Previously, we discussed the importance of properly installing heating floor mats to ensure functionality and warranty coverage. But another important step in successfully installing an in-floor heating system is selecting its actual location. While this might sound simple, there are two key factors that must be considered: accessibility and warranty requirements.
In-Floor Heating System Installation for Future Accessibility
It is critical to select an in-floor heating system installation location that ensures the system remains accessible in the future. Although failures are rare, they can occur even when the system is installed per manufacturer specifications.
Recently, an installer told us of a job where the in-floor heating system worked for years until one day it stopped. Based on testing equipment readouts, it was determined that the cold lead splice had failed (the cold lead splice is the manufacturer’s connection between the wires that connect to the thermostat and the floor heat wire that heats the floor. It is not part of the in-floor heating product). Upon further testing, it was discovered that the splice was installed under a custom-made cabinet that was mounted to the wall with a granite countertop and backsplash, plus plumbing for two sinks. Simply put, it just wasn’t practical to remove and replace the failed cold lead splice due to the unfortunate choice of location.
Make sure to follow manufacturer’s installation instructions and ensure accessibility of the spliced sections.
What In-Floor Heating System Warranties Say About Installation Location
Most In-Floor Heating Systems have disclaimers that void the warranty when splices and heating elements are installed under cabinets.
Warranties typically require the submission of photographs that demonstrate proper installation and removal. In the previous example, it was impossible to photograph the installation due to its inaccessible location and removal simply wasn’t an option. Additionally, these warranties typically require that the actual cold lead splice is returned to the factory for inspection to determine a possible cause of failure. Without physical and photographic proof, any manufacturer has to assume that the in-floor heating system was not installed per specification.
Executing a Successful Installation
Understanding warranty terms and taking time to select proper in-floor heating system installation location can go a long way in ensuring the successful installation of any in-floor heating system. This includes selecting a location that maintains future accessibility in the rare event of a failure and avoids placement under cabinets or other structures in order to meet the warranty. Had these details been observed, all parties would have been paid by the manufacturer. But instead, the responsibility fell to the installer.
If you have questions about RPM Mats or in-floor heating systems please contact us.