The heating systems that our apartments and houses are equipped with are distinguished not only by their manufacturability and efficiency, but also by their reliability. The degree of reliability of heating systems depends on numerous factors, among which the practicality and functionality of the heating equipment included in the home heating kit is not the last. Water heated floor among the used heating systems is considered the most reliable. Thanks to the technology and design, such a heating scheme is very convenient to use. In terms of maintenance, a working water floor does not require special attention and special efforts.
Despite the high performance characteristics of the heating system, «warm floor» can fail. Often, during the heating season, we wonder why the floor in our house does not heat, the warm floor has broken, or the accident is caused by reasons of a different kind. You can understand the essence of the problem either on your own or by inviting specialists — heat engineers to examine your heating system.
If you have an idea of how your heating system works, you can try to solve the problem yourself. Your underfloor heating does not work — this means that at some point during installation an error was made or one of the elements of the system failed. Let’s find a way out of this situation together.
Introduction to underfloor heating
In order to know the probable reasons why your home heating is intermittent or not working at all, you need to know how the heating system works and how the main parts and structural elements function. If your water floor does not heat well, not meeting the specified parameters, the main reasons lie on the surface. It’s all about the technical shortcomings made during the laying of the water floor. Usually these are violations of the installation technology, incorrectly selected consumables and additional equipment.
The specifics of the installation of equipment lies in how correctly the water circuit is laid and the pipeline is correctly connected to the heating system. The lack of correct hydraulic calculations, incorrect setting of the mixing unit lead to the fact that the heating medium begins to flow into the pipeline intermittently, or its temperature is significantly lower than required.
Evaluating the entire structure, you can focus on the following structural elements of the heating system. Underfloor heating most often does not heat for the following reasons:
- the thermostat and temperature control sensor failed;
- the balancing valve is out of order;
- the circulation pump stopped working;
- the overhead thermostat-fuse broke;
- the drives of the inlet pipes of the collector are out of order;
- the integrity of the water circuit has been violated;
- bypass problem.
Each of these elements can fail, making your underfloor heating non-functional.
On a note: failure of the servo drive, temperature control sensors, there is a high probability of failure of the thermostat. The situation is similar in the balancing valve. A failed valve will not be able to provide a normal admixture of cooled water to the hot coolant. Accordingly, the temperature of the water in the water circuit will be insufficient for heating.
You can list the probable breakdowns of individual elements of the heating system for a long time. In each individual case, you will have to look for the immediate cause, due to which the warm floor does not turn on or works intermittently.
Consider separately, the most common types of damage to the warm floor.
The floor is not warm enough. Low coolant temperature
A typical and common problem that owners of city apartments and private houses have to face when complaining about the unsatisfactory performance of a warm floor is uneven heating. During normal operation, the water circuit must completely and evenly heat the concrete screed or floor covering, creating the necessary conditions for heating the home.
In this case, the problem is the uneven flow of the coolant along the water circuit. Due to the fact that pipelines can have different lengths, due to the same heat carrier supply intensity, the degree of heating of each pipe is different. Usually, before starting in the collector cabinet, the levels of the electric drives are set to the required position.
For reference: The actuators are connected to a distribution block, which in turn is connected to an outdoor thermostat. The signal coming to the electric actuators from the thermostat actuates the rods, thanks to which the intensity of the coolant flow in each pipe is adjusted.
Before starting the system, the optimal parameters calculated for each circuit are initially set. By measuring the temperature of the coolant in each water circuit, the actuators are set to the appropriate position. Consequently, the heating temperature of the coolant in the system changes, and the degree of heating of the water circuit also changes.
The way out in this situation is as follows. We are looking for a water circuit in which the coolant does not heat the water floor in accordance with the set temperature, then manually increase the flow of boiler water.
Water circuit damage
Pressure drops in the system can lead to rupture of the pipeline. Leakage in this case is the most unpleasant factor, which will have to be eliminated urgently. A slight depressurization of the water wire causes a decrease in the intensity of the coolant flow. Accordingly, the floor does not warm up evenly enough. The screed may soon collapse. There are many ways to determine the location of a leak. About the simplest options, using improvised means, there is a lot of information material. The fastest and easiest way in this case is to use a thermal imager. This device with high accuracy will determine the location of the damage to the water pipe.
On a note: your floor does not work, then there is not enough coolant in the water circuit. To begin to eliminate the leak, it is necessary to turn off the coolant supply through the collector. Through the return pipe, water is drained from the water circuit.
The technology for eliminating leakage depends on the pipes used.
For example: installation of a water circuit made of cross-linked polyethylene pipes is the most common and affordable option for laying a water floor. However, sometimes you will have to pay for the cheapness of consumables during operation. At the slightest mechanical damage, the pipe loses its integrity. You can solve the problem by installing a fitting. The installation location of the fitting must be marked on the layout plan or at the installation location of the manifold cabinet.
After mounting the fitting, the edges are crimped. If you turn on the coolant supply after repair work, you should wait two or three days to make sure that the connection is reliable. Only after this, the integrity of the screed and the type-setting floor structure is restored.
The option using PVC pipes looks preferable. Such consumables have the necessary strength. However, improper handling of construction tools during construction and repair work can easily cause damage to the water circuit. The liquidation of the accident is carried out according to a similar scenario. First, dismantling the old screed. Next, the damaged section is replaced with a whole pipe fragment. Work is carried out using a soldering iron and a repair sleeve.
A new pouring of the concrete screed is carried out only after checking the connection for tightness.
Failures in the operation of electrical equipment
The last important point to consider in case of problems with underfloor heating is the failure of electrical equipment. This includes all devices and units that have electrical power. The main element in this group is a circulation pump, a thermostat located on the equipment of the mixing unit. Devices can fail due to a lack of voltage in the electrical network.
To determine whether the pump is working or not, you can use the characteristic sound of operation that a running unit makes. To identify problems with the thermostat, you can do the following:
- with the correct operation of the device, the moment of rotation of the stem is clearly visible. In the event of a breakdown, this process does not occur;
- there is no need to repair the thermostat. It is better to buy a new device that will ensure reliable operation of the entire heating system in the future.
Having considered the main problematic points due to which the underfloor heating may not work, a number of common factors that affect the efficiency of the heating circuit should be noted.
A probable cause of weak heating of the water circuit may be insufficient power of the heater or a large number of heating radiators, which take large quantities of coolant from the system.
The system may turn on normally, but after a certain time it will stop heating. This often happens due to the presence of an air lock in the pipeline. If the situation does not improve when the air is removed, then there is a problem with the installation of waterproofing. In almost every single case, you yourself are able to identify the cause of the insufficiently efficient operation of the underfloor heating. Competent calculations and adherence to technology during installation will allow you to avoid similar situations in the future.
The clutter of the living space, the presence of carpets on the floor and a large amount of furniture significantly reduces the heat transfer of the warm floor. Connecting a water circuit in a centralized heating system through a battery can lead to a deterioration in the quality of space heating, both through radiators and with a warm floor.