Heat exchanger for underfloor heating with your own hands

Installing the heat exchanger

Installation is often carried out vertically. Diameter of the connection, size and power of the connection of the water floor heating to the central heating can be different in different devices. I would like to pay special attention to the connection diameters. Power is better to take with a reserve, because this parameter does not correlate with the size, the difference can be only a few centimeters. The inertia of the heat transfer increases. This is particularly relevant in cases where the temperature from the CHP is not too high, for example, if it is not more than seventy degrees.

Once the floor heating distributor is installed, the pump with a three-way valve is assembled on it. The next step is the installation of the electric boiler (for off-season use), including the necessary attachments. That is, first connect the heat exchanger supply from the boiler, then cut in tees, the distributor is connected to the valve, put the thermometers and in the most convenient place to install the expansion tank, for example, you can do it under the sink. It is necessary to carry out the installation in such a way that there is easy access to all the equipment.

Watch a detailed video on how to connect the water floor heating to the central heating through the heat exchanger:

If the scheme was installed incorrectly, the consequences can be negative, so mistakes should never be made. It is better to entrust such work to experienced professionals, who are aware of all the possible nuances.

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Before you start making a heat exchanger, you should understand the nature of its function in the heating system. The principle of operation of this device is implemented in devices of electric boilers, gas and solid fuel. Heat exchanger is a structure of curved pipes, which are placed inside the heating equipment and heated by an energy source.

Through the tubes of the heat exchanger coolant passes, such as water, which is heated and sent to the radiators, in its place comes the cooled water from the batteries and is heated again. This is how the heating of the house takes place. Gases can be used as a coolant, then the recuperator will work as a heating element. However, in residential homes, such a device is used very rarely.

By installing a heat exchanger in the furnace, you can get a complete heating system.

How to make heat exchangers with their own hands?

Heat exchanger is a device designed to effectively transfer heat from one coolant to another.

Such a process can be carried out several times in one system, because a particular case of a heat exchanger is both a heating radiator and a gas or electric boiler.

The most common model of heat exchanger, used in the heating system, is a two metal containers, which, like a matryoshka doll, are one inside the other, and through the metal wall produce heat transfer.

The advantage of this mechanism is that due to hermetic design there is no mutual mixing of homogeneous media, and when using different physical properties of the coolant.

What is a water underfloor heating

In panel houses the outside walls and the floor in winter most often do not provide comfortable enough living conditions. This problem is especially acute if the family has small children who love to play on the floor.

If the entire surface of the flooring is warmed up, there will be no draughts. Dusty carpets, warm slippers, and woolen socks will no longer be needed at home, even during the most severe frosts. To do this, it is necessary to lay pipes under the floor over the entire area of the heated room, in which the warm water will circulate.

What does it consist of

The design of TP technologically more complicated than traditional heating with radiators. Usually heating pipes are poured on top of the concrete monolith. There are more modern ways of dry installation with standard units.

To reduce heat loss, polystyrene foam is laid on the concrete floor slabs. Under it lay a waterproofing of polyethylene film, wrapping the edges and securing with tape.

Before pouring concrete screed around the perimeter of the room install damping tape. It compensates for the thermal expansion of concrete.

The list of the basic components of monolithic warm contour:

  • Waterproofing membrane of the concrete base.
  • Insulation. polystyrene foam with a thickness of 3-5 centimeters.
  • Damper tape around the perimeter of the room.
  • Heating pipe. metal plastic or cross-linked polyethylene with diameter of 16-20 mm and a wall thickness of 2 mm.
  • Concrete, layer thickness 80-100 mm.
  • Flooring: laminated board, linoleum, ceramic tiles.
  • Three-way mixing valve with thermostat.
  • Circulation pump.
  • Manifold with shut-off valves of supply and return pipes.
  • Automatic air vent valves.
  • Heat exchanger.
  • Filter.
  • Expansion tank.
  • Pressure gauge.

Operating principle

Since the entire floor in the room is warmed, the temperature of the heating system coolant (CO) is usually maintained in the range of 25-35 degrees. It is enough to compensate for the heat loss through the exterior walls, windows, balcony doors.

Heating intensity can be regulated manually or via the thermostatic headers on the shut-off valves. There remains a dependence on the temperature of the centralized CO.


The main advantage of heating is reflected in the name of the system. Improved comfort is also due to the lack of drafts, as the air inside the room is heated evenly over the entire area.

Heating costs are reduced by 10-15% compared to conventional radiators that heat the ceiling first. Hot air rises from the radiators and then descends to the radiators as it cools and flows cooler towards the radiators. The floor remains cool.

  • Creates and maintains an ideal microclimate in the apartment. Children can play on the floor without the risk of catching cold.
  • Uniform heating eliminates the appearance of damp and mold on the walls.
  • Service life. up to 50 years.
  • There is no harmful electromagnetic field, unavoidable for electric floor heating of the living space.


Thin pipes must be securely protected from above with a concrete monolith to withstand the weight of heavy furniture. Additional load on the floor slabs can have a negative impact on the stability of the apartment building.

Due to the inertia of the entire system it takes a long time to adjust all heating branches. Length of one pipe reaches 60-80 meters. In addition, the change in temperature of the floor surface will only become noticeable after the concrete monolith has warmed up.

  • High cost of installation. Requires specific skills, knowledge, experience.
  • If the pipes were of poor quality, it is almost impossible to repair the concreted system.
  • Difficulty in obtaining permission to change the design of the heating system.
  • The payback period of the costs incurred is tens of years.

Water heated floor in the apartment.

The warm floors. it is a modern source of heating of your house, allowing to receive comfort and uniform warming of air in a premise. Almost every house or apartment has this type of heating. The most cost-effective and efficient in our region remain underfloor heating based on water heating.

Applying water underfloor heating (WUF) in apartment buildings or offices with connection from the central heating (CH) there are features of installation, calculation and selection of equipment that we will talk about in this article. And also about the mistakes made by the installation organizations not taking into account the fact that connection from the central heating system differs from an individual heating point (own boiler room).

Calculation and selection of necessary equipment.

The first place to start is with the design decision and the selection of necessary equipment, since there are a number of nuances in the installation of HTP from CHP.

As the central heating is a system to which dozens of consumers are connected, it is STRONGLY FORBIDDEN to connect the floor heating directly from the heating source. You also need permission for the installation and connection of the TP from the authorized body.

For the correct selection of equipment, an individual design solution for the heating system is required, it will also serve as a document for submission to the governing body, which will issue a permit for the installation of water floor heating from the central heating.

Thanks to the project any installation organization is capable to carry out installation and selection of equipment by all building norms and rules provided by the laws.

Diagrams for connecting a water underfloor heating system, comparison and selection of the best.

Warm water floor heating can be connected to the heating system in many ways. Let’s look at the four basic schemes that are most commonly used in our reality.

But before proceeding to their detailed study, it is worth paying attention to those minimum requirements that generally apply to the underfloor heating. They can somehow influence the choice of scheme.

To begin with, water underfloor heating is not a high-temperature heating system. According to regulations, it is impossible to exceed and heat the coolant temperature above 55C.

In practice, heating goes to a maximum of 35 or 45 degrees.

Do not confuse the temperature of the heating medium and the temperature of the floor surface. It can be from 26 to 31 degrees maximum.

In addition, do not forget about the circulation pump. Underfloor heating. This is after all a separate independent loop. The pump can either be built into the boiler or mounted outside it.

With a pump, it is easier to meet another requirement for temperature differential. For example, between supply and return, the difference should be no more than 10 degrees.

But when choosing a pump, do not go too fast with the flow rate of the coolant. The maximum permissible value is here. 0.6m/sec.

You have a boiler, after which all the security fittings are mounted circulating pump. In some wall mounted boilers, the pump is initially built into its body.

For floor standing copies you have to put it separately. From this boiler, the water is first routed to the distribution manifold, and then dispersed in loops. After which the flow is completed, it returns through the return flow to the heat generator.

In this scheme, the boiler is directly tuned to the desired temperature of the heat. You do not have any additional heating batteries or radiators.

What are the main features you should pay attention to here? First, with this direct connection, it is advisable to install a condensing boiler.

In such schemes, operation at relatively low temperatures is quite optimal for the condenser. In this mode, it reaches its highest efficiency.

If you will use a conventional gas boiler, you will soon say goodbye to your heat exchanger.

The second nuance concerns solid fuel boilers. When you have it installed, for a direct connection to the floor heating, you will also need a buffer tank.

It is needed to limit the temperature. Solid fuel boilers directly very difficult to regulate the temperature.

The vast majority of homes install this combination underfloor heating system.

The main issue here. How to get from 80 degrees going to the radiators, the flow of water for underfloor heating is half the temperature.

The problem is solved by the three-way thermostatic valve.

It is installed on the supply pipe. Do not forget to put a circulation pump after it.

The colder water is taken from the return of the underfloor heating. Mixed with the hot water coming from the boiler, the coolant and acquires a reduced temperature required for underfloor heating.

The disadvantage of this scheme is that you can not accurately limit and regulate the flow of cool water from the return flow. What is the risk of it?

That in the pipes of underfloor heating will periodically get too cool water, and vice versa. overheated above the norm.

Undemanding person may not notice it, nevertheless the temperature differences in this scheme are present, and there is no getting around it. Of course, the time intervals of hot and unheated coolant can be compensated by the thermal inertia of the concrete screed.

But this is all relative. You can never accurately calculate the optimal thickness with this kind of heating.

The advantages of such a combined scheme with a three-way valve:

This method of installation is justified if you have an apartment or house with a small area. And you do not suffer from any exaggerated demands for supercomfortable living conditions.

This scheme also refers to combined systems, when you have both radiators and underfloor heating at the same time.

However, instead of a 3-way valve, a more expensive pump and mixer unit is used here.

In fact, it also adds cooled return flow to the main boiler feed. But thanks to the balancing valve, cold water can be mixed in specific doses and given proportions.

This will ensure that the temperature of the heat transfer medium that enters the pipes through the manifold is precisely set.

This is the most efficient and most comfortable arrangement. The pump-mixing unit itself can be assembled in different variations.

Depending on your needs and financial capabilities, the following components may be included:

This heating system is implemented with the help of small thermo-mounting kits. They are designed from the outset to connect a single loop only.

Here you do not have to build complex manifolds, mixing groups, etc.п. It is designed for heating rooms with a maximum area of 15-20m2.

It looks like a small plastic box in which they are mounted:

What characteristics should the tools have?

If your goal is to make a heat exchanger for a boiler or heat point, it is best to focus on the choice of plate dismountable devices or make them with your own hands according to the drawing. Scheme of the heat exchanger is shown in the photo below:

Why are the plate dismountable devices? The fact is that the liquid (in this case it is water) in heat and water networks does not have particularly good qualities, which can lead to the formation of scale and other serious deposits in the system. By the way, the repair of heat exchangers is precisely the cleaning of channels from such substances. Also, the repair involves changing the stools and patching up cracks in the holes (if necessary).

Of course, the design of such heat exchangers does not allow to reduce the occurrence of fouling to zero. But then what are their advantages? Their main advantage is simple disassembly. The design of collapsible plate heat exchangers is so simple that it is possible to descale them nearly every day. Thus, the repair of heat exchangers of collapsible type is made in the shortest possible time. Here we should also note another advantage of the repairability of the device, because you can replace the plates in it without using special equipment and tools.

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Home Heating Heat exchanger for solid fuel boilers. With your own hands.

Heat Exchanger Installation

Mounting is most often done vertically. Connection diameter, size and power to connect the water floor heating to the central heating can be different in different devices. Particular attention should be paid to the connection diameters. Power is better to take with reserve, because this parameter does not correlate with the size, the difference can be only a few centimeters. This increases the inertia of the heat extraction. This is especially true when the temperature from the CHP is not too high, for example, if it is not more than seventy degrees.

Once the floor heating distributor is installed, a pump with a three-way valve is assembled on it. Then the electric boiler (for off-season use) is installed, including the necessary accessories. That is, first connect the heat exchanger supply from the boiler, then cuts in tees, the distributor is connected to the valve, put the thermometers and in the most convenient place to install the expansion tank, for example, you can do it under the sink. It is necessary to install in such a way as to provide easy access to all equipment.

Watch a detailed video on how to connect a water heated floor to the central heating through a heat exchanger:

If the scheme was assembled incorrectly, then the consequences can be negative, so mistakes should not be allowed in any case. It is better to entrust such work to experienced professionals who are aware of all the possible nuances.

Choose a material

The coil is traditionally made of a pipe, the length and diameter of which are determined by the desired level of heat transfer. The effectiveness of the construction will depend on the thermal conductivity of the material used. Most often used pipes:

  • copper with a thermal conductivity coefficient of 380;
  • Steel with a thermal conductivity coefficient of 50
  • Metal plastic pipes with a heat transfer coefficient of 0.3.

Copper or metal-plastic?

With the same level of heat transfer and equal cross-sectional dimensions, the length of metal pipes will be 11 times, and steel pipes 7 times longer than copper ones.

This is why it is best to use annealed.

Looking for improvised means

Given the high cost of materials, it will be appropriate to consider the use of obsolete products, but have not yet exhausted its full resource. This will not only reduce the cost of manufacturing the heat exchanger, but also reduce the time of installation works. Generally, preference is given to:

  • Any heating radiators that do not have leaks;
  • towel rails;
  • radiators from cars and other similarly designed products;
  • flow-through water heaters.

Most often, as a heat exchanger is a metal tank with a capacity of up to 5 liters with mounted spigots. No direct contact with fire. The device allows you to heat cold water, which then enters the radiators or a removable tank of greater capacity, located in the same or next room.

As a result, heating a stove in one room, you can heat the other. Structurally, the heat exchanger for the furnace can be internal or external.


This type is very similar to a tank filled with coolant. Inside the tank there is a part of the pipe used for the removal of combustion products. The external heat exchanger is more complex by design than the internal one, since it has higher welding requirements.

However, it is much easier to maintain. If necessary the tank can be dismantled for the purpose of removing scale or leaks.


Mounted above the furnace directly inside the furnace. Characterized by ease of installation, but if the need for maintenance can be difficult. Especially if the furnace is made of brick.

To avoid this, at the time of design, it is worth taking care of the repairability of the future heat exchanger.

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