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Repairs To Wet Underfloor Heating Systems (system Leaks)

This guide is aimed at providing you with information on repairing a wet (water based) underfloor heating system. Due to the many variations in both system design and available components this can only be a superficial look at underfloor heating repair.

This guide is aimed at plumbers and heating engineers that are competent but lack experience with underfloor heating systems.

Please ensure that you have the necessary skills and experience, and take all necessary safety precautions, before starting work as Thermotech cannot be responsible for damage or personal injury caused by an inexperienced person attempting to follow this advice.

Faults with wet underfloor heating systems can be split into three basic categories.

System leaks
No heat from system
Heating is not controllable

This article will deal with system leaks, other topics will be dealt with in individual articles on underfloor heating repair.

Leaks can either be exposed or concealed.
Exposed leaks are from components other than pipe loops.
These include; pumps, manifolds, manifold heads, change-over valves and isolation valves. Generally these components are in the same area and it should be a simple matter to locate the source of the leak.
Be aware that some underfloor heating systems will have a main manifold with a distributor, or secondary, manifold in each room.

The greatest difficulty that often arises is that many underfloor heating systems use imported components that are not to UK specification.
Unless you are already well equipped with a range of non-standard fittings then you are most likely faced with the situation of obtaining the part and revisiting the property to effect a repair. You may be able to effect a short-term repair with the usual putties and tapes etc.

Concealed leaks should only be as a result of damage to the pipe loop, as there should not normally be pipe joins in the floor. Having said that, we have encountered systems where the pipe has been joined from installation, or where a previous pipe repair has failed.

The first thing to do is establish that there is a leak on concealed pipework.
Turn off the heating pump and all the heating loops at the manifold.
Pressurise the system and establish a stable pressure.
Open each loop in turn, allowing at least 10 minutes before opening another, until the pressure drops.
When a drop is noticed make a note of the loop involved and close it off again.
Continue with this process until all loops have been checked, just in case more than one loop is losing pressure.

Return to the loop(s) that was previously identified and ascertain from the system documents (if any) which room(s) this covers.
In the absence of thermal imaging cameras you would need to lift up the floor coverings in the room(s) concerned, along with the run back from that room to the manifold.

Once the location of the leak is identified the floor at that point will need to be lifted or excavated, depending on the structure (timber or concrete and screed) to effect a repair using a connector.
The type of connector will depend on the pipe system used, some will use a standard compression type fitting while others will require specific compression tools.

Victorian Pine

A lot of English Victorian country pine furniture has disappeared from great Britain, probably most exported to the united states.
The Victorian period 1837 to 1901 you associate with ornate carved furniture, but there would have been plenty of plain country
Victorian furniture. Which has been slightly difficult to find as many shops have closed or gone on to the Internet.

The market for antique pine furniture in the UK is still here so traders have had to look elsewhere for pieces namely Europe Germany France Czech republic. So the European pieces are made during the same period in another country. The dutch seemed to get the grip of this due to the fact they have been prolific traders throughout history and began sourcing large quantities through out Europe and bringing it over to the UK. This market still carries on but not in the same volume as years ago as wages and transport eat away any profits. Not all the old pine furniture you see is of our Victorian period there is some of the nineteen twenties period so check for ply wood being used in the backs and internal panels, if it is of a later period but there’s nothing wrong in that. There are still older pieces from the Germany and France sometimes of a better quality than English pine as its construction tends to be of thicker panels. There are still plenty of pieces throughout Europe from large glazed dressers, wardrobes in all shapes and sizes some static and some that breakdown. Small pot cupboards which some still have the original marble tops, which are replaced for the English market. Ninety nine percent are painted or still in the dark stain and varnish, made to look like a more expensive piece in mahogany or similar when bought new.

Old pine furniture or Victorian country furniture created by craftspeople whose skills were passed from generation to generation. Its appeal lies in the fact that each piece is hand-made and therefore unique. Having a handmade piece of furniture is something special. Most of the old furniture was intended to be painted. The paint protected the timber in damper homes and was easier to keep clean than unpainted wood. It would be better if we could keep the paint on, but some pieces need restoring which makes this impossible. The the paint is an intrinsic part of the history of the furniture but practically if you have a piece that’s one hundred years old and never been restored the finish of ether paint or varnish is usually beyond repair. People think that old pine furniture wasn’t authentic unless it had been stripped but it really was meant to be painted. The hot caustic stripping is a bit drastic but if done by a expert its OK, also i should kill of any worm. People are often afraid of antique pine because of a fear of woodworm. Old Victorian furniture can have woodworm, but its treatable. If you have holes in the wood, it means the worm has already gone, but if you see traces of fresh powder the wood may have live worm in it. Safest way to treat the piece with a chemical spray.

Cane or Rattan Furniture for your home and garden.

Rattan or wicker furniture is made from cane which is a raw material that comes from the stems of large rattans, which are climbing palms found native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australasia. Because cane is a raw material it is tough and durable which makes it an ideal material for indoor and outdoor furniture. The material is also very versatile which means manufacturers can now modify designs to keep it right up today with today’s designs and styles. More and more people are realising the benefits of having cane furniture in their homes and gardens.

The reason cane furniture is ideal for gardens and conservatories is because unlike wood it will not rot or become damaged. It is an ideal material for any environment at any time of the year. If like most people you keep plants in your conservatory then you will find the air will be moist. This would be detrimental on any wood furniture which makes cane or rattan furniture most people’s first choice when it comes to furnishings. Cane will not rot or rust, it is water resistant which means it will last in great condition for years to come.

The beauty of cane furniture is that it offers a timeless look that will last you a very long time. It looks beautiful in conservatories but also not out of place in the living room or any other room of the house. Some of the styles and designs are very contemporary which makes it fit into today’s modern living. Cane is also ideal for outdoor living and can be found in gardens all around the world.

So how do they make it? Well, once the palm is harvested it is then boiled which removes the sap from the bark. This removal of the sap allows the material to have the flexibility properties which makes it easy to mould into various shapes. Once this process is completed the material is then split into thin strips. These strips are then intertwined to make the furniture. Generally the frames of the furniture are made from much larger canes. This whole process is very time consuming and costly which is why quality cane furniture isn’t cheap. However, you are buying furniture that is very easy to clean, will last for years and years, will need very little attention to keep it preserved, with that in mind the cost isn’t that expensive. Another important aspect which shouldn’t be forgotten is that cane furniture is completely environmentally friendly due to it being made completely naturally without the use any chemicals or wood treatment. This is another hit with consumers as we are all living in a world where environmental products are in the foremost of everyone’s minds. ————–

Carolyn is the webmaster for Sophisi-Cane at, one to the UK’s top suppliers of quality Cane Furniture, Conservatory Furniture and Outdoor Furniture.

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