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Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

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  • Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

    My house heating system is a water radiant floor heating system with 6 zones. right now it is installed with six manual thermostats.

    i am considering to upgrade to a programble thermostat, which model is the best choice?
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  • #2

    Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

    I'll be interested in the responses, I have a four zone hot water radiant floor system. Thought about programmable thermostats but hesitate since that type of heating is much slower to react compared to forced air systems so I think the potential savings would be less.

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    • #3

      Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

      Ditto what Doug said. If I turn the thermostats down 5 deg while away on vacation it takes more than 12 hrs to get the slab warmed up and then in turn the living area.

      Don't want to hijack the thread but our strata is all poly-b piping in floor, coming up to 20 years old. Fingers crossed that leaks or corrosion of the electric boilers don't start occurring.

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      • #4

        Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

        Jim you're probably safe for a few years yet. lol

        I have a friend with a 30 year plus, poly B radiant system and about a dozen zones with minimal forced air off a heat exchanger. Half the zones are shut down because of leaks. The house is 2 stories and a finished basement. I was asked to have a look and I did with my plumber. He said he wouldn't touch it because he couldn't guarantee anything without a total redo. 75 to a 100 grand. Mind you that includes ripping out walls, floors and ceilings too. What a mess and even selling isn't a great option because you have to divulge the deficiency, so you take the cost of repair as a loss. I built his house and begged him not to do the radiant install. Fortunately my guys would not do the system so he hired another heating outfit. They are still in business but won't touch it either. Some of you folks with radiant systems and in particular poly B systems should consider selling before the system fails or put aside some funds for repair and a long cruise cause it's going to be a mess.
        "Do it Right!"

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        • #5

          Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

          Is there a problem with Poly B other than joints? If you have leaks in a poured slab is it a big deal?
          Rob

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          • #6

            Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

            It's harder to determine the problem in concrete because you can't see it. Ultimately it will show up in some fashion but it will take longer generally.

            Yes it leaks at the joints predominantly but Poly B will not, nor was it meant to, stand up to constant and high hot water temperatures. At least that's what I have been told and it seems to be apparent. In my friends house the pipe actually cracked and split in multiple locations. It may have even been a different batch of pipe. Obviously I can't confirm that.

            I guess we all make choices and right now in Edmonton some of my realtor buddies tell me they have trouble selling houses that have Poly B plumbing. When it was found that the connectors were the problem and not necessarily the pipe itself in a normal plumbing situation that was not part of a radiant heat system, it became more acceptable to risk having it in a house you might buy. All of which is hearsay on my part. The radiant heat issue and those associated leaks are not hearsay. They are first hand knowledge.
            "Do it Right!"

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            • #7

              Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

              Leaks in radiant floor heating is one of my concerns. Anyone know if it is covered by homeowners insurance? We had a plumbing leak covered with no questions asked a few years ago.

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              • #8

                Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                It's harder to determine the problem in concrete because you can't see it. Ultimately it will show up in some fashion but it will take longer generally.

                Yes it leaks at the joints predominantly but Poly B will not, nor was it meant to, stand up to constant and high hot water temperatures. At least that's what I have been told and it seems to be apparent. In my friends house the pipe actually cracked and split in multiple locations. It may have even been a different batch of pipe. Obviously I can't confirm that.

                I guess we all make choices and right now in Edmonton some of my realtor buddies tell me they have trouble selling houses that have Poly B plumbing. When it was found that the connectors were the problem and not necessarily the pipe itself in a normal plumbing situation that was not part of a radiant heat system, it became more acceptable to risk having it in a house you might buy. All of which is hearsay on my part. The radiant heat issue and those associated leaks are not hearsay. They are first hand knowledge.
                Your friends floor is not cast in concrete? It was rated 180 degree 180 psi when I installed it in the early eightys. I imagine pex will be out of favour one day?

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                • #9

                  Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                  Yes Rob one of the floors is and 2 are not. The basement floor is concrete and it is leaking. The basement ceiling which is the main floor is leaking and the main floor ceiling which is the upper floor is leaking as well. I don't know if pex will fail or not but I do know there is no class action law suit that I know of against pex like there is with Poly B. How is your floor doing?
                  "Do it Right!"

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                  • #10

                    Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                    My lines are buried for a remote wood fired boiler that I never completed because my dad died. At the time I was working with Bow Plastic here in Montreal and it seemed like the perfect solution. I buried the lines in white styrofoam. it will be interesting to see how that has held up.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                      If you buried them in styrofoam how does the heat transfer?
                      "Do it Right!"

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                      • #12

                        Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                        Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                        If you buried them in styrofoam how does the heat transfer?
                        The idea is not to lose heat between buildings! A friend had to install special insulated (tube in tube) line to replace his feed to the milkhouse because it passed through an underground stream. Cost him 3200$ for the line!
                        Last edited by iamtooler; 02-09-2019, 03:16 PM.

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                        • #13

                          Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                          Rob i don't understand. I thought you said you buried the POLY B in styrofoam. NO???

                          And you said you did this in the 80's. Is it working or not?
                          "Do it Right!"

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                          • #14

                            Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                            Originally posted by Doug G View Post
                            I'll be interested in the responses, I have a four zone hot water radiant floor system. Thought about programmable thermostats but hesitate since that type of heating is much slower to react compared to forced air systems so I think the potential savings would be less.
                            My house has has a FA natural gas furnace serving @ 75% of the house and one large adjoining room served by in-floor radiant using a conventional dedicated NG hot water heater. The area served by the FA operates it's own thermostat and the radiantly heated area has it's own manual thermostat. I programmed the FA thermostat to drop @ 2-3 degrees at night but the radiant thermostat remains set at it's constant temperature. On a cold winter morning the radiantly heated room has dropped to similar temperature to the FA portion of the house and within an hour or so has regained temperature to it's normal ambient air temperature. The fairly quick rise is due to several factors including natural air-flow of warmed air from the FA-heated portion of the house plus a slightly extended heating cycle by the radiant system. When we first setup the systems 2 years ago we experimented with a greater setback (5 deg) and it created air turbulence between rooms and a longer recovery period for the radiant system. When there is a significant difference in air temperature between adjoining rooms warm air is naturally transferred from the warm to the colder room. We've found that in our case the few degrees difference is a reasonable compromise between comfort , economy and efficiency of both systems and that required some experimentation.
                            Ours is a 2-zone system using PEX-a 1/2" diameter pipe with no joints other than at manifolds which are located in an open basement. The pipe is embedded in a 6" poured concrete floor reinforced with 5" steel mesh supported by 2" rigid styrofoam over compacted gravel bed. I'm hoping this will be a long-life trouble-free installation.
                            Last edited by Rick Thom; 03-03-2019, 12:22 AM.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Recommendation need for Floor Heating Thermostat

                              Im curious as to this discussion too.

                              I have a combined system of 6ish zones of radiant infloor and 4 mini-split units. There is overlap in the system, ie: the bedrooms and LR heated by the minis are also heated by the infloor.

                              The installers didnt put infloor thermocouples in, so the infloor thermostats are reading air temp. This causes issues. At the bare minimum I need to install the infloor thermos.

                              But what I want is a modern thermometer like an Ecobee that will integrate all these various heating and cooling sources. I havent found a way to take floor and temp data and put it into something like a Ecobee yet, integrate with a Upninor floor heating system and also integrate with Daiken minisplits that are InfraRed remote controlled but maybe someone has?

                              What I want at the end of the day, is a single "Ecobee" style modern thermostat, in each zone, that can be set for an air temp, and a floor temp then adjust the heat sources as needed. For example, in summer, Id like the air temp at 18*C and the floor temp at 28*C in the bathroom as an example. This would vary by zone.
                              Last edited by scooby074; 03-03-2019, 12:03 PM.

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