Archive for September, 2008

Sep 30 2008

Underfloor heating setting up


underfloor-heating-actuators.jpg In order to run the heat pump and start to slowly dry out the house, we needed to make sure the manifolds were connected for the underfloor heating and would operate correctly. On the ground floor the underfloor system runs “open” without any room stats. Upstairs each bedroom has a room stat which sends it’s signal to an actuator on the valve for it’s “loop”.  

underfloor-heating-room-stat.jpg The actuators are the little white hoods you can see on the manifold. So the room stats have been put in place temporarily while the pump is run and set at a low level for a week or so to start the drying out of the house.

Sep 29 2008

Towel Radiators and Ground Source Heat Pumps


towel-radiator-in-position.jpg Because a ground source heat pump output is best run at a lower temperature than a conventional boiler and radiator system, if you want to run a towel radiator, this is run off the primary circuit of the heat pump. To make sure everything works ok, it seemed sensible to make sure these were in place for the commissioning engineer so that they could be tested too.

Sep 28 2008

Ground Source Heat Pump commisioning


ground-source-heat-pump-glycol.jpg Tomorrow the engineer comes to commission the ground sourced heat pump. We have carefully gone through the Ice Energy check list to make sure we have done everything we are supposed to. Eight cans of glycol arrived on Thursday ready for the commissioning as the ground loops will need filling with the glycol to do their stuff.

ground-source-heat-pump-thermostat.jpg We have to instal an exterior thermostat on the outside of the house on a “sheltered north facing wall” and this internal thermostat so that the system can compare the two and adjust the heating accordingly.

Sep 26 2008

Putting in the stair case in the log house


stairs-in-assembly.jpg With most of the plasterboarding done we can now put the stairs in. These have been ready at the joinery suppliers for some weeks now. So soon, no more ladders up and down but stairs!

Sep 20 2008

A laundry chute for the log house


laundry-chute.jpg As the utility room is adjacent to the stairs from the bedrooms, we have cut a hole in the ceiling so that laundry can be dropped down without having to go down the stairs. It will land in a cupboard near the washing machine. We have to make sure that we do not enable a fire path by making sure we use a thick wooden flap for the door at the top of the chute. We will take an idea from the vacuum system and make sure the smallest part of the chute is the bit where you put things in so that if items of clothing get past that point then they will make it through. As the total length of the chute is only 18 inches, it should not be a problem.

Sep 13 2008

Log House protection system clean up.


wall-protection-cleaning.jpg A few sunny days so time to finish the outside protection of the logs. The log suppliers from North America sent waterbase undercoat and top coat. Where the undercoat had been applied but the top coat had not been applied, strange “streaks” or “runs” at the bottom of logs appeared. Sanding out was not an option as it not only would leave lighter spots but also would not get the staining out of the grain without severe sanding.

However using a used household scourer and some water does the trick a treat and is very quick too! 

Sep 12 2008

Log house wall settlement


wall-settlement-gap-and-adjusters.jpg Here is something which is very important with log houses constructed in this style. Because the logs used for the external walls will “Settle” down with time, but the internal stud walls will be relatively stable, you have to engineer in space between the floor joist system and the internal walls and have method to adjust the floor joists down as the external logs settle. Our floor joists fix to this central beam which sits on posts with adjusters.

Coving has to be made up (a bit like skirting boards) to cover the settlement gap. More about this over the next few weeks. 

Sep 9 2008

Heat Recovery System Pipework, – Joining up the last fiddly bits


heat-recovery-in-bends.jpg Our house has a roof angle of around 22 degrees. Standard heat recovery system pipework comes with 45 degree or 90 degree bends so something flexible was needed to join vertical runs coming off the top of the heat recovery unit that go across the top of the house by passing through the rafter space. These runs have to be made with insulated pipe because as the pipe goes into a cold space above the sheepswool insulation there is a risk of condensation if the air has sufficient moisture in it.

So on our last visit to CVC ( we got a short length of flexible Aluminium ducting, some worm drive clips and some bubblewrap and aluminium foil insulating sleeve and assembled it, using the foil tape to secure the outer insulation. Here’s one we prepared earlier.


This then slid into position a treat and bends nicely to fit into the busy space between the rafters. The Aluminium pipe needs a white plastic connector on the end to enable it to fit into the 125mm white plastic pipe coming up from the Heat Recovery Unit.


The giant worm drive clips supplied are really easy to use compared to a conventional clip of this sort.

heat-recovery-jubilee-clip.jpg They have a hinging screw, so in a confined space you don’t have to spend ages doing them up, just close the clip as much as you can by hand, swing the hinging screw into position to engage the pierced stainless steel band on the screw thread and tighten the last bit with a screw driver.


Sep 6 2008

Central Vacuum System “Dust Pan”


central-vacuum-dust-pan.jpg As well as having sockets to plug a normal vacuum hose into, the system has the option of a “dust pan” This is a fitting that goes into the plinth of a kitchen unit for example and has a stainless steel trim over it. The black switch on the front can be pushed with your shoe and any dirt or dust you have swept up with a brush gets sucked away. A great idea!

Sep 5 2008

Heat Recovery and Central Vacuum returns


Tim Bartlett from CVC Systems takes back a box of odds and sods! central-vacuum-system-returns.jpg When you are working in three dimensions with pipework  for the heat recovery and central vacuum systems it is difficult to anticipate all the bits and pieces you might need, how much, what sort etc.

So it was great to be able to work with CVC and take unused parts back for credit as we got to the end of the job. This saves lots of unused plastic items sitting around unused which is good for the environment as less has to be made for the next customer!

Also as we go along we discovered new fittings that solved problems we discovered which we swoped for some of the returned bits and you can see some of them next week. If you are excited by pipework problems, this is the blog to watch!