© Park Place Plaza Limited

Replacing a Failed Underfloor Heating System

Here at DiscreteHeat, we supply at least an order a week as a replacement for a failed underfloor heating system. Whilst it would be unfair to claim that any more than a small percentage of UFH systems fail, there is no denying the distress, upheaval, cost and disturbance they cause when they do.

Usual reasons for failure are:

  • A leak in a pipe or at a junction between 2 screeded areas
  • Damage to a pipe by an unwary tradesman and a misplaced floor fixing
  • Blockage due to sludge or deposit build up
  • Blockage due to a debris or waste entering the pipe at 1st fix.
  • Separation of the concrete screed away from the pipe due to shrinkage

Whilst protracted pressure tests before the screed is applied can immediately identify a damaged pipe, all of the failures listed above will occur months or even years later. Furthermore, the usual pressure tests conducted before the heating system is installed and commissioned will not spot flow rate problems, as it’s a static test, with cold water.

ThermaSkirt replaced a failed UFH system in a busy A&E Dept. at NHS North Tees

Trying to rectify a problem with UFH can be very difficult as the location of the failure may be hard to find without specialist heat sensitive equipment. If it’s a leak it is somewhat easier, but finding a section of constricted or blocked pipe can be almost impossible.

We know that many reputable manufacturers offer a 15, 25 or even 50 year warranty on the pipe, but very often the failure is installation error, and that is not covered by the pipe manufacturer. And the man (and his van) that installed the system are often long gone, leaving the owner holding the baby.

Replacing a failed underfloor heating system with ThermaSkirt is relatively straight forward and with minimal disruption.

Most often, the failure is in the heated space due to the kinks and turns in the pipe or at inter-screed joints, so the feed and return pipe and so the manifold controls are all still perfectly useable.

Exposing the feed and return pipes where they enter the room or zone and relocating them back to the wall, may involve some minor disturbance, but that is easily rectified afterwards.

The feed and return pipes can then discreetly connect into the ThermaSkirt heated skirting behind a matching colour coordinated panel, and the water is then diverted around the room in the aluminium radiant skirting, rather than in the floor.

As a result, in a matter of hours, you could have your room heated again and with minimal cost and distress.

Martin Wadsworth

As survivor of BBC’s Dragons’ Den, Martin has built over 100 properties in the North West, including on a flood plain in Cheshire. He has over 12 patents in his name for industrial products, including 6 in plumbing in heating.