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Can hydronics affect your router's signal?

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Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
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    I have issues due to wood lath and plaster inside and 2"+ thick wood floors, as well as problems outside due to aluminum siding.

    So, it's not surprising.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    I doubt very much that water in pipes is going to make much difference -- unless they are great big pipes and the router is right up next to them. Oikewise, I can't see hot water radiant floors as a problem by themselves -- but if they have wire mesh in them, or if they are electric rather than hydronic, I can see a problem.

    As @ChrisJ notes, real plaster really does a number on signal strength, and if it has expanded metal lathe rather than wood lathe you really have trouble. Instead of a usable range of perhaps 100 feet, you may be down to 10 feet. Ask me how I know...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    mattmia2kcoppJakeCK
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,565
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    Thanks, guys. 
    Retired and loving it.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    rf energy radiates like light, things that absorb energy are only a problem if they block the path like metal coated low e glass or metal lath or layers of concrete and similar masonry like plaster and lightweight slabs over radiant or maybe the plates in wood radiant floors depending on how dense they are spaced.
    CLamb
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 532
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    ...I can't see hot water radiant floors as a problem by themselves -- but if they have wire mesh in them, or if they are electric rather than hydronic, I can see a problem.

    As @ChrisJ notes, real plaster really does a number on signal strength, and if it has expanded metal lathe rather than wood lathe you really have trouble. Instead of a usable range of perhaps 100 feet, you may be down to 10 feet. Ask me how I know...

    I suspect the sheet metal of Warmboard might also be a pretty good attenuator between floors, but have no data or experience to confirm that.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    ...I can't see hot water radiant floors as a problem by themselves -- but if they have wire mesh in them, or if they are electric rather than hydronic, I can see a problem.

    As @ChrisJ notes, real plaster really does a number on signal strength, and if it has expanded metal lathe rather than wood lathe you really have trouble. Instead of a usable range of perhaps 100 feet, you may be down to 10 feet. Ask me how I know...

    I suspect the sheet metal of Warmboard might also be a pretty good attenuator between floors, but have no data or experience to confirm that.
    Hadn't thought of that, @Sal Santamaura , but I'd think you were right. Might even be better (worse?) than metal lather!
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,605
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    Electric radiant would be a problem. I seriously doubt hydronic would cause much interference.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
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    Zman said:
    Electric radiant would be a problem. I seriously doubt hydronic would cause much interference.
    Fog and rain both effect radio.

    Even smoke causes problems.  


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,472
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    ...I can't see hot water radiant floors as a problem by themselves -- but if they have wire mesh in them, or if they are electric rather than hydronic, I can see a problem. As @ChrisJ notes, real plaster really does a number on signal strength, and if it has expanded metal lathe rather than wood lathe you really have trouble. Instead of a usable range of perhaps 100 feet, you may be down to 10 feet. Ask me how I know...
    I suspect the sheet metal of Warmboard might also be a pretty good attenuator between floors, but have no data or experience to confirm that.
    Hadn't thought of that, @Sal Santamaura , but I'd think you were right. Might even be better (worse?) than metal lather!
    Warmboard us an aluminum sheet. Will it block radio signals or certain TV signals?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,166
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    I always wondered why my tropical fish never reply to my emails. I'll have to get them an ethernet connection.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    reggiGGrossCLamb
  • Sal Santamaura
    Sal Santamaura Member Posts: 532
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    ...I can't see hot water radiant floors as a problem by themselves -- but if they have wire mesh in them, or if they are electric rather than hydronic, I can see a problem.

    As @ChrisJ notes, real plaster really does a number on signal strength, and if it has expanded metal lathe rather than wood lathe you really have trouble. Instead of a usable range of perhaps 100 feet, you may be down to 10 feet. Ask me how I know...

    I suspect the sheet metal of Warmboard might also be a pretty good attenuator between floors, but have no data or experience to confirm that.
    Hadn't thought of that, @Sal Santamaura , but I'd think you were right. Might even be better (worse?) than metal lather!
    How ironic that, while there's an active thread right now where some are complaining about young people not using ubiquitous technology to search for answers, I didn't bother doing that with respect to this question. :) The manufacturer of Warmboard answered definitively on this site years ago:
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/155915/warmboard-question
    :D
  • Tim_D
    Tim_D Member Posts: 129
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    There was some research done on this about 25 years ago. It was sparked by the advent of wireless thermostats and their poor performance. It was believed that the water in the tubing had a dampening effect and was disrupting the sign wave patterns thereby weakening the signal. I think that Stan Muma(Penn State) was involved.
    mattmia2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
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    hot_rod said:
    ...I can't see hot water radiant floors as a problem by themselves -- but if they have wire mesh in them, or if they are electric rather than hydronic, I can see a problem. As @ChrisJ notes, real plaster really does a number on signal strength, and if it has expanded metal lathe rather than wood lathe you really have trouble. Instead of a usable range of perhaps 100 feet, you may be down to 10 feet. Ask me how I know...
    I suspect the sheet metal of Warmboard might also be a pretty good attenuator between floors, but have no data or experience to confirm that.
    Hadn't thought of that, @Sal Santamaura , but I'd think you were right. Might even be better (worse?) than metal lather!
    Warmboard us an aluminum sheet. Will it block radio signals or certain TV signals?
    Besides attenuation I'm betting it doesn't help with multipath either.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,956
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    My internet/phone provider installed my router on the top plate of my basement wall against the rim joist. Not only is the joist bay above it filled with 1/2" PE-RT tubing and aluminum transfer plates, my whole snowmelt system is directly next to it. Two 3/4" pex lines from my main boiler system plus a 30 plate heat exchanger, air sep, expansion tank, circ, manifolds, everything is within 1 foot of the router. My office is on the complete opposite end of the house and upstairs, so about 70 feet away and with 2 aluminum clad subfloors between, and I have zero interference under any circumstances.

    With that said, I put all new fancy LED lights in my shop when I built it and the radio reception in there is nonexistent whenever the lights are turned on. Figure that one out!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,944
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    Poor quality drivers for the LEDs that aren't properly filtered.

    The transfer plates are only going to be a problem if the space between the plates is less than half a wavelength to a wavelength of the frequency of interest. The place where the plate is will block the signal but it will propagate between the plates as long as the space is large enough.
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,415
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    I also want to point out that how much your wifi signal is affected differs depending on which band you are using. 2.4ghz vs 5ghz. 5ghz is much more susceptible to attenuation of the signal by solid objects regardless what it is. It's just the nature of the beast.

    The solution to weak wifi is hardwired access points. Stay away from repeaters. Ok in a pinch but really are subpar. All bandwidth on a given channel is shared with all other devices on that channel, really to a lesser degree with the adjacent overlapping channels in the 2.4ghz band as well.

    In my case I have an ap dead center of every floor of my house including the basement and my garage. This layout works really well with my simple square colonial and effectively eliminates any issues. All of them go back to the main switch with cat6, and are powered via poe with the exception of my detached garage AP. That one uses single mode fiber. 
    CLamb
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
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    JakeCK said:

    I also want to point out that how much your wifi signal is affected differs depending on which band you are using. 2.4ghz vs 5ghz. 5ghz is much more susceptible to attenuation of the signal by solid objects regardless what it is. It's just the nature of the beast.

    The solution to weak wifi is hardwired access points. Stay away from repeaters. Ok in a pinch but really are subpar. All bandwidth on a given channel is shared with all other devices on that channel, really to a lesser degree with the adjacent overlapping channels in the 2.4ghz band as well.

    In my case I have an ap dead center of every floor of my house including the basement and my garage. This layout works really well with my simple square colonial and effectively eliminates any issues. All of them go back to the main switch with cat6, and are powered via poe with the exception of my detached garage AP. That one uses single mode fiber. 


    The AP I'm using can be used part of a mesh network.
    How do those tend to perform? It seems totally unnecessary in my house but I'm guessing larger buildings it becomes required.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,635
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    I use a mesh system -- Netgear, if anyone wants to know. It took quite some time to get it so that it has good coverage. For good historic reasons the modem and base node are not in the best possible position in the building, but sometimes one has to make do. There are four satellite nodes.

    I did have repeaters at one point, but they couldn't be hard wired -- hard wiring just wasn't an option in several areas -- and the covereage was spotty at best, as well as the repeaters losing connection on a regular basis.

    I'm happy with the mesh.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,915
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    I use a mesh system -- Netgear, if anyone wants to know. It took quite some time to get it so that it has good coverage. For good historic reasons the modem and base node are not in the best possible position in the building, but sometimes one has to make do. There are four satellite nodes.

    I did have repeaters at one point, but they couldn't be hard wired -- hard wiring just wasn't an option in several areas -- and the covereage was spotty at best, as well as the repeaters losing connection on a regular basis.

    I'm happy with the mesh.

    My AP is a Netgear WAX610 mounted almost center of the house both vertically and horizontally.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,166
    edited June 2023
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    Wow. all you Techies are throwing out acronyms, Gigahertz and model numbers left and right. Here are some of my favorite Model numbers Part numbers and Serial numbers


    For the part that always gets screwed up. Model number: 4 Q 2

    serial number for Cheerios cereal: O U 8 1 2

    And my favorite is for those underpants for the incontinent: I 2 C U P. From the I. P. Daily company

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Larry WeingartenPC7060
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,415
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    I use all ubiquiti hardware for my network. While mesh equipment and repeaters will help, network performance is still being degraded. The physics just won't let you get around that. Of course if all you are doing is browsing the web and reading email it'll normally be fine. But I prefer the performance of each AP being on its own channel, or a channel far enough away from the channel of adjacent ap's so as not to interfere and for them to be hardwired back to the switch. One can argue that in a residential home it is unnecessary but until you experience the performance to be had with this kind of care in setup and dozens of wifi devices kissing theoretical performance. It is truly a marvelous thing to behold. Of course I'm the kind of nerd who's network backbone is 10gbps too so your milage my vary...

    I've also found that fishing cat6 in older buildings is normally pretty easy. Lots of long chases, balloon framing, and other such gaps to use. If you terminate the ends your self you normally only have to drill small unobtrusive holes and with poe you end up with a very clean install that disappears into the background. Which in my mind helps maintain that old world charm of our historic homes. 

    Position of the AP is also critical depending on antenna design. For example the AP's I use have an internal antenna and because of the donut shape of the wireless signal coming off of it the optimal position is on the ceiling. In my upstairs hallway this just wasn't possible with out ripping up the attic floor, boxed in framing in that area so it is instead mounted on the wall by the ceiling. This causes a few areas upstairs where the signal isn't the greatest but still more than acceptable.