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O2 Barrier PEX

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  • O2 Barrier PEX

    I need to settle something as I'm being asked. When do you use O2 barrier PEX? My understanding was always in radiant heat systems due to O2 permeation.

    Some are now trying to tell me you don't need it in this application. Which is right?


    Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 10-06-2008, 03:47 PM.

  • #2
    Re: O2 Barrier PEX

    You can use either in a hydronic/radiant heating system but you must consider a few reasons why you would prefer to go with the O2 barrier stuff.

    If you use Non-O2 barrier piping, because Oxygen can now permeate through the piping, you will now need non-ferrous (bronze) or stainless pumps and other components and/or a heat exchanger otherwise the constant infiltration of oxygen will take a toll on cast iron or steel components/piping in the system (including a cast iron boiler). Something else I have heard recently is that if you are using antifreeze or glycol in the system for whatever reason, if oxygen can permeate through the pipe walls, it may break it down quicker, although this may depend on what type of antifreeze/glycol you have too.

    Keep in mind that even though the radiant pipe has an O2 barrier, it doesn't neccessarily mean oxygen can't permeate it. Just not as well as the Non-O2 barrier stuff. It has to meet a certan ASTM standard if memory serves me correct. The only way to truely eliminate oxygen permeation if you absolutely can't have any is to go to a PEX/AL/PEX pipe (Kitec) which as you may already know has an aluminum layer sandwiched between 2 layers of Pex. The only downfall is this stuff can be a PITA to work with and install compared to normal pex pipes.

    Anyways - if at all possible I would use the O2 barrier stuff despite it's additional cost.