Holly Dene Barn Conversion

Holly Dene Barn Conversion

Wheildon’s installed the plumbing and heating for this private client undertaking their first barn conversion. During this project, Wheildons were commissioned to install an oil fired central heating system, underfloor heating to two floors, solar panels and a solar cylinder for hot water with associated plant and pipe work, plumbing for first and second fix for a family bathroom, two en-suite shower rooms, downstairs shower-room, kitchen and utility room.

Barn Conversion Shower InstallationAs with any barn conversion there are challenges, in this case our challenge was to future proof the conversion yet keep it cost effective. The location of the barn ruled out mains gas. The options available were the installation of a heat pump for either ground or air source, LPG or Oil fired central heating.

At the time, ground source heating was a relatively new and expensive technology to install. The choice to install the horizontal coil or vertical bore hole method was simply not an option at this time. However, Wheildon’s wanted the installation to be future proofed should the client decide to install this technology at a later date.

The decision to install an air source heat pump was over ruled because of the low electricity supply at the barn and the cost to install an additional transformer to increase supply proved very expensive.

Barn Conversion Bathroom Installation

The decision was made to install oil fired central heating, underfloor heating, solar (hot water) panels and a Solar Cylinder. This ensured that during the summer months the solar panels would supply enough hot water for the property and the oil boiler and underfloor heating could be turned off, thus reducing running costs. Electric heated towel rails were installed by the electrician in the bathrooms to ensure towels were always dry and bathrooms were warm during the cooler summer months.

This has been an exciting yet challenging project and not without its difficulties. One of the biggest challenges was lifting the oil from the oil tank to the boiler located in the house. The challenge presented itself as a 25m downhill gradient. The solution was the installation of a mechanism called an Oil Lifter, its role was to simply help the oil boiler lift the oil up through the oil line to the boiler. Simple solution, we thought.

The battle between Wheildon engineers and oil lifters began. It took several attempts involving the installation of three oil lifters, a new pump house and the re-location of the oil lifter onto the patio. Eventually, the problem of noise, air locks and continuous oil flow were finally overcome. We can’t wait for our next challenge!

Barn Conversion Bathroom Installation

Foyle Food Group, Abattoir, Melton Mowbray – On going

October 2012: What began as an enquiry from the website from Foyle Food Group has now seen the development of a three phase project at the groups Melton Mowbray site. Foyle Foods acquired the site with a view to cutting running costs. The aim of the project is to decommission the currently hired and expensive steam generator which currently supplies all the hot water for the steam plant at the abattoir. The challenge for this project is the guarantee of a continuous rate of hot water at 85 degrees. The hot water requirements for the site are as follows:

  • 85 Degrees for the Gut Room.
  • 60 Degrees for washing down.
  • 45 Degrees for showers and Taps.

Foyle Foods AbattoirePhase 1: November 2012, Wheildons installed two commercial ACV units to provide the continuous hot flow rates as above. Temperatures of 60 and 45 degrees were achieved for the washing down, showers and taps. However, the demand for a continuous flow of hot water at 85 degrees, were not being achieved.

It was soon apparent that the two ACV units that were commissioned to do this, based on their statistics to deliver this rate of hot water could not keep up with the current demand for continuous hot water at 85 degrees. Troubleshooting meetings between the parties were arranged to overcome this obstacle. The outcomes were discussed:

  • The Installation of 2 ACV units would not produce the desired 85 degrees continuous flow, in fact it would require 4 ACV units.
  • Water flow restrictors to be installed to reduce the amount of water currently being used and reduce water wastage.
  • The installation of a tripe machine and its requirements need to be considered.
  • The current return rate of hot water around the plant was too slow due to small pipework, this meant that the temp of the water returning to the ACV units were lower than the required temp return rate to produce a continuous flow rate of 85 degrees.
  • Foyle Foods AbbatoireThe pipe work in the abattoir needs to be increased in size to accommodate this and the pipework also needs to be insulated.
  • A ‘tank in tank’ hot water storage tank is to be installed to utilize the currently wasted energy generated from the re-fridgeration units. The hot water storage will form a pre-heat that will supply the ACV units. This will make the plant more efficient.
  • The work needs to be carried out with minimal disruption to the site and downtime kept to a minimum.
  • The allocation of budgets restricted the amount of work that could be done and when.

Following this meeting in February 2013, Wheildons were commissioned to carry out the installation of a further two ACV units. Increase the size of the pipework in the abattoir to aid a quicker return rate of hot water, implement the use of water flow restrictors at key points to reduce the amount of water currently being used until the new sterilization equipment is installed and install the hot water storage tank.

Foyle Foods are going to replace the roof at the abattoir in March, this will require a shut down period of one week, during this time the pipe work will be upgraded. Foyle will supply the hot water storage tank and insulate the pipe work themselves to reduce costs.

Foyle Foods Abattoire

This work would be carried out in a further two phases, scheduled for February and March 2013.

Phase 2: 12th February 2013: This week Wheildons are back in Melton Mowbray for the Foyle Group. Wheildons will be installing two more ACV units & plant, thus completing phase two of the project.

Phase 3: March 2013: Factory will be shut down for the replacement roof and pipework increase.

To be continued.

Renewable Project, Underbarrow, Private House

Renewable project house

This year (2012) we have undertaken another renewables project for Ben Cunliffe Architects. This time the project was a domestic renovation in Underbarrow, the Lake District. As Mcs approved installers, this project was yet another chance to demonstrate our skills in renewable heating solutions. This installation involved a bore-hole groundsource heat pump,  ground loops, plant room, underfloor heating and four bathroom installations. 

Renewable Project HouseDuring this project the existing heating system was a traditional boiler with radiators, designed for a single story bungalow. Designed by Ben Cunliffe Architects this single story dwelling was to be completely renovated, in its place, the creation of modern and contemporary House split over two floors. Quite simply, our role was to advise on the installation of a sustainable heating technology, suitable for this modern and contemporary new home.

The new heating system consisted of a bore hole ground source heat pump, ground loops, plant room and underfloor heating throughout. As part of the renovation Ben Cunliffe had designed four modern and contemporary bathrooms that were installed by the Wheildon team. This has been yet another challenging and enjoyable project from Ben Cunliffe Architects. For more information on ground source heating please refer to the renewables section on the website.


 We first approached Wheildon’s in 2009, from a recommendation. We tendered them for our Lake House project, which was going to be anything but straightforward. The can-do attitude of the company impressed us from the outset. On one project alone, Wheildon’s presided over a lake-source heat installation; solar heating for a swimming pool; and an LPG–based system for hot water and secondary back-ups; along with two plant room installations.

Having won our confidence, and submitting a great value tender for our next project; Wheildon’s won the Mechanical tender for a high-tech new-build house in 2011. Ground-source heating and hot water from boreholes meant this property required no reliance on a traditional back-up. Wheildon’s installed the ground-source loops, the plant room, underfloor heating and five bathrooms. In 2012 they carried out a similar, but smaller, installation in a domestic renovation project. We look forward to a continued working relationship.

Ben Cunliffe, Ben Cunliffe Architects.
For further information on Ben Cunliffe Architects please follow the link to their website: www.bencunliffe.co.uk

Private House Renewable Energy, Grasmere

We have worked in association with Ben Cunliffe Architects on a number of exciting projects, each with a unique and challenging environment. So far we have installed a heat pump in a Lake for a Bespoke Country House Hotel and worked together for private clients installing renewable heating systems.

Private House, Grasmere

This latest project was based in Grasmere in the heart of the Lake District National Park. Nestled in the heart of the cumbrian hills, the location and remit of this project presented a unique and challenging environment. Our mission was to install a monovalent (single) renewable heating system, one system that would provide all the heating and hot water requirements for this modern and contemporary building.

Ground source heat pump.Ground source heat pump

For this project, there is not a boiler or a radiator in sight, not even solar panels. This heating system is quite literally reliant on the earths natural resources, a bore hole ground source heat pump. This is not the cheapest renewable heating technology, however, as this would be the only method of providing heating and hot water, the technology had to be both reliable and sustainable. A bore hole groundsource heating system can provide this.

This has been an exciting and lengthy project. In addtion to the ground source heat pump and associated pipework for the ground loops, our engineers installed a plant room, and plumbed five modern and bespoke bathrooms, consisiting of four ensuite bathrooms and a main bathroom. This project required a high level of skill and a dependence on reliable renewable technology, this is only achieved when using the right people with experience  in the renewable heating industry.


We first approached Wheildon’s in 2009, from a recommendation. We tendered them for our Lake House project, which was going to be anything but straightforward. The can-do attitude of the company impressed us from the outset. On one project alone, Wheildon’s presided over a lake-source heat installation; solar heating for a swimming pool; and an LPG–based system for hot water and secondary back-ups; along with two plant room installations.

Having won our confidence, and submitting a great value tender for our next project; Wheildon’s won the Mechanical tender for a high-tech new-build house in 2011. Ground-source heating and hot water from boreholes meant this property required no reliance on a traditional back-up. Wheildon’s installed the ground-source loops, the plant room, underfloor heating and five bathrooms. In 2012 they carried out a similar, but smaller, installation in a domestic renovation project.We look forward to a continued working relationship.

Ben Cunliffe, Ben Cunliffe Architects, for further information have a look on the following website. www.bencunliffe.co.uk

Biomass Log Burning Boiler, Claughton

Project: Renewable Heating Installation – Biomass Log Burning Boiler.

Hole House, ClaughtonClients: Mick and Rachel Thomas
Location: Hole House, Claughton
Date: May to June 2012

Following a site survey, it was decided that the biomass log burning boiler would provide the best renewable heating solution for our clients.


Plumbing and Heating: Drain down and disconnected the old oil AGA and oil boiler. The water was capped off. Removed pipework on the heating and lift boards. Removed existing copper cylinder. Designed new pipe runs. Run new pipes for cold water to bathroom and mains pipes, fit new radiators, valves and connect to pipework. Run cables from the house to the barn.

Boimass log burner boiler

Biomass Log Burning Boiler and plant: Following the survey, the log burning boiler and necessary plant was installed in the garage. The floor was leveled in the garage and the boiler put in position. Point the stonework on the soil stack. Fit cylinder and boiler into place. Fit flue to the boiler and breakthrough the roof. Install pipe work to boiler and lag pipes. Replace lead slate in the roof. Install pipe work to boiler dump store and cylinder. Fit hopper head and finish pipe work in boiler room for heating and hot water.

Boimass log burner boiler

House Bathroom Renovation: Renovation of house bathroom including building joinery and plumbing work. Knock out old soil stack and replace with new, re-stone and point. Build stud work to back wall of bathroom, remove old plaster off walls, plasterboard walls and re-plaster. 1st fix and 2nd fix bathroom, build and install bathroom units.

En-suite Bathroom Renovation: Run hot and cold pipe to en-suite bathroom. 1st and 2nd fix bathroom.

Snug / Dining room: Install new radiator. Drain heating system alter pipe work hand and connect new radiator.

Utility Room and Kitchen: Knock off and re-bond utility room wall. Chase radiator pipes into the kitchen wall and re-plaster.

Boimass log burner boiler


We needed to replace an old, inefficient and expensive to run oil system in a farmhouse that could be very cold but stayed warm once it had some heat put into it. Mains gas was not an option and so we contacted Wheildon’s, plumbers we have used and trusted for many years, to look at the situation and give us some advice. Living on a farm there is always some fallen wood around but there are also other family members who want some for their fires. We wanted to make use of this but are aware that we may also have to buy some in to supplement our own supply.

Wheildon’s assessed the situation and after considering ground source heating against a wood log boiler they recommended the latter and researched the best one for our situation.

Wheildon’s planned where to site the boiler and tanks and the installation itself went smoothly. The two heating engineers installing the system were very professional, polite and trustworthy. They worked hard with the project, which looks to us very complicated, taking care that all insulation within the system was up to standard and they were prepared to adapt and modify their plans if necessary. At the beginning we were anxious this system was the right one as it was a size-able investment, however with Wheildon’s workmanship and the running of the boiler so far we feel this has been the right choice.

Mike and Rachel Thomas, Hole House, Claughton.

Carus Lodge, Plumbing & Heating Upgrade

Complete Plumbing and Heating UpgradeClients: Graham & Debbie Atkinson
Location: Carus Lodge, Arkholme.
Duration: June – Sept 2012

Project: House Renovation: Complete Plumbing and Heating Upgrade, Main Bathroom Refurbishment, Creation and Installation of new En-suite Bathroom, Installation of Wood Burning Stove.

Heating: Remove old boiler, radiators, pipe work and header tanks from loft space. Install new boiler, flue, weather compensator, radiator pipework, manifolds and new radiatiors. Run pipes to loft space in case of future renovation.

Main Bathroom: Plasterboard and plaster outside wall & side of newly formed cupboard. Plumb washing machine into cupboard. Remove old sanitary ware, 1st & 2nd fix soil (new stack) & waste pipes, 1st & 2nd fix sanitary ware. Hard backer & tile bathroom floor, tile bath area, half tile toilet area.

En-suite: Bench out external manhole, lift section of concrete path, dig external trench, lift floorboards in bedroom 1 & excavate internal hole, lift floorboards in bedroom 3 and excavate external hole. Install underground soil pipe from bedroom 1 to manhole. Make good holes and concrete above drain outside. Knock Out nib in bedroom wall, form en-suite bathroom. Re-enforce joists under shower tray. 1st & 2nd fix bathroom. Tile the floor, shower area, toilet wall, above the toilet framework and above the sink.

Kitchen: Run pipe work to new sink location, plumb sink and dishwasher. Drill hole in kitchen worktop & install kitchen tap. Install outside tap.

Lounge: Install flue, Install Wood Burner & Connect to Flue. Install Spinner cowl to flue.


I am writing to say how pleased we are with the work done by your company on our property. We are pleased with the very professional finish both the bathroom and en-suite look lovely and function well and the heating system installed is super. However, we were also very impressed with the way the work was carried out with all the different staff being very friendly helpful and patient – with Mick deserving a special mention!

In addition to which your staff always came when they said they would and always did their utmost to keep our rather lengthy job moving. From Mick’s first visit to finishing off I had confidence in the company and wasn’t disappointed.


In Progress Photos

Bronte 6th Form, Casterton, Plumbing & Heating Project

Casterton Plumbing & Heating ProjectThe project for the Bronte 6th Form accommodation at Casterton School was a complete refurbishment of the existing plumbing & heating systems.

The requirements were :

  • Phase 1: Complete plumbing & heating of top floor accommodation with 12 en-suite bathrooms.
  • Phase 2: Complete plumbing & heating of middle floor accommodation with 12 en suite bathrooms.

In 2010 Casterton School contracted Wheildon’s to install all of the plumbing and heating on a split two-year project to refurbish and update Bronte House, a three storey eighteen hundreds building.

Their remit was to work with the school, architects and the tendered builders to provide a modern living accommodation for our sixth form girls. Over the two-nine week periods, Wheildon’s successfully changed old boarding accommodation facilities, into new clean cut en-suites with shower cubicles, WC’s and wash basins. This set a new standard that the school is proud to show.


Bronte House also had an all new heating system with new boilers that are more efficient and cost saving. Wheildon’s successfully completed both phase 1 and phase 2 of the projects on time and in a clean and professional manner and we look forward to working with them on future projects.

Casterton School Site Foreman

Lake House Hotel Utilises Solar and Ground Source Heating

Solar and Ground Source HeatingThe Lake House Hotel has no reservations about Vaillant renewable ground source energy solutions.

Solar panels and a ground source heat pump from Vaillant have been installed in one of the UK’s most innovative heating projects at the luxurious Lake House boutique hotel, near Windermere, recently featured on ITV’s The Lakes.

Drawing heat from the natural Knipe Tarn, a 10kW Vaillant geoTHERM heat pump is believed to be the first to be installed in the UK without first draining the lake. It now provides underfloor heating for the hotel, while five Vaillant auroTHERM exclusive vacuum tube solar panels preheat water which is fed into a bespoke tank in tank domestic hot water system, reducing energy bills further.

Using Knipe Tarn to provide a heat source was the brainchild of architect Ben Cunliffe, whose family owns and runs The Lake House, but it was left to Mick Lloyd, Director of Lancaster-based installer Wheildons, and renewables experts from manufacturer Vaillant to design a heating system and devise a scheme for the installation.

Mick Lloyd, Director of Wheildons, said, “We worked very closely with Vaillant throughout this project as it presented some interesting challenges. Combining our knowledge we came up with some very satisfactory solutions. Lakes are a good source of energy for heat pumps, in my opinion better than a horizontal layout and almost as good as a borehole. Knipe Tarn is around 5m deep, which is a good depth for a lake heat pump application. The installation has successfully provided heat during its first winter and has provided the cosy environment needed for the guests of this luxury hotel.”

Solar and Ground Source HeatingNormally when heat pumps are installed in lakes, the lake is either purpose built for the installation or drained to allow the heat pump collectors to be secured to the bottom of the lake, then filled; however, at Knipe it wasn’t possible to drain the lake. The Lake House uses water from Knipe Tarn for bathing and drinking water, first cleaning and processing it through a filtration plant. This meant that installation of the collectors had to be achieved without churning up the water or disturbing the lake bed. Using divers was not an option either due to the risks of contamination and churn.

Vaillant’s Mark Barson and Wheildons’s Mick Lloyd worked together to find a solution. They devised a galvanised steel framework in four parts; 200m of collector was coiled and fastened onto each, then the framework was floated out to the chosen location in the lake, with weights tied to each section to make it sink. The floatation devices were then cut loose to allow the framework with the collection coils to settle onto the bottom of the lake in the desired location.

Solar and Ground Source HeatingTwo lengths of 50m were left free on two of the collector frames to bring ashore to connect with a 4 part manifold which was installed underground on the lake shore, accessed via a manhole. Two larger pipes then lead from the manifold up to the house, buried in a specially constructed trench under the front lawn, and are connected to the Vaillant 10kW geoTHERM heat pump, which is installed in the underground storage room and laundry beneath the main house. This system gives a COP of approximately 4:1 and provides underfloor heating for all the hotel’s luxury suites and common areas.

Solar and Ground Source HeatingDomestic hot water for the Lake House is provided by a bespoke tank in tank installation designed by Wheildons for the purpose. This also heats a small network of towel rails in all the en suites. The cold water that feeds into this is pre-heated first by a Vaillant solar system. Five Vaillant auroTHERM exclusive vacuum tube solar panels, installed on the roof by Wheildons, preheat water and feed it into a 350L store.

The incoming water to the tank in tank system can often be as hot as 40ºC, making a significant contribution towards reducing running costs.


Main School, Casterton, Replacement Boilers

Casterton Replacement Boilers The project for the Main School at Casterton was the replacement of existing oil boilers for energy efficient gas boilers and a complete refurbishment of the heating & hot water systems.

The requirements were :

  • To provide an initial assessment of energy costs and analyse existing energy consumption
  • Re-design current Oil fired heating system and replace with high efficiency gas boilers and plant for instantaneous Hot Water.

During 2010 Casterton School contracted Wheildons to bring the main school boilers up to date and change the oil to gas to make the site more efficient and cheaper to run.

To do this, Wheildons started off at the beginning of the year analysing running costs and volume of output we would need and if this would also bring down carbon output to make the school more environmentally friendly.


Work started once everything was in place, with the changing of five of the schools main boiler systems to new gas installations, which also meant that we could lose the five large hot water storage tanks which also helps to limit any risks with watersafe monitoring.


Over the past year we have brought running costs down by 30% which is a huge saving on the school and this is all down to the efficient boilers installed by Wheildons. The way that Wheildons worked with the school throughout this process was impeccable on all aspects and we look forward to working with them now and in the future.

Casterton School Site Foreman

Before photos

After photos