Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

So glad I did Radiant Heat

Mad Dog_2
Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
edited January 24 in THE MAIN WALL

22.5 Years ago when we bought our first house on old flower nursery land of John Lewis Childs (The first & largest mail order seed catalog company in the world),  I had strong ideas 💡 about the old Farmhouse and what I wanted to do with all the mechanical systems.   Since we were gutting it, I could finally do the things I always thought were cool.  I knew I wanted ZERO  pvc piping (although I installed miles of it on dormers, extensions and bathrooms), This Old house would get the best materials balanced with some 21st Century modernity. So, I installed Bell & Spigot Cast Iron pipe with lead & Oak joints from the clay building house sewer 5 foot out off back foundation wall,, up  TO the full-size c.o. Wye, house trap, fresh air inlet and on to the first stack fitting which was a Boston Long turn tee wye with C.O. on end of run. 
      For the rest of the  3 bathrooms and country farm kitchen, I installed Charlotte No-HUB soil, waste and vent piping up all the stacks and through the through roof. Its funny because I always thought my Dream house would employ DWV copper soil, waste & vents with 50/50 tin/lead solder joints, because I thought (and still think) that system of the 1950s and 1960s was so smooth and long lasting.  Nevertheless, I went C.I. from the "Low-Iron" (My brother in arms,, Jimmy The Gent Burke"s very cool made up word for Underground Cast Iron) on up.  Mueller Brass L copper water distrustribution piping with Silver Bearing 95/5 Lead Free Solder for the domestic.  A separate 2" 🔥 Fire service line in L copper with Silver Brazed Joints protected by an RPZ.  On all 4 levels.  Two zone central air, an antique steam vapor system with Scrolled Radiators, Ward Black Steel pioe & Fittings for gas ( no CSST except for one 4 foot long whip from basement ti Viking type stove) and last but not least Wirsbo radiant Heat in the newly excavated basement slab, all the tiled, mud job bathrooms and mudroom.  I used the best father and son tile mechanics the Large Tile distributor recommended.  Simply by dumb luck or Divine intervention, The Billies, as Dan called them (more on that in a minute) came by to look..  I had recently seen their handiwork in two luxury baths we did , radiant also,  for an Industry-famous, Emmy Award (Proudly displayed on Fire Place mantle) winning Yale-Educated Blue Blood soap opera writer who lived a few blocks away and lunched at The Country Club with Susan Lucci the famous Soap opera star at The Garcen City Golf Club.  While I took them around the under-renovation Victorian Farmhouse, they commented on the 3" Painted-Black steam drop header. The younger Billy said "My uncle Danny would love this!   He's a famous author of heating 📚 books."  Stop, I said, Do you mean Dan Holohan??? Holy S---t, I exclaimed.  The rest was history. True to form and working 💪 at Their own slow and steady, meticulous pace, (they would not be pushed by ANYONE) the did the 3 Minton-Hollins European High End tile bathrooms with mud jobs for the radiant Heat.  True to their reputation, the were/are the finest tile guys I've seen to date-Anywhere from Manhattan to Montauk, Germany Ireland 🇮🇪 and The Hudson Valley. I know they Are Lithuanian and Maybe Polish Heritage. Maybe a little Irish, but no Italian believe it or not but I'll have to ask him as he's coming over soon to build me some cool hobby room.  Billy Sr, Who is Married to the late, great Lovely Marianne's Sister, is retired but Billy has a new (10yrs??) like minded partner named Rich.. Great team!  One time When they were tiling the master bath, the laborers big mouth Whale 🐋 of a guy brother was blasting.(Deep Purple Who loud!)  .merengue music  in the house while they The Billies tried to  work.   This lasted about 10 minutes and they packed up and were headed for the door.  Terrified I was losing them, I'm like whats the matter guys??? Everything ok??? 'yeah no problem 😊 said young Billy,  call us when these  idiots are gone!  That ended right then and there and they were  back the following 🌄 Morning, smiling.  I thought, man these guys got  their s--- together!!!.  I wanna be like them!   Still ain't seen better tile men in 2023. Love my radiant. Love The Billies and  Rich!    Mad Dog
GGrossSuperTechguzzinerdknotgrumpy

Comments

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    The mudroom 22 yrs later. Love the color...their suggestion....hides the mud!  Mad 🐕 Dog 
    GGross
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 452
    I went the other way in my house.  I ripped out the cast iron drains that were starting to split in a few locations.  Once I got the first piece out I was amazed that anything could even get through, the insides were about 50% plugged with solids stuck to the rusty surface.  

    Our new kitchen is on a radiant slab with porcelain tile, we love it.

  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    No one ever regrets radiant Heat. Mad Dog 
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 410
    Mad Dog_2 said:

    No one ever regrets radiant Heat. Mad Dog 

    When we built in 2000, I was set to use plain old forced air like Ive always had.
    A Scottish buddy (pipefitter) talked me into the in-floor and boiler.
    Even with DIY and his discounts, it was still a very noticeable bump into my budget.
    I do love it, and I would always seek a house with in-floor, but I can see why its not in every home ( $$$ )

    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
    Mad Dog_2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,876
    Mad Dog_2 said:

    No one ever regrets radiant Heat. Mad Dog 

    There's been a few that did poor designs etc that regretted it.
    There's also been many that put a screw in a wrong spot that probably wished they had gone a different route.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Mad Dog_2
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,195
    Only one unhappy customer. Slab on grade ICF home, loads were around 10 btu/ sq ft.
    So SWT was 75 on design day! Floors never felt warm to the customers
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Mad Dog_2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 13,876
    hot_rod said:

    Only one unhappy customer. Slab on grade ICF home, loads were around 10 btu/ sq ft.
    So SWT was 75 on design day! Floors never felt warm to the customers

    I'm sure they felt warmer than many slab ranches.

    My house isn't a ranch or on a slab, but my kitchen floor at times has been cold enough to sweat and the RH was only 25%.

    I'm hoping that issue has been greatly improved, but it'll be far from radiant warm.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    edited January 26
    Chris, my brother,, ANY heating system can and will be installed poorly AND can easily be damaged in normal home repair incidents like hanging pictures, plunging a Sawzall through the sheet rock  Wall, et cetera.   A radiant tubing design and layout has to be SO bad not to work AT ALL.  I've watched in amazement Hot Rod and some other super sharp minds walk people through BAD radiant jobs and helped salvage the existing tubing with brilliant piping, control and pumping strategies and configurations.  Jimmy the Gent Burke and I took over a job we had bid on and LOST. It was An 8000 sf luxury home with granite floors throughout.  The unscrupulous Heating  contractor Took a 50 K deposit, subbed out the tubing layout, gave them No design or layout or specs. He then stopped returning calls probably clearing 25 Large for "GCing it"  Also...NOT ONE PICTURE of the tubing pre-mud Job.  We had ONE clue about tubing spread and  it didn't look good; 16" on centers in some spots, long tubing runs.  He was a very nice Rich, but Naive immigrant, the owner.  He BEGGED me to take over.  Making ZERO promises, we dove in.  Buderus GB-142 wall hung Modcons,  about 8 zones. Large Solar Tank .   Long story short, there were alot of cooler spots on the floor, but we managed to heat the house comfortably in the freezing 🥶 weather and most of the floors were pretty toasty.  He's grateful till this day.  Mad Dog. 
  • TAG
    TAG Member Posts: 737
    I have done some cool project over the years and it's always a question -- do you go with what you know will work vs what is newer and maybe better and cheaper. It will be interesting to see what happens with the radiant industry going forward. With tighter houses and better insulation products the BTUsf is getting lower and lower. I questioned doing radiant in my current project north of Philly. I can tell you the one I did about 6 years ago at the beach in NJ did not benefit all that much and today I would not spend the money ...maybe electric in the bathrooms. Air to electric heat pumps for areas w/o natural gas will help IMO. Radiant is a real luxury and tight well insulated houses w/ good windows are very comfortable with modulating ducted equipment. I see less and less radiant in the new houses being built
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,885
    Unfortunately, I've seen Radiant be supposedly "unaffordable" when companies simply charge a premium just because its still "exotic" to some plumbers and people and THEY CAN.  PEX is cheap and so are pex staples.  You don't HAVE to use a slB sensor but its more dialed in.  Radiant tie in to boiler is usually just a 90 dollar mixing valve and regular fittings.  Forget the Thermometers 🌡 et cetera. Jimmy The Gent Burke and I did alot of installs like an oil company - on the cheap (good quality parts, but bare minimum) the oil company boiler install managers watched EVERY penny. Ask Ron Jr. I never seen a situation where radiant in a mud job or slab was a waste of 💰 money ONLY if the customer was banged over the head. I've done plenty of radiant jobs -at material cost (average bathroom. Nothing crazy)just so the nice folks could connect later and not miss this one time chance.   Mad 🐕 Dog