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How to prevent kinking during 1/2" Hepex installation under floor between 16" joist

hcpatel78
hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
edited April 2020 in Radiant Heating
Hi, I just started to install the 1/2" hepex in extruded plates between the joist(16" On center). The furthest loop came out well. As I started to get the loop in the second, third loop it is very hard to get the loop started without kinking the tube. Please see the pics. The pipe seems very stiff. I have my basement temperature around 68 F. Tubing roll being seated in the basement for one month so it is at room temperature.
Do you pro guys use any trick /technique to start the loop as you advance in every joist.?
I have two holes drilled at 6" distance with 1.5" diameter.
The roll is on a homemade spooler at the boiler room end. I started feeding tube from boiler-room in one set of the holes and made a loop at the furthest joist and the took the free end back to the boiler room where my manifold will be.
please see picture with a circle where I kinked the tube.
Thank you,
Hiren Patel

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,157
    Do you have an uncoiler? The tube needs to coil in wind straight or it will be a battle.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    edited April 2020
    Yes, I just made uncolier this morning and I am using it with this. I used 12" 500lb capacity, Lazy Suzan hardware.
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 629
    Take the shrink wrap off of the roll of pipe. I think you should be taking pipe off of the OUTSIDE of the coil. You should NOT have that "stored-coil memory" when you are pulling the pipe through the holes. Get the "twist" out! You can repair "kinks" with heat. Using a heat gun or with a torch (carefully), heat the kinked area of the pipe until it is clear (i.e. not opaque). It will go back to "unkinked". The 'magic' of cross-linking!
    Do yourself a BIG favor and have someone else help with the pipe. Its VERY hard to pull pex pipe by yourself.
    GroundUp
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    Yes someone is helping me to feed the tube.
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,495
    Absolutely pull the wrapping off and pull pipe from the outside of the roll. Twist as you go, it may require flopping the roll on the uncoiler to prevent fighting it the whole way
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,157
    the warmer the better, got a small heater you can blow on the tube? One German tube manufacturer used too sell a heater uncoiled for winter time tube work. It makes a huge difference, even putting the coil in the sun for a few hours.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,567
    Most of us have learned to use 3/8" pex for staple-up work as its far easier to handle. 1/2" pex can be like handling a large boa constrictor and kinking can be a pain in the butt.
  • STEVEusaPA
    STEVEusaPA Member Posts: 5,966
    Move the un-coiler farther away. I've even put one outside a window.
    To me it looks like you're kinda feeding the runs backwards, but maybe not.
    IF I have the room, I use a baker's scaffold, so I can work multiple bays at a time without having to move a ladder (up and down climbing).
    Hard to explain, but make a big loop in the first bay, then pull into a medium size loop into the second bay. Make the first bay a big loop again, pull into the second bay until a big loop. Then go into the 3rd bay and repeat making big loops until you get to the last bay of that run, with enough slack to work back to the manifold. Then while continously keeping the loops big, start your run out on the farthest bay, working back to the first bay. It helps if there is more than one person keeping the bay loops big.
    Clear as mud? LOL
    A video explains it simply much better.
    Work those deltoids!
    steve
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150

    Move the un-coiler farther away. I've even put one outside a window.
    To me it looks like you're kinda feeding the runs backward, but maybe not.
    IF I have the room, I use a baker's scaffold, so I can work multiple bays at a time without having to move a ladder (up and down climbing).
    Hard to explain, but make a big loop in the first bay, then pull into a medium-size loop into the second bay. Make the first bay a big loop again, pull into the second bay until a big loop. Then go into the 3rd bay and repeat making big loops until you get to the last bay of that run, with enough slack to work back to the manifold. Then while continuously keeping the loops big, start your run out on the farthest bay, working back to the first bay. It helps if there is more than one person keeping the bay loops big.
    Clear as mud? LOL
    A video explains it simply much better.
    Work those deltoids!

    I think this is the way to go... I started the first loop without keeping slack on each joist and there I struggled a lot. I tried every single suggestion here to install a tube without kinking but its very hard to make a twist and pull when starting in joist without kinking for 1/2" hepex tube. I warm up with heat gun.....i open the tube and make tube straight....extra person feeding the tube....everything suggested up here......the only one thing I can try on my second tube run by keeping the slack in each joist from starting.....

    or I was thinking tho avoid those holes and come bottom of the joist and transfer to the second joist ....but that will be ugly install and won't be efficient install.
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,157
    Here is the method I use when working alone. Determine the required loop length, watch for the numbers on the tube.

    Let say it is a 300' loop you planned.

    Pull the tube down to whatever joist space you want to end at. Make a loop and return to the manifold location, fasten that end to a stud wall etc, put a screw thru it so it stays put.

    Then go to each joist bay and pull the loop to the end of the joist bay, you are pulling from the unwinder now. Fasten the loop end so it stays in the joist bay. Pull the tube straight thru the holes, don't try to bend as you pull.

    Go to the next bay until you end up with about 300'. It may vary a bit plus or minus 10% of the intended loop is fine.

    One of the tube companies filmed a video of how to do this years ago, I'll see if i can find it.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,157
    Great idea that Joe had with this wire demo!
    If the hole thru the joist is large enough both tubes can go in one hole.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    edited April 2020
    I exactly follow your way like picture you posted. The only one thing I m doing is from first row of the heat plates I jump to 4th row to heat plates . Keep skipping 2 rows of plate. Please see. The problem is when I start to pull pipe in joist from near holes at that point it gets kinked. It looks like 1/2"hepex and 14" joist space is not enoght to make tight loop.
    Pls see my picture.
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    edited April 2020
    > @hot_rod said:
    > Great idea that Joe had with this wire demo!
    > If the hole thru the joist is large enough both tubes can go in one hole.
    >

    Yes this is the way I followed but it kinks at the loop pulling stage. Pls see attached snapshot
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,157
    It takes some practice. I try to pull about what I estimate a bay may require, down and back, pull it straight thru then hole, lie it on the ground. The tube should not kink if you are bending an 8- 12" loop at the end that you pull in the joist bay.
    A second set of hands at the hole in the joist could protect from a sharp bend and kink.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    Thank you all for your expert suggestions.
    I will try tomorrow.
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • AMG63
    AMG63 Member Posts: 15
    Are you installing Uponor Hepex? Or standard Uponor Aqua Pex?
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    Uponor hepex
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    use a heat gun to work out the kink..
  • hcpatel78
    hcpatel78 Member Posts: 150
    Yes that worked like magic. Thank you for suggesting it.
    Thank you,
    Hiren Patel
  • Tim_D
    Tim_D Member Posts: 75
    Gotta do the twist. Lay it out as HotRod described. When you grab the working end(part thats connected to the uncoiler) grab it palm up and as you pull rotate 180 to palm down so the line crosses. No kinks.