How do you find faults with Floor Heating? This is a question that we are often asked. It is a very obvious concern. You’ve renovated your bathroom, or built a new home and installed floor heating through the living areas. Many people think that if the heating is damaged there is nothing that can be done.
This is simply not the case. If it was, I doubt anyone would actually install floor heating in the first place. Why would you install it and make that investment if there was no guarantee it would work?
A fault finding technician can actually locate the fault, normally to an exact location.
That being said, the best way to look after your floor heating and to minimise the removal of flooring is to make sure that it is installed correctly and carefully in the first place. Most floor heating systems come with a “Continuity Alarm”. This alarm is connected to the end of the element after it is installed. This stays connected while the flooring is being laid. If the element is damaged the alarm screeches and lets the contractors know. That way the element can be repaired before the flooring has been completed. This is obviously much easier than repairing it after the installation has been completed.
If for whatever reason the damage is not noticed before the flooring has been installed the fault can still be found.
Experienced technicians will use a variety of equipment to find the fault. The main piece of equipment is a Thermal Imaging Camera.
This camera can look through the floor and see the element through the flooring. It’s pretty “James Bond” but works very well.
Here is thermal picture of a normal working floor,
This picture shows the fault.
The damage stands out quite clearly. The technician will simply remove one tile, fix the element and a new tile is installed.
There are a variety of reasons for faults.
It could be a warranty claim. Let’s be honest, they do happen. Not often but there are warranty claims.
There are a variety of ways that the heating element could get damaged.
- A door Stop being screwed in. (The picture above is actually from a door stop)
- Incorrect Installation. (eg, Elements touching or overlapping)
- Damage by the tiler
- Damage by other trades
- Incorrect power supply
- Overload of a circuit
- Warranty issue
Most of these issues are easily overcome and do not cause anywhere near the problems that you might think.
Fault finding or rectification can be quite expensive, so we always recommend using an experienced installer. Most floor heating companies have a list of trained installers that they can recommend. If they don’t have one near you, perhaps look for a different supplier.
Once floor heating is installed there is no reason to think that it won’t last decades. The heating element is simply an electrical cable. Generally they are quite technologically advanced, but at the end of the day are simply Electric cables and should give you many years of warmth and enjoyment.
Hotwire Heating offers a variety of floor heating options and has retailers and installers Australia wide.