Infloor Radiant Heat

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  #1  
Old 12-25-11, 06:36 AM
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Infloor Radiant Heat

We have a one level bungalow with no basement heated by infloor radiant heat. The heavy duty hot water tank is run by natural gas. There is a large white thermostat attached to the infloor heating components and from my understanding from the previous owner is set to stay at 110 degrees. When taking a shower this am i noticed that the water is not as hot as normal (not cold , so after checking the thermostat it shows 80 degrees. Not sure where to start with trouble shooting, is it the hot water tank; just the thermostat or something else. Our infloor heat is working and we have hot water. Not sure if this is normal from time to time or a sign that the heating element in the hot water tank is going. The hot water tank is a rental so that would be easy to get done, do I need to call a heating contractor regards to this or call the company that rents us the hot water tank. Sorry about the long post but more info i give is better for me not being the best handyman on the block


Thanks Paul
Merry Christmas
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-25-11 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 12-25-11, 07:22 AM
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Paul, show us some more pics... I'd like to see the whole setup if possible.

Did the temperature recover at some point after your shower?

Make/model of the heater...
 
  #3  
Old 12-25-11, 10:12 AM
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Here are more pics. When I got back from Church this am the thermometer shown above in the first post was back to the normal setting. Maybe it is suppose to go up and down from time to time? When I adjust the wall dial thermostat the hot water tank does kick in so maybe all is well. I was wondering if the hot water tank should be turned up a little more know with the cold weather, see pic of setting for temp on hot water tank. This was the previous owners setting, a single person maybe its too low for the whole system to function efficiently. Thanks for posting back, I appreciate that.











 
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Old 12-25-11, 10:30 AM
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OK, good...

To the right of the pump is a gray handled valve. That's the one that controls the temperature of the water flowing to the radiant floors. And the previous HO is correct that the temp to the floors should be limited to something like 110.

The water heater itself can be turned up higher in this case, since it is not the controlling factor in the temperature of the floor water.

A55uming that the gray handle mixing valve is working properly, and adjusted properly, you can safely turn the water heater up to the 'normal' temperature, indicated by the arrow on the dial.

Is there another of those gray handled valves on the water heater and controlling the temp of the domestic hot water to the home?

I still can't see where that thermometer is connected to the system though... is it on the water to the floor? or on the domestic supply to the home?

Stand back and get a full pic so we can see how all the stuff is tied together.

I believe that pump MAY be a STAINLESS STEEL or BRONZE bodied pump. If it is, you are good to go. If it's NOT (i.e. ferrous iron body) then it is the incorrect pump for the application.

[Yes, a STAINLESS STEEL body, and discontinued. Replacement if needed would be the UP 15-29 SU pump.]

I also believe that the electrical box is not supposed to be mounted on the bottom like that, but don't worry about it for now... (it's pretty easy to remedy)... we'll get back to that after I find the specs on your pump.
 

Last edited by NJT; 12-25-11 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 12-25-11, 10:31 AM
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That's the only pump on the system, right?
 
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Old 12-25-11, 11:23 AM
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Just the one pump and only one grey handled valve. Here a pic of the setup, hard to get it all as its a small area. The large thermometer has a connection to the red pump and the 2 small grey boxes that are side by side.







 
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Old 12-25-11, 12:08 PM
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Great... exactly what I wanted to see... that thermometer is measuring the temp of the water going TO the floor tubing.

There's a couple possibilities:

First, if the home was not calling for heat for some period of time, and the pump was not running, the water in the tubing simply cooled off.

If you see it happen again, check if that pump is running or not. If it's NOT, above is the likely cause.

If it IS running, then below may be the likely cause.

When you took your shower, perhaps you were second in line, or maybe you took a real hot and long shower, but whatever, it would seem that you may have used all the hot water in the tank.

If the tank temperature drops below the temp setting of the gray mixing valve, no matter how wide that gray valve adjusts open, it can't raise the temp above it's setting if it doesn't have HOTTER water to work with. It's job is to only open enough that it lets enough HOTTER water from the tank into the heating loops in order to maintain the setting on the gray mixing valve.

Before you turn up the control on the water heater, check to see what the temperature of the hot water at the nearest tap is. Then turn it so the arrows line up on the control and measure the hot tap water again. You don't want much more than 120 from the taps. Running the heater a bit hotter will give you more available hot water because you will mix more cold with it when you shower.

If you want something to scare you, google the term "Legionella" and then think about running the water heater hotter yet, maybe 140 or so, and installing another of those mixing valves on the hot supply to the home, and set that at 120. (Many jurisdictions now REQUIRE a mixing valve on all new water heater installations).

Those smaller boxes side by side are, by the way, your ZONE VALVES. When a thermostat calls for heat, the corresponding zone valve will open, and the Wirsbo control box will then turn on the pump. Even though the valve control boxes look different, they work the same way. One is an " F " model with the terminals, the other is the " E " model with the red and yellow wires. That's the only difference.

Where does the power for the pump come from? That steel cable... is there another control box mounted up out of sight in the pics? Maybe another gray Honeywell box?
 
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Old 12-25-11, 01:20 PM
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Well I do appreciate your time and knowledge and now know and understand better how this system works. I had a regular furnace all of my life until this summer when we downsized and the elder lady that lived here and just called the local heating guy when anything acted up, so it sure helps to understand more the components and what they do. Make sense about the water cooling off when pump not being used. I adjusted the hot water tank alittle higher, not quite to the middle. Just me and the wife so that should be good. Last pic of the one part I left out that connects to the pump.

 
  #9  
Old 12-25-11, 01:45 PM
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And that's exactly what I expected to see also, White-Rogers, Honeywell, they all make the same stuff. That one is the relay that runs the pump. The cable coming from the Wirsbo control triggers this to run the pump.

I'd say yer all set... keep an eye on things and let us know if you have any more questions!
 
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