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In floor heating

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kd
kd Member Posts: 6
We recently built our house and put in in floor heating in the basement and attached garage to supplement our forced air heating. The water is heated by a boiler system and we live in a cold climate. There exists three different zones but when i turn up the thermostat in any of the zones i dont feel any warmth in the tile or garage floor (i cant feel anything ever in the carpeted areas and dont really expect to). How can i tell whether the in floor heating is really working like it should? I have felt warmth occasionally in the tiles in the bathroom but not all the time. It will be our first winter and i would like warmth higher than 13 degrees celcius in the garage. I have talked to others who say that the floor get toasty warm, even in the garage.

thanks for any advice you can give, kd

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  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458
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    how long are you waiting to feel heat? If concrete underneath it will take a long time to warm up. Radiant floors are set it and forget it. thay are not a quick response heating system like your forced air system.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,158
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    Feel the tubes

    where they go into the concrete floor at the basement and garage. are they warm? With two large cold slabs the boiler should run fairly continous until the slabs start to warm. Does the boiler run steady?

    If the pipes at the manifold are not warm on one side and slab temperature on the other you may not be circulating, or have an air lock.

    Temperature and flow to move heat. Temperature you can feel with your hands. Flow is harder to "see" unless you have the small window type flow gauges on the manifold.

    Depending on boiler size, flow rates, tube spacing, etc expect 4 to 8 hours to feel a warm slab from 65- 70F slab temperature start up.

    hot rod

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kd
    kd Member Posts: 6
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    Feeling the tubes and waiting hours

    I felt the tube to the garage, it gets warm, but the tube from the garage is cold... however, it cools off and the garage is still not heated to the set temp (15 degrees celsius) (this i have tested overnight). the 2 sets of tubes in the basement have not got warm and I turned up the heat an hour ago...i will wait overnight (8hrs) to see any improvement.. if working shouldnt the concrete feel warm? thanks for your help! kd
  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
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    big question

    what is your boiler doing? running all the time, running off-on-off-on... or running for a time then off for a time?

    whats the boiler temperature gage reading?

  • kd
    kd Member Posts: 6
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    on/off

    it is running on and off...right now the display says standby and 132 degrees (and dropping)...kd
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,158
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    2 sets of tubes in the basement??

    what is the square footage of the basement that is to be heated by 2 loops? I wonder if you don't have either excessively long loops or very wide tube spacing.

    Often a basement would have tube every 12 inches on center, or less. 800 square feet of basement would require 2- 400 foot loops for example. Did you see the tube installed? Any pics?

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kd
    kd Member Posts: 6
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    1400 sqare feet approx. garage floor is 700 sq ft

    i did not measure the loops myself, it looked like alot at the time. (i could ask the builder, i may have pics). i have been looking at/feeling the pipes off the boiler and they are warm to a point and then further away they cool down until they get to the point where they enter the floor and they are no longer warm at all.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,158
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    If you can't find something wrong

    something's not right :)

    Seriously though... the tubes entering the slab should be running 90F or more. This may be tough to troubleshoot via the WWW without seeing how things are piped and controlled.

    It could be as simple as an air lock, a pump not running, valve closed off, etc.

    Ideally the installer would have a heat load calc and design to build the system to. It would spell out number of loops, spacing, supply temperature and other important details.

    If the system was installed to match the design, it has to work. It may be best to get the installer back to check and explain a few things.

    hot rod
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kd
    kd Member Posts: 6
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    thx

    i have had pumps replaced already (boiler is 7 months old), i will have to call...thanks for taking the time to try and help...kd
  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
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    agree with hot rod

    I too am thinking there is air in the lines.

    the pumps should be extremely quiet, I learned this by getting all the air out of the system...before hand you could hear them whine a bit.
  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
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    i have a question ...

    is the boiler located in this garage that you are referring to?, if so, is it of recent construction ,with plenty of insulation ,vapor barrier and dedicated make up air(adequate ventilation for combustion) ?

    Are there "Temperature gages" on the piping run out to these manifolds or at the manifolds?

    if you have the misfortune to have overly long or tubing sizes that are undersized, wrong circulator for distributing the BTU's or heat controls that are not responsive, some wood chips or blockage, shredded impeller, an air lock, a "Lost Valve" , insulation is a biggie... believe it or not as is its absence..if the boiler was running 24/7 i would suspect a leak "Early" (ahead of the system)distribution headers on the supply side, because it turns off and on though the cause is likely the control is giving the boiler the wrong messages or the control is giving the zones the wrong messages.

    which then leads to another conjecture...what are you doing when you say, Turn the Heat UP?

    Is there a possibility that what you are seeing is actually a boiler Amtrol indirect and it is "flashing Stand-by" it is difficult to determine each individual aspect of nomenclature at times...

    what is the name on the boiler? how about what colour is this boiler you are having these problems with?

    is it Blue by any chance...?
  • kd
    kd Member Posts: 6
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    i will get it checked out

    the floors are still cold with the thermostat cranked up yesterday... unless there is a way i can check /rectify an air lock problem?)
This discussion has been closed.