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What is it? And more importantly, how long will it last? Black 'rubber' radiant heat tubing circa 19

I am a home inspector and used to seeing the various different types of radiant heating tubing used for loops.

The home in question was constructed in 1986 in Whistler BC Canada and would be considered higher end (architecturally designed, Pella windows, radiant heating etc).

I don't know what the tubing is, and more importantly, what sort of expected service life there might be.

Tubing feels like/looks like the rubber hosing used to connect the radiator expansion tank.  No visible markings, appears to be stretch fit over nipples/fittings on manifold.

Not PEX, poly B, entran or any of the 'usual'

Any advice as to what it is (and how much longer it should last) would be appreciated.



  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Looks like goodyear (entran)

    I believe (correct me if I am wrong boys) that the "entran" style tubing was available in black from another source.  Both were made by goodyear and neither had the O2 barrier. 

    I have been wrong before.  The tubing may last the boiler may not. 
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,996
    If I had to bet...

    I would say SolaRoll... Rubber hose. Couild last 2 yrs.. maybe 10. Depends if they added anything to it... ex. glycol. That would kill it.  I would be more concerned about the boiler and ferrous components.
  • Chris S
    Chris S Member Posts: 177
    radiant tubing

    That looks like rubber tubing we used to buy from Bio energy in Ellenville NY.  They sold it for snow melt & embedded back then.  It was cheap, and of course had no oxygen barrier.  Two systems that I installed approx 20 years old are still running (on heat exchangers)  They do eat pumps though.
  • SpeyFitter
    SpeyFitter Member Posts: 422
    Saw it before

    I must have run into the same contractor that did that house in whistler. About 2-3 years ago I went to do a service call in a West Van house and saw the exact same type of tube and almost an idential installation as that above manifold wise. This house was built in 1990-91 and the female owner said her husband did a lot of research at the time in finding a heating contractor/system, etc. The problem I experienced and the reason for the service call was on the manifold, one of the hose connections (barbed fitting with a quick connect clamp) was leaking. The only solution I could come up with was a small gear clamp to fix it which seemed to work well. I recall the contractor used some Type 'M' (red lettering) and some DWV (yellow lettering) pipe in their Mechanical room on an atompsheric boiler of which the make escapes me but it's one of the more common cast iron boilers if memory serves (Burnham, Slant Fin, Superhot, etc.).

    I don't believe, as was posted, that this tube has an oxygen barrier from a little bit of calling around I did at the time trying to find out more about it from suppiers, etc.. If there isn't a heat exchanger seperating this tube and the mains from the boiler, I'd have a good look for indicators of some sediment build up from corrossion in the system, perhaps the boiler might have some build up of gunk/dirt/sludge in the heat exchanger by now. If the boiler is on its last legs or needs replacement, I'd make sure the system gets a good flush, and that the new boiler system be seperated from the radiant floors & heating mains by a heat exchanger just to be on the safe side, and that after a flush that only non-ferrous components be used on the radiant tube/distribution side.
    Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,839
    Solar Roll and BESI are one in the same...

    Non oxygen barrier tube that will eventually degrade to the point that it has to be replaced.

    BTW, all Goodyear tubing was Red. Heatway was using BESI early in their career, and eventually switched to Dayco, then to Goodyear. Not positive who is making the Onix for them now, but suspect it is Dayco.

    How long will it last? What time is it? As with only all hydronic heating questions, the only answer is "It Depends!"

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,460
    Re tubing, ? radiant roll maybe

    Definately on the fence as to how long it will last. I agree that the ferrous items in system will corrode out if not separated from system. Would be a big question in my book. T
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