Why is the manifold location is important to the system?

Manifold Locations

When planning your underfloor heating (UFH) systems, it is often easier to locate your manifold in a place where it has a short run from the boiler to the manifold. However, because boilers are typically found near external walls, this can mean larger amounts of “feed pipes” go under the floor. In this article, we look at why moving the manifold to a central location is best for the system.   

Save costs by minimising the number of feeds.   

By using some simple sums, we can show the advantage of moving manifolds.   

Let’s assume that an 18m² room (max 100m coil@200 centres) uses 90m of pipe. If we have a long 15m run to the manifold, this adds an extra 30m of pipe! (Remember we must account for flow and return). Due to the length of the run, we have exceeded our recommended max loop length of 100m, so now we must split into two loops. Having two loops means another 30m of feeds. The result is that the original 90m of pipe is now 150m.   

By moving the manifold to 4m away, then we only need to use 98m of pipe on one loop, staying within our recommendation of 100m. This move saves 60m of pipe, one extra port on the manifold (and adaptors), and an extra actuator. This simple change could save over £50 for just one room.  

Limiting feed overheating.   

With all UFH systems, you have a central manifold point going to multiple rooms. In these instances, limiting the runs is ideal. If you fill, for example, a utility room (say, where the boiler is located) and lag the feeds, there would be an uncontrolled heat. This would often overheat the room in winter. Centralising means you can drop through the back of the cupboard to rooms and spread out the feeds quicker, meaning far less overheating. Also, having the feed pipes in the hall is not so bad if there is an element of overheating as you don’t tend to spend much time in the hall.  

It is worth remembering these simple rules.  

  1. Place the manifold in the centre of all served rooms (remember getting feeds to a manifold in a centre is probably easier than dealing with overheating floors)  
  2. Where possible, push feeds through walls to stop congestion (don’t forget to line drilled holes).   
  3. If over six loops, then look at adding conduit to the flow pipe the help reduce some overheating  
  4. We recommend not having feeds over 20m for 16mm pipe and 15m for 12mm pipe. (This rule is a bit flexible as it depends on the size of the room).  

Our experienced team will provide useful advice on things like the best locations for your manifolds to minimise issues when choosing Multipipe as your design and system supplier. Call us on 01245 227630. 

There are many useful videos on our YouTube channel relating to UFH system installations.

Click here to see our range of UFH manifolds.