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rubber tube again...

Joel_3
Joel_3 Member Posts: 166
i just looked at another screwed up adiant job. Staple up rubber tube with no plates and fixed mixing valve on junky steel drybase boiler. Of course it doesn't make it when it's cold out . Misses set point by more than 15F. That people would still do a staple up system without plates, and that the RPA won't take a stand on this shoddy work blows my mind but that's another issue. Anyhow this stuff is black and was made in 99 does it have an oxygen barrier? If so what is it.Have you seen it failing yet like the red stuff, getting brittle and cracking?. Do to on going litigation I'm not naming this manufacter and would like you to respond directly to my email. Customer has asked for a fix. Obviously the 5yold piping and boiler have to go but can the tubing be saved or should I junk it all to protect myself from future litigation? Thank you!

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Comments

  • hvacsale
    hvacsale Member Posts: 19
    \"Rubber\" tube

    Joel, I understand your frustration over yet another system that doesn't provide sufficient heat. Improperly designed/installed radiant hurts us all by giving bad press. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate the difference between best practises and the cheapest price.

    Plates are not to my knowledge a requirement of a radiant system. By increasing the surface area they provide increased conductive heat transfer between the tubing and subfloor which then requires lower water temperature. Conversely, no plates = higher temperature water.

    In either case, if the system is designed properly i.e. piping, pumps, temperature control system, and installed according to the design, it should heat properly.

    If the area is not being heated properly you must look at the job and find out if it can be heated solely by radiant, what temperature water is required in the system to bring the floor up to the required temperature.

    It's too easy to allow personal feelings to get in the way of analysis and diagnosis of the problem. I'm not a huge fan of that tubing myself but it certainly has its place if used properly.

    If you want to help the customer, run the numbers through that manufacturer's program to find out what your target temperature is. You can't hit the mark if you don't know what it is. Then find out if the system can hit that mark. If that isn't possible you will have clear and positive proof to show the customer and will be able to demonstrate your professionalism by having the answers to the questions they may not have asked but are sure to be thinking.

    Steve Rowe
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    The only thing wrong


    with that tubing Joel, is in your mind.

    That tubing is Heatway Onix, and there have been no issues with it.

    GoodYear screwed up SOME of the Entran II tubing and Heatway took the initial beating. If you were to actually do a bit of reading, you would find that GoodYear has had their bottoms handed to them in the subsequent court cases that have followed.

    But you go ahead and scare the hell out of that customer if it makes you feel like a hero, but before you do that, tell me what the tires on your vehicle are made of. Tell me when the last time you changed a radiator hose was.

    If Pex is SOOOOOO much better, why aren't you driving on Pex tires?

    If there is a problem with the heating system, look first at the design, not at the material.

    If the heat loss clacs were wrong to begin with, it wouldn't matter if you had plates made by the good Lord Himself.

    Leave the tubing alone and address the real problem.

    Mark H



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  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    What the radiant industry needs

    is for an authority figure, maybe the RPA, to publish actual tested, agreed upon output numbers for various installations methods. Maybe ASHRAE, UL, men on Mars, whowever could be the non biased third party raters? It really needs to be done so we, the radiant industry, are all on the same page!

    Remember not to long ago how the various software design programs varied, a lot, when all compared on the same design problem? It caused all the manufactures to re-examine the formulas they used and re-adjust.

    We have talked about a rating system at RPA board meetings, often the radiant manufactures balk at output ratings created by anyone but themselves. Rightfully so they all want to promote their product based on their testing and research. Could marketing ever cloud the numbers? You tell me :)

    I have seen output ranges from 15-17 BTU/ft. to 30-35 listed for staple up systems. Can a direct staple up provide 30-35 when a suspended tube maxs out at 15-17 at 150° supply?? Does the thin contact (conductive) strip account for that much difference? Quite a difference, and design, or below, days will quickly show which is true. Sometimes too late, however.

    Still, Joel, in all fairness you need to re-calculate the job with your software, maybe a couple different brands, and confirm some things first. Actually it it easier to get "real" loss numbers when the home is built. Insulation, windows, infiltration, construction quality, etc can all be "known" figures now.

    Installation error can be a big factor, as well as control and piping, as you know. It could be a incorrect insulation detail, or R-value.

    Even an undersized Viessmann will piss cold homeowners off :)

    I understand, completly your frustration! I'm still traveling this road in my town :)

    Make sure your rant is based on fact.

    A product is in the works that could help an underperforming staple up like that. IF in fact the output is problem, not the above. Stay tuned.

    hot rod

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  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    Rubber tube/ radiant output

    I used to use the rubber tube learned how at a seminar in Manchester N.H. Many years ago taught by some guy from N.Y. I think his name began with H but that was along time ago and my memory is fading.
    I was fortunate enough not to Install any of the bad tubing and all of my installs were properly engineered and installed and work fine today.
    I stopped using the rubber out of concern for the financial survival of the company and future warranty issues.It did work it does work and we need to avoid broad brush strokes and generalizations about products and installation methods.

    I couldn't agree more with Hot Rod in regard to standardized output ratings.There is so much Output info out there based on wishful thinking marketing hype and suspension of the laws of physics.

    John
  • Al Letellier
    Al Letellier Member Posts: 781
    black rubber

    Can't agree more on this, Joel. Have used some of the "black Rubber" myself, without plates,and the systems work fine. We look at "non-functioning" systems all the time and it's frustrating to say the least. But do like Dan says about steam heating troubleshooting...."slowly back out of the boiler room and take a look around"...there's more to any system that just one component. When we troubleshoot a system that is not performing, we look at the installation, then the design (if it's available. IF not we re-do it), then look at the overall picture to determine the best course of action to remedy the situation. That's the stuff pros are made of, NOT slamming a product or the installer....it's too late for that when you are called in to fix it.

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  • Mark Eatherton1
    Mark Eatherton1 Member Posts: 2,542
    Sounds serious...

    but could be something as simple as a lack of the requires 2" air gap thats causing thermal constipation. That could be real serious if access to the insulation is blocked by sheet rock...

    In all honesty, and I think it's known that I'm NOT a rubber hose kind of guy, the Onyx IS an oxygen barrier product, and to date, I've not seen any problem with its use. The O2 barrier is made of an aluminized mylar similar to the oxygen barrier your potatoe chip bag has.

    If your boiler is shot and in need of replacement, I'd look for trouble someplace other than the hose, like an undersized or failed expansion tank. The hose can act like an expansion tank and mask the problem for the majority of the time.

    Contact the rep agency for the hose and ask them to perform the heat loss calcs for you using Heatways' software. They should be more than willing to help. If that fails, contact Dan Chiles at the factory. He and Mike are both a couple of upstanding guys. There are times that I wish they'd never started using rubber transport media, but whats done is done, and everyone has the choice of not using, or using whatever material they think will best fit their needs. It has NEVER been the "only" tubing choice available.

    It's probably not the hoses fault...

    FYI, the Gooyear E-2 battle continues... A judge is supposed to make a decision this coming week in regards to a national class action settlement. Stay tuned:-)

    ME
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    I have tried

    to use just about everyone's radiant products in the jobs we've installed and have yet to find one that won't work if it's installed properly.

    The devil is in the details and I've seen installations that do not work - but in each case (that I've seen), it was the design or the installer that caused the problem - not the product.

    We've used the rubber too & recently used that on a staple-up application under a hardwood floor where the hardwood installer must have been working on a commission from the staple company - I've never seen so many randomly placed daggers in all of my life! The budget didn't allow for our time to grind away all of the pointy little spears, so we settled in on using the rubber. Snaking around all of the 1.25" long protrusions was a breeze & the system performs as expected. They had a heat pump & couldn't get the house above 55 F on a zero degree day. Now they are experiencing comfort for the first time. A hydro-coil in the air handler takes care of the second floor.

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  • Robert O'Connor_7
    Robert O'Connor_7 Member Posts: 688
    Heatway's rubber hose

    I've installed this stuff in my own house. It works great. No plates. No problems. Take the advice these others are offering. 1st check the numbers. I'm sure you will find the truth. Many of the problem jobs I encounter are underpreforming because either the heatloss calc., was done wrong or different insulating materials were used instead of the ones spec'd., Windows were added or enlarged. Slight variations, or modifications can reap havoc on or underperform as well. I reconize and apreciate great service and reliability from HeatWay. Don't go bashing something before the verdict. It's only hose. And pretty darn sturdy stuff at that. I think you will also find that it can take more heat and pressure than most of the stuff out there. And YES, it does have an Oxy barrier............Robert O'Connor (the Jersey one)
  • Joel_3
    Joel_3 Member Posts: 166
    sigh......

    You know what I wasn't bashing anyone and i didn't name a company either. I asked a ligitimate question about a product that in the past has had issues and most of you folks (not all) got all over me. It was not a rant! I want to know what other people are seeing in the field. Do research? Yes that's the point, that's what I'm trying to do. I'm not going to go simply by some literature printed by a company or what thier salesman says. "do a heatloss" blah, blah, blah, sure ok your right.It will say that i can heat the house by cranking the water to a zillion degrees, exactly opossite of the goal of radiant which is to lower the heat loss as much as possable. "scaring the customer"??? Nope sorry I didn't do that, that was acomplished by the other guys who installed this system and left them with a house with high heat bills, that won't go over 55 at 10 f and goes down from there when it's bellow 0. Ohh did i mention those guys won't come back? Scared? yes thier scared because nobody else will touch this mess and they don't know what to do. I'm trying to help them!!At least somebody told me it has an oxygen barrier,thank you. I got a little information, and basically a bash from the rest of you about how i shouldn't bash a company, thanx alot.

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  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    I was'

    > You know what I wasn't bashing anyone and i

    > didn't name a company either. I asked a

    > ligitimate question about a product that in the

    > past has had issues and most of you folks (not

    > all) got all over me. It was not a rant! I want

    > to know what other people are seeing in the

    > field. Do research? Yes that's the point, that's

    > what I'm trying to do. I'm not going to go simply

    > by some literature printed by a company or what

    > thier salesman says. "do a heatloss" blah, blah,

    > blah, sure ok your right.It will say that i can

    > heat the house by cranking the water to a zillion

    > degrees, exactly opossite of the goal of radiant

    > which is to lower the heat loss as much as

    > possable. "scaring the customer"??? Nope sorry I

    > didn't do that, that was acomplished by the other

    > guys who installed this system and left them with

    > a house with high heat bills, that won't go over

    > 55 at 10 f and goes down from there when it's

    > bellow 0. Ohh did i mention those guys won't come

    > back? Scared? yes thier scared because nobody

    > else will touch this mess and they don't know

    > what to do. I'm trying to help them!!At least

    > somebody told me it has an oxygen barrier,thank

    > you. I got a little information, and basically a

    > bash from the rest of you about how i shouldn't

    > bash a company, thanx alot.

    >

    > _A

    > HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=

    > 254&Step=30"_To Learn More About This

    > Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in

    > "Find A Professional"_/A_



  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    I wasn't bashing any one...

    ""Stapleup rubbertube with no plates and fixed mixing valve on junky steel dry base boiler " Excuse me are not you "bashing some one""I Can't believe that people would do a staple up system without plates "If you bothered to read Dave Yates post and he is one of the giants in our industry he uses rubber tube with out plates and it works.He and lot of other people.Based on the tone and content of your post you got a most considerate reply but based on your last "rant" I felt this reply was appropriate.

    John

  • Boilerpro_3
    Boilerpro_3 Member Posts: 1,231
    Don't necessarily blame the system

    In amongst the replies you will see one that asks about whether the house was changed without changing the system design. Don't necessarily blame a heating system when a building doesn't get warm enough. The heating system only supplies heat, all the other contractors are responsible for making sure it doesn't lose heat faster than its supposed too. If the house is not built properly, then the heating system will not keep up. Its like an automotive designer telling the engine desinger the car is only going to weigh 2500 lbs, so the engine designer plans on a certain engine. Then when the car is out on the road and wieghs 3,000 lbs ans doesn't perform properly because it is "underpowered" the engine designer is blamed. How about the fact the car (or home) is overweight on heat loss?

    Maybe, just maybe, the contractor won't return to the job because the owners tried to cut corners on insulation, windows etc, and failed to tell the heating contractor, and now expect the contractor to fix the problems they created at his cost.

    If they have high heat bills, it sounds like the problem may not the be system, but the structure.

    Do a proper heat loss, maybe two.... one based on the data the first contrator was given and another on what was actually built... small changes can make huge differences. Also check you actual fuel usage per hour overnight to see if it is close to the calculated load. If you have an infared thermometer, look for places where the envelope is not what it is supposed to be.

    While you didn't name names, I believe there is only one rubber tubing manufacturer on the market, so not naming names is of no benefit. Your post appered to assume a bad product, no questions asked.

    Boilerpro
  • Joel_3
    Joel_3 Member Posts: 166
    HR

    Thank you Hot Rod. Your comments are spot on. I was not intending to bash any company, which is why I did name one. My frustration came out due to a frustrated homeowner - just looking for answers. I agree with you 100% that there should be an independent body (not influenced by any manufacturers) such as UL or ETL or someone like that to do independent testing and analysis to protect homeowners and installers alike.

    The only answer I was looking for in my 1st post was did it have an oxygen barrier in 1999 and has anyone seen it fail? I just needed to know the answers, to best serve my customer.

    Thanks again! Joel

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  • Joel_3
    Joel_3 Member Posts: 166
    ok, already

    I am sorry - I was not trying to say black rubber tube is bad. I don't believe I stated that. I was simply trying to ask if anyone has seen it fail and does it have on oxygen barrier. I didn't say it has failed. I have great respect for Dave Yates, he and I have met a couple of times.

    My post was brief without alot of details about the job. I'm sorry i should have provided more details - but i didn't want to write out a long post. Staple up with out plates may work in warmer climates with less severe wind loading on well insulated tight houses. That is not the case with this house or it's location. Yes, I will do a heat loss - you can't fix or install a correct radiant job without one. Here are some of the details that I left out before:

    In the home I visited, I do not believe that a staple up system will perform adequately without excessively high water temperatures because the following conditions are present.

    1. The house has only R11 walls, so-so windows, an R30 roof, and only R19 under the staple up.

    2. Finished floors are nailed down strip oak and carpet.

    3. The system only has fixed mixing valves without any weather responsive control, which will overshoot on hot days, and underperform on cold days.

    4. Our area is subject to temperatures of 0 - 15 below and many times will have sustained wind speeds of 25-40 mph and higher gusts while at those temperatures.

    Those are my reasonings for feeling that the system should have been designed differently and should have incorporated at a bare minimum plates and a better control system.

    Thank you everyone for your answers regarding the tubing.

    Joel


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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    I look

    up to you & Erika as ones who set the pace for holding fast to our ideals. The only thing giant about me is my ever expanding waist line!

    Joel is one of the best and most honorable contractors I've had the pleasuire of meeting while traveling this road. If everyone in our industry held themselves to the same high standards, the world would be a much better place.



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  • jwade55_3
    jwade55_3 Member Posts: 166
    Silly Thought?

    Is the boiler sized properly, and will the high water temps you mentioned cause a big problem, ie too high surface temp? My thought is that even a 140 deg radiant system, that performs, is efficient, compared to other options.

    Just FYI the Onix tubing is actuall EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer).

    J
  • jwade55_3
    jwade55_3 Member Posts: 166
    Silly Thought?

    Is the boiler sized properly, and will the high water temps you mentioned cause a big problem, ie too high surface temp? My thought is that even a 140 deg radiant system, that performs, is efficient, compared to other options.

    Just FYI the Onix tubing is actually EPDM (Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer), not rubber.

    J
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    A few simple checks

    That I have seen on these systems. Does it have a Heatway Hydro Control panel? Some versions had a Jomar Filter Ball valve installed. The can plug and really reduce flow. Remove the strainer cup and leave it out. Sometimes they partially plug day 1 from the residue in th installation.

    I have also seen the Dahl mini ball valves closed or partialy closed at the manifolds. Tiny ports, make sure they are fuly opened.

    Remember you need temperature and FLOW to make em work. Adequate flow can be trickier to troubleshoot than temperature problems.

    Make sure all the pumps are in fact turning! Wire and a closed relay don't always equal RPMs. I have seen these systems work, sort of, with a boiler pump out.

    Sometimes the on site wiring interface between the boiler and Hydro control panel gets botched.

    Of course check all the adjustments and settings, thermistors etc on the mix devices. Even 3 way thermostatic valves stick.

    Check the water quality, it can cause a lot of the mechanical problems I described.

    You'll need tospend some hours looking and feeling to find the problem.

    hot rod

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  • Joel_3
    Joel_3 Member Posts: 166
  • Troy_3
    Troy_3 Member Posts: 479
    Heat loss caculations

    Are nothing more than an educated guess at a structures actual heat loss. You can't get more accurate than real life experience. If you check your temp., flow, tube coverage and insulation than you know what you got and how much more you can get with the present system. Also any other added losses that need addressing. But to calculate a heat loss will only be an indicator how far off you are. There is nogetting around you are limited with the rubber. I have found and fixed many jobs by replacing rubber with pex and plates. Now how much added heat is an educated guess. Just sayin- by doin a heat loss everything will be rosy is assuming the last didn't do a heat loss. I was just told by a customer that a Manufacturers rep . showed him that his sunroom will heat with 1/2" pex stapled under his crawl space and insulated at 102deg. water temp. 0 deg outside. This is a sunroom, all windows cathedral ceilings and 3/4" hardwood flooring. He ran a heat loss. I told him BULL! And I didn't run a heat loss. When itdidn't heat he bought plates from me and reported back that at 140 deg. it barely makes it. Surprise , surprise! Numbers are only as good as the data that creates them. Don't tell me that any hose, any color will put out the same btus that tubes and plates will.
  • John Abbott
    John Abbott Member Posts: 356
    If...........

    I have misjudged someone based on the words they posted on the wall I most humbly and sincerely apologize.
    The same goes for Dave Yates I have never seen his waistline only his words and alas it is only that I may judge him by.

    Sincerely,

    John

  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    My

    words are quite skinny(G). Thanks John.

    Joel - Remember the first Wall foot steps with a young'n who needed our well-wishes? That helped lay the cornerstone of The Wall's foundation in my mind. Hoping everyone is doing well, Dave.

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  • Joel_3
    Joel_3 Member Posts: 166
    dave

    Our son is now 7 and doing great. I'm not sure if he was just born, or about two then as he had major surgeries both times. Other than scars over his torso from from all the tubes and cuts you wouldn't know. I tell him not to worry about it that chicks dig scars but he doesn't get that yet!

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    well

    just wait till he's 17! Mike and his girlfriend take up less space when sitting together than does a very skinny person - Yikes(G).

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  • Michael_6
    Michael_6 Member Posts: 50
    Michael

    Joel, You hit it on the head with your first post..and yes junk it all...actually it already is junk.. pull it all or don't touch it. michael
This discussion has been closed.