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Transfer plates??

Brian
Brian Member Posts: 285
I do alot of homes that have radiant in the basement and main floor but rads on the 2nd foor.The 2nd floor baths get clip-up without plates so that I can use a single temp.

Good Luck
Brian

Comments

  • Special Ed
    Special Ed Member Posts: 3


    How do you guys know when to use underfloor transfer plates or not? I hear some people say "do a heat loss and determine whether you need plates or not...". If the required water temp is too high???? Or do most of you just use them anyway for better heat transfer???? Thanks.
  • Radiant Wizard
    Radiant Wizard Member Posts: 159
    Transfer Plates

    The only time not to use them is if you are only doing floor warming and have supplemental heat. If you are going to heat the space always use plates.

    Advantages: Lower Water Temps
    Even heat distribution throughout the floor.
    Quicker floor resopnse time.

    Disadvantages: NONE (Cost is not a disadvantage)
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I think

    with pex tube your choices are pretty much suspended tube (joist bay heating) or transfer plates. Stapeling pex directly to the subfloor isn't a good option, in my opinion, considering the movement, noise, and wear issues.

    Good quality plates really do a nice job of spreading the head across the surface, quicken response tines, and allow lower supply temperatures.

    Generally loads under 10-12 btu's per square foot with supply temperatures in the 140-150F max are workable with suspended method. Although plates never hurt! Remember lower required supply temperatures put you within the sweet spot of high efficiency condensing heat sources for added efficiency! Heat the space with the lowest possible temperature water.

    I just bid 4000 square feet of new home. I'm going to use plates in most areas but will go naked under interior closet spaces, stair wells, halls, pantry, storage, and other rooms with low loads. This will cut back the amount of "aluminum" I need to buy and hang :)

    I have also seen plates used on the permiter area of rooms for 3 or 4 feet, then switch to suspended for the center of the rooms.

    Then again, there may be high load rooms where plates alone will not meet the load, and supplemental heat is required. On your design calcs watch for BTU/ square foot requirements, and supply water temperatures needed. Then check the manufactures guides for output numbers of the various method. Pick the method that best fits your application, gets the job done, and fits the budget :)

    hot rod

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  • kevin_5
    kevin_5 Member Posts: 308
    Disadvantage

    Radiant Wizard, Of course you are correct in your assessment of the advantages of heat transfer plates. However I would respectfully disagree with you that cost is not a disadvantage. What if you bid plates, your competitor doesn't, and they choose the budget system whether they understand the pros and cons or not?
    Some people are just plain cheap,and some just plain have a budget and can't afford the best of everything.Some can afford anything, are not cheap, but think the payback is too far down the road. Maybe they're moving next year.
    I just bid a 1000 square foot addition with suspended tube. It WILL work without plates, but I gave the customer the option of extruded plates and explained all the advantages. Do you give your customers different options for more efficient boilers, or do you spec a Viesseman for every job whether great or small? Will you still do the job if they don't want an indirect water heater with that? It's probably more efficient than what they have.
    We both know that some jobs just plain would not work without plates and others would. If the choice is between a working but less efficient hydronic system or forced air shouldn't they still enjoy radiant? Like you, I'm all for the best efficiency, response time, and everything else, but not every system is going to have all the bells and whistles. Some are budget systems and will give the same radiant comfort. Don't you think so? My own home has suspended tube without plates and is heated by a 38,000 BTU Input hot water heater. I certainly wouldn't recommend this to someone else because of the low temps supplied, but at the time that was what I could afford, and it works great. We are on our fourth Nebraska winter with great performance and no complaints. Sometimes there is a point of diminishing returns. A more efficient boiler will always pay off, but how long will it take to do it? By the time some people realize a return 30 years from now, there may be newer technology to make that boiler obsolete. Solar, Nuclear, who knows? Todays science fiction is tomorrows technology in your home.
    Kevin

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  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411
    I agree

    with HR the only time I wouldn't use plates is when the load is extreamly low or if it's floor warming only.Allot will depend on what part of the country your in and the design temperature.Here in NewEngland the heating season is cold and long most years.We use plates on EVERY job.

    What happens when you design a system that just barely makes it without plates and the homeowner slaps down an area rug that covers 75% of the floor?I like the extra buffer that plates provides.

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  • kevin_5
    kevin_5 Member Posts: 308
    HR didn't say that...

    Radiant wizard said the part about only going plateless for floor conditioning or in extremely low output situations. HRs post was a lot less dogmatic. Respectfully, Kevin

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  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411
    Sorry

    I guess I forgot to put a period after HR....

    The rest was my statment

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  • radiant_2
    radiant_2 Member Posts: 6
    radiant heat

    The object of every heating system should be to heat the space with the lowest water temp possible. SO why would you ever do a radiant floor installation under the subfloor in new construction? If it is existing construction and you have to be under the subfloor ALWAYS use plates.
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    You use radiant under the floor in new construction...

    When the GC and the architect forget about the need for an 1-1/2" increase in elevation due to cementitious materials required to do it right. OKay, the didn't know any better...

    It happens, been there, done that.

    ME
  • Warmfoot
    Warmfoot Member Posts: 127
    Hot Rod

    Sort of off the subject of plates below the floor....How often do you do plates ABOVE the floor? I recently familiarized myself with the radiant engineering plates and their recommondations for above the floor. The thought going through my head is; I would rather bid a job with plates above rather than gypcrete because I can get a better price (and more work) installing it myself. Most of the suppliers of products like climate panel and thermal board say we can run the same water temps. How do you feel about that?

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  • Mark Wolff
    Mark Wolff Member Posts: 256
    plates vs. bare staple-up

    Plates are not a necessity on any staple up job you will come across. You can double tube each joist bay for an 8" effective spacing. With 1/2" tube and your water supply temp set 120 F to 140 F depending on heat loss calcs and outdoor temps, you would never have a problem. While being convenient in some regards, plates are more gimmick than gotta have. I've been on jobs throughout the State of Alaska and have never been lacking with bare tube. Also, if you have problems with squeaks (most staple up jobs do) try using plastic suspension clamps with SHORT screws. They seem to do the job quite nicely while maintaining a small gap between the tube and the underside of the floor.
  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    It works OKay until...

    the lady of the house decides to drop some carpets on the floor then the output of the floor drops substantially then WHAMMO, you've got a problem.

    If we must go below the floor, it's in GOOD plates, or we don't do it. Snobby, some people may view it that way, but I'll tell you what, we've NEVER had a compaint from our systems like we get from suspended tube or staple up jobs.

    ME

  • Radiant Wizard
    Radiant Wizard Member Posts: 159
    Options

    Are always a given. I think the original post was asking what are the advantages of using plates. I do agree that people are cheap or that they like to spend the bulk of their budget on the cosmetics. I do not agree that just because your bidding a job against someone that is not utilizing plates that you need to ONLY bid the job without the plates. Generally there is about a 20 degree water temp difference when using plates and they will in time pay for themselves.
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    heatboy



    The Radiant Whisperer





    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • Dave H_2
    Dave H_2 Member Posts: 545
    Radiant-Trak on top of the floor

    Pic attached.

    This room had a finished wood floor on top, just make sure you know what direction the floor guy is going to install the wood. Install the Radiant-Traks perpendicular.

    Tile, you can mastic right on top. Carpet, lay 1/4" ply across to eliminate the grooves.

    Order the plywood precut into 7" wide strips, lay down the trak, ply, trak.....screw down the ply.
    Dave H
  • Michael_6
    Michael_6 Member Posts: 50
    Mark E

    We used to do all of our projects in Gypcrete. Did not like the panel systems on the market. Now we use Raupanel, even lower temps then the Gyp. much quicker response times.
    Have you tried it?
  • Brian_19
    Brian_19 Member Posts: 115
    Plates

    I just finished a job using Wirsbo's joist trak plates and it works great. Before this job I mostly have done staple up. The staple up works, however not as well as the plates.
    From now on I will only bid jobs using plates with the option of doing a staple up if the money is very tight.
    I will not do a staple up if my water temps need to be high. Pex get very flexible and sloppy on high temps.
    Brian
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Above, better yet

    It becomes somewhat of a carpentry project, however. Most "home centers" will rip plywood for free or a small charge. Then you need to install 8 0r 12" on center and fasten the U fin down.

    Oh, it surely works better with the aluminum in contact with the flooring, and skipping that 3/4" subfloor.

    And most often it is easier to work form above, instead of on your hands and knees in a crawl space :)

    It does present a problem if the flooring guy hits a tube, especially 8if they don't tell you!

    Depending on your labor charge, buliding you own "above" system may pencil out close to the store bought "over the top" products. It allows you to use any brand of 3/8 or 1/2"tube and fitting, if this helps.

    Pretty easy to spot the conductive transfer in these iR pics I took :)

    They all do the job, it comes down to which you prefer.

    hot rod

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  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Not yet...

    but thanks for the heads up on it. I'll check it out.

    ME
  • ALH
    ALH Member Posts: 26
    Above or Below

    I can only see using above floor U-fin in retrofit applications where there is no access below the floor. Unless installed upside down the plate is still beneath a layer of 3/4 inch plywood, plus the floor ends up requiring two layers of plywood. Below floor certainly creates some neck and/or knee problems in crawl spaces. In my view the primary advantage of transfer plates is the increase in the rate of heat transfer.........response time. The advantage is obvious in hot rod's infrared photos. And with Vitodens boilers the advantage of transfer plates is even greater. The fact that staple-up even works shows just how forgiving radiant heat can be.
  • Jason Horner
    Jason Horner Member Posts: 58


    Do you use the Raupanel under 3/4" hardwood flooring or only with engineered laminate flooting on top?

  • Jason Horner
    Jason Horner Member Posts: 58


    Hot Rod,

    Which IR camera do you use?

    Tks.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Flier?

    Not sure of the spelling. The camera, a video actually, belongs to City Utilities in Springfield. It rents for 90 bucks an hour with an operator. Cost something like 75 thousand to purchase.

    Fleir make mostly military night vision equipment, and night targeting stuff for aircraft.

    hot rod

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  • Radiant Wizard
    Radiant Wizard Member Posts: 159
    Above Floor

    Designed a job 5 years ago. Total radiant house 4,428 sqft. Drive in garage, family room, bath, storage room, mechanical room slab application. First floor all hardwood except for kitchen and bath those were tile. Second floor all carpet. Utilized Wirsbo Quick Trak for 1st and 2nd floors. Average water temp through entire heating season is 90 degree supply temp. Temperature in the house seems to never change. It is one of the most comfortable houses that I have ever been in except for a job I did 2 years ago.

    That house is approx 3,000sqft all hardwood except for kitchen and bathroom. Radiant is all above the floor again using Quick Trak. Again average water temp throughout the heating season is 90 degrees. Here's the kicker. There is no thermostat in the house. I mean none. The system comes on in the fall and off in the spring and it is the most comfortable house I have ever been in.

    By the way I'm in New England and we have some brutal winters. I want to say one thing both these applications.

    Job #1 was a Viessmann Vitola utilizing the Trimatik w/Modulating 3-way mixing vlv and 4 3-Way Proportional Mixing Valves (Not-Thermostatic) with a derivative form of primary/secondary piping.

    Job #2 was a Buderus G-115 utilizing the HS-2109 and a Modulating 3-way Mixing Valve and 2 3-Way Proportional Mixing Valves and the same piping schematic.

    The difference in fuel consumption between these 2 houses and house's of the same size having Hydro-Air or Baseboard is like comparing Johnni Damon to Mickey Mantel. Johnni Damon couldn't hold Mickey's jock strap.

  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928


    Curious about Job #2

    Any spaces of unusually high or low heat loss? If so, were you surprised yourself at temperature consistency not only of the space but of the floor surface?
  • Radiant Wizard
    Radiant Wizard Member Posts: 159
    Job #2

    The layout of the kitchen, family room, dining room and living room were very equal to each other as far as size and heat loss and they were open to each other. The 3 bedrooms were also of the same size. I wasn't surprised by the consistent temperature in the house based on some other jobs I had designed in the past utilizing the same piping and control stragety and although they had thermostats I found that the pumps ran 24-7 and the therms were basically for show.

    I'm a firm believer in a very accurate heat loss and design. I won't sell or consult on a job if there is 1 change made to the structure or my design. I cannot stress enough on how important that heat loss and a planned out control/piping strategy is. The boiler is just a heat plant. How you use that plant and it's energy is what's most important.

    Radiant is a very forgiving form of heating a space. This in some ways can be a bad thing. Why? It hides mistakes and allows unqualified people to do installations. This is exactly what the internet suppliers of radiant products feed on. Try explaining why something is wrong when it's working. That's an objective that can never be obtained. Doesn't that old saying "If it works, don't fix it." come to mind? Here's an example.

    Frank Severino a friend of mine from NY who is in our trade and a poster here, ran into a 3 million dollar house that was totally radiant had worked for a number of years and now it's not working. SIX different contractors went to that job, charged that customer and said they fixed that system. Ten thousand dollars later it still wasn't working. It worked for a little while. So Frank calls me up and asks me if I'd come down and look at it with him. I get in my car and truck down 95 South on a Sunday. I'm there for 45 minutes. System fixed. That was a year ago and because they were so use to 60 degree room temp they complained after that it was to warm now. It's 70. My point here is that the problem was there from day 1. It just took time to develope. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928
    Thanks

    If you look at my current post titled, "Super-Simple Radiant v3.1" you'll see why I was especially curious.

    Maybe that's a bad name as it does seem to rely on some careful calculation that starts with an extremely thorough heat loss.

    Someone at Wetstock in Denver said that I might have just gotten "lucky" with the first two versions. The shower floor was my confirmation that either I'm VERY lucky, my engineering is really good or radiant really is extremely forgiving. It's probably a combination of the three :)

    Large kitchen floor coming up will be a REAL test. Lots of glass, very thick floor with no chance of working from the top, basement about 50% above grade (N wall 100% above grade) and an open staircase to upstairs. At least there are three TRVd rads in case the radiant proves inadequate.
  • Jason Horner
    Jason Horner Member Posts: 58


    Video IR cameras are not a bad idea. I had only considered still cameras.

    You might want to consider the following at about $10k purchase price (maybe it could be leased??):

    http://www.raytek-northamerica.com/cat.html?cat_id=2.3.11


    Takes 100 pictures before you have to download onto a PC.

    I'm thinking about getting one, and also using it to 'survey' home exteriors at night during cold weather to show homeowners where there's insulation and where there isn't....maybe it'll develop into a side-line insulating contracting business.
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    personal experience living with staple up

    has more than convinced me that extruded plates (not the flimsy ones) are the only way to fly if it's a below floor install.

    I have to run higher temps, which dries the flooring out and HR is correct regarding noises from stapled PEX to underside of flooring, although mine is minimal due to nearly constant circulation with outdoor reset. It's only during design temps that the short off time creates a sufficient temperature difference upon circ start-up to hear the sudden expansion. Kind of sounds neat to me, but not to a regular homeowner.

    The cobbler's children go barefoot! In my "spare" time, I'm still planning on taking down my suspended ceilings, removing the insulation and adding the plates.

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  • Michael_6
    Michael_6 Member Posts: 50
    jason

    Have used Raupanel with all types of flooring. Plenty of engineered flooring but, the majority of the high end homes are still with 3/4" flooring, just about all species.
  • Dave_16
    Dave_16 Member Posts: 51
    who the hell.....

    Is Johnnie Damon????? and how do you know that Mickey **** a jock???? Stick to radiant and forget the puns....putz :)
    Frankie
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