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Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat

 
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:16 AM   #1
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Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


We installed an electric radiant floor heat system (20 years ago). I got a call from the customer earlier this week saying the floor was cold. I went and checked, and the thermostat says itís heating (set for 82 degrees) but the floor temp was 63.

There has been no work done in or around the bathroom (no indication that anything could have damaged the wire Ė the floor tile is all intact).

Is this probably a thermostat that just gave up? Other than 120 vs. 240, is there any other consideration I should be cautious of when ordering a replacement?
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:36 AM   #2
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Time to check the leads to the floor with a multimeter. Many thermostats are both 120 and 240.

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Old 11-09-2018, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Jump the thermostat so you know it's calling for heat. Zone valves and circulators can easily go in 20 years.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:16 PM   #4
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Think it might be the temp sensor in the floor? Those things go and then the thermostat doesn't know what temp the floor really is. We always put a second sensor in the floor when we do these for just this reason. Having a second sensor already in saves tearing up any tile, and having a little wire taped up in the back of the box isn't much hassle.
Hope it's not the sensor!
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Old 11-09-2018, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


If it's the sensor, there are thermostats that can also just air source for heat call. Not as good, but at least gets the heat on.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
If it's the sensor, there are thermostats that can also just air source for heat call. Not as good, but at least gets the heat on.
They won't work. As soon as the air temp satisfies the stat, it turns off. Then the floor gets cold.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:08 PM   #7
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by hdavis View Post
Jump the thermostat so you know it's calling for heat. Zone valves and circulators can easily go in 20 years.
I can jump the thermostat, I just hope the homeowner doesnít walk into the room while Iím doing it. That would be embarrassing...

Not sure how many zone valves and circulators we have in an electrically heated room of 140 SF.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:10 PM   #8
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by SPG View Post
Think it might be the temp sensor in the floor? Those things go and then the thermostat doesn't know what temp the floor really is. We always put a second sensor in the floor when we do these for just this reason. Having a second sensor already in saves tearing up any tile, and having a little wire taped up in the back of the box isn't much hassle.
Hope it's not the sensor!
The thermostat says the floor is 63 so I think the sensor is fine.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:18 PM   #9
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
If it's the sensor, there are thermostats that can also just air source for heat call. Not as good, but at least gets the heat on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
They won't work. As soon as the air temp satisfies the stat, it turns off. Then the floor gets cold.
I have three small rooms in my house with electric floor heat and I only monitor the room (air) temp. Been working just fine for years. Regardless, I think the sensor is fine (see above).

I took the thermostat apart today. Hooked up my Loud Mouth. The wire seems to be fine.

I just ordered a new thermostat today, hope this fixes the problem.

https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-TH1...ube+thermostat
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:21 PM   #10
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaVinciRemodel View Post
I can jump the thermostat, I just hope the homeowner doesnít walk into the room while Iím doing it. That would be embarrassing...

Not sure how many zone valves and circulators we have in an electrically heated room of 140 SF.

LOL, I was thinking hydronic - brain fart.

Carry on.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:49 PM   #11
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
They won't work. As soon as the air temp satisfies the stat, it turns off. Then the floor gets cold.
They work better than you'd think. At a given floor temp, the air will be a given temp. And visa versa.

I build a half dozen structures with radiant heat as the sole heat source, and an air thermostat as the only thermostat. No temperature swing issues at all.
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Old 11-10-2018, 08:01 AM   #12
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
They work better than you'd think. At a given floor temp, the air will be a given temp. And visa versa.

I build a half dozen structures with radiant heat as the sole heat source, and an air thermostat as the only thermostat. No temperature swing issues at all.
There's a difference between floor heat that is designed to heat the room and floor heat that's designed to warm just the floor.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:49 AM   #13
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
There's a difference between floor heat that is designed to heat the room and floor heat that's designed to warm just the floor.
Either way, when you warm the floor, you heat the room.

People often want their floors at 80-86 degrees, but then the room is too warm, so they fiddle with it until the room is right. In some cases they'd rather just use the air temp.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:51 AM   #14
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden view View Post
Either way, when you warm the floor, you heat the room.........
You will not heat the room, but simply add a bit of heat to it. Floor heat designed to take the chill off a tile floor will never heat the room enough to satisfy a traditional room-temp stat.


If there's a sensor in the floor, then the heat system was never intended to heat the room.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:12 AM   #15
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


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You will not heat the room, but simply add a bit of heat to it. Floor heat designed to take the chill off a tile floor will never heat the room enough to satisfy a traditional room-temp stat.
Except in 100% of the installations I've completed.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:14 AM   #16
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


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Except in 100% of the installations I've completed.
Then you don't comprehend the difference between the two.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #17
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


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Then you don't comprehend the difference between the two.
I think I do. I do software based heat load calculations or entire thermal envelopes and room by room. Granted, the 18 or 25 BTU per square foot that I'm getting out of my floors isn't much by old standards, it does satisfy the coldest day heat load of most modern homes in most environments.

Lots of windows, high ceilings, frequent fenestration openings (foyer, public space, etc) would change the requirements. But for a bathroom in a house, a floor is generally a suitable sole source of heat.

Now, one may prefer to save a few bucks a year by splitting the heat load between a gas furnace and the electric resistive floor heat running at 3x the cost. But you have to balance the desire for the floor to be in the 80s to actually feel warm (remember what your body temperature is) and the fact that once it's that warm it pretty much heats the room already.
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Old 11-10-2018, 10:28 AM   #18
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


I will admit that I don't think it's good practice to only do electric floor heat. I'd rather give the control and option of using the house's heating system, plus the redundancy gives peace of mind. Electric floor heat is harder to repair when it fails, if the failure is a corroded wire from nicked insulation under the tile.
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Old 11-10-2018, 06:26 PM   #19
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Re: Thermostat For Electric Floor Heat


Quote:
Originally Posted by 480sparky View Post
You will not heat the room, but simply add a bit of heat to it. Floor heat designed to take the chill off a tile floor will never heat the room enough to satisfy a traditional room-temp stat.


If there's a sensor in the floor, then the heat system was never intended to heat the room.
Laticrete makes a system that is for full room heating. The t-stat gives you the option of air or floor sensor.

I install 2 sensors, had one client request 4 sensors with his install.

Tom

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