anyone got experience with underfloor heating?

Discussion in 'OT (OFF Topic) Forums' started by jonnyboy, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. jonnyboy

    jonnyboy MB Enthusiast

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    Hi all.
    Not been active for a wee while - am slap-bang in the middle of managing a sizeable extension (oooer missus) and doing long long days :(
    We have to make an asap decision on the ground floor part as to whether to do underfloor or rads in the new bit as we are approaching floor screed time, and all the first fix plumbing (heating aside) is done. The downstairs is four rooms, two large and two small. i figured two "zones" would work for the layout - one doing the big family room of about 33m2, and the other doing the three rooms at the side, around 40m2. Flooring is still up for decision-making but we are flexible on that.
    The heating system is currently all rads on drop pipes with a brand new megaflow-tanked Worcester Bosch boiler, a 40 CDI high output. The build has all the latest in installation/building regs etc.

    My plumbing chappie hasnt got a huge amount of experience as he is more commercial-heating based although it certainly seems very straightforward to install, it is the design, efficiency, and controllability that seems the key.

    Has anyone here either got real-world experience of hot water underfloor heating, or in the trade and could offer unbiased advice please? It is a sizeable investment if it turns out a lemon...

    Thanks guys
     
  2. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    What are you actually asking?

    Whether underfloor heating is 'better' than traditional rads?
     
  3. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Enthusiast

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    In bathrooms it is wonderful as you have such a large surface area of heat it envelopes you as you dry off, in other areas it can work equally as well but it does always depend on your level of thermal insulation.

    What you must realise is that it wiill , at some point break down and leak and that involves expense and disruption to fix.
     
  4. OP
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    jonnyboy

    jonnyboy MB Enthusiast

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    basically yes, what is it like to run etc?
     
  5. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    We have it in out kitchen. Love it. The temp is constant at all times of day and night. The floor area is 50m2.

    We use less oil to heat a greater area than we did 10 years ago.

    Set it up and forget it.

    Buy a couple of thermometers to prove to yourself and the family that all is as it should be. At different time of the day and night someone will tell me its cold...I point to the thermometer and tell them its 20oC. Then later someone will say its too warm...I point to the thermometer and tell them its still 20oC.

    Each room however should be a zone on its own, with it's own 'stat.

    My brothers and my parents also have it. The largest area is in one of my brothers' houses and covers the whole ground floor...about 2500 sq feet. We all love it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  6. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    I've been on a few builds where it's been used and also helped to lay the same system at my brother-in-laws new house and I would strongly recommend it.

    It's cheaper to run, it's more efficient and it keeps the room at the designated temp with a lot more ease.

    I'll definitely be putting it into my next house...
     
  7. OP
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    jonnyboy

    jonnyboy MB Enthusiast

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    guys this is all good, thanks very much. My worry (and that of the plumber, who is excellent taking in account the sector he works in) is that of a hybrid system ie partly time/stat controlled rads in the original part of the house and permanently-run UFH in the new part all off the same new boiler. The boiler install was done by the now-long-gone builder's subbie plumber who knew that UFH was a definite possibility.

    I hear what you are saying about the differing zones for different rooms, they are a family/dining room (my orig zone 1) , then a study, a utility, and a games/teen sitting room ( :( )
     
  8. DSM10000

    DSM10000 MB Enthusiast

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    Secondary boiler? a small cost overall and possibly recouped via efficiency savings? or change primary boiler to one more suited?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  9. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    A well executed S plan should provide what you need with no difficulties whatsoever. My house, and most people's for that matter, are hybrid, using the S plan.
     
  10. OP
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    jonnyboy

    jonnyboy MB Enthusiast

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    could you expand on the "s plan" please?
     
  11. tintinmt

    tintinmt Active Member

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    I have UFH in my extension and would recommend it. My only addition to the above posts is that you should find the supplying manufacturer helpful in specifying a system for your property. In fact, I think it is a necessity.
     
  12. balge

    balge Active Member

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    Surprised to see so many positive comments!
    I had underfloor heating once, and absolutely hated it...in cold weather the floor was too hot to walk on and the top of my head was always cold ..and my head is still insulated...also had sinusitis almost continuously, might have been due to it being electric though, too drying? I always find gas ch much more comfortable.

    I think you need to have it installed by someone who can spec it properly, the return feed temperature is crucial, especially with condensing boilers

    cheers!
     
  13. WOODYTHEWISE

    WOODYTHEWISE MB Enthusiast

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    Hi, you need to think about floor coverings once heating is fitted,ie what underlay to use, also not good for solid wood flooring.
     
  14. developer

    developer MB Enthusiast

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    Here's my advice - it needs an expert to advise/calculate, not a general plumber and a kit he bought from AB Plumbing, unless he has previous experience.
     
  15. StevenN

    StevenN Active Member

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    Hi jonny my recommendation would be to talk to the manufacturers of the system you are wishing to install. All the main players will be able to tell you how they would advise you run the system. All systems work on the same principles but everyone's controls are different. Some areas will need thermostats and some won't. Couple this to the controller and you have the potential for complication.
    I have contacts with Polypipe, Speedfit & Uponor.
    If they are doing your designs then they will be able to help.

    I am out of the office till Tuesday if you would like me to pass details on

    Regards

    Steve
     
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  16. renault12ts

    renault12ts MB Club Veteran

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    Do a Google search...it's the arrangement of electric valves etc.
     
  17. OP
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    jonnyboy

    jonnyboy MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks all.

    Steve, you have pm
     
  18. Piff

    Piff MB Enthusiast

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    Try Wundafloor. I haven't used them yet but have had a very competitive quote from them.
     
  19. OP
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    jonnyboy

    jonnyboy MB Enthusiast

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    ThanksPiff. Have messaged them, and Steve from here is working hard on the job too.
     
  20. Harley Man

    Harley Man Active Member

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    I have fitted several water underfloor heating systems and in every case the users have loved it. I like the upnor system which I then modify to allow each room to have its own thermostat, its important to set it up so things like bathrooms, wetrooms can be heated without having the rest of the house heating on. Bosch Worchester is a very good boiler and will be able to run the underfloor heating.

    If you want any advice feel free to IM me and I will send you my number, I also know a very good local plumber who works with me when I am doing building, who has the nessesary skills and is reliable.

    Harley Man
     

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