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Riddle Me This Batman

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  • Riddle Me This Batman

    Contractor called me today to come look at his latest project. He is covering a deck and turning it inot a sunroom. His challenge for me on this project is a radiant heat floor of sorts. He has cut out the deck boards, created a trench of sorts. He wants to loop pex through the floor and tie in to water heater with a circulating pump. The deck will then be tiled over. I have a couple of questions/concerns. Let me know what you think.

    1. System will only be used during the winter months. Is there a health risk with the water remaining in the piping for a few months without circulation? How would you cure? Continue circulation periodically, or have system seperated from potable water supply?
    2. Temperature control?
    3. Seperate water heater? House is a three bath with one 50 Gal gas heater.

    I know these questions could be answered by manufacturers, but floor heating is not at all common in my area. Supply houses stock nothing. Thus, they aren't much help. Anyone have preferences?

  • #2
    Re: Riddle Me This Batman

    This is never going to work. Why are you letting a GC dictate to you what he wants? He should tell you what he wants the end result to be. That's it. As the technical expert, you should tell him how you're going to achieve that goal.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

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    • #3
      Re: Riddle Me This Batman

      I agree totally. Here's his delima. He had another heating contractor come out and tell him all of this would work and here is how much it will cost. Suprisingly that guy won't show up to do the work. I told Mr. Contractor i would investigate and see what the options were. As i said, in my area there isn't alot of help from suppliers, so i'm turning the forum for some guidance. I would have no problem at all saying this is not going to work and here's what it will cost to get something that will. I just need the reasoning so that i am not just saying "that won't work, just because, and the other guy is a fool."

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      • #4
        Re: Riddle Me This Batman

        They do make water heaters with seperate tappings for a heating loop, I think Bradford White. I definitely wouldnt attempt it with a standard water heater because of stagnant water (legionella) and even if you used a heat exchanger of some sort the system would be iffy at best. What ever efficiency is gained by conventional radiant heating will be tossed out the window by the water heaters low efficiency.

        If it were me and the contractor didnt want to use a traditional hydronic appliance, i.e. boiler, I would definitely say thanks but no thanks and take a pass on this one. I guess you could always get him to sign something saying you are not responsible for design flaws, but would you really want to sign your name to something that may not operate properly?

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        • #5
          Re: Riddle Me This Batman

          You have to use a water heater with a separate exchange coil in it. It is a code violation to cross connect potable water with heating system water. You could use a dedicated water heater also.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Riddle Me This Batman

            Sorry ,He isn't qualified for this ,neither are You.
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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            • #7
              Re: Riddle Me This Batman

              I thought that i might also mention that this is floor heat only. We are going to install a mitsubishi mini-split system for heating and cooling purposes. The goal for the floor is so that precious homeowners feet don't touch cold tile.

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              • #8
                Re: Riddle Me This Batman

                The big concern here is installing the radient and tile floor over a deck. The deck will not support this kind of floor systems. too much expansion and contracsion of the deck. Deck need complete solidifying and set the radient tubing into concrete skim coat and then tile it.
                info for all: http://www.hoistman.com http://www.freeyabb.com/phpbb/index....wwtoolinfoforu --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

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                • #9
                  Re: Riddle Me This Batman

                  Originally posted by MPMGinAL View Post
                  I thought that i might also mention that this is floor heat only. We are going to install a mitsubishi mini-split system for heating and cooling purposes. The goal for the floor is so that precious homeowners feet don't touch cold tile.
                  If your looking to just take the chill out of the floor and not for heating purposes, go with electric radiant.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Riddle Me This Batman

                    Think I have him talked into the electric radiant mats made by Watts. Prociate the input.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Riddle Me This Batman

                      This can be done. seperate heater or plate exchanger are necessary. If loor warming is all that is desired 12" centers and no exchanger plates required. put subfloor back on and staple tubing on underside of floor insulate with R30 or better below and close up below insulation. Insulation is a huge factor as you need minimum of 2.5 times the R-value below as is above (subfloor,underlayment and tile and rugs or mats above) Everyone loves radiant when done right, useless energy waster if not. Don't forget to balance your loops and deal with oxygen. PM me for phone number and since your not in PA I will be more than glad to talk to you about radiant. Look to your suppliers and see if they can get you a Wirsbo CDAM.


                      Jim

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