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Nails proturding through subfloor & Heat tranfer plates

depends on the plate you're using.

If you're using lightweights, watts is right.

But of course you're using extruded plates, like a good boy should, and onyx staple up can't touch that. It's cheaper, but you'll be a good 40 degrees hotter with onyx only than with extruded plates and pex.

Comments

  • Phil_15
    Phil_15 Member Posts: 13
    Cutting off nails protruding through subflooring

    What is the easiest method/tool to use to cut off the many nails that are ususlly protruding through the underside of the subflooring? This is in preparation for installing heat transfer plates. What is the best method of attaching heat transfer plates to the under side of the subflooring? I believe that someone uses a palm air nailer? Thanks
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Cutting and grinding

    we cut the nails flush with a pair of lineman's straight cut (not beveled) pliers...Klein or equal. Then we grind any stubs with a 4" pea grinder.

    We use Uponor Joist Trak transfer plates and 3/4 zip screws or 1/4" crown x 3/4" staples in a pneumatic trim stapler.

    Eye protection is a no-brainer!!

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  • A grinder with a cutting wheel attachment works pretty well too.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    It's an ugly job

    but an air die grinder with a thin cutting wheel is the fastest I have tried. Air powered tools can operate all day under heavy load without getting to hot to hold. This one spins 22,000 RPM. Very fast!

    Skip the cutting plier trick if you use a thin cutting wheel. That's real tough on the hands, especially if you have to cut hard wood nails.

    I have a hose or fire extinquisher, spark protection, ear plugs and a safety shield on your face. A hat too. Not unlike the garb you would see an overhead welder in :)

    If their is a finish floor above, think I would screw the plates. The air tools can bounce the floor and crack tile or open hardwood. 5/8" screws if you are not sure of the subfloor thickness.

    First choice is Radiant Engineering transfer plates. Also available from Watts Radiant, Roth, Slant Fin and others.

    Extruded Uponor plates are a close second.

    A palm nailer is used to drive the tube into the plates after nailing. Again be careful not to "shock" the finish floor above. it will sure bounce the dust from the cracks of the hardwood.

    hot rod

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  • marc
    marc Member Posts: 203
    grinding

    > A grinder with a cutting wheel attachment works

    > pretty well too.



    what about the sparks from the grinder? Any danger of fire?

    marc
  • marc
    marc Member Posts: 203
    grinding

    what about the sparks from the grinder? Any danger of fire?

    marc
  • Ed_26
    Ed_26 Member Posts: 284
    sparks

    re-read hot rod's post!
  • leo g_13
    leo g_13 Member Posts: 435
    Less work, more cost

    I like the Watts Onyx tube for jobs like this. Less time grinding, more time installing. According to a call to Watts engineers, plates are not really needed with the onyx tube, as their tests show just a slight increase in performance.

    Just remember though, Onyx is more cost then pex. But if you can eliminate the plates, i find that the overall cost is moot.

    Leo G

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  • marc
    marc Member Posts: 203
    sparks

    We must have posted at the same time!
  • Troy_3
    Troy_3 Member Posts: 479
    Onyx

    Works great if it satisfies the load. Check it. Pex and plates will give about double the output of rubber.
  • RadPro
    RadPro Member Posts: 90
    Best

    I like the angled "body grinder". You can get a very low cost Ryobi at Lowes or Depot.

    The angle is comfortable to hold, gets in anywhere, cuts nails off without pliers, allows you to quickly grind below surface so no sharps come close to tube. You can work very quickly with great results.

    Be sure to wear long sleeves, goggles, and protect customers flooring. The cutoffs are hot and burn.

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  • RadPro
    RadPro Member Posts: 90
    Best nail cutoff method

    I like the angled "body grinder". You can get a very low cost Ryobi at Lowes or Depot.

    The angle is comfortable to hold, gets in anywhere, cuts nails off without pliers, allows you to quickly grind below surface so no sharps come close to tube. You can work very quickly with great results.

    Be sure to wear long sleeves, goggles, and protect customers flooring. The cutoffs are hot and burn.

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  • can you substantiate that claim?

    Troy,

    Not according the boys at Watts Radiant. They say going to Onix from Pex & plates reduces the square foot cost in both material and labor. They also say to get the same floor surface temps you will only need to increase supply water temp by about 10F.

    Can you substantiate your claim of double the output?

    Regards,

    Steve
  • extruded was what the statement was based on

    Rob,

    Again I ask, do you have the data to back up your claim?

    Watts showed using their software how the two compare. The proved that they had a allogator mouth with an alligator butt.

    They also had infrared showing little difference too.

    I was (and still am) a doubter. Been selling pex with plate for years. A scptic I am but I am no longer being as "closed mind" as I once was.

    It is sooooooooooo easy to install Onix under the floor part of me wants to believe Watts. The other side of me KNOWs the final results of Pex in CFin.

    Steve


  • If you have the watts output chart handy, you can compare.

    Thinfin "C"/Joist trak will provide 20 BTUs in a 70 degree room through an R1 wood floor at about 120 degree water temps.

    If onyx is claiming they can do that at 130 with tubing stapled to the subfloor, even deformed pipe for greater contact, They have got to be smoking something. You have less tubing to emitter contact, the emitter you are contacting is a lower conductivity, and while ultimately you have to do it through wood, you should easily get double the conductive power through the Cfin, distributed across a wider section of floor.

    Considering the number of 180 degree staple up onix jobs around here (which you would never, ever dream of doing with Cfin), I think there is a miscommunication somewhere in your chain. To put it nicely. I'm not saying all those onix jobs have to be run at 180, but they are, yet somehow not causing problems for the occupants. I would think with Cfin you'd notice.
  • according....

    Rob,

    According to Watts Radiant Works software, using 20 BTUh per square foot with R1 Wood Floor, R13 with reflective below, the Onix at 8 OC requires 124F.

    Just using the tools. So far I have not had a "failed" onix job.

    Steve


  • First, that's mean temp. I don't know what delta T you are running it at, but I was giving supply temp, not a mean temp, at a 10 degree delta T. I would guess for 3/8" pipe you'd do a 20 degree drop? that's another ten degrees SWT. 5 if you're running a ten.

    Two more degrees for room temp (your 68 vs my 70) though that's definitely piddling!

    My only guess is that they must be figuring some significant benefit from reflective insulation, which I would go along with for some period of time, but certainly not forever. Reflectivity, IMHO, is not a long term design solution. It's a short term fudger. Can you run the numbers without the reflective insulation? Or, guarantee that it won't choke with dust over time?

    Maybe I'm wrong, but this isn't proving terribly compelling to me thus far; it could with more info though.
  • Nick Ciasullo
    Nick Ciasullo Member Posts: 44
    Onix vs PEX / Plates underfloor

    So many versions of this discussion have come up over the years. For this discussion, I will assume that all installations follow the manufacturers installation recomendations.

    The old arguement for PEX w/ plates vs. Onix was that the plate encompasses 2/3 of the tube, thereby reducing back edge losses. Once everyone realized that the back side of the plate still faces the wrong direction, then that one went away.

    Once the air chamber (between the floor joists) increases, there is no difference between the two systems. The primary reason that Onix water temperature need to be higher (about 5F), is because it has a thicker skin (insert joke here).

    The reality is, the SYSTEM efficieny does not change going from PEX/Plates, Onix, or even a suspended system. The only thing that changes is the boilers efficiency to operate at different temperatures, assuming that you are using a modulating, condensing boiler and the job is radiant (or some other low temp application) only. The common thought is that for every three degrees you can reduce the water temperature, the boiler will comsume 1% less fuel. Onix will cost about 2 - 3% more per year to operate because of the 5 - 8F increase in water temperature. Once you subtract out your labor savings to the customer, you will have gone well past the 5 -7 year optimal payback period - more like 20 - 50 years.

    I sell both PEX and Onix. I have installed Onix under my floors. My brother, my father, and (more importantly) my father-in-laws houses have all been switched to Onix underfloor as well. No one complains about their fuel bill, or it's inability to heat.

    Bottom Line - If you want to compare Onix vs PEX and Plates, you need to look at what is best for the consumer. PEX and Plates have a higher initial cost, takes roughly twice the install time (don't forget that you have to clip all those nails before you get started), and once installed, you can't feel the difference (except in your wallet). Anything else is smoke and mirrors. Install what you are most comfortable with - both systems work well.

    Nick


  • I'm still not even close to buying this 5-8 degree theory. So you're trying to tell me that because onix deforms a little when you staple it, that it outperforms PEX staple up by 40 degrees. Then in the same breath you are saying that the amount of conduction contact in the plate doesn't matter?

    People rarely complain about their fuel bills in concrete terms, because they never know where they stand. Lots of people out there assuming their 210 degree DHW coil-boiler is "treating them right".

    So what happens when you don't increase the air space and you instead insulate a plate system properly? increasing your conduction from the pipe to emitter by 50% or so has no effect?

    Anyway, I'm sure I'm sounding severe.. please don't take this as trying to be a jerk or anything.. just debating it through.

  • nemograph on plates

    Rob,

    For comparison, using the Watts Radiant Pro, I just ran the nemograph for cfin with all the same critera as I used the last time. It shows almost a 20F difference in avg water temp.

    Interesting, but still very do able!

    Steve


  • So it would seem they are offerring about a ten degree bonus for reflective insulation then, I guess (judging by that being a good ten degrees under my estimate, adjusted for SWT vs AWT).

    twenty degrees is pretty significant these days, but still.. not there yet. I'm expecting 30 degrees +. again I might be wrong. Then again once you nix the reflective insulation we might be there and this conversation becomes more about depending on reflective insulation for your performance than about staple up onix vs plates ;)
This discussion has been closed.