House Insulation Advice Please

ufo550

Distinguished Member
Yes that’s the normal configuration for a zoned heating system. The thermostat controlled radiator would cycle the CH service on and off, typically set at a higher temperature than the rest of radiators on tvr’s. Those tvr’s set typically at a slightly lower temp, would then turn those individual radiators on & off. The other issue with having a tvr on a stat controlled rad, is it could close, when the CH pump is still being told to circulate water.

When I’ve had to access behind plasterboard for cabling, I’ve carefully cut a 100mm hole, make sure there’s no services, cables pipes etc. The hole can easily made good, by fixing a 2 x 1 150mm baton in the centre of the cut hole, then fixing the cut circle back into the hole.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
I think I might very slowly be getting there in my understanding of all this :D

Can I just remove the TVR on the rad in the hallway? Or is there a specific process that needs to be followed?

It's a very mild evening tonight and the spare bedroom, loft room and hallway are like a sauna. Then there is mine and the kids room. Not freezing but a massive difference in temp.

I have 4 very small holes in my living room where the builders passed cables through when I sorted out the ground floor a few years ago. I'm going to try and peep through them to see if I can get some idea as to what may or may not be present in the rooms above! If not, I'll ask someone to cut the holes for me in the 2 bedrooms. I really cannot be trusted with tools. My wife can tell you guys stories that will prove my point :blush:

What do you guys think of exterior wall insulation? No doubt a lot more expensive. But also a lot cleaner and less stress than pulling down plaster board 🤯
 

IronGiant

Moderator
This might be against all sensible advice but my thinking is that if there is a radiator in the room where your thermostat is, once that room gets up to temperature, the rest of the house shuts down. If that radiator is unrestricted in a hall or landing it's likely to shut the house down long before the rest of the house has warmed up. We live in a long sprawling bungalow. The thermostat is in the centre in an unheated corridor. Enough doors are open that heat trickles into the hall, the thermostat is set at 20, 30 feet away, at the front of the house it's 20deg, 30 feet the other way it's also 20 deg.
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
I think I might very slowly be getting there in my understanding of all this :D

Can I just remove the TVR on the rad in the hallway? Or is there a specific process that needs to be followed?

It's a very mild evening tonight and the spare bedroom, loft room and hallway are like a sauna. Then there is mine and the kids room. Not freezing but a massive difference in temp.

I have 4 very small holes in my living room where the builders passed cables through when I sorted out the ground floor a few years ago. I'm going to try and peep through them to see if I can get some idea as to what may or may not be present in the rooms above! If not, I'll ask someone to cut the holes for me in the 2 bedrooms. I really cannot be trusted with tools. My wife can tell you guys stories that will prove my point :blush:

What do you guys think of exterior wall insulation? No doubt a lot more expensive. But also a lot cleaner and less stress than pulling down plaster board 🤯

I think before you make any changes to your heating system, you need to clear your concerns about your insulation in your outside walls. Was this a one off build, or part of a development?

You could just remove the head from your tvr in the hallway, that would just leave that permanently open, for the stat to control.

The operation I’ve described is a standard install, for most properties. Some other properties may require a different approach. That would be designed by the plumber or contractor.

I do find it unusual to have the design, you have. Are you sure it’s the case? Have you spoken to the company who installed you CH system, about your issues? They might be able to advise.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
This might be against all sensible advice but my thinking is that if there is a radiator in the room where your thermostat is, once that room gets up to temperature, the rest of the house shuts down. If that radiator is unrestricted in a hall or landing it's likely to shut the house down long before the rest of the house has warmed up. We live in a long sprawling bungalow. The thermostat is in the centre in an unheated corridor. Enough doors are open that heat trickles into the hall, the thermostat is set at 20, 30 feet away, at the front of the house it's 20deg, 30 feet the other way it's also 20 deg.

That's my thinking too. Because the thermostat is in the already very warm hallway, it very rarely comes on. But, this causes the 2 bedrooms to remain cold as the thermostat is off, thus causing the heating to remain off. And that's why I turned the radiator in the hallway off.

Oddly enough, this so far hasn't caused any issues of the other radiators in the other rooms coming on, and coming on well.

The issue is with the 2 bedrooms being incredibly cold compared to the hallway and the small bedroom!

I swear I've done so much head-scratching that I will soon have a bald patch!!! Which will be made worse due to the stress from all of this!!!!

I think before you make any changes to your heating system, you need to clear your concerns about your insulation in your outside walls. Was this a one off build, or part of a development?

You could just remove the head from your tvr in the hallway, that would just leave that permanently open, for the stat to control.

The operation I’ve described is a standard install, for most properties. Some other properties may require a different approach. That would be designed by the plumber or contractor.

I do find it unusual to have the design, you have. Are you sure it’s the case? Have you spoken to the company who installed you CH system, about your issues? They might be able to advise.

I think I'm more concerned about the insulation on the inside walls, directly behind the plaster board.

My house and the house next door were one-off builds. A guy bought some land off the purpose built flats next door and build on the land. And build very badly!!! And that's why I'm concerned about the insulation. If I can resolve this by using external wall insulation, that would save me a lot of hassle (but cost me a lot more money)!

I had a plumber round last week and I mentioned the problems I've been having. I showed him what I'd done with the radiator in the hallway and explained why I'd turned it off. He didn't mention a thing. But then, I was a bit sceptical of his services and knowledge!

I'm now trying to find another plumber to have a look at the system. I'm also trying to find an insulation specialist, but these are darned rare things!
 

temsy

Active Member
Just a point on your 4 bedroom rads, have you tried, balancing?
I am presuming the cold rooms are the end of the line.
The two hot rooms need the TVR's turning down and the flow of the water throttling down a bit, so it flows a little slower through the rads and allows flow to the other rads.
This should increase the flow to the cold rads,
Have you checked your boiler capacity? could be it is not upto the job.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Just a point on your 4 bedroom rads, have you tried, balancing?
I am presuming the cold rooms are the end of the line.
The two hot rooms need the TVR's turning down and the flow of the water throttling down a bit, so it flows a little slower through the rads and allows flow to the other rads.
This should increase the flow to the cold rads,
Have you checked your boiler capacity? could be it is not upto the job.

Hi temsy, the cold rooms aren't the end of the line. The end of the line are my rads in the loft room. The strange thing about the rads in the loft room is that even when none of the other rads are on on the first floor, the rads in the loft room on occasions come on eve so slightly. I work from the loft room and notice it getting gradually hotter. Then when I walk down to the first floor I can feel the cold. And the rads there would be completely cold. I've even lowered the TVR setting on the loft rads. I swear this house is possessed!!!

All the rads have been balanced. I bought a Valiant boiler 6 years ago and went a little over kill, so that shouldn't be a problem.

I have some holes in the walls in the living room where I've been meaning to put speakers in. I checked through them yesterday and the only thing I could see and feel was a plastic sheet. I'm assuming the insulation would be behind this sheet, but I don't want to risk cutting the sheet to feel for the insulation (if there is actually any of it)!
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
The insulation should be behind the vapour barrier, between the stud work. I would think it strange they've gone to the bother of installing the vapour barrier and not the insulation?

Do you know if your LBC managed the the building progress if it was only two properties built?
 

Alps

Well-known Member
The insulation should be behind the vapour barrier, between the stud work. I would think it strange they've gone to the bother of installing the vapour barrier and not the insulation?

Do you know if your LBC managed the the building progress if it was only two properties built?

Thanks ufo550. I don't know whether they managed it. I can try and find out - although the council is renowned for being unscrupulous, so even if it were managed by them, I still wouldn't have much hope that everything was done well.

The mirror image house next door had one horrific situation when they were having some work done in their garden. A workman was severely electrocuted when digging to do something in the garden.

Apparently there's some kind of electrics that need to be below a certain depth. The builder of these properties would've / should've known this, but as our house are on a steep sloped driveway, the electrics depths were measured from the top of the driveway (highest point of the properties) and not from the lowest point, which is the gardens. So when the workman who was working on the house next door dug down he hit the electrics and was thrown across the garden. He was lucky to survive.

An hour later, men in white coats came. Turned off all the electrics including the surrounding houses to investigate. They were shocked how high the electrics were. BUT there was nothing illegal about it as shockingly (no pun intended) it's absolutely fine to measure the depth from the highest point of the property (here the top of the driveway)!
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
Oh dear that doesn’t sound good. It shouldn’t be the developers responsibility to lay the main supply cables though, that’s down to the DNO.

If your LBC was responsible, they would have a checklist of the installation, insulation is one of those things they should physically check. Might be worth asking? They also might offer some guidance.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
I feel bad now for cursing him for that part of the build now 😂 But in all seriousness, that scenario could've been a helluva lot worse!

I've put a reminder on my phone to call the council on Monday (what has modern tech done to our brains) to ask what checks were carried out! But my thinking is, even if they didn't check / check thoroughly, what are the chances of them telling me!!! Still, no harm in checking, especially if they can guide me.

I'll also see if I can get anywhere with the governments shambolic home energy scheme Green Deal: energy saving for your home

PS I forgot to ask... should there be a vapour barrier between the adjoining wall with my next door? Reason I ask is I checked the wall that's joined with the neighbours (I also have speaker holes there) and there was insulation but no vapour barrier. It was only the outside facing wall that had the barrier.
 

ufo550

Distinguished Member
I feel bad now for cursing him for that part of the build now 😂 But in all seriousness, that scenario could've been a helluva lot worse!

I've put a reminder on my phone to call the council on Monday (what has modern tech done to our brains) to ask what checks were carried out! But my thinking is, even if they didn't check / check thoroughly, what are the chances of them telling me!!! Still, no harm in checking, especially if they can guide me.

I'll also see if I can get anywhere with the governments shambolic home energy scheme Green Deal: energy saving for your home

PS I forgot to ask... should there be a vapour barrier between the adjoining wall with my next door? Reason I ask is I checked the wall that's joined with the neighbours (I also have speaker holes there) and there was insulation but no vapour barrier. It was only the outside facing wall that had the barrier.
You could perhaps see if one of the timber framed construction companies can give you some guidance. Search for ‘timber framed party wall’.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Oh dear that doesn’t sound good. It shouldn’t be the developers responsibility to lay the main supply cables though, that’s down to the DNO.

If your LBC was responsible, they would have a checklist of the installation, insulation is one of those things they should physically check. Might be worth asking? They also might offer some guidance.
You could perhaps see if one of the timber framed construction companies can give you some guidance. Search for ‘timber framed party wall’.

Oh well, nothing registered with my local council. I'm going to look through the huge folder that accompanied the conveyancing process to see if there's anything in there that can shed light on who would have been responsible to carry out the necessary checks when the house was being built.

I've also contacted a local builder I was recommended who might be able to help with all of this. Just waiting to hear back from him.

If all else fails, I'm going to ask someone to cut a hole in the plaster wall!!!
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Hi guys,

Sorry for not updating this thread for a while. Work has been absolutely manically stressful, where I almost rather stupidly took voluntary redundancy! Then a bit of sense prevailed over me and I revoked that request!

Anyway, I'm back now, a little less stressed and hopefully now have time to get back to doing what I need to in this haunted house!

Since starting this thread, I've now found something else that needs sorting! See here: Whilst caulking a window, found newspaper

I'm now thinking whether the windows and the way they've been caulked (or not) might have something to do with the lack of heat in the 2 rooms!

I've also started to set the thermostat in the hallway to 24 degrees, which means the bedrooms now reach 21 degrees. I'm also looking at buying a Tado thermostat with radiator valves for my vailant boiler as recommended here. They're on sale right now at 53% off so would be a bad move to let them go. I have a vaillant eco tec plus 837. Would I need a wired or wireless Tado for this boiler?

I'm now just waiting until it's safe to invite someone over to look at all this mess - heating, windows, stairs etc and will get someone to do all the work for me. I also need to pull my thumb out and look at the government green grant. But that's gonna be a whole new minefield from what I've read about it so far!
 

gfplux

Active Member
So this is a little of the wall......😂😂😂
I live in Luxembourg and the insulation is placed on the outside of many modern houses.
a very rough description is a 10cm thick polystyrene blocks are built up around the outside of the building. Then a screed is applied and followed by colour.
 

gfplux

Active Member
This explains it.
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Thank you gfplux 😂 . It's funny you posted this (literally). I was looking on friday at exterior wall insulation. It's very costly, but I would get assistance from the government green home grant, which would make it a little easier on the bank balance. But before this, as we're slowly moving out of lock down, I'm going to get someone in to look at the house overall. Windows, insulation, quote for a crusty old ensuite, carpets... everything. Cannot carry on living like this any more😂
 

Alps

Well-known Member
Just a quick update as it has been quite a while. Alas, due to lock down there is no update. But something has to be done very soon as I've noticed that my gas and electric bill over the last 12 months has gone up by over £300 😲

The government home insulation scheme as it stands is downgrading very soon, so need to get on to it asap.
 

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