Plate (HEP’s) System

Installing A Heat Emission Plate (HEP’s) System

When it comes to UFH on ground floors, this tends to be done by embedding pipe into the screed. And providing it is done right, you have an extremely efficient system. However, more and more people want UFH throughout their home meaning incorporation of underfloor heating on (normally) a suspended timber floor. Many systems can do this, but this week we are covering heat emission plates.
Things to know when selecting this system.

  1. You want to try and select the thickest plate you can (the more aluminium, the better the heat transfer). You can generally ask your supplier for thickness for the plate. You need to be looking at 0.5 mm plates – any thinner & the transfer is reduced.
  2. The centres of the joists are important if selecting HEP’s, they need to be uniform and they cannot be an engineered type of joist. You are required to notch the joist at the end then past the pipe through.
  3. The plate size needs to match your joist (the most common size is 400mm between joists) and the plates should be slightly shorter, this is so the HEPS do not overlap and cause noise.





Ok, so you decide this system fits your building. Now it comes to the laying. The biggest mistake I see with this system and ultimately giving an inferior performance, is how the plates are laid. I have seen and heard of far too many installs where the plate has sagged in the joist. But why is this bad? Because it changes a system designed to be a conductive heat transfer to a convective heat transfer, as you are introducing an air gap between the emitter and the surface.
We can demonstrate the severity of introducing an air gap in this example. On a radiator, if you put your hand over the top of the radiator without touching it, you will find this is comfortable and would not be a problem (this is convection- you even feel the air movement as it rises). However, when you touch the radiator, this is direct contact with no air gap and the heat conducts to your hand (conduction) meaning you usually cannot keep your hand there for very long.
This is the same principle as the heat emission plates. So, you can get a severe drop in performance if the plates sag.
The best remedy is to support the underside of the plate by making a false floor by using either supported rigid insulation or build a false base with wood planks. You then want to use fibre insulation and overfill between the joist. Now when you put the plate down – they arch into the room – then staple the plate down to stop them moving and lay your pipe. I did this in my own house with great success and got a nice 27°C floor surface temperature (maximum for the floor I have) and have no cold spots. Also, my water temperature is only set to 50°C
Top tips:

  1. I found MLC was too tricky to lay because of the stiffness so use a PEX or PE-RT pipe.
  2. Make sure the plate has a light bulb profile groove and not a simple U profile groove. They might be more costly, but it stops the pipe coming out of the plate.
  3. Make sure you are notching the joist in line with building regs otherwise you can weaken the floor.
  4. Try and not step on the plates, if you do, make sure they are still sitting proudly.

If you’ve any more questions about installing Heat Emission Plates, our technical team are always here to help you out. Get in touch with us

Email Us


Call Us


Read more of our Tech Tuesday articles


View all

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, product offerings and more Tech Tuesday articles!


Facebook


Twitter


Linkedin


Instagram