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How to switch from Radiators to Floor Heat room by room

mknmike Member Posts: 82

(Sorry for the long thread.  See the items in bold for the questions I'm asking.)

Now that we've upgraded to a Triangle Tube Solo 110, we've got a few projects looming for our 3 story semi-detached (attached on one side) home.  I'm not sold on the concept of removing the existing radiators on our single-zone system, but would like to consider the possibility of radiant floor heat for these two-to-three upcoming projects:

<strong>1) Third floor bathroom</strong>, and maybe the two bedrooms up there too.  There's a small 1.5 brick chase that currently has the pipes for the bathroom radiator in it.  Maybe I could run new piping, but it seems like it would be simplest to just use the existing pipe (same zone) to run radiant floor heat for the bathroom.  However, I understand there would be a few issues with this plan:

1a) The water temp from the single zone is probably too hot for floor heating, but <strong>couldn't I possibly balance the <em><span style="text-decoration:underline;">heat </span></em>by running less tubing in the floor?</strong>  Sure this might create hotter spots in the floor, but couldn't it all balance out?  We are running the coolest possible temps with the outdoor reset curve, and it seems to be working really well.  That should help keep temps down so we don't need to worry about burning our feet.  But is this simply bad practice to run floor heat on the same zone as radiators? 

2b) I assume that the piping would have to be sized carefully to assure that the pressure loss across the piping is about equal to the existing radiator.  <strong>Is it even possible to get balanced <em><span style="text-decoration:underline;">flow/pressure</span></em> of floor heat on a single zone with radiators?</strong>

<strong>2) The second project is the kitchen and bathroom</strong> at the end of the kitchen hall.  There used to be two smaller radiators in the kitchen, but they were replaced with a large cast baseboard radiator, which is in the hall on the way to the bathroom along the exterior wall.  There's another small radiator in the bathroom, which is drafty.  Still, this heat setup works pretty well.  When it's cold and drafty there's lots of heat being pumped out of those two radiators.  The baseboard is surely over-sized.  So I'm considering tearing out the kitchen and bath and re-doing the layout.  The bathroom radiator is OK, but the kitchen baseboard radiator should really go.  I could get other radiators that would work, but I'd love to put radiant floor heat under the tile.  There are two other large rooms on the same floor, and I guess we could re-do all the floor, or even attach tubing underneath in the basement.  But of course that make the project larger.  As you can see we have the same issue here.  <strong>Should the kitchen and/or bathroom be on their own zones?  Or does it make more sense to zone floor-by-floor in our house (~825 sqft 1st Floor, ~825 sqft 2nd Floor</strong>, <strong>~450 sqft 3rd Floor)? </strong>

One reason I really like having a single zone (that is currently working well) is so we can use the outdoor reset curve to get the most efficiency out of our Triangle Tube Solo 110.  We are considering adding a Smart Tank for our hot water, and understand that will cause the need for temperature spikes.  I guess that probably wouldn't be the case with cooler-running floor heat zones.  They'd probably run less frequently while the existing radiator zone might run near constantly.  So maybe this isn't as big of a deal.  Maybe I should shoot to zone my whole house with radiant floor heat over time. 



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