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Old 04-23-11, 02:20 PM   #111
smith
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I was reading in this thread about someone using a bead roller with aluminum flashing.

radiant floor retrofit | Breaktime

They mention build it solar and another guy made his own press also, the bead roller seems like a great idea though.

pexuniverse.com has 200ft of heat spreader at .019 for 137$ or 68.5 cents per foot. What kind of prices can we get from DIY for comparison, it would be nice to hear from some people that have already looked into this and maybe the best places they have found.

Thanks


Last edited by smith; 04-23-11 at 03:25 PM..
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Old 04-30-11, 10:39 PM   #112
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Default Pex in tile floor

We are in the middle of a renovation - we are up to
marking pluming in preparation for the plumber's rough-in.

I bought 10 rolls of 1/2" PEX from radiantec.
Planning on approx 8" spacing.

I understand that it might not deliver enough heat
using just geothermal, but I have 2 plans for that.
I ordered a 2Ton hydronic air handler by MultiAqua -
(I thought it was a bargain)
primarily for the AC, (but it does DC also - just kidding :-),
but it can deliver heat - either from water or from a
heat strip, that was no additional cost (up front).
Also, the old boiler is not disappearing and it is
free - delivered, installed, permitted, etc.

My question is regarding the tile floors...
For the Kitchen/Breakfast area, The builder
says his plumber and tile guy know how to do radiant.
But I doubt they ever did heat plates before.

My friend questioned whether the plates actually
need to touch the tubes. The builder had the same
question. In addition to boxes of pre-formed plates,
I have 150' of flashing. The builder suggested just
rolling out an aluminum sheet over the whole subfloor.

Wondering if any of you smart/experienced guys has
a thought? I would lose the direct (conduction) but
still have the reflection - and ease of install goes up....

I think the only alternative is plywood sleepers,
which is probably cheaper materials, but more labor.
(Note, this phase of the work is not DIY, it's under
the contractor's domain :-)
But, I saw an article that said if the pipes are not
snugly held by the plates, they really don't help much.
Then again, that was an article by a competitor...

For the second floor, I'll do staple-up even for
under the Master bathroom. I just need to do a layout.

Thanks
Seth
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Old 05-03-11, 10:40 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pachai View Post
My friend questioned whether the plates actually
need to touch the tubes. The builder had the same
question.
Yes, they really need to touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pachai View Post
In addition to boxes of pre-formed plates,
I have 150' of flashing. The builder suggested just
rolling out an aluminum sheet over the whole subfloor.
So you are juggling aluminum plates AND tile...

You don't want aluminum directly in contact with cementitious material, like mortar, thin-set, etc. Because aluminum is chemically active in the presence of a strong base (ph).

Using plates in contact with PEX is good, I'm sure you have seen the Thermal Imaging pics I posted.

The idea of aluminum rolled out over the entire floor is a very intriguing idea too... really good heat dispersal. But you will need to go over it with something like 1/4" Hadibacker before you put on your tiles. 1/4" Hardibacker is pretty good as a thermal conductor, better than plywood... not quite as good for thermal transfer as Durock or Wonderboard, but a much better candidate for withstanding foot traffic.

TAKE MANY PIX!!!

Regards,

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Old 05-03-11, 01:14 PM   #114
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Default testbed for plates and DIY plates

I made a test bed of "sleepers" for installing
and I made a jig to fold per my friend's suggestion.
When the "c-channel" of flashing is flattened out,
the two short sides "should" become channels
for 1/2" PEX. I might need to tune it...
need to redo the sleepers.
I'll post if it works.

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Old 05-05-11, 12:06 PM   #115
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Default Homde-made heat plates

My friend suggested a way to make a channel
in aluminum plate for the tubing.

I figured out how to make 2 channels...

Here I show the C-Channel made from 18" flashing
and what it looks like installed.

It is installed on a mock up for an
under-floor staple-up.

I also included a picture of Radiantec installed.
It was almost as much work.
They sent me single-channel plates,
saying they are better for my above-floor,
tiled application.
I'm not convinced yet.

Need to get the right size staples.
And a good staple gun.
I got long staples and medium long nails,
should have gotten short staples.

I did not try my plates on a testbed of sleepers
for over-the-floor. I am still grappling with the
concern that the Aluminiminimum will chemically
interaction with the tile grout.


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Old 05-05-11, 01:30 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pachai View Post
...I am still grappling with the
concern that the Aluminiminimum will chemically
interaction with the tile grout...
If you put a 1/4" layer of Hardibacker over the aluminum spreader plates, you will keep the cementitious material (thinset, grout, etc.) isolated from the aluminum. Also, the hardibacker is a better thermal conductor than plywood.

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Old 05-05-11, 01:34 PM   #117
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Quote:
Also, the hardibacker is a better thermal conductor than plywood
When using a contractor, that sounds like a billable item.... )-:
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Old 05-17-11, 11:19 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
For the majority of DIY hydronic underfloor heating installations, it is important your licencsed plumber test that the pipework has been installed correctly prior to the screed being laid. Testing should be carried out at 2 bar for 10 minutes and 10 bar for 10 minutes. Your plumber should also connect the services to the boiler.
Howdy Kaylee,

When you say 'underfloor', do you mean tubing at the bottom of a slab, or do you mean tubing underneath the sub-floor?

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Old 05-17-11, 11:26 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaylee View Post
For the majority of DIY hydronic underfloor heating installations, it is important your licencsed plumber test that the pipework has been installed correctly prior to the screed being laid. Testing should be carried out at 2 bar for 10 minutes and 10 bar for 10 minutes. Your plumber should also connect the services to the boiler.
Howdy Kaylee,

When you say 'underfloor', do you mean tubing at the bottom of a slab, or do you mean tubing underneath the sub-floor?

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Old 06-02-11, 01:54 PM   #120
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Default Manifold

My radiant tubes have been installed.

(By the way, I had them make 2 loops
around the inside of the tub and a loop
in the bathroom wall for a towel bar
if there is time, per Radiantec's How-To).
The nice thing about HEATING pipes is,
if there is loss, it is OK - where will it go?
Into the room that needs the heat.

Now it is time to pressure test.
But I have 12 loops which is 24 cable ends.
I went to my local general plumbing supplier
and he said you need a special tool for PEX.

Did he mean you MUST have the same
branded tool as the bands you want to use?
Or did he mean that he sells this tool and
it helps him make his budget?

So he could not sell me a manifold
because I am not ready to spend $20 on a manifold
and $250 on a crimping tool.

Can I use the crimper I use on 2/0 cable? :-)
Are these questions I should ask in Home Desperate?
I don't think I have the luxury of waiting for mail order.

(I asked about shark bites, and the cost to make
a manifold out of shark bites would be more
than the cost of the tool....


Thanks
Seth


PS be careful with the nails. The plumber (name witheld
to protect the guilty) first used 2" nails. Then he used
3/4" nails. Slightly less mess....

No problem, at least in their view, his worker knows
how to use an angle grinder.

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