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Thread: Wet underfloor heating - control

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member RichardC's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Default Wet underfloor heating - control

    Hello,

    Hope this is the right area to post this. Been on the email list for a long time and just lurked unregistered on the web forums.

    I am renovating our home at the moment and as part of this we have ripped out the old central heating.

    Recently visited a friend who has partly converted his house to wet UFH. Very impressive.

    We are first replacing two bathrooms, this will be the tester for the new system.

    Control wise, I want to get my hands dirty, plus as a controls engineer in industry, it is a good chance to have a busmans holiday. I have concerns with getting a system that uses a PC to link in, as most parts of the house have a very mild level of HA, but it is all designed with ripping out when I come to move. I want to leave this system (or part of the system) in, so I want something that isn't a total unknown.

    I have a Homevision that hasn't been used since my last house 4 years ago. It has 1-wire temp on board and tonnes of IO for the valves and heating. Quite simple to also interface to a web interface. Also fine to get information through to another HA system.

    Also been looking at Irdratek, had a long chat with Karam the other day which was very useful. Only one way of getting remote analogue temp sensors into the system with the 4 channel input unit, I want to measure the floor temperature, as well as the room temperature. So looking at using some PT100 resistance probes to bury in the floor.
    Or can I get away with measuring the return flow temperature to work out the floor temperature? Basically concerned about cost - that's an awful lot of modules out and about. It would have to have serious WAF to justify this plus we have the issues of starting with two bathrooms so can't have a "normal" module on the wall? Has anyone used a PLH001 : PIR/Light/Temp/Humidity Sensor in a bathroom?

    Would love to use the 1-wire sensors, but can only integrate via a PC and XAP, so back to the issue of relying on that!

    I guess that I can go down this route (non-1wire) and decommission the rest of the house leaving just the heating modules to run the heating. Plus with running it via reflex takes out the dependancy on a PC.

    Am I missing anything and what other systems are other UKHA'ers using for wet ufh? Sometimes after looking at spec sheets after spec sheets, you have a feeling that you can't see the wood for the trees!

    As to what actual wet system do you use.... I guess that it is another thread entirely, Have looked at Nu-Heat, Uponor and a few others.

    Thanks for your time

    Best Regards

    Rich

  2. #2

    Default

    Sounds like you've a plan for controls once you determine the best platform to work from, just make sure you've got the standard cabling in place for room stats/remote sensors wired back to the manifold locations and from the manifolds back to your boiler so that you can put conventional kit back when/if you move.

    In terms of choosing underfloor heating companies/contractors then there are a mind boggling number to choose from. There are many national brands, some of which you have already identified, and some local independents. In either case I would suggest you look for a company that provides a proper indemnified design service and warranty, while there is nothing difficult about designing underfloor heating it still needs a considered approach to take account of the actual building heat losses and the temperatures you want to achieve. Factor in that bathrooms are generally more difficult because you don't put the pipework under sanitaryware, baths or shower trays and you also have a much more limited floor area to work in. Do you know anyone who has installed underfloor locally and can give you recommendations? If you get chance then you might also want to visit the Home Building and renovating Show (19-22 March at Birmingham NEC) where there will be lots of UFH companies exhibiting and you can talk to them face to face. You will see that there is not much difference between companies when it comes to the pipe/manifolds however it is worth picking manifolds with flow gauges on each port as this helps balancing once installed.

    If you do want to visit the show and want free tickets then please drop me a PM or contact me at the Sensible Heat website or contact one of the companies you want to visit as they will have voucher codes that allow you to apply online for free e-tickets.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member RichardC's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Default

    Hi,

    Sorry that it's taken so long to reply.

    Thanks for your points. I will be putting in some cables for going back a step when I move.

    Thanks also for your offer for tickets for the show. I had ordered some from a link in the offers part of this forum. Will you be there on Friday? Will pop by to say Hi if so!

    The whole thing is very interesting design wise. Esp starting with the bathrooms, still temped to put UFH under the shower base - I hate getting into a warm shower with a cold base! Wimp I know!

    I notice that someone on the Irdratek part of the forum was looking at using return temperature as well. Will have to experiment with this.

    Cheers

    Rich

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