Multipipe Q&A

David Playfoot, Technical Director at Multipipe, talks about the value of end-to-end support for installers working on underfloor heating projects.

David Playfoot
Technical Director

How can installers benefit from an ongoing relationship with a bespoke UFH solutions provider?
For many years, we have talked about the importance of thermal efficiency of systems, and now finally, we are starting to see these changes coming into effect. This has led to a need to up-skilling by some installers. At Multipipe, we have always strived to upskill the UK installers by offering the best in system design and more recently, consultancy services on their jobs. We aim to give installers the confidence and evidence that a lower temperature system will work as expected; empowering installers to show cost savings to their customer, giving something low-end contractors cannot.

What advantages does a Multipipe system offer?
For many years, Multipipe has been producing and selling multi-layer composite pipework (MLCP) and systems in the UK market; a very popular choice across Europe. We have found that MLCP in the UK is proving the professional’s choice for when you need continuous runs on your project. Multipipe has worked hard to deliver MLC as a harmonious product when using with copper or stainless-steel systems – to have MLC in walls and Copper/Steel “on show”, meaning less joints and less chance of leaks. As well as industry leading warranties and best of quality, Multipipe can offer many advantages to kick out plastic push-fit for good. Ensuring better quality, more professional, and leak-free systems for the future.

Has the transition to renewable technologies had a positive effect on the underfloor heating sector?
Definitely! I believe in the next few years as technology, and more importantly, the education gets better, the advantage of UFH systems will become even more apparent. Looking at a well-insulated house, you can achieve running temperature as low as 30°C. However, it is important to remember each project is unique, which is why it is important to partner with a good quality provider who can assist in the design of the ultimate in thermally efficient systems.

What considerations need to be factored in for retrofit projects compared with new build?
The biggest issue with retrofit projects is the unknowns in the build. If we receive all the correct information of the wall floor and ceiling makeup – great! We can calculate heat loss and ensure we match the system output to the build (which do tend to be higher!). With limited/no information, it is more difficult to specify a system that will work. Additionally, when it comes to trying to fit a system into an existing floor, this can be more difficult due to high restriction or lack of floor insulation. However, we always work through with the client to ensure they have a system that is the best install for the individual project.

What is the importance of knowing the project?
The biggest issue we are finding with lower temperature systems is ill-designed systems that have not considered the heat loss of the building. The single reason for system design is to ensure on the coldest days, your customer is warm. For years, installers got away with this by overheating the system or just using tight centres everywhere. Now, we need to consider each project and the individual losses and design the centres to ensure the best efficiency per room to balance the system better. This gives a huge advantage by having more rooms heating at the same time, reducing short cycling on the heat source. Ensuring the project is energy efficient will give the customer significant cost savings but also considerable environmental savings too.

How essential is appropriate control selection to the efficiency of a UFH installation?
There is great debate on the use of controls on systems, especially on ASHPs/GSHPs, because of the issues with short cycling. Additionally, there is a lot of disparity over the use of buffers. At Multipipe, we believe that controls are there to give thermal comfort to the end user, and by not fitting them, you lock the system from changes in the future without rebalancing the system. We believe in balancing the system for maximum opening, and then using controls to ensure micro adjustment can be made by the customer in their own home, without the need for the installer to return. Couple this with a buffer that is correctly controlled based on tank temperature, this eliminates short cycling as much as possible.

Want to enhance your skills and advance your career in the heating industry? Attend an upcoming Underfloor Heating Course from Multipipe – a comprehensive training programme designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to become a proficient underfloor heating installer. Find out more here.

Find out more at www.multipipe.co.uk or head to stand 5G24 at InstallerSHOW.
Register for your free ticket here.

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