Rant about all mouth & no trousers CH installs.

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If you part with £500,000 you can own a brand new good sized 3-bed room 2 reception mansion flat in North London.
You would of course expect that the whole building was built well with a high specification of fittings and fixtures.
The specification on paper is fine: Gas powered CH and unvented mains HW.
For that money I would have wanted underfloor heating but what the hell. 1) All the radiators are fed from 10mm plastic micro bore which emerges through the plaster-board behind each rad. The pipes are fed from the ceiling void. No problems with this except the radiators are not under any windows.
2) The boiler is a Potterton Suprima. Architects usually specify these since they have not updated their estimation from the old days of Neataheats and Profiles, anyway they are fixable (its supply pipes are fed from the inaccessible ceiling void also).
3) The airing cupboard has all the rest of the gear in it. The controls are S-plan but the resistance through the HW coil relative to the 10s of metres of 10mm microbore is zilch so effectively the system is HW priority. Is this a feature or a short coming? There is a drain point on the HW indirect coil which is the lowest point (except for each of the rad valves).
4) The designer/installer has obviously bought into the 'self-balancing properties of Microbore' school. No probs, the TRVs will likely come to the rescue to cure the luke warm rads at the ends of the flat. :-;
5) The 'smart' bypass valve is fitted in the wrong direction (so no water will flow through it no matter what it's set to). Which will tes tout the boiler overheat function :-;
6) The filling point is out of reach above the HW cylinder (Santon) and them some. To add any water requires taking out the airing cupboard shelves and then using some steps. The customer asks me to make it easier for them.
No problem I think. Here begins my downfall. The draining and the plumbing went exactly to plan. The problems came on refilling. The pump pumps downwards and air rises upwards, if the installer had done any of the following I might have spent a bit less time trying to refill the system. A) Put the pump so that it pumps upwards (air/water would get pumped into the rads and the air would get out somehow). B) Add auto air vents above the boiler or the airing cupboard. C) Add manual vents accessible through a little hatch to bleed the air.
After struggling with it for somewhile (trying to get the pump to feed 1 rad at a time) I ran out of time and had to go back later. I was tempted to reverse the pump ( but the boiler and zone valves would have probably objected).
In the end I had to take the pipe above the pump and cut out a section and replace it with 3 sides of a square (see below). The outside top corner was a T going up into a piece of pipe with a manual air bleed at the top. This worked just well enough to let me get home.
! x Bleed ! ! ! ! ------ ! ! ! ------ ! PUMP
Please reconcile "You get what you pay for" with "Price is no indication of value".
--
Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 23:32:10 +0000, "Ed Sirett"

I'd have thought it would have been a lot more...... £700k maybe?

You don't think it could have been.......... Nah..

I'm surprised it worked at all, or were they really small radiators?

I'd have thought that one should always do that to drive the air upwards - a no brainer surely....

Zone valves should be OK, depending on type of mechanism - rubber ball type I thought were bidirectional, shoe type not?

.. or competence it would appear.
.andy
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On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 23:49:21 +0000, Andy Hall wrote:

This is well outside the centre near Enfield.

ROFL.
The pump is set to III, none of the rads were very big. The microbore balances itself has a _tiny_ bit of truth in it, so it nearly works.

Yeah right, like looking at the arrow on the body of the bypass valve.

Well they also had arrows on the valve body. The only thing would be if the HW zone had to open against the full pressure of the pump trying to hold it closed when the CH is on.

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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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We all sympathise. Why would you want the rads under the windows?
Regards Capitol
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Good question. Maybe its better than hanging them off the ceiling. Which I have actually seen on one installation.
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You get a downward current of cold air at windows as the cold window surface cools the room air, so you put rads under windows to counteract this, helps prevent draughts in the room (apparently)
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Tim Mitchell

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OTOH, you put the rads on the opposite wall so the updraught combines with the window downdraught to get good circulation of the heating......
mike r
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At least they won't get covered with curtains there...
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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On Thu, 15 Jan 2004 23:55:51 +0000, Capitol wrote:

This is gnerally best practice, although there is an argument against from heat loss through the wall under the window, which can be mitigated by the use of insulation behind the rad.
1) It counteracts the downdraft from the window. 2) It leaves the rest of the room for larger items of furniture.
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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It gets covered in floor length curtains?
Christian.
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"Christian McArdle" | | It gets covered in floor length curtains? | | Christian. | |
Scissors anyone?!! :-)
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On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:50:31 +0000, Christian McArdle wrote:

That would be a fault in the curtain fitting not with the CH, IMHO.
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Well, I'd rather have the curtains I want than have to site a rad under a window with only a theoretical advantage. Of course it will depend on the size of the room and how you intend furnishing it.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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Ed Sirett wrote in message ...

You can argue with her, I'm not that brave! Regards Capitol
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On Tue, 20 Jan 2004 19:48:53 +0000, Capitol wrote:

I am sensing that there is quite a body of opinion that rads under windows are not universally thought of a best practice. It looks like it might be a preference thing rather than an open and shut case of best practice v. cheapness?
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Ed Sirett - Property maintainer and registered gas fitter.
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You *might* need slightly oversized rads if they're not under the window, but in a large room I'd prefer two small to one big one anyway.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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The issue is whether the window should be seen as a dead (and cold) area ideal for a radiator, or a feature of the room that may have full length curtains or other decorations that preclude them. The radiator positioning in my house is very much to my taste (except the lack thereof in the kitchen). The rear rooms have radiators under the windows. The front rooms, which have lovely bay windows, have the radiators on an internal wall, where they don't spoil the feature, allowing full length curtains, or furniture to be placed in the alcove.
Christian.
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On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 23:49:58 +0000, "Ed Sirett"

I never realised it was a reccomendation, I always assumed it was just a case of using the wallspace already wasted. Maybe it's different with double glazing, but I found rads under windows the best way of making sure most of the heat from them went straight out the window! This house has no rads under windows at all.
--
Niall

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wrote:

windows
be
But people with cold feet when watching the TV.
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IMM wrote:

My rads are on the two walls without windows in my livingroom (and, incidentally, I have NO rads below windows throughout).
Yes I get cold feet but have established this is nothing to do with the windows (d/g and curtains completely cover the window recess, not inside it). It's a draft from the front door coming in from the hall. Close the door to the hall, fit draught excluder to the bottom of the door, and hey presto, warm feet.
I much prefer having rads not under windows. It makes hanging curtains SO much easier, not having to have them just the right length to fit inside the alcove, or hang outside but not then help the heat to rise into the window alcove instead of the room.
I've just left enough space in front of hte radiators for heat to radiate and rise from them when placing furniture. Not really a big problem.
Velvet
Velvet
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