As one of the best underfloor heating installation and repair companies in Brighton and Sussex, we are used to seeing underfloor heating problems. Most of the time, they are as a result of poor decision making in the purchase of underfloor heating products due to the offer of discounts without consideration for the overall system integrity.
Such systems are often fixed with minimal or non-existent guidance and professional support. This means that when problems with the UHF system arise, the individual is in a quandary about how to remedy the situation. In worst case scenarios, there won’t be anyone to call at the original supplier’s office and there is no way to reach to the manufacturer.
When faced with such a situation, we take a holistic approach to remedying the situation. In many cases, we are able to pinpoint problem areas and restore things to optimum condition. In other cases, however, careless installations or buying cheap will end up setting you back by thousands of pounds in damage control.
To avoid problems with your underfloor heating and save money, you need to embrace experience and quality. Here at ACE Plumbing and Heating, we offer a total approach to UFH installations designed to prevent damage. Here are some of the things we do to avoid problems with the UFH.
Proper Pressure Testing
After we have laid the pipe and connected to the manifold, we pressure-test the system using water. We do this before screed and before floor finishes are applied. If you are getting your underfloor heating system from a supplier that doesn’t understand pressure testing, your UFH system is already compromised before it has even been fully deployed.
After the pressure testing, we get rid of water in the pipes completely to reduce the chances of freezing. Some suppliers will do air testing when it comes to pressure-test due to the speedier nature and simplicity but in our experience, it is not as robust as water pressure testing.
After the pipes have been laid and tested, we get the screed installed quickly. This is because it’s easy for the piping to get damaged when construction traffic comes in contact with the pipes. So think about barrows running over the pipes, people walking on the pipes, blocks and timber falling on the pipes and more.
Protection against Freezing
If the site of the construction is exposed to freezing temperature or if the construction is in progress in the winter, we take special care to rid the pipework of water. This is because freeze damage is difficult to detect and can make the pipe structure a lot weaker. When this is ignored, the integrity of the pipe will be affected in the future.
Proper Use of Edge Insulation
In the process of the screed application, we use edge insulation and make sure that the expansion joints are fitted in large or long areas of heated screed. This is non-negotiable. We have seen plumbers make the mistake of ignoring this important step. If your supplier ignores expansion joints fitting and edge insulation, you must be ready for structural damage repair in future!
Ensure Caution Around the Underfloor Pipe Work
It is important to note that after the pipes have been screeded or covered by a wood deck, most workers coming into the property for various reasons such as fitting kitchen units and putting up walls will not be able to know the extent of the piping structure.
If there are no measures put in place to forestall an occurrence, you may just be a wrong screw or nail puncture away from structural damage to the underfloor heating system. Such damages take years to manifest but when they do, you may be set back 4-digit sums to remedy the situation. This is why we mark off the areas with underfloor heating pipe work even after screed.
So What is the Step to Take When the Underfloor Heating System Develops a Fault?
The first thing to do is to work out the problem. There are many different problems that can occur with underfloor heating systems and different problems have different solutions for them.
If a single zone in the underfloor heating is not heating up, it could be as a result of the following:
- A sticky pin valve below the actuator (Solved by freeing the pin valve with a fitting plier).
- A failed actuator (This can be solved by getting an electrician to check the circuits).
- A faulty thermostat (It can be resolved by resetting the thermostat in line with the user guide or calling in an electrician if this doesn’t solve the problem)
If multiple zones of underfloor heating or the entire system is not heating up, it could be as a result of the following:
- Circulation pump failure (Best solved by working with a qualified electrician).
- Closed isolation valve in manifold (Solved by resetting to the right position).
- Stuck blending valve pin (Solved by freeing the pin after removal of the thermostatic valve).
- Boiler not working (Solved by working with a qualified electrician to check wiring and connections and relays).
- Dead wiring boards (Solved by working with a qualified electrician to switch on the main isolating switch).
If the problem is a rise in pressure of the system, there are a few possible reasons for this:
- Filling loop left on (This can be solved by checking for closed valves and disconnecting the filling loop).
- Restriction in pipework (This can be solved by checking for blockages).
- Failure in the expansion vessel (It can be solved by getting rid of the water in the valve under the expansion vessel).
As one of the leading names in the underfloor heating industry in Brighton and Sussex and nearby areas, you can count on us to have all the answers when your underfloor heating goes wrong. Talk to us today!