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On top radiant heat

Hub
Hub Member Posts: 3
I want to use radiant floor heating in a new house that's rather large. I

want to install it myself, and have contacted several suppliers. Right

now, my intention is to install the tubing above the sub-floor, with 7"

wide strips of wood spaced 3/4" apart. Obviously, the aluminum plate and

tubing will fit into the slot created by the 7"wide strips. I plan to

cover this layer with plywood, then the floor covering, some of which

will be linoleum, and some....... carpeting. The reason I want to use

the wood strips is because I have an unlimited supply of 3/4" lumber

already in my possession. The cost was perfect........... free!! Is

there any reason not to do what I've described? I'm well experienced in

construction, plumbing, and electrical work, but having never done this

type of project before, I'm looking for advice. 

Comments

  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    edited April 2011
    dry above

    HeatLink has a system like this that we install regularly, it works well with low water temps, uses plain plywood strips and three supplied components: transfer plates, end bends for curves and spacer clips to keep the pipe down in the groove. You could probably make do without the end bends and router your own curves if time wasn't a concern but the spacer clips are key, I don't know how else you would keep the pipe down, I have heard of guys using tape with mediocre results.



    http://www.heatlink.ca/en/system/files/Brochure/L3350-HeatLink-DryAbove-System-Brochure-2008-03-26.pdf



    fyi: for some reason the link will only save to your downloads instead of just opening



    here's a video too!



    http://www.heatlink.ca/en/flash/video/vid0001/video-dryabove-staple-down-system-installation
  • NRT_Rob
    NRT_Rob Member Posts: 1,013
    if

    you use a plate worth using, it should hold the pipe down by itself.
    Rob Brown
    Designer for Rockport Mechanical
    in beautiful Rockport Maine.
  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    plates

    Why would a heatlink plate not be worth using? sure they don't hold the pipe down but they transfer heat just fine, I don't buy the "more mass = better heat transfer" philosophy, I have never installed an on top system using these plates that has needed more than 110 deg F on a design day.



    These are awesome plates: http://www.radiantengineering.com/TFinBrochure.pdf but are a little pricey and not as available in a lot of areas.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,084
    What Concerns Me

    Is that I heard nothing of a heat loss and radiant design. Your post states multiple different floor surfaces all having different r-values especially that carpet and pad. Suggest before you even lay a strip you consult with a radiant pro in your area. If your budget tight and trying to save on labor and material cost but plan on hiring a pro for the mechanical room end, it would be in your best interest to consult with one now.. That's the best advice any of us can give you in my opinion.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Plate worth using

     I believe Robs point is an omega style plate wraps the tube, and holds it in place. The benefit of which is the more tube wrapped by the plate. The more conduction taking place between the tube, and the plate. Some cheesy plates out there that do not even make good 180* contact on the tube.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Concerns

     Chris is right! Do not assume equal consistant layout centers, or water temps. When there is different types of r valued floor covering, and heat losses room to room there is not an umbrella fits all floor panel lay out. 
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,084
    Last I Knew ThermoFin

    Supplied Zurn with their plates. That was some years ago when Zurn began getting into the radiant business. At one point you could get them in 8ft lengths.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Hub
    Hub Member Posts: 3
    Thanks

    Thanks for the advice, but I've already had that done. I sent my

    house/floor plans to the supplier that I'll be using, and they have

    designed the layout according to coverings, windows, etc., in each of

    the rooms. I'll be doing the installation myself, with the supervision

    of an acquaintance who does radiant heat for a living. Although we're

    not close friends, he has agreed to act as a "consultant" for me.

    (parent of a former student) I think I have all of the bases covered,

    but I want as much info as I can get!! 
  • NRT_Rob
    NRT_Rob Member Posts: 1,013
    that's not a philosophy

    it's an incorrect statement. the mass of the plate has nothing to do with its heat transfer.



    but if the plate is not holding the pipe tightly enough to hold it in place, then it has poor tubing contact and becomes much less useful as a heat conductor.



    Heavy gauge plates are better because they can conduct more heat, and have much better tubing contact. Light gauge plates can be good, we use them a lot, but you definitely want one with a very good tubing groove and that means omega shapes that hold pipe in place.



    If the plate doesn't hold the pipe with good contact, it's a waste of money.
    Rob Brown
    Designer for Rockport Mechanical
    in beautiful Rockport Maine.
This discussion has been closed.