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Proper installation of HW Radiant supply/return lines....

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  • Proper installation of HW Radiant supply/return lines....

    Hello all,

    I just came out of some new home construction to go on my own. I've done alot of residential stuff, but there was one topic that I have never gotten a good straight answer on. That topic is now front and center regarding a HW baseboard re-pipe I have the opportunity to quote on.

    The problem is properly securing the Oxy Guard Pex (Red Radiant approved piping). Initially we used IC Clips (called 'mickey mouse ears' to some) to support piping every 3-4 feet. Later on, a boiler room speciallist said that there was a need to add more clips more often (2ft) and to use the flat IC Clips. The idea was to add more support and reduce the movement as much as possible to eliminate the "ticking" that is complained about during the cycling of the system and the expansion/contraction that goes with it. In the end, a few finished examples in homes didn't reveal any noisy 'ticking' problems.

    I bring up the concern as the current home has copper lines laying over 2x4 blocks layed out across joists to support the laying heating pipe. There is not tightness in the systems lines, would allow for expansion and contraction with out any concerns for the noise.

    The project has been requested as there have been 3 different leaks on the copper system, all at 3/4" copper 90's where heavy excess flux (green markings) has not been wiped off. The 22yrs past are now revealing that. With holes in the ceiling now, the home owner would rather go the distance, open all the runs up and replace everthing.

    Click image for larger version

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    Your thoughts are appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Proper installation of HW Radiant supply/return lines....

    I've never used the red pex for hydronic heating before, so i can't really comment on the extra clips being used for support. However, I've seen it installed before, and I don't remember an over abundance of clips being used to support it.

    As for the copper, if installed correctly and all joints wiped off, you should never encounter a problem. Hydronic systems are closed systems that use the same water over again, so the impurities that would harm copper pipe are cooked out.

    Cost wise, it would probably be more beneficial to the homeowner to use pex. It it were me, I'm going to use copper every single time, cause there is copper inside of the element.

    With hydronic systems, one can never totally get away from using copper.

    Just my opinion.


    • #3
      Re: Proper installation of HW Radiant supply/return lines....

      I agree with Flux. I think in a lot of cases Pex is a god send, but I would pipe a baseboard system in copper. Cost wise the copper will be more money in both material and labor, but well worth it. Just my 2 cents.