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Old 09.12.2020, 08:48
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Underfloor heating - strange problem

Hi all,

We have underfloor heating in our 2nd floor apartment and this year it seems to not be working as well as it was in the previous winter.

The system has apparently just been flushed and a new pump was put in downstairs. We were away during this time and when we came back, I noticed all of the valves were on 0 flow. I tried closing the "main" valve and opening again, and now there is some flow to the valves controlling each room.

Last winter, I could open up all the valves in our apartment manifold and the flow would go right to the maximum (>2.4L/min). We would feel that the floor is warm and the apartment could easily reach 24C or more. This time, the flow reaches a maximum of around 1.5L/min, all fully open, with or without the thermostats connected. Our apartment is around 21/22 C.

We had the heating guy come round this morning, he said there is no problem, the apartment should be 21/22, and everything is normal.

Maybe it's the new pump, but it seems kind of weird to me that we're not getting the flow of previous years and we can't feel that the floor, or manifold / tubes, is warm.

Has anybody had any similar experience?

Thanks

Last edited by Enohzee; 09.12.2020 at 09:30.
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Old 09.12.2020, 10:48
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

You actually shouldn't really feel that the floor is warm, that's what I was told over the phone when I complained that our system wasn't working properly. However, when I explained that is actually felt cold and we only had about 17 degrees in the building, they came to have a look and did something but I don't remember what. He is right in saying that the optimal temperature is 21/22, so if you have that, there is no problem. It's better for the environment, your wooden floors (if you have them) and your skin if you add a few more clothes rather than turning up the heat.
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Old 09.12.2020, 10:50
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

Hello,

Generally, above 20°C during the day is considered OK. Old installations reduced the power during the night, so temp could drop to 15-16°C. But if you have underfloor heating it implies a recent install where the heating should be working at a constant rate to keep 20+ °C.

I assume you already have a thermometer, measure the temp in every room and compare to this guidance provided by ASLOCA https://www.asloca.ch/geneve/2017/10...e-chauffage-2/
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Old 09.12.2020, 10:54
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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Our apartment is around 21/22 C.
Or in other words: Everything is perfectly fine and working within reasonable limits.
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Old 09.12.2020, 11:08
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

It is all fine, and acceptable temperature.

I was just concerned because I needed to fiddle with it initially to turn it on, and that it's different to previous years (won't go to full flow)... I guess they're running the pump at lower flow rate this year.
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Old 09.12.2020, 11:43
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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It is all fine, and acceptable temperature.

I was just concerned because I needed to fiddle with it initially to turn it on, and that it's different to previous years (won't go to full flow)... I guess they're running the pump at lower flow rate this year.
Maybe that was the point of the new system, to not have to have it running at full capacity? My heat comes from the Hagenholz rubbish incineration plant, we have a big device down in the cellar that turns whatever they send our way into cosy warmth in our apartments. And I'll admit to having the thermostat in the bathrooms set to high enough for the floor to actually feel warm: it is just that little bit of luxury when you get out of the shower. In most other rooms, the thermostat is on 2 out of 5, as the heat from the bathrooms escapes into the rest of the flat and ensures it is very comfortable.
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Old 09.12.2020, 11:49
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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You actually shouldn't really feel that the floor is warm, that's what I was told over the phone when I complained that our system wasn't working properly.
Well yes, the landlord/agency always say it isn't a problem / it's your mistake the first time you call them

In the five-year-old flat we rented the heat in the floors was slightly noticeable, even with the heating set at 21C.

In our house it is a lot more noticeable because the heating is old and not so even (modern systems use thinner and less widely spaced tubes) and the house isn't as well insulated so the floor has to be hotter to provide the same air temperature. The warmer spots are obvious underfoot, and because the cats lie on them
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Old 09.12.2020, 12:51
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

Run ours at 23° and higher. With warm cat-patches when it get down around 1° outside.

Does your apartment have a small cupboard with the heating pipes and valves? It could be you have air in the system and these valves allow you your the bleed it - just like radiators.

A modern system should have self bleeding valves...
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Old 09.12.2020, 13:08
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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Run ours at 23° and higher. With warm cat-patches when it get down around 1° outside.

Does your apartment have a small cupboard with the heating pipes and valves? It could be you have air in the system and these valves allow you your the bleed it - just like radiators.

A modern system should have self bleeding valves...
We used to be able to do that, even on low, now I have them all on max and it gets to 21/22C.

We have a cupboard with the manifold, valves, etc., but I'm not sure how to bleed them. I'll see if I can figure it out. The heating guy didn't seem to see any problem or mention bleeding though...
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Old 09.12.2020, 15:00
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

We have 4 zone in our flat. One we cannot control the heat, floor temperature is 28 (ceramic). One we can control, floor heat is 26(ceramic). Final two controllable are 24 (wood tile). Ambient flat temperature is at about 21 with all the controls on full.


Doesn't seem like it's well set up to me, but within comfort, and I don't have good experiences dealing with the landlord etc.


It was worst a couple years, at the start of winter, but each time they said they had to purge air out of the system and then it improved.
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Old 09.12.2020, 16:01
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

Just because it's within someone's limits doesn't mean it's how it should be. We had a new boiler fitted in our apartment block with radiators last year and it would come on only in the day and only ever get a bit warm. We were told it was in order. Enough people must have complained because this year the radiators are super hot and will warm a cold room in a matter of minutes. In fact I think it's too hot. So, if it's not how you want it complain until it is.
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Old 17.12.2020, 13:31
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

Today I just received a bill from the company who came to check. It's <100CHF, it's for the visit where he came and just said "everything is fine".

It was a bit unexpected as the company is the one that services the building, and the administrator of the building told me to call them after she came to see that it wasn't working (before I fixed it by playing with the valve...). I thought it would just be included in the building service. I also checked with the landlord before I called the company, to check he was OK with it. We never discussed any payment though.

I asked the administrator this morning if I should contact my landlord to pay it, she said yes. I forwarded the info over to my landlord.

In the meantime, I'm just wondering if there is any "official" protocol for who is responsible for bills like these? My contract doesn't state anything for service or maintenance specifically.
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Old 17.12.2020, 14:52
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

There's usually a clause in the contract that says about "small repairs" but it's reasonable to expect these to be things you could do by yourself.
I don't see that there's a problem until the landlord doesn't pay it. It's usually/always best to let the landlord deal with everything. That though still doesn't always mean you won't get an invoice sent to you.
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Old 02.02.2021, 10:35
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

General question about floor heating system. We found a nice place to live which was built in 1985. It has original bathroom, kitchen and floor tiles. The place has never been renovated inside. The documentation doesn’t mention anything except some regularly scheduled renovations to facade with the last one done in 2019. What about the underfloor heating system? I read that a good system, if serviced properly over the lifetime, it can last up to 35 years or slightly beyond.

It seems like it is exactly 35 years old heating system up until now. Are we into expensive replacement or can it possibly last for the next 20-30 years?
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Old 02.02.2021, 10:44
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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General question about floor heating system. We found a nice place to live which was built in 1985. It has original bathroom, kitchen and floor tiles. The place has never been renovated inside. The documentation doesn’t mention anything except some regularly scheduled renovations to facade with the last one done in 2019. What about the underfloor heating system? I read that a good system, if serviced properly over the lifetime, it can last up to 35 years or slightly beyond.

It seems like it is exactly 35 years old heating system up until now. Are we into expensive replacement or can it possibly last for the next 20-30 years?
Is it electric or hot water based. The electric under floor heating in my parents house was still working after 50 years just expensive with electricity to run. Very little repairs only if it stopped working in a room, which happened bout once every 10-15 years.
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Old 02.02.2021, 10:48
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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Is it electric or hot water based. The electric under floor heating in my parents house was still working after 50 years just expensive with electricity to run. Very little repairs only if it stopped working in a room, which happened bout once every 10-15 years.
That’s a good question. I think those are oil heating systems but electric versus hot water no idea. Additional question to be asked .

What do you think about the apartment itself?

https://www.homegate.ch/buy/30008732...os!m2-sh!md-ow


I was informed by agent that:

“The heating is a central district heating system, so the heat distribution in the floors is via hot water.

The heating system was replaced in 2004. Lifespan is around 30 - 35 years.“

Last edited by jacek; 02.02.2021 at 12:06.
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Old 02.02.2021, 12:43
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

Polypropylene pipes at 60C are good for 50years of operations . When coupled with in-floor with limited pressure and temperature it would extend it's lifetime to 100s of years - not worth thinking much about it.

Should it been only 35years - many houses would have major repair works going on as we to rip off entire floor to put in new floor heating - never seen it happening

"... operating pressure 10 bar, service life of 50 years (class 4/10)"..

so at 5 bar it would be double of that service life .

Temperature is cut hard at 55C to avoid structural changes of PPR.

Usual temperature on floor heating is 30-45C.
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Old 02.02.2021, 12:56
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

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It seems like it is exactly 35 years old heating system up until now. Are we into expensive replacement or can it possibly last for the next 20-30 years?
Since it's "Eigentum" you would be expected to cover the cost of heating renewal based on m2 you own.

It may be local Gemainde may require to move to different heating source ( heat pump ) so worth checking that first as it may come out pricy in some cases ...where Air-water won't be allowed.

Replacement like for like - Oil heating may be cheaper however yearly costs be dependent on oil market prices and how cold is the winter .

just my 2c
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Old 02.02.2021, 23:41
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

…50 watts per m2 = Flow rate setting 0.7 l/pm
75 watts per m2 = Flow rate setting 1.0 l/pm
100 watts per m2 = Flow rate setting 1.5 l/pm...
…in southern UK the flow rate is set always in range 0.7-1.0 l/pm...
… in colder regions inclusive Switzerland normal settings are 1.5 l/pm...
…much colder areas as high in the mountains 140 watts per m2= 2.1 l/pm...
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Old 03.02.2021, 20:06
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Re: Underfloor heating - strange problem

I am not sure flow rate has much to W ... but what do I know.

it's not "speed of the flow" but "losses"of energy that you need to deliver and of course longer the heating circut you may want to have higher flow but its the flow temperature that matters and not it's speed
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