What is a manifold’s role in water underfloor heating?
Water underfloor heating systems have warm water pipes installed under the floor. The manifold is the central hub for the pipes – read on to learn more.
In a multi-room heating system, thermostats control each area by operating electronic actuators in the manifold to adjust the flow and temperature of the water in each room. The thermostats have timers for when and which area needs heating.
Typically, there is one pipe circuit in each room, with all circuits connected to the manifold. A heat pump or boiler supplies the hot water to the manifold, which distributes and controls the flow so that each room can be heated to a different temperature if required.
Size and type
The size and type of manifold depend on the number and size of areas with underfloor heating. Manifolds can be made from plastic brass or stainless steel, with steel being very hard-wearing. A manifold should have a quality flow gauge that accurately measures the water flow.
A manifold needs electricity for the electronic equipment that communicates with the boiler and thermostats. It should be installed at a central position that is accessible for maintenance. A cupboard is ideal, as it allows the manifold to be both hidden and easily accessed. If there is no suitable cupboard available, the installer will supply a slimline cabinet for the manifold that is placed in an unobtrusive location.
It is recommended that a professional installer is used. Electric underfloor heating is more suitable for those who want to install heating themselves, as they require no pipes or manifolds.