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Author Topic: New install  (Read 1102 times)
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« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2018, 02:11:31 PM »

I used

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« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2018, 11:16:48 PM »

Hi Pantsmachine :-)

This is probably a very stupid question, but how did you go about finding the cracks and holes in your house? I have a pretty leaky house, and want to know the best way to start the find-and-fix-the-hole



Mike/The Fairway, Hello, the stupid questions are those that go unasked,

Our home is a triple converted/extended semi detached bungalow built around 1984 then ext1-1989, ext2-2004, ext3-2008 and covers around 2.5k sqft in its current iteration. Regs changed across the timeline as did build quality.

The simple answer is that yes it makes a massive difference. We have had about three runs thru the house across the years and at its most basic I used caulk, silicone or expanding foam depending on circumstances.

One of the biggest improvements was sealing around the waste pipes in bathroom on sink and bath. I do like to take things to their logical conclusion and had seen obvious improvement other than the aforementioned naked tea making but also in thermostat cut off time and a general lowering on TRV settings after i took the time to balance the CH system.

The first and second runs thru the house were the obvious ones, adjusting windows to seal, sealing obvious cracks, wee bits at skirting boards, weather strip and insulate loft and access hatches.
Second run included adding further insulation, drop light clusters and seal cable entries into living spaces.
Third run had a surprise in it which was the cut out holes in the UPVC windows for trickle vents, they were literally massive and i cut them down to 1/4 of their original size with silicone and turned the vents to point upwards.
Possibly the 4th run thru was the finish and this included sealing wiring holes and wall plates, at this point I was actually embarrassed at myself but on a couple of plates i could feel the difference.

If i had to estimate i would say that in total we removed at least a 2ft sqr hole from the house to out/underside and felt improvement every step of the way. Obvious of course as that hole was operating 24/7.The risk is lack of air exchange and an increase in moisture but the house is large and there are only two of us now that sadly the birds have flown.

No matter, the difference to me is that we ventilate when we choose to beyond the restricted trickle vents, this is every day of course but and this is the point. Its under our control and not due to a random other set of leaks 24/7. Mike, make a list and begin one room at a time. If you go beyond a 4th iteration then you can have the 'mental as anything crown', ok? Smiley You should be able to find the obvious ones with the back of your hand, candles, joss sticks all work as does thermal cams but i kept it simple and used skin.

I did not fit flappers on the bathrooms or kitchen extractors as i would rather have some heat loss in exchange for a source of fresh air into a moister room but that was a personal choice. It great to read about passive houses and MHRV's and the ideas therein and there is no reason why some of the ideas cannot be brought to older houses, cheers.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 08:42:24 AM by pantsmachine » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2018, 10:37:57 AM »

Thank you, very interesting

I have done the basic scout round over the last couple of years. The house is 1913, and very very big, but mostly built well - ie cavity wall construction in 1913! Obviously changed and extended over the years, and we did a large extension in about 2005

The worst holes I found were from bathroom upgrades - the worst being a whole soil pipe hole access left open, where a toilet had been moved - it wasn't visible because there was a massive bush covering the hole on the outside

Also oak flooring tongue and groove that had been ripped up for wiring, obviously had massive leaks

I shall now proceed to look a bit closer, but I presume it is best done in colder months where incoming cold air will be more obvious
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 10:47:37 AM by Mike123 » Logged
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2018, 10:52:56 AM »

Thanks for link to balancing radiators - since having a rad replaced with a bigger one our heating has been a bit off sometimes - so this was on my list to get done. Not sure how easy it is to go round an check rad heating order - any tips?

Do you (anyone) think that expanding foam is good enough - I foamed around some window frames that previously had a bead and cracked decorators caulk covering a large gap and have yet to replace the bead and whilst I can nolonger feel a draft where the cracked caulk was, it doesn't seem any warmer. Im kind of putting off rubbing down the paintwork prior to fitting new beading and wondering how ai tight I need to get this - surface was obviously patched some pont in its past so is quite uneven.

But I kind of the opinion that foam is draft sealing rather than making air tight - just not sure what constitutes the latter. However, I'm not trying to achieve passivhaus so former may be sufficient.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 12:01:11 PM by TheFairway » Logged

3.995kWp SE PV. 5kW Burley Hollywell woodburner. Vent-Axia Sentinel Kinetic Plus MVHR

All posts are my own personal thoughts and opinions and do not represent those of my former employer, clients or partners.

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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2018, 01:51:42 AM »

No worries gents, my pleasure. Its good to pass on the one's that work! The radiator balancing made a large difference and seems to be one of the regimes that has fallen out of use when systems are installed. The lockshield valves get wound open to the max and left. My biggest room (7 mtrx5mtr) is furthest from the boiler at around 15 mtrs pipes length whereas the closest is under 1 mtr. The 15mtr radiator lockshield is almost fully wound open while the sub 1mtr distance lockshield is a crack away from fully closed to achieve the 12 deg drop across the rads. The 12 degree drop is the trick, if you get that right the rad order takes care of itself. This had a massive impact on balancing the temp of the house and the rooms that need most get it. For simplicity, start at the one closest to boiler as they will likely require the most constriction of flow leaving the remaining flow to go further.

Coupled with sealing the unwanted paths to outside and you truly take a step up in house environment. I am going to be really sad now and say 'I take pride in knowing that my radiator thermostats are actually working'. Smiley

The material used to sort the cracks is largely immaterial with regard to its thermal resistance. My rationale for this statement is that a 90% reduction in heat loss at a crack is good enough for me and i can live with the remaining 10% loss due to material inefficiency. That's not to say i wouldn't revisit later if i thought i could improve further at a non exorbitant price point. Everything comes down to risk/reward and cost/performance eventually, Cheers.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 11:51:51 PM by pantsmachine » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2018, 11:47:30 AM »

Hi all,

The system went in, 16 panel 320w 5.12kw with solaredge, solar Iboost. and Goodwe inverter. All working wonderfully apart from the LG 6.5kw RESU battery. Dead out of the box. Sad I felt very sorry for the fitters as they knocked their pans in and did a really neat job and to be let down by a single component not in their control....

We are instead having 7.2kw of rack mounted Pylontech  which will go in next week or so. Yesterday was the 1st full day and we generated 25kwh. Very happy with the system and quite amazed that the solar Iboost takes our 200ltr OSO system storage tank to 75 degrees. Celebrated with a solar chilled beer and some solar classical. Truly amazed and very. very happy! Smiley
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