Controlling the Feeds in an UFH System
UFH systems tend to rely on central manifold locations to distribute each loop through the floor. When you have a larger dwelling with more than five loops, you will find that near the manifold and even through hallways and rooms, you end up with lots of pipes at closer centres. These tend to overheat the room with uncontrolled heat. Inappropriately controlled heat can be a source of customer dissatisfaction and a perceived downside to UFH.
As part of your UFH package, you should receive a secondary conduit coil when you have five loops or more (providing the system is suitable for conduit). This secondary sleeve is used to partly insulated the flow pipes to help reduce uncontrolled heat under your floor. We only protect the flow because although we want to reduce the heat in a space, we do not want to eliminate it. By insulating all pipes, the reduction over the area covered by feeds would be too great, and you would have a cooler section of the floor.
Is conduit the best option for uncontrolled heat?
In short, no. Conduit should always be the least favoured option, and where possible, we promote passing pipes through walls to reach the rooms quicker with the least number of feeds. The fewer feeds on the job, the more control your client will have over their system. Remember that not all systems (especially retrofit systems) can have conduits due to the height issues, and some are more prone to overheating.
Manifold location is key (see another Tech Tuesday article on this subject) but having the manifold in a central place is more important than convenience. Running a set of primaries to a central cupboard might be more work, but it will reduce feeds and loops to rooms saving excessive overheating (and cost!).
If you are using a sealed system, another way around feeds is to remember that you are not limited to just the ground floor for running feeds. If you have access to the room above, you could run feeds in a ceiling void and drop down to each room, eliminating uncontrolled feeds. Just remember that the manifold must always be higher than the system.
Lastly, if the system allows, why not pass feeds below the system itself either by channelling the feeds into the insulation or if you have a plated system, pass the feeds underneath the system in the quilt layer.
These tips might add cost and time to a job, but we’re sure you’ll agree that a quality install with a properly controlled system will result in a happier client and more repeat work for you.
If you’d like help or advice on getting the best out of your Multipipe system, please get in touch on 01245 227 630. We’re always happy to help.