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Hydronic floor heat

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Eric Johnson, Feb 18, 2006.

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  1. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    We covered this pretty well in another thread and I learned a lot about how to put a hydronic heating loop under a tile floor, thanks to all the good advice from those who have actually done it. The thread strayed a little, so I thought I'd start fresh with a new question. Other than brochures on the internet, I still haven't seen what one of these commercial packages looks like. I know some use pex tubing, while others use copper.

    Bearing that in mind, would it be possible to put one of these together from off-the-shelf parts? Would it be wise to try?

    Could you do a respectable job with a long section of 1/2- or 3/8-inch soft copper, some 1-inch plywood, a router and some hardibacker? I'm thinking about doing about 50 square feet, or a 6x8 section

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  2. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Instead of routering channels, what about placing 1/2" plywood strips space them to channel the pex. Soft copper tubing will become a nightmare plus expensive as all hell. Another product you should look into is relfector foil used to reflect heat upward You know those old 50's ranches with the radiators recessed in the outside wall cavity this relfector paper was used there to reflect the heat to the room. Under the floor to reflect it upward. I have not seen any done in copper to hard to run and cost Its pex or equilvant Wisboro

    Try to keep it simple and cost effective You will spend more time routering than piping If I had a drafting pad I would draw out how to go about it I try radius the strip ends border the perimeter with square stocl leave 1" space from the top od the radius in the plywood stripa 6" to *" spaces between s pluwood strips !/2 to 34" ro route the tubing and make a diagram where your pipes run so no nails pinch them or puncture them
  4. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Don't know about costs, but the knock on copper was corrosion. Not sure why it's different in a floor than a baseboard, but lots of the floor systems fail after 20 years.

    Steve
  5. zogboy

    zogboy New Member

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    You could use a vermiculite/cement/sand and water mixture to make a litecret to cover your loops. Plus you could tile or put floating floor over the litecret or use sealers and stains directly on the litecret. You should be able to mix enough using wheelbarrows to pour a 6x8 floor 2 or 3 " thick over the loop system in a few hours. The litecret mixture makes a great heat mass
    You will need a mixing valve, as 140-degree water from the boiler would be a bit warm to the feet. I have seen systems that use water heater tanks to do this as they are easy to set the temps by means of a zone valve and tstat.
    If you use copper in cement you should sleeve it in plastic or some type of protection. It will react with the cement and degrade over time.
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