When an older SunTouch thermostat that has failed, most customers have success using one of the SunTouch Thermostats available from Warm Your Floor’s large inventory. We have the latest models and largest selection, factory-fresh stock direct from the manufacturer.
Our thermostats are a direct replacement for virtually any brand of Electric Radiant Floor Heating system; in fact, we have never found a situation in 10 years where they wouldn’t work.
What do you need to know when choosing and replacing a Floor heating thermostat controller?
Voltage of your floor heating system : Most common North American systems are either 120v or 240v, with 120v being the most common. Three factors must be compatible when installing or updating a system : Floor heating mat or cable voltage = circuit providing power from your circuit breaker panel = Thermostat voltage rating.
- Most current production thermostats are dual voltage, which means they can work with either 120 or 240 voltage, but they do not CONVERT voltage. The circuit voltage must always match the system in the floor.
Is there a floor sensor installed that you can connect to your new thermostat? Sensing the temperature of the floor is the ideal method for controlling a floor heating system. Most systems provide a sensor know as a “10k” (at 77 F the sensor reads 10,000 ohms when tested with a multimeter), although there are a few smaller manufacturers (older models) using a different sensor (usually type 13k). If the existing sensor is different, that just means it will provide different temperature reading. The replacement thermostat will still work and sense the temperature, you will just need to adjust your settings by 6-10 degrees (i.e. if the display reads 66° F, then the floor is actually 73° F).
If there is no floor sensor - for example you are replacing a regulator, dimmer switch, or timer arrangement - you have two choices:
- 1. You can install a thermostat that has ambient air sensing capability and not install the floor sensor that comes with your new thermostat.
- 2. You can install the sensor wire into the existing floor (use care not to damage the floor heating system) by installing it from underneath or in a grout joint.
Read More about installing a sensor here.
Safety First : If you suspect there is a safety issue with your existing controller, turn off the power at the circuit breaker immediately. As with any electrical product, care should be taken to protect against injury or damage. We recommend only qualified people work on any electrical system and recommend a licensed electrician. If you are not sure what to do, get help from a qualified person.
Changing out an electric floor heating thermostat is similar to changing a light switch; the power needs to be turned off at the breaker. The Instructions should alwats be reviewed and followed. When you remove the thermostat, the floor heating system should be grounded at the electrical box. Each thermostat has 4 wires total: 2 wires that connect to incoming power (LINE), and 2 wires that connect to the floor heating system (LOAD). Most radiant floor heat systems are also installed with the floor sensor wire included with thermostats. If there is a small gauge black or white wire with 2 conductors coming out of the floor, that is likely your floor sensor. A qualified installer can verify each wire’s purpose. A proper installation will have all wires properly labeled with their UL tags from the factory left intact.
You can replace most existing brands of floor heating thermostat controllers with one of our modern controls. We offer several programmable Thermostats to replace your existing control.
There are a few important points to consider when replacing an older model Thermostat:
- GFCI protection is required in North America in all rooms with running water (at a minimum). Many areas require all floor heating systems to have GFCI protection regardless of the installation type. All of the thermostats we sell have GFCI protection built-in. Most floor heating installations are done on their own dedicated circuit, with no other devices on the same circuit. If that is not the case in your situation, adding a GFCI device to a circuit with other GFCI devices can cause nuisance tripping of the thermostat’s GFCI (this may vary in frequency depending on the situation). Most people accept this nuisance to have a properly protected installation, if they are replacing a stat that does not have a GFCI built-in.
- Most of our thermostats have an "air" sensing mode, as well as a floor sensor mode (most installations these days use a floor sensor installed in the floor, but it's not absolutely necessary in a retro-fit situation).
If there is a floor sensor installed, you can connect it to the new stat. If not, choose a thermostat with Ambient Air sensing capability (all SunTouch and all Nuheat have this except the Nuheat Harmony thermostat).