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Tracing radiant loops?

Jim_185 Member Posts: 4
Was recently called in on this job by customer/energy auditor. Customer has radiant under hardwood floor in dining room and in wet bed tile kitchen adjacent. Both on same zone controlled by t-stat in dining room. Complaint is of overheating in kitchen. Energy auditor recommends splitting dining room and kitchen into separate zones.

My problem is this: 9 loop bare bones manifold, photo attached, and once the loops go up into the basement ceiling, I can't tell which room they heat. 

Any suggestions how to differentiate one room from the other?

Thanks and keep cool.


  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Any suggestions how to differentiate one room from the other?

    I have one zone for my radiant slab. The slab is under five rooms

    There are 5 ball valves in 1/2 inch copper tubing entering the floor, and a 1-inch copper tube coming back out. I hoped that there was one valve for each room. So I waited for the heating season to start, and turned off one valve completely and then tried to see which room had the floor go cold. I used a cheap IR thermometer to do that. It took a day or two for each. And I got two of them backwards. It took a day or so for each room. Tedious. If you have an IR camera, it might go faster.

    By the way, ball valves are not the way to go for balancing these things, but that is what I have. There are valves specifically for this, but they cost a lot more. And for one of them, the room with two big computers and some other electronics, I need very little heat and that valve is almost closed off. I do not dare shut it off completely, for fear of freezing that loop, but it is off so much that if I listen at the valve, I can hear the water make quite a noise going through it. Fortunately, I cannot hear it in the house.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    Sure Do

    Isolate each loop with temp valves, fire up the system and use either an infrared camera or shoot the floors. After you figure it out, I'd change out the manifold to an Wirsbo/Uponor EP Manifold, use Uponor's wireless zoning, actuator the manifold and be done with it.

    You can order individual components but here is a spec for Kit.

    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
    edited July 2013

    is why you cannot put rooms that don't have similar BTUsq ft requirements , similar finish floor R values and similar use patterns on the same zone . Gotta meet those criteria .  The Uponor EP with actuators and zone control module is certainly the way to go after determining which loops go where . Also change that circ to a Taco Bumble Bee to insure proper delivery and Delta T . Totally worth the extra 170.00 .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    edited July 2013

    Each loop with a valve.

    You could do only one on each loop return manifold to allow purging of each individual loop.

    Personally I would update the manifolds so flow control valves could be used.  

    Like Rich, and Chris say each emitter loop is under a different condition you can then dial flow rates down for the kitchen loops, or use zone valves.
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