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Radiant Heat under Hardwood white oak?? Am i asking for trouble.

heathead Member Posts: 148
Hi all.

I have Roth hydronic radiant floor heat on a sun room floor that the whole family loves with wood laminate over it. We had a toilet supply hose fitting break when on vacation for a week. The house is going through major floor and drywall work. The house is currently heated and cooled by forced air natural gas. Flooring is 2 1/4 inch solid white Oak nailed down with cleats ? In reading posts am I asking for more trouble than it's worth to install radiant heat under the white oak. Lots of people are saying use ceiling or wall radiant heat with hardwood floors, I read in older posts about keeping the temperature down and using an aqua-stat as emergency shut off to make sure that the floor temp is limited and circulator turns off if outdoor reset or other sensors fail. What is the latest feedback on radiant and hardwoods. We have to change out sub flooring and drywall underneath first and second floor. In building houses one would do the hardwoods last after drywall. If that is the case what product would one use for the tubing to make sure it doesn't get nailed into. The easy product that comes to mind is warmboard because they can see the tubing and have something of substance to nail to. If I go with plates from the bottom I would have to add layer of plywood so that the nails for the floor wouldn't hit the tubes. What are the thoughts. With radiant ceiling or walls the family wouldn't be like cats lying on the warm sunroom floor when it's snowing outside, but is it that superior to forced air? I believed all the hype with radiant floors and don't regret and really love our sun room in the winter time. If I had it to do again I would have zoned the tubing so I could have heated a certain loops of the 5 installed to keep one area warmer to the touch without overshooting the room temp. Has anyone in laying out tubing created a area that zoned the tubing loops and cascaded them on to keep temperature in certain areas on the floor warm to lay on. Could one use a cascade control for bringing multiple boilers on line except control the loops of tubing with it. I know everyone wants lowest water temp for efficiency, and this would not do this. I can't do this in thinking about it because I don't have buffer tank and it would short cycle.

Also in the renovation we are going to put radiant heat in the basement. It will mainly be to take the chill off the floor. I want a system like our sunroom that can be turned on instantly or an hour or two, and not have a big mass or flywheel effect like a whole slab would. The basement is below grade no underslab insulation built 1968 but it does have vapor barrier. Roth could be used or legend, but concern is if toilet backs up or sumps pump fails years down the road what a mess. I can't imagine cleanup under roth or legend screwed to a concrete floor. With roth or legend if toilet overflowed I think the only option would be to rip it all out and start over. Is there a product to pour or seal them so they are like concrete if it flooded they could be rinsed off. That would be great advantage of installing tubes in the concrete if there ever was a toilet back up or broken sump pump just hose off and back to normal. We are tiling or laminate in the basement.

I will post pictures of the Viessmann boiler that got wet when the toilet fitting broke. The display had water drops behind it. I put it in a bag of rice to dry out. The lower electrical board looked like they were protected from the covers but the inside of the boiler did get wet. I know from the previous post that if flooded to change the whole appliance out. Would one consider water pouring from the ceiling on the boiler flooding? Insurance is covering the pipe break but I don't want them to pay for something that may not be necessary. The gas valve and electronic board except for the display looked dry. The water did take out the honeywell electronic air cleaner and UV lights. I haven't pulled the cover off the furnace yet, but the ac worked to dehumidify the house. The water heater aluminum control housing looks like it is corroded slightly from the damp environment for the week. The circulator and piping has started to rust. I will call a someone to come out and look, but what are the thoughts. I have everything off except for the ac. Gas lines shut off. I will also post picture of CSST. The yellow jacket looked like it swelled up. When I get time I will cut an small piece and soak it in water to see if the plastic swells. If I didn't see it I wouldn't have believed it. Thanks for all the thoughts. Sorry for the long post.


  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,565
    In your circumstances I may not want to take the chance with a high dollar piece of equipment that may fire right now but could suffer a failure down the road . You also have the opportunity to solve other issues you described . Maybe you could be better served replacing the Veissmann with a boiler that has the mass you'll need to employ your ideas without worrying about short cycles . Check out HTP Pioneer . You amy also entertain getting rid of the water heater and using an indirect . HTP also makes a 10:1 TDR boiler called the UFT , it is a firetube boiler , has everything that the others do , does not require Pri/ sec piping and comes in an 80K model that would get you down to 8K on the low end .

    Surface temps for floors (hardwood) should not really exceed 85* , as long as that is able to heat the home at design or a bit below you should be fine .. Floors and walls are not just an alternative but are rapidly becoming the panel many would rather use . I like ceilings as opposed to floors and whenever the situation allows I'll use them .

    Look at Sunboard 3/4 ply x 1/2 tubing , graphite covered . Less expensive than Warmboard , 8" center (lower water temp) , not structural . More responsive than Warmboard , similar if not better output , less work . Have used both , this is not a guess . Like Warmboard , there will be no excuse why someone banged a nail through tubing other than legal blindness.
    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
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,785
    Radiant can be used under pretty much any flooring material, even vinyl or rubber. The key is knowing the load of the space and the fluid temperature that will be required.

    My first choice is always radiant floors especially with hard surfaces and always under tile in bathrooms. Ceilings or walls will warm the space, but if you have lived with warm floors you appreciate the ultimate comfort.

    Sometimes the effort and expense to retrofit radiant floors is not worth the time and $$, only you can decide that after running the calc. Ceilings and walls may be a better option or even panel rads.

    The RadPad available from the RPA site, possibly in the bookstore here is a great, inexpensive tool to for DIYer to run various calculations. You can play with R value, loop length, tube spacing, etc to see what it would take to have a good working radiant panel.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Good are getting advice from the best. I hope you'll be putting back a hard, solid toilet tank supply in place of the s.s. flex....Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Mad Dog said:

    Good are getting advice from the best. I hope you'll be putting back a hard, solid toilet tank supply in place of the s.s. flex....Mad Dog

    Yup, I've never had a copper/chrome supply line cause a flood.
  • heathead
    heathead Member Posts: 148
    It was a copper/chrome supply line, the nut that connected the top for line to fill valve was plastic. That plastic had cracked. I had thought that chrome-copper was the best. I will be looking for all brass nuts for the top fitting ? But then has anyone has problems with the plastic fuild master or is that made of pex material that is indestructible? Do they make solid brass fill valve anymore? Thanks for all thoughts.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,785
    If you bend and shape the copper supply tube it should not put any strain on the ballcock. Unless the floor is moving, or the toilet is not fastened solidly. Bend the tube before you connect it of you can stress the plastic trying to bend it in place.

    The stainless braided type supplies from Fluidmaster are very forgiving..

    Plenty of quality brass ballcocks around still, a good plumbing supply shop should have them. Wolverine, Brasscraft, Prier, many others.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
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