Water Underfloor Heating – The Do’s & Don’ts

Water Underfloor Heating systems (often called wet systems), are very versatile. From a single kitchen to a whole hotel, if you are looking for great efficiency, they’re the best choice. They can be tuned to give out exactly the heat each room needs, and no more, creating comfortable warmth and cutting energy bills. But what should you be aware of during your design and installation phase? Our Technical Manager, Jordan Davies, provides some insightful tips, to help navigate through the process...

Do…

...Always try to provide as much accurate information as possible to your project manager at the start of the project.

A scaled set of plans or room dimensions, the type of heat source available and the age of the property, can all save time and avoid errors later in the process. At Snug Underfloor Heating, we can help advise on the best system for your needs, material quantities as well as providing detailed plans with proposed pipe and low-profile boards layouts, for ease of installation, however the accuracy of this is based on the information provided initially by the customer.

...Check that the floor covering is compatible with underfloor heating.

Wood and laminate, carpet, vinyl and tile can all be used with underfloor heating systems. However, it’s always advisable to double check with the flooring manufacturer that it is suitable for underfloor heating and inform your project manager of your desired floor finish at the start of your project.

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...Choose a smart place for your manifold.

Where possible your manifold should be fitted centrally, to avoid unnecessarily long pipe runs. Long pipe runs mean more pipe is required for the job and can result in feeder pipes causing interference with thermostats. Normally the best place for a water underfloor heating manifold would be fitted under the stairs or in a cupboard, unless a utility room or garage was central enough.

...Take care of your underfloor heating materials.

Once your order has arrived, take care to bring it in, out of the elements. In colder conditions, keeping the pipe warm can make it easier to install. In the summer, ensure that your pipe is kept out of the sun, UV rays can damage your pipe resulting in leaks.

...Take the time to check over your quote.

Once you receive your quote, take the time to read through and check room sizes are correct, and nothing has been missed. Your quote will contain a full list of everything that is required, including manifold, pump and mixer, fittings, 2-port zone valve, pipe leading bends, pipe, thermostats, wiring centre (for multiple thermostats – if required), as well as the recommended fixing method.

...Utilize your pipe layout design.

The design provided by the Snug Underfloor Heating team, has been especially devised with your property in mind and will provide you with a helpful guide as to the layout of your water underfloor heating system, making installation quick and efficient. We aim to minimise wastage, so going it alone could result in a shortage in materials.

Snug Underfloor Heating Water Underfloor Heating Pipe layouts

...Label your zones.

If you are installing a multi-zone system, ensure that you label each pipe with its corresponding room zone, as you lay it. Failure to do so, can result in confusion when installing your wiring centre at the end of the installation.

...Ensure the floor is clear of debris prior to laying a low-profile system.

The benefit of a low-profile system is that it doesn’t require any levelling compound or screed and you can tile directly on top of the system. However, if a floor is not cleared, swept / vacuumed prior to laying the low-profile boards, debris can cause the boards to rock, which in turn can lead to the floor finish cracking.

...Leave the system in full working condition.

The end user may not be familiar with how to operate the system at first, so ensure that you / the tradesmen leave the system up and running. Programming any thermostats will also leave the customer with peace of mind. If you need any guidance on Snug thermostats or controllers, our technical support team are always happy to help, on 01772 761 333.

Don’t….

...Take short cuts when commissioning the system.

When you are commissioning your water underfloor heating system, it’s important that you fill each pipe individually, one at a time, to push all the air out of your system. If you fill all pipes at once, to save time, you’re at risk of retaining air in the pipes, leading to an inefficient system and cold spots.

...Forget to carry out the pressure tests.

This process is often forgotten, especially when tradesmen are busy and are keen to move onto their next job, but it’s a vital process. Not only does it provide the information needed to complete the warranty for the water underfloor heating system, but it will allow you to check for leaks and ensure the pipes reach maximum expansion. The pressure test should be carried out in 2 parts, firstly at a 3 BARS pressure, inline with a standard water tap pressure. It should be tested for a minimum of one hour before checking for any leaks and then increased to 6 BARS, as a stress test for at least 1 hour, again checking for any puddles or leaks. Once complete, the system should be brought back down to a normal working pressure. These pressure tests should be completed prior to laying the screed, so that any issues or leaks can be easily resolved and there is confidence that the system is in full working order prior to becoming less accessible, once the screed is laid.

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...Turn on the heating before the screed has cured.

It’s important to ensure that the screed has completely cured before you turn on your underfloor heating system. Failure to wait for this, can result in a cracked floor.

At Snug we really know our underfloor heating. We’re experienced technical experts who love helping you get the most from our systems – finding just the right one for your project, creating a customised design and supporting you through installation and beyond. If you have any questions or queries, our technical support team are always happy to help on 01772 761333 or sales@firsttrace.co.uk

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