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DIY Alert! Can You Install Underfloor Heating Yourself?

Thinking of installing underfloor heating in your home? Wondering if you can execute this project as a DIYer? We’ve got some insights for you!

Underfloor heating can be a fantastic addition that can provide a cosy and comfortable environment to any home during chilly months. But can it be installed by a DIYer?

In short, the answer is YES! However, only the most competent DIYers can install underfloor heating. You can follow these steps to execute an efficient underfloor heating installation.

How to DIY install an Underfloor Heating?

Step 1: Get A CAD Layout

Get a CAD (Computer Aided Design) layout for your pipes and manifolds. (Free with all UFH packs bought from us @ www.superflowufh.co.uk.)

Step 2: Install A Vapour Barrier

Make sure that you install a polythene vapour barrier on your insulated floor before starting. Also, install your perimeter edge foam on all walls and upstands to allow the floor to expand and contract. You can follow this link to our preparation guide: www.superflowscreeds.co.uk/preparation-guide

Step 3: Connect the Manifold and Clip the Pipes

Connect one end of the pipe to the manifold port shown on your layout drawing. Use a Eurocone connector for each connection. The Eurocone connector consists of an insert, an olive and a nut for tightening. Simply clip your pipes onto your vapour barrier at the specified spacings/centres. (Usually 100, 150 or 200mm, depending on heat source etc.)

Make sure your clips are no more than 800mm apart and at least 3 clips on every bend/turn. This will keep the pipes down tight and prevent the pipes from floating if a liquid screed is used.

Step 4: Fill the Manifold with Water

Once all of the pipe loops are clipped down and connected to the manifold, it is time to fill the manifold. Connect one end of a hose pipe to a water tap and the other end to the underside of the top (Flow) fill/drain valve. (Generally found at the top right of the manifold).

Connect one end of a drain pipe to the underside of the lower (Return) drain valve and the other end to the outside, if possible or into a large bucket. Then, make sure all manifold connections are tight before you begin to fill the system with water.

Step 5: Perform System Checks

Close down all of the return caps on the lower bar by turning each one clockwise. Then, remove the cover sleeves from the flow meters on the top bar and make sure that each flow meter is closed. Close isolation valves next to the pump. Now turn on the tap and check for any leaks at the manifold. Fix any leaks immediately if you find them.

Now open the flow meter on the left side of the manifold, followed by opening the return cap on the left side of the lower bar. Water will now flow through loop 1. Watch where the water exits the drain hose. Once it runs clear with no signs of air, you can close off the return cap to loop 1. Repeat this procedure, working from left to right until all loops are filled.

Step 6: Create Pressure in the Manifold

Once you have closed the last loop, you will then close the lower drain valve. This will push your pressure gauge up. You are looking for between 2 and 3 bar of pressure and then close off the top fill/drain valve. The reading on your manifold pressure gauge will drop slightly as everything settles, which is normal. Check pipes and manifolds for any signs of leaks.

Step 7: Install Screed on the Top

Now is the time to cover your underfloor heating with a sturdy top layer of screed. Make sure you maintain a proper thickness of the layer to ensure optimum output of your heating system. Install your screed whilst the manifold is still under water pressure.

Step 8: Seek Professional Help

Get a qualified Heating Engineer to connect your manifold to your heating system and carry out the commissioning of your system. He will turn your UFH on at 5 degrees Celsius, greater than the room temperature and then increase the temperature by 5 degrees Celcius per day until a maximum flow temperature of 40 degrees Celcius is reached.

Remember! Room temperature must not exceed 20 degrees Celcius whilst commissioning.

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