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Good or bad idea or just a preference ? 90 degree expansion elbows on all loops

cloudd
cloudd Member Posts: 37
edited April 3 in Radiant Heating
I am tight for space on my manifold wall. This is my first time running radiant pex. I have my 10 zones/loops pulled to where my manifold will be. I will install the 12 loop manifold (2x spare expansion loops) on this wall and connect my 10 loops to it.


Is it a good/bad idea or just preference to use 90 degree pex-a expansion elbows on every loops supply/return where all the pipes will come down from the ceiling? 

I want to keep the pex pipes tight to the wall and organize them coming into the manifold. I really don’t have enough room above to get the pipes bent in 90 degree supports and allow go expansion do I?  There will be a drop ceiling install in this area and I plan to build a cupboard with a door around the manifold to hide it.


see picture


Comments

  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 321
    edited April 3
    An elbow in each run/return is not a huge deal in terms of functionality. But it's adding, in total, 40 potential points of failure in your case- regardless of how reliable it is.

    If you had no choice, sure no biggie go for it! But seeing that you are going to be putting a drop ceiling.. that means you'll have enough space for the pex to come straight down the drop ceiling instead of at an angle. Given you had another support for the pex coming behind the wall, you can just use talons to create your elbow instead using pex supports. Can also just add the pex 90 supports for more rigidness.



    If you are going to be making a cupboard, could you just not extend that to the ceiling as well? I'm assuming you are going to be covering up the pex coming down the wall anyway.

    Avoid fittings whenever possible, but they also exist for a reason.
    cloudd
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    Pex bend supports would make a nice clean look.

    Or pex ells, use the long sweep type.
    Boshart makes these long sweep pex ells in stainless now also. If you prefer silver to copper color :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,866
    Pex is going to expand a lot with temp regardless of if you give it someplace to go or not so make sure when it changes in length it can move.
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,309
    edited April 3
    12 port manifold is a lot of ports. Make sure the supply and return from the manifold is a larger pipe than 3/4" pipe or there could be problems. I don't use metal bends when entering or exiting concrete materials. I use electrical PVC 90 deg bends. The metal bends are good everywhere else.
    I would go online and look at "Coffee with Caleffi" Idronics videos. Great source of do's and don'ts.

    cloudd
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    Two of those long sweep pex ells are about equal to 10' of tube, so not a huge deal if you want to use them for a nice tight turn down.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    cloudd
  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    edited April 5
    I will run the cupboard up into the drop ceiling. That will make it easier.

    Is it ok to use the PVC 90 supports free standing without screwing them into a wall:joist/stud? Will the pipe not pop out overtime with expansion and contraction?

    I cleaned up my pipes running into the manifold wall. I have only 2x 90 degree pvc supports on the pex in the picture. Should I just use metal supports or are the pvc supports just as good?


  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,475
    I know I'm late to the rodeo here, but when I have that much pex converging together, I'll route them through a length or two or large diameter PVC pipe, tucking it neatly up high.  Mad Dog 🐕   
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    How pretty, and patriotic do you want it? :)

    PVC organizer as @Mad Dog_2 mentioned.

    If you want a tight turn down, use pex ells. Get the long sweep copper pex ells. Sioux Chief is one brand.
    Important that the tube, or supports do not rub on the wood or it will squeak. The tube will move on long runs as it heats and cools.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 8,866
    So we've just abandoned the energy code here?

    The bend supports not secured at the corner lets the pipe slide horizontally and vertically. There are racks that can secure the pipes in the ceiling and the wall as they approach the bend.
  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    mattmia2 said:
    So we've just abandoned the energy code here? The bend supports not secured at the corner lets the pipe slide horizontally and vertically. There are racks that can secure the pipes in the ceiling and the wall as they approach the bend.
    It it ok that if  it’s not secured? I realize that it would expand both vertically and horizontally. 

    Is not securing the pvc 90 a concern? 

    Perhaps I am over thinking this. 
  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    edited April 5
    Is it ok that the pvc elbows are not secured to anything? I realize that the PEX will expand both vertically and horizontally.

    Should I be concerned that one of the pex pipes might pop out of the pvc elbow over time?  I plan to use 20 pvc elbows where the ceiling and wall meet to get down into my cupboard.

    Another question for installing the elbows. I have had a few slight kinks appear during trial installs. What is the proper way to install them? Does a slight amount of heat need to be applied to avoid this? I was trialing at room temperature.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    If you did have both ends fastened solidly, the tube will just arc in the middle somewhere to take the expansion movement. If pex touches pex, it can squeak. Try to keep the lines separated. Fasten it every two joist spaces, about 32"

    Maybe put a 2X4 against the wall to clip the tube onto, just below the bend support a few
    Warm the tube with a hair dryer to help prevent kinking.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    cloudd
  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    I went to the plumbing shop and the aluminum elbows looked better so I went with them. I ran out of talons. The talons are definitely better and easier to use but they are permanent. Now that I have it laid out on the wall the mess is much more manageable.

    How does this look?


  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    Are you happy with it? 🧐
    A level mark with the talons lined up would have been my choice.
    The talons can be removed with a set of diagonal angle style side cuts Klein side cut pliers. My favorite nail removing tool.

    Pinch under the plastic and rock them out.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    mattmia2clouddPC7060Zman
  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    edited April 6
    No I’m not happy with the way it is visually yet. I will probably change it based on your guys’ feedback. I just had to somehow get the pex on the wall and running into the manifold with each loops supply/return beside each other.

    Since I have never ran pex before I am not sure exactly how much it will expand in certain areas and if pex rubbing wood/other pipes or metal would cause leaks over short/long periods of time. I debured and sanded 390 extruded aluminum plates (I think I went a little overboard…I was paranoid about cutting/snagging a pex pipe). I didn’t want to under do it and end up with a leak. I even pressured tested all 10 loops individually at 100PSI  before I put the drywall up. I have not drywalled the ceiling yet.

    At the beginning I thought any rubbing of pex on pex was bad and may lead to a leak over time. For some reason I think I have been over cautious about this.

    I posted for feedback and greatly appreciate it good or bad. So you won’t hurt my feelings. I appreciate the comments. As I said before this is my first time so critism is greatly appreciated. It is a big job to take on but for some reason I thought it would be a good project for me. So far I have learned a lot. I don’t have anyone to ask for opinions except here. My first priorities were to organize the mess of pex loops supply and return lines beside each other on the wall and to make sure the pex lines do not rub or expand into electrical wires or gas lines.

    I would like it to be a cleaner look on the wall. Now that the the loop supply/return pex lines are beside each other I can do another revision of the pex management with talons.

    Something that was an added problem is that there is bathroom fan/vent directly behind the manifold wall which forced me to route my pex lines around the left and the right of the fan (directly behind the manifold wall) This prevented my pex lines from being lined up with the manifold and coming straight over and down the wall to the manifold. 


    A level mark… Do you mean a straight line of talon clips securing the pex lines across a level line?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    Like this job. Found this on Pinterest, it didn’t have a name to credit
    The installer lined up all the talons to keep it organized and neat. I think those tube talons have ring shank nails, so you may end up with some ugliness when you try to pull them out.
    Just tap them in a little bit when you use them as a temporary hold, so they come out easier.

    At this point you might start connecting the loop ends to the manifold, then do the final neating up when each tube is connected, leave a couple inches of length when you cut them at the manifold.

    You are close, keep massaging it to get the look you want
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • GroundUp
    GroundUp Member Posts: 1,748
    I guess I would not allow that in my home nor would I install something this way, but it's your house. You had mentioned that this system will be getting actuators, which should never be on the bottom side of inverted manifolds if avoidable- any dribble or even condensation will run into the actuator and kill it. If it were mine, I'd mount the manifolds on the underside of the floor joists in a horizontal fashion and have this whole mess above your ceiling. It'll look and perform much better than what you have going on there, IMO
  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    Uponor stainless steel manifolds can be ran upside down. I checked with uponor of America Tech Support. Uponor has sealed actuators.

    Here are the details

    Raymond Roy
    Technical Support Representative 
    Uponor North America

    Uponor 

    5925 -148th St. W.  

    Apple Valley, MN  55124 


  • cloudd
    cloudd Member Posts: 37
    edited April 6
    I’m still cleaning a fewpex lines up but it’s looking much cleaner now. 

    Ceiling height is 7’4” I’m not sure how much height for the drop ceiling you would use to fit everything up in there. I’m sure you can do it with your experience but I’m not sure I could do it without cutting the pex. I have kept all the runs close to 300 without any breaks. 

    Hmm it’s possible I could rotate the manifold. But really does it matter if uponor states it can run upside down because their actuators are sealed? (See pic)

    FYI the underside of the floor above the manifold wall is my upstairs foyer and has joist trak mounted to it. (See pic)


    Fire away. I love to hear criticism good and bad. 









  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 20,790
    Yes the hermetically sealed actuators can be mounted upside down. Intended for chilled water use also where condensation is likely.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream