Like any heating system, there may be times when underfloor heating (UFH) does not seem to be working as it should.
Nu-Heat can help you to find the root of the problem – whether the cause is electrical or down to a failed thermostat or manifold part – to get the system up and running again.
First, let’s look at a few of the potential problems you may come across with water UFH, and how to go about solving them.
Warm Water Underfloor Heating Problems
Single Zone is Not Heating Up
If a single zone is not heating up as expected, or won’t turn off at all, it could be caused by a number of underfloor heating issues. Most are fairly simple to resolve by yourself:
Underfloor Heating Actuator Problems:
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 the actuator is 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 has failed completely
If an actuator has failed, this is most likely due to an electrical issue that could relate to the thermostat or wiring board. It’s best to consult a qualified electrician to check the circuits. A faulty actuator can also cause underfloor heating that won’t turn off and stays on constantly.
Underfloor Heating Thermostat Problems:
Faulty thermostat or low battery
You can easily reset a thermostat by following the user guide provided. If your system uses wireless, battery-powered thermostats then it’s also a good idea to check the batteries. If neither of these works, it could potentially be an electrical fault, so a qualified electrician should be called. A faulty thermostat can also cause underfloor heating to be permanently switched on.
Thermostat not set up correctly (E1 & E2 errors)
Most thermostat errors will be displayed on the face of the stat. Simply reset the thermostat following the user guide to clear the error. We’ve produced some setup videos to help you with this process for the neoStat and PbS.
How to remove E1 & E2 error codes from the Nu-Heat neoStat
How to remove error codes from Nu-Heat’s PbS thermostat
Problems with Other Underfloor Heating Parts
Air bubble or airlock in UFH loop
There could be some air trapped in the UFH pipework. In order to remove the air you will need to:
- Isolate all of the UFH zones except for the zone that is not heating up
- Remove the actuator
- Connect a hosepipe to the flow valve on the manifold and connect to a cold mains tap
- Connect a hose to the drain off point on the manifold and take out to waste
- Turn the cold tap on, open both the taps, drain off point and the flow point and flush the water through that zone
Once the air bubbles have been removed you can then turn off the valves and the cold tap and disconnect the hose. A qualified plumber is best to carry out this task.
Wiring Issue: faulty connection or dry joint
This could be to do with an actuator, thermostat or wiring board. As an electrical issue it is best to contact a qualified electrician to resolve the problem.
Flow gauges not opened up correctly on manifold
You will need to adjust the flow rates on the manifold. To do this, refer to the UFH manual for the system as manifolds can vary.
Multiple Zones or Entire System is Not Heating Up
You may also find that multiple zones or an entire UFH system is not heating up as it should. There are a few reasons why this may be happening:
Circulation pump failure
The circulation pump may have failed. This is an electrical issue, so it is best to consult a qualified electrician.
Pump relay on wiring boards
This is another electrical issue that ought to be checked by a qualified electrician.
Isolation valves closed on the manifold
The isolation valve lever should be in line with the pipework on the manifold, in the open position. If an isolation valve is closed, it will be at 90 degrees on the pipework.
Blending valve pin stuck
To resolve this issue you should remove the white thermostatic valve head and check that the pin valve is not stuck. 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 before replacing the thermostatic head.
Boiler not firing (no signal)
In this situation you will need to consult a qualified electrician who will check the wiring board connections and relays.
No power to the wiring boards
Check that the main isolating switch supply is switched on. If it is off, call a qualified electrician.
Pump is Running All the Time or Won’t Turn Off
If you come across this issue, it could be because:
The pump relay is stuck on the wiring board
Again, this is an electrical issue and so a qualified electrician should be called.
Faulty thermostat or low battery
As mentioned earlier, you can easily reset a thermostat by following the user guide. It’s also a good idea to check batteries if the system uses a wireless, battery-powered thermostat.
Faulty or failed actuator
If an actuator has failed, this is most likely due to an electrical issue that could relate to a thermostat or wiring board. You should consult a qualified electrician.
Rise in Underfloor Heating System Pressure (Pressure Testing)
There are a few potential underfloor heating issues, which can be identified by pressure testing, that could be causing the system to rise in pressure:
The filling loop has been left on or is letting by
Check that the valves at either end of the flexible hose are closed, and disconnect the filling loop.
There is a restriction in the UFH pipework
If pressure stays high during pressure testing, even when the system is off, then pipework restriction is unlikely to be the cause. However, if the pressure varies by changing the pump speed (or switching the pump off) then there is likely to be a restriction – either a blockage or air locks. It’s important to note that if the pump is plumbed in close to the value, there will be an initial pressure rise or drop on start up.
Expansion vessel failed (diaphragm damaged)
To test if this is the case, depress the needle in the Schrader valve on the underside of the expansion vessel. If water escapes, the diaphragm within the vessel will have ruptured and the whole vessel will need replacing.
Alternatively, the diaphragm may be empty of air, meaning there is no room for the water to expand as it heats, resulting in increasing pressure. Relieve some of the water pressure via the pressure relief valve, then connect a foot pump to the vessel’s Schrader valve, pumping it up to 2 bar. Refill the water side up to normal working pressure.
Pressure Drop on System (Boiler Locks Out on Low Pressure)
Rather than a rise in pressure, you may find that the system is losing pressure. There are a few ways that you can identify what is causing this:
- Check over the system for any leaks on pipework, manifolds and cylinder. This includes a quick look over the pressure relief valve, automatic air vent and expansion vessel.
- Re-pressurise the system (refer to manual for more information on pressure testing underfloor heating) and isolate all manifolds. Check which side on the manifold drops in pressure. This will help you to identify where the leak is.
- Check the temperature/pressure relief vale is not letting by to waste.
- Check that the expansion vessel on boiler side is not letting by.
- Check that the boiler blow off valve is not letting by.
All of the above should be carried out by a qualified plumber.
Electric Underfloor Heating Problems
Electric underfloor heating not working as it should? Many of the above solutions apply to both water and electric systems – such as a faulty thermostat or electrical wiring problems.
Here are some troubleshooting tips specific to electric UFH.
Electric underfloor heating won’t turn off OR Electric underfloor heating isn’t warming up
This could be down to a thermostat or wiring problem – check our thermostat tips or our user manual section. You should also check whether the floor probe/sensor hasn’t failed, and is connected to the thermostat correctly.
If the thermostat and temperature probe seems fine, you may need an electrician to come and check the system.
Floor isn’t getting up to the desired temperature
If your electric underfloor heating isn’t warm enough, you may need to adjust your thermostat settings or check the system’s power output. This could also be down to the insulation in your home – check this before installation.
I’ve damaged or cut an electrical heating cable
You can buy an underfloor heating cable repair kit, but this work should be carried out by a qualified electrician. Call us on 01404 540650 and our experts will be able to advise what to do.
Electric heating is more expensive than I expected
Electric underfloor heating is more costly than water underfloor heating systems – which is why we recommend it for smaller rooms and not whole-house installation.
If you’re using more electricity than estimated, try different thermostat or programme settings. Insulation, lifestyle, and air flow around the area can also all have an effect.
I’ve installed my electric underfloor heating wrong
Although electric underfloor heating systems are simple to install, things can go wrong during installation. If you have any questions or concerns, just give us a ring!
To discuss the best underfloor heating and renewable solutions for your project.