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Thread: What Central heating pipework and electric cables should I lay?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Default What Central heating pipework and electric cables should I lay?


    For economic reasons, I would like to have each room in my house zoned, and I am looking for the most cost effective way to do that.

    More details -

    I am renovating my 1000sq ft 3-bed semi-d in Ireland. The house is built from hollow block. It is currently gutted. I am adding ~100mm of insulated drylining. I will install a new a-rated condensing gas system boiler, an insulated hot water cylinder, new rads, and new central heating pipes.

    I may not live in the house long enough to warrant the time and expense of a full home automation project, although I am excited by the thought of automatically boosting the room heating once a user is detected in it. And lowering the heating when the house is empty. And heating more water when smelly/sweaty users are detected ;-)

    My current requirements are a lot simpler, I would like each room to be programmable for time and temperature. I would like the user in each room to be able to press a "boost" button in case they are in the room outside of the normal schedule.

    Downstairs is one large open plan space with 2 rads, and a hall with a rad. upstairs has 3 bedrooms and a bath room with a rad in each room.

    Existing quotes for central heating have been a standard 3 zone system (upstairs, downstairs, water cylinder). Downstairs stat in the living space. Upstairs stat on the landing. TRVs on the rads in the hall and upstairs rooms. This gives me some control, but not as much as I would like.

    I am now thinking that I might be better off considering two zones, water and a single run of radiators, and looking to use some form of programmable TRV's to zone each room.

    Another suggestion was pipe each radiator to a central manifold with electrical actuators and place stats in each room.

    What is the most cost effective way to have each room zoned?

    Given your experiences to date how would you suggest to layout the new central heating?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010


    If it's any help to you, we've installed our Housetech / Conrad supplied FHT-based system for around 70/room (add 40 for each additional radiator in a room). Of course this assumed all radiators were already fitted with thermostatic valves, which in our case they weren't, but luckily I was able to do that as a DIY job!

    We're about to pay out a final 80 quid for the wireless boiler controller. So the total cost for us will end up at:

    7 thermostatic values - 7 x 6 = 42
    7 FHT80-II thermostatic / valves - 7 x 70 = 490
    1 CUL computer control unit - 1 x 40
    1 boilder control unit - 1 x 80

    Total - 600 - 650


  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member Simon300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    I think it depends a lot on where your boiler is located and how easy the pipework is to run.

    I have Emmeti 7 zone UFH manifold and run 15mm copper to each zone (which typically covers 2 similar usage radiators/rooms). For me though I've moved my boiler room to almost the middle of the house so for most of the circuits it was almost as easy to get to the manifold as to join onto an existing ring (the exception being ground floor and first floor rooms where it would have been easier to have one circuit going up and down from the floor void rather than two).

    Things are changing quickly in this area though so you may be better having a single heating zone and using programmable TRV heads, such as the Pegler i-Temp. Even though they sound like they have some drawbacks at the moment, the technology is bound to improve over the next few years (as most households have only one heating circuit so there will be a strong demand) and the heads could be easily replaced later. A belt and braces approach might be to run a cable (e.g. Clipsal or T+E?) back from each rad to allow for central control of, say 24V, actuators later.

    Last edited by Simon300; 22nd November 2010 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Added rads comment to show it's not an UFH installation

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