Heated floor from heated towel rail


For res­i­dents of apart­ment build­ings, espe­cial­ly old build­ings, from year to year, with the onset of the cold peri­od, the same prob­lem aris­es. We are talk­ing about the qual­i­ty of heat­ing res­i­den­tial premis­es. Cen­tral­ized heat sup­ply, despite all its archaism, remains today the main option for heat­ing the hous­ing stock in almost all set­tle­ments and cities of our coun­try.

For ref­er­ence: Accord­ing to the State Sta­tis­tics Com­mit­tee, today up to 75% of the hous­ing stock in our cities is heat­ed by a cen­tral­ized heat­ing sys­tem.

Hot bat­ter­ies in the house are not yet a sign that it will be warm and com­fort­able inside the apart­ment. Autonomous heat­ing, under­floor heat­ing in the apart­ment, heat­ing meth­ods that most of our cit­i­zens can only dream of. Apart­ment build­ings, espe­cial­ly “Khrushchev” and pan­el high-rise build­ings, due to their design fea­tures, are char­ac­ter­ized by huge heat loss­es. Nor­mal­ly warm­ing up a res­i­den­tial build­ing with con­ven­tion­al radi­a­tors in severe frosts is a prob­lem­at­ic task.

For this rea­son and for a num­ber of oth­ers, res­i­dents are forced to look for ways to help solve the prob­lem. One of the effec­tive, rel­a­tive­ly inex­pen­sive and most prac­ti­cal options for addi­tion­al heat­ing is a heat­ed floor from a heat­ed tow­el rail.

Connecting a heated floor to a heated towel rail


The idea of ​​using cen­tral­ized heat­ing as the main source of heat for the oper­a­tion of oth­er heat­ing sys­tems in the apart­ment is not new. Using mas­sive­ly elec­tric house­hold heaters to cre­ate a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture in an apart­ment is a cost­ly exer­cise. Insuf­fi­cient ther­mal effi­cien­cy of res­i­den­tial premis­es caus­es high costs for addi­tion­al heat­ing. Under­floor heat­ing in this regard is the most effec­tive way of heat­ing. For pri­vate hous­es, this heat­ing scheme is real and fea­si­ble, but for city apart­ments, the legal­i­ty of this engi­neer­ing and tech­no­log­i­cal solu­tion comes first.

The main rea­son for the ban is that insert­ing addi­tion­al heaters into the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem can adverse­ly affect the qual­i­ty of heat­ing in neigh­bor­ing apart­ments.

For ref­er­ence: in a cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem, the work­ing pres­sure dif­fers sig­nif­i­cant­ly from the opti­mal para­me­ters that the pipes of the under­floor heat­ing cir­cuit have. Do not for­get about the tem­per­a­ture of the coolant. For a warm floor, the opti­mum heat­ing tem­per­a­ture is 35–450C, while in the radi­a­tors of the cen­tral heat­ing sys­tem the coolant has a tem­per­a­ture of 65–750FROM.

The incom­pat­i­bil­i­ty of oper­at­ing para­me­ters calls into ques­tion the com­bi­na­tion of a cen­tral­ized heat sup­ply sys­tem with a heat­ing pipe laid in the floor. If we omit the legal­i­ty of this engi­neer­ing solu­tion in this sit­u­a­tion, heat­ing engi­neers speak neg­a­tive­ly about the idea of ​​​​using a heat­ing plant for under­floor heat­ing. The poor qual­i­ty of the coolant and the high prob­a­bil­i­ty of water ham­mer makes such a tech­ni­cal solu­tion a prob­lem area in the apart­ment. It’s a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent mat­ter when it comes to heat­ing a lim­it­ed area in your apart­ment.

For exam­ple: a bath­room, toi­let and oth­er rooms are in dire need of addi­tion­al heat­ing. Install a heat­ed floor in the bath­room, which will be con­nect­ed to a heat­ed tow­el rail, a task that you can han­dle on your own. Cal­cu­la­tions and expens­es in this case do not play a key role. A small area and small amounts of work allow this heat­ing method to be used in a city apart­ment with­out harm­ing neigh­bors.

Principles of operation of the heating system

Such a con­nec­tion option does not rep­re­sent tech­ni­cal com­plex­i­ty. The heat­ed tow­el rail is a heat­ing device installed in almost every city apart­ment. From a con­struc­tive point of view, this is an exter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion ele­ment through which the hot coolant or hot water of the DHW sys­tem cir­cu­lates. Such ele­ments are often placed as a com­pen­sat­ing loop of the heat­ing sys­tem, play­ing the role of an addi­tion­al source of heat in rooms with high humid­i­ty. The name of the ele­ment speaks for itself, hence the ser­pen­tine shape, thanks to which the heat­ed cir­cuit can be effec­tive­ly used.

For aes­thet­ics, tow­el warm­ers are usu­al­ly made of stain­less steel or plat­ed with nick­el. The very design and method of con­nect­ing the heat­ed tow­el rail to cen­tral­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tion make it pos­si­ble to con­nect a water floor pipe to it with­out much dif­fi­cul­ty. As a rule, pipes of small diam­e­ter are used for under­floor heat­ing. For a bath­room, the area of ​​u200bu200bwhich rarely exceeds 4–5 m in a city apart­ment2it will take only 15–20 meters of pipe.


There are two types of heat­ed tow­el rails:

  • a coil that is con­nect­ed to a cen­tral­ized heat­ing sys­tem;
  • coil, which is con­nect­ed to a cen­tral­ized hot water sup­ply.

In the first case, with the onset of the heat­ing sea­son, water fills the heat­ed tow­el rail and, accord­ing­ly, enters the under­floor heat­ing cir­cuit, heat­ing the floor sur­face.

The first option works only dur­ing the heat­ing sea­son. The rest of the time your warm floor will be inac­tive. A coil con­nect­ed to the DHW sys­tem looks prefer­able. Such a floor in the bath­room will always work, pro­vid­ing a good micro­cli­mate and a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture.

What does the wiring diagram look like?

The option of con­nect­ing a heat­ed tow­el rail in an apart­ment also deter­mines the method of installing a warm water floor.

On a note: in some hous­es, the coil installed in the bath­room is fed by the coolant going in the oppo­site direc­tion. This option is the most suit­able in terms of man­u­fac­tura­bil­i­ty.

The accept­able tem­per­a­ture of the coolant allows the floor heat­ing to work with max­i­mum effi­cien­cy. How­ev­er, there is one thing! At the end of the heat­ing sea­son, your coil will be cold and no use will come from a warm floor. This wiring dia­gram is not ide­al.

Under­floor heat­ing works bet­ter when con­nect­ed to a heat­ed tow­el rail con­nect­ed to the hot water sup­ply of the bath­room. Here you need to select a pipe for the water cir­cuit of the cor­rect diam­e­ter, accu­rate­ly cal­cu­late the length of the pipeline, the heat­ed area and choose the cor­rect con­nec­tion method. It is bet­ter to take met­al-plas­tic pipes for a warm floor, with a diam­e­ter of 16 mm.

The instal­la­tion process itself is quite sim­ple and straight­for­ward. All work con­sists in con­nect­ing (insert) to the main pipe (ris­er) of the water floor cir­cuit. The new pipe will go to the floor, and return back to the coil. Be sure to install a start­ing valve at the tie-in point, with which you can adjust the flow rate, turn on and off your addi­tion­al heat­ing. This option is the sim­plest and cheap­est, but pro­vid­ed that the pres­sure in the pipes is with­in nor­mal lim­its.


Under­floor heat­ing, as usu­al, is not much dif­fer­ent from tra­di­tion­al prac­tice. The water cir­cuit pipe is laid into the sub­strate with a cer­tain step. The bend­ing radius of the pipe should be min­i­mal to ensure the nor­mal flow of the coolant through­out the sys­tem. If you can­not do with one cir­cuit in the bath­room, you will have to use a man­i­fold. With this device, you can not only con­nect a larg­er num­ber of water cir­cuits, but also accu­rate­ly reg­u­late the water sup­ply and the heat­ing tem­per­a­ture of the heat­ing floor. You can install a cir­cu­la­tion pump for reli­a­bil­i­ty, how­ev­er, the prof­itabil­i­ty of your minia­ture heat­ing sys­tem will be min­i­mal.

Conclusion. What problems can you face

Using cen­tral­ized heat­ing and a hot water sys­tem for installing under­floor heat­ing is a rare phe­nom­e­non and is rather an excep­tion to the rule. The effi­cien­cy of your design direct­ly depends on how cen­tral­ized com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tems work. The pres­sure drop in the sys­tem, the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of the qual­i­ty of the coolant affects the per­me­abil­i­ty of the water cir­cuit.

You should also be aware of pos­si­ble emer­gen­cies. As a result of a rup­ture of the heat­ing cir­cuit pipe due to water ham­mer, the result­ing leak will have to be elim­i­nat­ed imme­di­ate­ly. To do this, you will need to remove not only the tiles, but also dis­man­tle the screed sec­tion. It is high­ly like­ly that if the integri­ty of the water cir­cuit is vio­lat­ed, you will flood your neigh­bors from below.

It should be remem­bered! A hot tow­el warmer will be a prob­lem for you. The absence of a heat­ing reg­u­la­tor in this case will become an obsta­cle for you to set a com­fort­able tem­per­a­ture in the bath­room. An over­heat­ed floor will dry out a small bath­room. Inter­rup­tions with hot water in apart­ment build­ings are a fair­ly fre­quent phe­nom­e­non, so there is no rea­son to rely on the con­stant nor­mal oper­a­tion of a warm floor.

A col­lec­tor and a tem­per­a­ture con­trol sen­sor will help to par­tial­ly solve the prob­lems, but then your heat­ing sys­tem will go beyond the planned bud­get.


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