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Advice and opinion for staple up....


We reccomend the extruded aluminum plates made by Radiant Engineering. Do your own search here and on other sites and chose for yourself but, these are the best plates in the industry. i like to use PEX for joists instead of PAP but, HR may be on to something WRT working alone. It's up to you what materials you use. There are so many options. Choose the best for yourself. You are on the right track.


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  • Blackoakbob
    Blackoakbob Member Posts: 252
    Advice and opinion on staple-up.....

    products. I'm planning a staple-up with plates job and I'm interested in the pros and cons of pexalpex or hepex use. My supplier does not carry Wirsbo anymore, but promotes Rehau. This would be in regular 2x10 floor joists,16 inches on center, with plywood above and ceramic floor tile on that. If I drill holes to route the tube thru will the pexalpex give me enough flexablity and not kink or should I stick with a straight pex product? Any tips woukd be appreciated greatly. Regards,
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    I've tried both

    we are just finishing a large home with 6000 feet of plates and Wirsbo Hepex.

    I actually prefer the PAP products but my MultiCor has been on factory backorder for about two months now!!

    HePex is nicer in the fact that a kink can be heated out. We sometimes kink the tube in half to push it into tight spots. It is nice to be able to reform the Wiesbo with a heat gun.

    We also did this job in 90° temperatures, so the 1/2" Hepex was very supple. Fittings are a bit cheaper for Hepex also. Regular pex gets harder to work as temperatures drop, of course. PAP doesn't care :)

    On the minus side (HePex)... it does have a higher expansion rate and holes and loop ends need to be able to move around to prevent squeaking. It can be unruley when long loops are pulled as it tries to coil back around you.

    Once you get a good procedure for working PAP in between joist plate jobs it goes smoothly. I can actually push PAP 30 feet or more by hooking the end in the edge of a TJI. The loop ends form and stay nicely. I feel there is a tad better conduction to the plate with the aluminum layer. It doesn't have any UV issues like exposed to sunlight of fluroscent lighting like regular barrier pex. You need not worry about scratching barrier off PAP as it is inside!

    3/8" PAP is a breeze but loop lengths are limited if you have large zones. Try both tubes to see which you prefer.

    If you can get a copy odf the KITEC installation tape. they shaw the method we use for puling large loops easily and kink free.

    hot rod

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  • Blackoakbob
    Blackoakbob Member Posts: 252
    type of plates....

    That you use, was another question I had. I had a concern
    about the plate that the tube is up buy the flooring vs. the plate that the tube snaps into the bottom of the plate
    after the plate is stapled or screwed to the flooring. Use of hepex, I thought it would it may be prone to squeaks. I value your opinion, hotrod. Best Regards,

  • The "tube below the plate" type is an extruded aluminum plate. They have much greater output and much greater price! Also, they don't make noise with regular PEX as they grip the pipe very tightly. At least, the good ones do. We recommend (as does HR, I believe?) Radiant Engineering's Thermofin or Thinfin product lines for that, they are the best and are comparable in price to the knock-offs.

    The other type are lighter weight and lower output, but also cheaper. If your water temperature requirements are already low, they can be a fine choice, but either using PAP or using outdoor reset-based mixing to change temperature slowly is highly recommended, make sure your joist penetrations give the pipe room to move, don't attach the loop heads and use expansion loops!

    We've done a bunch of both with no noise, but all of our light plate jobs w/regular PEX use tekmar controllers and variable speed injection mixing.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106

    Yes, by far the ThermoFin from Radiant Engineering are king of the transfer plates. I use the C fin for below floor applications.

    I have used the ThinFin on the last 3 jobs. A bit thinner, narrower, and less expensive. Same tight grip, however. I find they distort more and need more fasteners per foot to keep the good contact. I like the 8 foot lengths for new construction.

    Actually PAP is less prone to squeak. First it moves less from thermal expansion, second it does not have a external EVOH layer which can be a squeak generator. Especially if tube rubs against tube. Try it!

    The ThinFin is available through Watts Radiant in 4 or 8 footers, SlantFin as pre drilled 4's I believe. An maybe Roth? Possibly other radiant companies also.

    Find a supplier close to you as freight is a big number if you need a lot of them.

    www.radiantengineering.com for more specs.

    hot rod

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  • cruizer
    cruizer Member Posts: 48
    I disagree

    with the plates the surround the tube vs. the plates that snap in the tube. First off I should mention I have not seen any actual data pertaining to the heat output of these different types of plates, but rather this is just my theory as I see it in the way things work.

    With the plates the surround the tube, the aluminum is completely covering the tube on the underside of the floor, when heating the aluminum would force the heat upwards towards the floor. Whereas the plates were the tube snaps in, the whole underside of the tube is not protected therefore the heat is allowed to travel downwards freely, hopefully to get caught in the insulation below.

    again, my theory, I don't have any data of an actual system of the two types of plates to back this up.

  • I've seen a lot of data, the snap plates are FAR better at what they do. They are far better because they are using a heavier gauge of aluminum which is much better at transferring heat than the lighter gauge plates are.

    Maybe they would be EVEN BETTER if they were surrounded by floor or plate like the lighter plate installs do, but as it stands right now, the two types of plate aren't even in the same league. You can do the same output with heavier extruded (snap in) plates a good 30 degrees lower than you can do with lighter plates.
  • TLynch
    TLynch Member Posts: 19
    FWIW from a DIYer

    I read everything I could both here and the RadNet bulletin board, and then got advice from suppliers. I ended up installing 8' ThermoFin C w/ a Hitachi N5008AC staple gun, then hammering in Rehau Pex w/ a Senco Palm Nailer, using a rolling scaffold, with no helper. I can tell you that it is a beautiful system and method of work, and so pretty I almost hate to cover it up with insulation! I'm looking forward to firing it up soon.

    My conclusions: The advice on these bbs is priceless; ThermoFin C is the highest quality product; and you could do worse than this method of work, especially if you are working alone.
  • Ron Schroeder_3
    Ron Schroeder_3 Member Posts: 254
    having also been there

    I chose Heatlinks Heat Transfer Plates p/n 87000. They are a thin glavanized steel plate 20" x 5" that staples easily penetrate. They are light in weight, do not require a palm nailer to apply, hold the tubing where you want it to go, can be cut with hand snips, and are relatively inexpensive. As a bonus it takes less energy to produce these than it does aluminum plates.

    It goes without saying that bulk insulation must be installed below the emitter that you choose. Avoid fiberglass batts if you can. Mineral wool such as Roxul is a far better choice.

    I am also comitted to using non-barrier tubing in these installations as the oxygen barrier squeeks not only when the tubing moves insidethe plates but also wherever it rubs against the building. A heat exchanger protects the boiler where the authority having jurisdiction demands it. Where I am responsible, the heating system is protected with molybdate based corrosion inhibitor.

    Just so you know, I do not receive endorsements from teh equipment manufacturers cited. I do get endorsements from my clients though.

    IMO it is better to disconnect all heating systems from the buildings potable system after filling. To protect the boiler use a low water cut off. to save your precious heating water during service, offer the client a pressure pal mini system feeder. See www.axiomind.com for a complete description and for faqs.
  • Andrew Hagen (ALH)
    Andrew Hagen (ALH) Member Posts: 165

    does not protect the tube from releasing heat. The aluminum facilitates conduction. Without good contact between the aluminum and the tube (something that "omega" plates do not have) the heat simply remains in the fluid inside the tube longer than if good contact is made. Short cycling of the boiler may result. The downward heat loss of extruded aluminum plates is very small when compared to the heat transfer into the subfloor.

    We do have a ThermoFin-U that captures the tube completely. ThermoFin-U is generally used for above floor applications though there is nothing (except installation difficulty) stopping anyone from using it below the floor.

    Feel free to contact us. We like to talk transfer plates ;-)

This discussion has been closed.