Manifolds & Actuators

What is an underfloor heating manifold?

Manifolds for underfloor heating are used to control the flow of water through the system. It distributes even warmth across the whole floor. They are central to your UFH system, connecting both the supply and return lines. Each manifold consists of a flow and return manifold – each with a flow meter to measure the flow rate. There is a valve on each loop that open and closes  – controlled by the actuator valve in turn controlled by your smart room thermostat.

What is included with our Underfloor Heating Manifolds?

  • Our manifolds range between 2  to 12 ports and come complete with isolating ball valves, adjustable flow meters, fill and drain points, automatic air vents
  • Our stainless steel manifolds are pre-assembled for immediate mounting for both radiator and underfloor systems
  • Available in 1” and 1¼” sizes, from 2 ways to 12 ways with integral flow control valves to suit a wide range of system requirements.
  • Can be surface mounted , concealed in a choice of purpose designed plastic or metal cabinets or within a partition wall for a flexible solution to location.
  • Manifold flow and return outlets are offset for space saving and ease of installation.
  • Ball valves (with optional gauges), fittings and pipe connectors for a wide range of pipe types and sizes.

What is an Underfloor Heating actuator?

An Underfloor Heating 230V actuator (thermal electric actuator) is a vital and necessary element of your underfloor heating system. The actuator opens and closes the valve on the underfloor manifold according to the signal sent by your wet underfloor heating thermostat. Normally they are wired to an underfloor heating wiring centre.

How to connect an actuator

The actuator comes with a threaded ring nut M30 x 1.5 that screws onto the manifold prior to actually fitting the actuator.

Components of an underfloor heating manifold

  1. Flow Meter – Measures the flow rate of water passing through each loop. One is required for each port.
  2. Flow Manifold Rail – The flow rail houses all flow ports and flow meters.
  3. Return Manifold Rail – Holds all return ports and flow caps.
  4. Flow Pipe Connection Port – One end of the pipes connects to these ports. water flows from the underfloor heating manifold into the pipes from here.
  5. Return Pipe Connection Port – The other end of the pipes connects back to these ports. Water passes back into the system from here.
  6. Flow Ball Valve – Provide a shut-off mechanism in the flow
  7. Return Ball Valve – Provides a shut-off mechanism in the return
  8. Air Vent– Releases trapped air within the system.
  9. Fill Port– Provides port to fill the system with water using a hose.
  10. Pressure Gauge – This allows you to monitor pressure within the manifold.
  11. Drain Port – Provides a port to drain the system using a hose.

Underfloor heating manifold dimensions

Below are the dimensions of our underfloor heating manifold and control pack. The installer should allow for the following recommended clearances when mounting the manifold on the wall: 200 mm between the finished floor level and the bottom of the manifold. 100 mm above the manifold. 50 mm on either side of the manifold.

Layout 1 is the standard setup for a manifold. Ball valves are placed between the manifold and the pump. This allows servicing or maintenance without draining the entire system.

Port 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10 11 12

Layout 2 is preferred when horizontal space is limited. Installing the ball valves below the pump allows the length to be decreased. Shut-off valves are still included in the system.

Port 2 3 4 56 7 8 9 10 11 12

Installation of an underfloor heating manifold

This guide outlines key steps for installing an underfloor heating manifold. Visit our installation blog post for further details.

Position the underfloor heating manifold in the centre of the property. Distribution to each heated area is efficient and involves minimal long pipe runs. Ensure pipework to and from the boiler can reach the designated manifold location. If unsure, our engineers can suggest a manifold location.

The installer should allow for the following recommended clearances.

  • 200 mm between the finished floor level and the bottom of the manifold
  • 100 mm above the manifold
  • 50 mm on either side of the manifold

Your underfloor heating manifold can be assembled in various ways. This is chosen based on the available space at the manifold location. Two assembly layouts can be seen above.

  1. At your chosen manifold location, mount the manifold on the wall using strong fittings. Follow the specified installation clearances.
  2. Insert the Auto Air Vent assembly and pressure gauge assembly. Example show on our blog.
  3. Connect ball valves to the other end of the manifold.
  4. Connect and tighten the manifold control pack (where applicable). Ensure that the pump and blending valve are both in the correct orientation. Denoted by arrow markings on each unit.

Pipes are connected using manifold adaptors. Varying sizes of pipe can be connected to the manifold using adaptors. We supply 12, 15, 16, and 17-mm adaptors which can be included.

Slide the nut over the end of the pipe. Fit the split compression olive to the pipe and insert the push fitting into the end. Ensure the push fitting fits at the end of the pipe before proceeding to connect to the manifold. Attach the assembled pipe end to the related port. Torque the nut to approx. 50 Nm or one-and-a-half spanner turns after hand tightening.

Connecting to the central heating source is an important step in installing an underfloor heating manifold. This must be done correctly to ensure the correct function of the system. If you are unsure we recommend employing a heating engineer.

Please note that VPS will not conduct design works of the hot inlet pipework; a qualified plumber or confident DIYer should conduct this.

Filling the system can be done via the fill and drain valves. The fill vent is connected to a main water supply. To help you we have created an in-depth filling & testing guide.

Testing is required after the system has been installed and filled. You must test the completed system to 6 bars for a minimum of 1. This step is essential and must be completed before any covering is laid.

Underfloor Heating Manifold FAQ’s

We’ve answered a few common questions regarding underfloor heating manifolds. If you further advice give us a call.

Yes, the manifold is the central hub of the system. Its purpose is to distribute water to each loop in the system.
A small single room is the only instance a manifold wouldn’t be required. This would use a single-zone kit

Underfloor heating manifolds should be placed in an area that is easy to access for any future repairs or upgrades. It is recommended that there is 200 mm between the floor level and the bottom of the manifold. 75 mm clear space at the top. 50 mm on the left and right sides of the underfloor heating manifold.

The size of the manifold relates the the number of loops in the system, indicated by the amount of ports on the manifold. The number of ports used in an underfloor heating system will depend on various factors. Size of the heated area, pipe spacing, number of different zones, and distance between zones and the manifold.

There’s a lot to consider to determine an accurate estimate for the size of manifold. Our design team uses specialised CAD software to estimate. Allow us to provide a free accurate quotation of your project.

Although challenging, installation can be completed by a competent DIY’er. Time must be taken to fully understand the installation process and requirements.

If you are unsure about any step we recommend using a qualified plumber or heating engineer to complete the manifold installation. Connection to the heat source is a difficult task and must be completed by a certified gas-safe engineer. Installation also includes electrical work connecting thermostats and other equipment. This can be a dangerous and difficult task, if inexperienced we recommend hiring a qualified electrician.

Get in Touch!

For general enquiries or if you just need a little clarification on one of our products, send us a message and we will be sure to get back to you.