Pic 1. Overview of the control board. This will eventually be hidden inside the stairs. Board is 4' x 8' x 3/4" ply. There are 3 zones; *The new house we presently live in, with conventional radiators run at 75C(167F), LH circuit. *First (ground UK) floor u/f system. Dedicated circulator. Runs water at 43C (110F) *2nd floor (1st floor UK) u/f system. Dedicated circulator. Runs water at 35C (63F), (set by factory at 40C ) Each circuit is; a demand signal starts a circulator & opens a motorised valve, relay in valve starts boiler. All covers off to enable me to trace any faults. There were none.
I've tried to keep the wiring logical and neat, so every electrical device feeds to its own small box, then on to the main boxes and panels, where the control circuits are wired. This has avoided the 'cramming it all in and hammer the lid on' approach, and made it a cinch to wire up, even had enough room for labels! I adopted Mark (E57)'s method of laying out house-wiring to position the choc-blocks in best logical positions in the panels, thankyou Mark! Some of the wiring is temporary, to give power and lights. 2 x 10 amp breakers on the board, with a 45A 2p Isolator. The LH breaker will eventually feed the forced whole-house ventilation.
Pic 2 Close up of main panels, which are plastic in Europe. I used 16mm pvc rigid for conduit. Note the hot wired signal wire. The space in the top panel,RH, will be occupied by 2 wireless receivers from remote programmable thermostats, one for each floor. This pic shows the first fire up of the system for second floor. 65C boiler temp set., 40C input temp. 35C return temp, 21C ambient after 2 hours. These temperatures will be adjusted on full commissioning, but this result shows I'm drawing about 50W/m2, according to my manual, satisfactory!
Pic 3 Valves and wiring. Trying desperately to keep it neat and tidy! The blue capped valves are the mixers, which take boiler water, mix it with floor-return water and maintain a constant floor input temp.. The boiler must run at high temperature for long life, and to feed the radiators.
Pic 4 Boiler room. 36kw diesel boiler, stainless flue. Discrete circulator. A re-circulator valve rapidly brings the boiler to temperature. Red globe is the pressure accumulator, keeping system at 1 bar (14.7psi) , the safety blows at 3 bar. Green bottle is my Mark I homemade pump for getting system up to pressure. Fill is 33% ethyl-glycol plus inhibitor, 120 litres ( 26 imp. gallon) total system, made from a sprayer I nicked out of her greenhouse! The boiler has a fuel pump, so I have fitted an oil shut-off valve operated by a fusible link. Other links operate the air-in shutter and an electrical isolator. All this is intended to give some delay in the event of a fire. The boiler room will be air-sealed; I have intumescent sealed the door, ( 2" oak) , but still need to line the room out in sheetrock. Tank is bonded, and can be seen extreme right.
kiwi: Not brick, but solid pink granite. Built 1669, according to a quoin stone uncovered while clearing the chicken-s** out of the boiler-room, ie 100 years before Captain Cook crashed into New Zealand and discovered the Maoris got there first, and just 49 years after the Pilgrim Fathers left Plymouth in 1620. The wall you are looking at by the control board is about 750mm (30") thick granite, and the 'mortar' is clay. I have to tell you the people who owned this place in 1790 were probably garrotted in the 'Reign of Terror'. Village Church records show 15 persons executed by such means..... ps. Good book to read is Vive la Revolution, by Mark Steel. isbn 0-7432-0805-6 Simon & Schuster, Sydney Australia. A brilliantly funny yet poignant history of the French Revolution. Lots of US references too.
Paul: Yep, forgot to add 32 tsk! tsk! Did you know Fahrenheit thought -32 was absolute zero? Cripes, we could have been adding 459! No excuse, but kW, BThU, F, C, lbs, miles, kilometres, kilograms, metres, feet, inches, French, and now the bloody Euro, sometimes it gets a bit much for an old chap! I have a British switched socket for UK tools with moulded plugs still under g'tee, GOOD aren't they!? Temporary of course, the Insurance Co. don't like them, so once we move in it will be back to the French crap. It's not as neat as I wanted, try as I might I just could NOT get the solid wire to bend exactly right. It's not as easy as it looks is it? Trials still underway on overall performance, both floors. I'll keep you posted, but it is looking good. Oh, and thank you all for the positive comments. Very much appreciated.
Wood work but can't!
Re: Alan's Underfloor Heating Installation#143680 08/20/0501:31 AM08/20/0501:31 AM
mxslick. Yes, the polythene sheet is the outer vapor barrier. Barriers, (there's another between the sheetrock and the insulation), are essential when insulating dense structures, like stone/brick, especially in a damp climate. A dew-point will appear somewhere between the inner surface and outside, and the amount of air and water vapour that passes through sheetrock is quite amazing. On the molecular level, it's full of bloody great holes! This dew-water soaks into the insulation, degrades its performance and moves the dew-point toward the sheetrock, and so on. Eventual result- damp patches, fungi, black spots, smells, bigger heating bills etc. I once saw a layer of ghastly pink jelly ( fungus) nearly 2 inches thick on the inside of a non-barriered sheetrock panel- it had collapsed under the weight! Trumpy, Bent it all myself using a hand pipe-bender. You can't bend straight French 22mm, as it's fully hard and snaps!, so I imported some Brit 22mm for the bends, using 22mm Froggypipe for the straights- see the different color? 22mm is the only French pipe compatible with UK plumbing fittings- they use every diameter from 6mm up, in 2mm steps ( 6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20-22 etc), handy, and as each pipe fits in the next, no need to buy reducers. French plumbers do not solder, they use copper-silver brazing with oxy-propane. They don't buy elbows or tees either, but make these up on site from pipe, using coils of very soft copper tube where manipulations are required. My fittings are plumbers' lead/tin soldered, or compression with olives. I use an American flux, as it's just unbeatable for top notch joints. For drinking water I use a tin/copper/Al eutectic solder, safer, but more difficult to sweat.