Testing Beforehand Ensures A Trouble-Free Electric Radiant Installation
The best troubleshooting of the roll is the pretesting that happens before it's installed.
- ALWAYS test your roll when you first take it out of the shipping box using an ohms meter (the circuit check is NOT an ohms meter).
- After the rolls are cut and laid out on the floor, the roll MUST be tested again.
If the roll passes the first two tests, it is ready to be encased in latex-modified thinset or latex modified self leveling cement.
- Before troweling on the thinset, install the Circuit Check* device to each roll that is being installed. This device will emit a loud noise if the roll gets damaged during installation. The Circuit Check is NOT a substitute for an ohms meter! A digital ohms meter can be purchased at any hardware store for around $15.
- After the floor is installed, test the roll again with an ohms meter.
Forgot To Test Beforehand And Now There's A Problem?If there is a problem with the heated floor, the system should be tested. A digital volt/ohms meter is necessary to verify that the thermostat has the correct voltage available.
- First try resetting the circuit breaker. If the thermostat is getting the correct power, it should be tested to see if the power is being passed by the thermostat into the floor. When the wavy lines are showing in the thermostat display window, the thermostat should be passing line voltage to the floor. If it doesn't, the thermostat is malfunctioning or is not wired correctly to the floor leads.
- Disconnect the wires from the thermostat.
- Set the ohm meter to the 200 range.
- Attach one center core wire to each meter probe. The ohms reading should correspond with the numbers that appear on the label affixed to the roll. If the ohms reading is not within the 15% +/- margin, the roll may be defective.
- If the readings match the spec, attach a braided sheath from each end of the wire to each probe. This reading should be within 15% of the spec on the roll's label, if not, the roll may be damaged.
- Attach one meter probe to the center core of one wire.
- Attach the other probe to the braided sheath of the same wire end. This ohm reading should be OL or INF.
- Now test the other wire end. This reading should be the same. This reveals that there is no short between the inner core conductor and the braided sheath that surrounds it. If there is an ohm reading on either end, the roll has a short.
- A "shortstop"* can be used to find the break. This device sends a signal down one end of the wire and measures the distance to the short or break. Once this number is obtained, the device is attached to the other end of the wire and the test repeated.
- The numbers obtained from these tests will indicate the approximate position of the damaged area in the room, if the installation plan was used. This device will not work if the roll is laid without a plan or the plan was changed.
*Contact the manufacturer for Circuit Checks and Shortstops.
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