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Author Topic: New Home In-Floor Heat  (Read 4214 times)

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Offline mitchstockdale

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New Home In-Floor Heat
« on: December 31, 2017, 11:53:00 PM »
Hey Everyone,

I Plan to do a future OWB install in the next couple of years for my new house, currently under construction.  I want to get all the radiant tubing installed now since it will be inaccessible once the sheetrock is installed.

The question is... do you think i should install radiant tubing on the underside of the second floor?

I have been leaning towards not doing the install of the second floor tubing since i will have a large woodstove (jotul f600) and ductless heat pump units (needed for insurance) heating the centre cathedral sections of the house (all rooms are accessed from this center cathedral section).

My thought is if i install radiant tubing under the first floor only, coupled with the wood stove and ductless heat pumps there would be enough heat from those sources to heat the rooms on the second floor. 

Basement is only A crawlspace and will be insulated and heated once the OWB is installed most likely with a fan radiator of sorts, and electric backup.

Has anybody come across this predicament before any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Mitch


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Offline KamHillbilly

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 05:57:28 AM »
After you get use to the heated floor on the first floor I think youll be disappoint you didnt do it on second floor while you had the chance . The tubing isnt the expensive part put it in while its easily done
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Online 50 Acre Jim

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 07:19:02 AM »
I agree wholeheartedly with KamHillbilly.  We put radiant heat in all our rooms except the bedrooms.  The thought was that we sleep in a cold room so no need to heat it.  Wrong decision.  Now we have a granddaughter and the room is too cold for her.  Install it now cuz as you noted, you won't be able to go back and add it later.  Radiant heat is awesome, you'll love it! 

Edit:  Add as many zones as you can afford.  That's what we should have done for the bedrooms instead of leaving them out of the loop.  Also, our kitchen and living room are on the same loop but the kitchen has more windows than the living room so on a cold night, the kitchen is always a few degrees colder than the living room.  If we had put it on a loop of its own we could have just raised the temp in that room a few degrees. 
It's only blackmail if the other side is doing it.  If our side does it we call it financial aid.

Offline peterpaul

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 07:59:20 AM »
We have radient in my basement slab and first floor.  The second floor we went with Radsen Radiators which are individually controlled.  We have 7 zones, each with either power heads or zone valves controlled by a thermostat.  The entire second floor (3 bedrooms and bath) is controlled by a thermostat located in the bathroom.  Works well, allows us to shut down 3 bedrooms when not in use, keeps the MBed cool, Mbath warm by keeping door closed.  In the basement, I did not run tubing in one small storage room (cold cellar) and insulated from the heated space.  We have a lot of south facing glass, so get good solar heat gain as well.
Zones are: basement, hearth room(first floor), liviing room/dining room/kitchen (open floor plan), master bedroom (incl. master closet), master bath, second floor, attached 24 x 26 garage.
We have a masonery heater to reduce propane consumption.  I'm please with the performance.  FYI, -12 this morning, if your feet are warm, your warm.

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Offline KamHillbilly

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2018, 09:03:19 AM »
I agree with lots of zones I have my bedrooms and bath zoned individually , kitchen and living area zoned together . My walkout basement is unfinished but pipe is laid out so it is easily zoned in future .
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Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2018, 12:10:59 PM »
Thanks for the insight guys..looks like i should be getting geared up to install the second floor tubing.

What is yours guys opinion of installing the aluminum heat transfer plates to hold the pex tubing...I have read things  arguing installing them and not installing them.  The way i see it is if I install adequate insulation to direct the heat upwards the transfer plates are really only to hold the pipe, which can be done with those black pipe clamps.

There seems to be various ways to install the tubing, I see 250ft of pipe is max for a loop.  Do you guys know of a good comprehensive source that you could point me towards for the install and what equipment is typical.  I have had some exposure to this stuff but that was a few years ago now and cant seem to remember anything.

Thanks
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2018, 12:21:44 PM »
I have radiant floor in the downstairs of the house. It is a concrete slab. That and a wood stove downstairs is how I heat my house.

I like having just the downstairs heated cause all the bedrooms are upstairs and I like it cold when I sleep. There are very few times I want heat upstairs. The primary times I do is when it has been below 0 for a week. Then it starts to get kinda chilly in my room. When that happens a well placed fan in the open loft area will warm the room right up.

The wood stove just heats the air since I have a loft area that is open right to the roof. Without the wood stove I get a cold draft rolling off the loft floor onto the couch. It really is not bad but the wood stove makes it very nice.
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2018, 12:41:50 PM »
I skipped the transfer plates and glued down vinyl plank floor for best heat transfer. Tile in bathroom.
I used the special clips that keep the tubing 1/4" away from subfloor as it is recomended and I would be nailing 1/4 smooth plywood before vinyl. It works well even with quite a few windows.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 01:21:56 PM »
When we built our house, we did radiant in the basement slab, and radiant on the first floor. On the first floor we poured a lightweight concrete slab under hardwood floors in most areas, with tile in the entrance hall and kitchen. (The tile transfers heat much quicker, but the radiant heat still works well under the Ash wood floors.) We wanted to get a little thermal mass, so these zones weren't cycling on and off all the time.

The upstairs we used baseboard hot water. Our thinking here was that we wanted a quicker response time than on the main floors, since the bedrooms would be turned down when not in use. The concrete slabs do take a while to warm back up if we turn them down (but then that's what thermal mass is all about).

This is all fired by a propane boiler. However, we have a wood stove in the center of the first floor that is our primary heat unless we are away, sick, or we get a really frigid spell. We have a cathedral area that is open to the second floor, if we open the bedroom doors, we can heat the whole first & second floors with the woodstove in all but the coldest weather (we've been below 0˚F for about a week - the wood stove keeps up for my comfort level, but my wife kicks on one of the radiant zones on the first floor occasionally - she likes the warm feet).

If you are doing radiant heat in a slab, be sure to include provisions for a thermocouple in the slab. Our thermostats for the slab areas have two inputs: one has the normal air sensor, the other senses the slab and keeps it above a minimum temperature. (This basically keeps the slab from going stone cold in between times when the air sensor is calling for heat.)
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Crusarius

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2018, 01:32:36 PM »
The thermal couple in the slab would be great. I get quite a bit of temperature fluctuation with just the air sensor. Especially with the wood stove running.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 01:45:24 PM »
The thermal couple in the slab would be great. I get quite a bit of temperature fluctuation with just the air sensor. Especially with the wood stove running.

Yeah, that slab thermocouple really helps prevent the large swings. It is possible to add one after the fact, but you need an infrared device to see where the radiant tubes are - and then just drill into a spot where the tubes aren't. It's a whole lot easier to just do it when you are pouring the slab, since you can run the wiring in the slab as well (we capped the end of some tubing and used it as a conduit for the wiring and thermocouple - that way if the thermocouple brakes, we can just pull the wires back and replace it.)
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline Crusarius

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2018, 02:13:22 PM »
I do have access to thermal imaging cameras. That thought had just crossed my mind. Just not sure how I would wire it into the system.

I really need to learn alot more about electronics and controls. Especially with what I am dreaming of for my mill. Lets just say arduino cutset v1.0? :)
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Offline John Mc

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 02:35:31 PM »
I do have access to thermal imaging cameras. That thought had just crossed my mind. Just not sure how I would wire it into the system.

When I finally get around to adding the one that I should have put in my basement slab, the wiring is going to run down a column in the center of the basement. It's a metal column enclosed in wooden trim, so it will be easy to hide the wires. Once it gets into the ceiling, would be easy to run it over to the wall to the utility room. That wall is where my air thermostat is mounted. However, I'm thinking I may put the air sensor thermostat out on that column as well.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Online 50 Acre Jim

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2018, 02:37:00 PM »
I bought some infrared night vision 5-6 years ago.  Everyone asks about the floor heat and I break them out and let them see the loops under the floor.  That's always a hit!   ;D
It's only blackmail if the other side is doing it.  If our side does it we call it financial aid.

Offline E Yoder

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2018, 05:00:04 AM »
Back to whether or not to run the tubing now or not I would agree do it while you can. And as long as you loop it so each room is as much as possible on its own then you can run multiple zones or at least throttle flow to adjust temps from your main manifold.
Running suspended tube v. transfer plates means you'll need to run hotter water (suspended) but that's not as much of an issue with an wood boiler that runs constant hot anyway. If you have storage then low temp water is important. Definitely insulate underneath.
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Offline shinnlinger

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2018, 08:11:27 AM »
I installed pex in my second floor but have yet to hook it up, but this past week I wish I had!  As for the aluminum plates, I bought a 4 foot roll of armafoil, which is basically aluminum tyvec and cut it into 8 inch lengths on my metal cutting chop saw.  I took those small rolls and use them to staple the pex to the underside of my main floor.  It was quite fast as the roll would cover the whole width of the house and pretty inexpensive.  The main floor heats well.
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Offline mitchstockdale

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2018, 10:38:26 AM »
Back to whether or not to run the tubing now or not I would agree do it while you can. And as long as you loop it so each room is as much as possible on its own then you can run multiple zones or at least throttle flow to adjust temps from your main manifold.

Ok, I figure I need approximately two loops of 300ft for each third of the floor area... total of 6 loops for the second floor. 

What is most common practice for getting to the second floor?  Have a central set of 1/2" manifolds in the crawlspace to run the loop lines back to?

Is there any benefit to installing electric valves vs the manual valves at the manifold?  other than convenience of temperature control via a thermostat.
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Offline E Yoder

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2018, 04:21:25 PM »
You could run 1" Pex up to manifolds in a closet or pull them all down to the bottom. Insulating the lines down to the bottom will help keep the heat only where you want it.
Electric zone valves v. manually throttling each loop would depend on how many zones/thermostats you want upstairs. If the loops are planned carefully you can adjust a particular room cooler just by throttling it down.
I'm curious what other guys think.
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Offline Crusarius

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2018, 04:52:31 PM »
you are correct about the throttling I have 1 thermostat in the house and throttle all my rooms.
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Offline Holmes

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Re: New Home In-Floor Heat
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2018, 05:33:23 PM »
  the extruded aluminum plates are good, quiet, help heat transfer a lot and are expensive. The stamped aluminum plates are expensive , but cheap, and are very noisy from expansion and contraction. I do not recommend them unless you want to do a constant circulation system , which is an added expense but much more comfortable, no heat swings.  Do not exceed 300' total loop lengths with half inch pipe. Suspended system is fine just make sure you insulate below the pipes well.
 My house is 75% radiant heat. I did the bedrooms with baseboard heating now I wish I had done them with radiant.
 I f you are going to install hardwood floors make certain the nails , staples are short enough to not penetrate thru the hard wood and sub floor. Other wise you could end up with a sprinkler system, holes in pipes.  Quarter sawn flooring is much better to use over radiant than flat sawn flooring. Flat sawn shrinks more. Shrinking is not totally related to the radiant heat is is more related to the lack of humidity in the house in the winter. It may be wise to plan on a humidification system. 
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