I moved into TH2, my tiny house, in October of 2021.
In February of 2023, I finally got my heat all straightened out.
Yes, that’s over one year of the heat not working properly.
It’s been a long journey. I kept thinking that I was going to write about it, except that I couldn’t, not until it was (finally!) fixed.
TH2 sits on a concrete slab. Pipes run through that slab, filled with hot water. This is called radiant heat. There’s a reason why all the floors in TH2 are tile. When the heat works, OMG is it lovely. My hard tile floors are so comfy and it adds to the coziness of the entire house.
I have a Navien combo unit. It is supposed to provide both the heat for the floor as well as the hot water for the sink and shower. It runs on propane.
There were a lot of issues installing the Navien. Then, once the system started, the unit began making a horrible squealing sound every time it started.
The plumber didn’t get out to fix the unit until January 2022.
The good thing about a Navien: it’s made up of lots of small parts. According to the plumber, when something goes wrong, it’s easy to pull a piece out and replace it.
So finally, the horrible squealing noise was fixed.
The next thing I had to figure out was the thermostat. It was in “smart” mode. Instead of turning on at 8 AM, it would turn on at 2 AM so that the house would be way too warm, but it would be toasty, and the temperature I wanted it to be by 8 AM.
This setting wasn’t located in the user manual. I had to hunt down the installation manual for the thermostat to find the advanced settings to finally get the stupid thing to be stupid and run when I wanted it to.
I still had two problems at that point.
Though this Navien is specifically designed to run both the heat and the domestic hot water, it wasn’t. If the floor heat was running, if I would turn on the shower, the unit wouldn’t switch to running the shower. Instead, it would turn itself off. I’d have to turn off the thermostat, turn off the shower, and wait for five minutes before I could turn on the shower and have hot water. Only after my shower could I run the floor heat again.
As the plumber had never installed a combo unit before, he had no clue how to fix it.
The other was that the unit turned itself off and on constantly. It would run, get the floor warm, then turn itself off. Four to eight minutes later, it would run for ten seconds. Turn off. Four to eight minutes later, turn back on. Run for ten seconds.
It did this for HOURS. Very annoying.
We’ve been having issues with the well and not having enough water pressure. After we fixed this, suddenly, I could run both the shower and the heat at the same time. OMG. That has been absolutely fabulous!
Then, at the end of January this year, the unit was constantly turning itself off and on. And it was choking. It would turn itself off and then wouldn’t turn itself back on. Very annoying having to go out and restart it all the time.
So I decided to clean the unit. I had been cleaning it once every six months or so.
I cleaned it at the end of January. It took a while for it to clear all the air out of the pipes, etc.
But then, once it finished running, it stopped.
It was no longer turning itself off and on again.
For the first time, I had domestic hot water, a hot floor, and a unit that wasn’t constantly running.
I cleaned it again at the start of March. It misbehaved once after that, the following day. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing.
I finally feel as though my heat issues are fixed. I may stick with a once-a-month cleaning schedule, I may switch to every other month. We’ll see.
Having constant hot water is blissful. I hope you get to experience this as well.
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