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Discuss Replacement manifold recommendation? in the Water Underfloor Heating Installations area at PlumbersForums.net

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Background story: About 18 years ago we refurbished 75% of our house and self-installed UHF in that part of the property with the help and advice of a good friend of mine (who is also a Gas Safe registered engineer). At the time we purchased a design and complete kit of parts from a young specialist business that has long since disappeared. All went well. Love UFH for the comfort and convenience it offers.

Other than a couple of actuator failures all has run reliably and effectively. However we now have a couple of issues with a leaky (dripping) mixer valve/pump block and a dripping 8 port sectional return manifold. I'm going to deal with the manifold issue here which is FAR brand (Italian I believe?) and consists of 4 x 2 port sectional manifolds assembled as an 8 port piece. After the original plastic(!) retaining brackets became brittle and disintegrated I re-secured the manifold with metal band strip which did the job but probably slightly disturbed the gaskets between each section hence the drips. I don't really want to pee around with new gaskets etc on the original manifold and feel it is just easier and for long term reliability to replace it with a single solid 8-port piece. The original FAR manifold is 1.25" dia (if I've measured correctly) and accepts 17mm PEX.

So my questions for anybody willing to share are:
Is there a manifold brand you prefer/recommend for long term reliability and ease of installation?
I see many manifolds advertised than accept 16mm pipe but very few that accept up to 17mm pipe.
Am I right in assuming 17mm PEX is no longer commonly used?
Am I wrong is assuming 16mm is the maximum diameter the majority of current manifolds accept?
Or is it just a matter of using the correct dia connector on the pipe?
Data sheets I have pulled up for various manifolds seem incredibly vague about port pipe sizes ****** or am I just lacking common knowledge the manufacturers take for granted ******. !?
Thanks in advance.
 
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Generally it depends on how much movement (if any) you have on the flow and return tails. The manifold can be quite difficult to replace if the spacings are significantly different.

If you are limited on movement I would go for a like for like replacement - if it is an 8 port 1 1/4 inch configured Far - a Far 408 should fit - albeit I have never seen them with a plastic mounting bracket.
 
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We change a FAR 17mm manifold for a 15mm polypipe one (customer had a extention needing 4 more zones not enough space to fit extra manifold)
We were able to get some 17mm x 15 mm connectors not cheap tho £8 a pop.
 
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I can’t help thinking it would be far cheaper and easier to just tweak what you have - maybe with new gaskets, but possibly don’t even need those.***
I agree with you in principle however I cannot find a single UK supplier of FAR components and our original supplier has long since gone out of business. Perhaps FAR components are not now available in the UK or only through limited distribution? I have found the identical item (FAR part# 3917 13408) listed on eBay but it ships from Italy and the shipping cost is ludicrous which suggests the seller is not interested in the UK market. I cant even find the sectional connection 'O' rings listed separately on FAR's website (FAR.eu) (They use 'O' rings not gaskets as I mentioned in my original post.)
Also can't really see the point of buying a sectional manifold when many one piece assemblies are available. I'm getting on a bit now and reliability is more important than cost cost saving.
 
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We change a FAR 17mm manifold for a 15mm polypipe one (customer had a extention needing 4 more zones not enough space to fit extra manifold)
We were able to get some 17mm x 15 mm connectors not cheap tho £8 a pop.
Thanks, I have actually seen some of these and while not cheap *** WAY better than new pipe!!
 
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Generally it depends on how much movement (if any) you have on the flow and return tails. The manifold can be quite difficult to replace if the spacings are significantly different.

If you are limited on movement I would go for a like for like replacement - if it is an 8 port 1 1/4 inch configured Far - a Far 408 should fit - albeit I have never seen them with a plastic mounting bracket.
Thank you for this. Actually the flow and return feeds will need to be replumbed anyway as we also have a leaky cast iron Grundfos mixer/pump block assembly. The thing is huge and looks like it belongs on a battleship! They definitely don't make them like that anymore, at least not for domestic use! My plumber buddy took one look at the dripping mixer part and said 'bin it.' I'll post a photo if anyone is curious.
Do you know of a UK supplier for FAR parts? My research has got me no further than eBay and that supplier is based in Italy with exorbitant shipping charges.
btw: The mounting brackets are metal as you say, however they use very feeble plastic clamps to secure each manifold to the steel bracket. You can see them of FAR.eu
 

Ric2013

Plumber
Messages
2,365
but it ships from Italy and the shipping cost is ludicrous which suggests the seller is not interested in the UK market
Probably more to do with Italy having an inefficient and very expensive postal service. Out of interest, I've just tried to get an online quote but the Poste Italiane website is glitching and not allowing me to enter a destination country at all. That's how bad the system is, never mind using their branches.

Anyone posting to the UK will be insuring to the nines and nothing is cheap (even private couriers) in a country where the basic rate of NICs for a self employed person is €4000 per year.
 
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Probably more to do with Italy having an inefficient and very expensive postal service. Out of interest, I've just tried to get an online quote but the Poste Italiane website is glitching and not allowing me to enter a destination country at all. That's how bad the system is, never mind using their branches.

Anyone posting to the UK will be insuring to the nines and nothing is cheap (even private couriers) in a country where the basic rate of NICs for a self employed person is €4000 per year.
Yeah, you're probably correct. I've bought electronic components from Italian sellers on eBay and shipping is always pricey. Its just that for the manifold shipping was astronomic.
 
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So I had this somewhat bizarre reply fro BES in Birmingham after asking if they could supply 17mm PEX adaptors for their 16mm polymer manifolds :
17 mm ! no chance in the UK you may have to order them from France.
Obviously they can't meet my requirement but seem unaware that there are other suppliers in the UK who do sell 17mm PEX adaptors and manifolds!
We change a FAR 17mm manifold for a 15mm polypipe one (customer had a extention needing 4 more zones not enough space to fit extra manifold)
We were able to get some 17mm x 15 mm connectors not cheap tho £8 a pop.
Thanks for this. This is probably the way I will need to go.
 

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