Potential underfloor heating problems and how to solve them

Like any heating system, there may be times when the underfloor heating (UFH) doesn’t seem to be working as it should. Nu-Heat’s Technical Team helps you to find the root of the problem, whether electrical or down to a failed part, to get the system up and running again.

Let’s take a look at a few of the potential problems you may come across with UFH and how to go about solving them.

UFH system

Underfloor heating single zone not heating up

If a single zone is not heating up as expected, it could be caused by a number of small problems that are all fairly simple to resolve:

  • A sticky pin valve underneath an actuator
    There is a small pin underneath each actuator. You need to remove the actuator from the affected zone to check that the pin valve is free. If it’s stuck down it can be freed using a silicone spray. You can also use a pair of long nose pliers to try and free the pin.
  • Actuator failed
    If an actuator has failed, this is most likely due to an electrical issue that could relate to a thermostat or wiring board. It’s best to consult a qualified electrician to check the circuits.
    A faulty actuator can also cause the UFH to be permanently switched on.
  • Faulty thermostat
    You can easily reset a thermostat by following the user guide. If the system uses wireless, battery-powered thermostats then it’s also a good idea to check the batteries. If neither of these options works, it could potentially be an electrical fault so a qualified electrician should be called.
    A faulty thermostat can also cause the UFH to be permanently switched on.

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Nu-Heat showcases acoustic UFH solution, AcoustiPanel®14 at Ecobuild

AP14

AP14 partners

Nu-Heat’s new acoustic underfloor heating (UFH) solution, produced in partnership with Knauf and Thermal Economics, will be showcased at EcoBuild this year. AcoustiPanel®14 comprises a pre-routed gypsum board over a high performance IsoRubber-UFH-NH base, into which Nu-Heat’s 14mm Fastflo® tube is neatly installed.

When installed as part of an acoustic floor cassette, AcoustiPanel®14 with 5mm IsoRubber-UFH-NH has been proven to reduce airborne and impact sound transmission through suspended timber floors, assisting in exceeding Part E compliance standards. The system is suitable for new-build and renovation apartments where an efficient and discreet underfloor heating solution is required as part of an acoustically robust system.

The combination of tongue and groove panels and self-levelling skim offers high thermal conductivity, allowing quick transfer of heat into the room as well as an extremely stable and level floor.

As a low profile, acoustic solution with outstanding performance AcoustiPanel®14 provides a sustainable, high quality, fit-and-finished floor section. Installation of the routed panel is simple and similar to that of a typical tongue and groove deck, and the thin skim coat dries overnight with no impact on the site programme.

This tailor-made acoustic UFH system offers:

  • Just 31mm height build-up
  • Less thermal mass – between 36.2-44.9kg/m2 (depending on panel configuration) – compared with 50mm liquid screed at 77.4kg/ m2 and 65mm sand and cement at 120.4kg/ m2
  • Simple installation directly over a level screed section or structural working deck
  • No mechanical fixings required, meaning quick installation and fewer materials
  • A panel with interlocking edges – results in a solid, flat surface
  • Single manifold, up to 100m2 – for a quick installation, using less material and plant space
  • Heating and floor deck in a single solution
  • Recycled gypsum & IsoRubber-UFH-NH content
  • Point load tested to BS EN 6399-1 – high performance figures resulting in minimal floor deflection ideal for high-end stone and ceramic floor finishes
  • Full design indemnity

» For specification data and more information visit www.nu-heat.co.uk/ap14 or call 01404 549770

» Meet our UFH & renewables experts at Ecobuild, 8-10 March, on stand E3276

Modern floor finishes for use with underfloor heating

This article was originally posted on Homebuilding & Renovating

Due to their tough and durable finish, the use of synthetic resin and polished screed floor finishes in domestic properties is becoming far more common. As screed, by nature, is very conductive it is well suited for use with underfloor heating (UFH) and by pairing it with this heating system, it also takes away the ‘cold touch’ associated with choosing a hard floor covering.

Modern floor finishes

Synthetic resin floors and UFH

Synthetic resin floor finishes complement modern, contemporary interior design. They provide a hardwearing, clean, seamless finish and are available in numerous colours to suit individual project requirements.

Synthetic resin finishes are usually manufactured from polyurethane, epoxy resin or methacrylate, often in combination. They typically have a thickness of 0.15mm to 6mm and the type and thickness of the resin used relates to the location in which they are to be laid, the durability required and the volume of foot traffic that they will encounter. They also offer a good product life of around 20 years.

When using a resin finish with UFH, it will typically be poured over the screed or self-levelling compound, or it may be applied with a roller to achieve the desired finish.

New build UFH and resin floor finishes

Resin finishes can be applied to any new-build, cement-based screed after using the manufacturer’s recommended primer to seal the floor. The screed must be structurally sound and fully cured (a minimum of 28 days), flat, smooth, clean and dry, with an adequate damp proof membrane installed beneath the slab. The advice of the resin supplier should be sought when installing over anhydrite screed.

Retrofit UFH and resin floor finishes

Nu-Heat’s low profile, high heat output, LoPro®Max underfloor heating system has been developed specifically for renovations and retrofit scenarios and is the perfect partner for resin floor finishes. This is because the system uses a layer of specialist self-levelling compound that provides a level, cementitious, mirror finish ready for direct application of the resin manufacturer’s recommended primer followed by the resin. The addition of a glass-fibre rendering mesh in the LoPro®QuickSet compound will reduce the potential for any small stress fractures.

Modern floor finishes with UFH

Polished screed and UFH

A polished screed floor finish is an ideal scenario for UFH, offering a good heat transfer that is harder to achieve with traditional floor coverings such as carpet or engineered wood which add an insulative layer.

A screed floor acts as a thermal store, holding and slowly releasing the heat from the UFH which also makes it extremely efficient as it calls for heat from the boiler less than a radiator system.

The floor temperature with a polished screed can easily exceed the standard temperatures of 18-21°C required for living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms but this can be limited to the desired room temperate by your chosen thermostat or controls.

New build UFH and polished screed

In a standard new build property, the UFH will be set within the screed subfloor. In this scenario, there is no additional preparation required before laying any polished screed layer other than following those recommended by the manufacturer.

Retrofit UFH and polished screed

In a renovation project, a low profile UFH system will be laid over the existing floor such as LoPro®Max, which uses a specialist self-levelling compound to leave a perfect floor finish. In this scenario, Nu-Heat would recommend the addition of a layer of glass fibre render mesh which can be purchase from a standard builders’ merchant. The mesh will reduce the potential for any stress fractures in the self-levelling compound.

» Download our synthetic resin floors data sheet (PDF)

» Download our microtop and polished screed floor finishes data sheet (PDF)

» Find out about other popular floor coverings and their compatibility with underfloor heating on our website or call us on 01404 549770