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AFUE DEFINITION, RATINGS
AIRBOUND HEAT SYSTEM REPAIRS
ANTIFREEZE for BOILERS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKFLOW PREVENTER VALVE
BOOKSTORE - InspectAPedia
BTU USAGE MONITORS
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CIRCULATOR PUMPS & RELAYS
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DIAGNOSE & FIX AIR CONDITIONER / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DIRECT VENTS / SIDE WALL VENTS
DRAFT HOODS - gas fired
DRAFT REGULATORS, DAMPERS, BOOSTERS
ELECTRIC HEAT, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLUE SIZE SPECIFICATIONS
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FUEL OIL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
GAS BURNER Flame & Noise Defects
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GAUGES ON HEATING EQUIPMENT
GEOTHERMAL HEATING SYSTEMS
HEAT PUMPS, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HEATING OIL PIPING TROUBLES
HEATING OIL TANKS
HEATING OIL TYPES & PROPERTIES
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
HEATING SYSTEM NOISES
HEATING SYSTEM SERVICE & MAINTENANCE
HEATING SYSTEM TYPES
HIGH EFFICIENCY BOILERS/FURNACES
LP & Natural Gas Safety Hazards
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
Natural Gas Combustion
NOISE, HEATING SYSTEMS
ODORS FROM HEATING SYSTEMS
OIL FILTERS on HEATING EQUIPMENT
OIL ODORS, LEAKY OIL TANK PIPING
OIL PUMP FUEL UNIT
OIL TANK PIPING & PIPING DEFECTS
PLASTIC HEATER VENT
PULSE COMBUSTION HEATERS
PUFFBACKS, OIL BURNER
RELIEF VALVES - TP Valves on Boilers
Reset Switch - Heater Primary Control
RESET SWITCH - ELECTRIC MOTOR
SAFETY, HEATING INSPECTION
SAFETY RECALLS, Chimneys, Vents, Heaters
SOLAR HEATING SYSTEM DESIGNS
SOOT on OIL FIRED HEATING EQUIPMENT
SPILL SWITCHES - Flue Gas Detection
STACK RELAY SWITCHES
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
VIDEO GUIDES: Heating System Videos
WATER HEATERS for HOME HEATING USE?
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Radiant heat tubing & heating fluid choices, advice: This article discusses the suitability of various tubing materials for radiant heated concrete floor slabs, and choices of heat conducting fluids for radiant floors. Our page top photograph shows polyethylene tubing being installed in a new concrete floor slab for radiant heat in a Two Harbors Minnesota building.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Our page top photo shows polyethylene tubing emerging from a radiant-heated floor slab under construction in Two Harbors, MN in 2007. Note the nice detail, use of a larger diameter tubing around the heating distribution plastic tubes, protecting the heating tubing from bending damage where it emerges from the slab.
"Radiant Slab Fluids"
Questions about radiant slab floors:
What is your opinion about the relative suitability of various plastics (e.g. polybutylene, EPDM, etc.) for carrying heat transfer fluids in concrete radiant slab floors?
Which radiant floor slab tubings are acceptable for use with water, propylene glycol, Syltherm 444? -- C.R. MC, East Lansing, MI
Answers about radiant floor tubing and fluids:
EPDM Tubing Used for Radiant Heat Installations
EPDM tubing, the type used in SolaRoll™, will handle up to 300 degF. for water and glycols.
Neither EPDM tubing nor polybutylene tubing is recommended for use with silicone oils or hydrocarbons [so watch out when choosing the antifreeze product to be used in radiant heat floor systems when this tubing is selected].
Our photo (left) illustrantes Entran 3 radiant heat tubing. See Entran-II leak discussion in the FAQs section below.
High density polyethylene tubing, not the type commonly found in retail building outlets, can also handle water temperatures typical of radiant heat floor systems, but with glycols and silicone oils, temperature limitations apply.
For a given radiant floor heating application, it would be wise to consult with the manufacturer of the specific tubing material and its connectors before making your purchase. Some manufacturers do not recommend the use of brass fittings embedded in concrete. If possible, buried tubing joints should be avoided altogether.
Here we include solar energy, solar heating, solar hot water, and related building energy efficiency improvement articles reprinted/adapted/excerpted with permission from Solar Age Magazine - editor Steven Bliss.
A link to the original article in PDF form is immediately below
Early Entran™ Tubing marked Entran or Entran II is at risk of leakage and failure where it is installed, particularly if the tubing was subjected to high temperatures. Entran-3 tubing does not have the same leak complaint history.
Our photo (left) illustrates Entran-3 radiant heat tubing - not the leak-prone product discussed here.
Entran radiant heat tubing, produced by Goodyear Tire & Rubber and was distributed by Heatway Systems between 1989 and 1994 and has been estimated to have been installed in abouit 10,000 homes in the U.S. and possibly in Canada. Specifically Entran-II was a rubber tubing product installed for radiant heat floors. It was also installed in driveway or sidewalk snow and ice melting systems.
The defect of concern with Entran-II tubing is that a plasticizer added for flexibility was found to leach out of the rubber if it was exposed to high temperatures. The loss of the plasticizer was associated with odor and smell complaints and ultimately with leaks in the tubing as with loss of plasticizer the tubing will crack.
We encountered this product first as part of an investigation into an odor complaint in a new home with radiant heat tubing stapled under hardwood floors. The installer, hoping to "drive out" the odor, ran the heating system at higher-than-recommended operating temperatures, leading to a double fault: the flooring was damaged (gapping) from the excessive temperature and ultimately the tubing leaked.
You may identify Heatway Entran II tubing by noting its orange color and imprinted markings where you see radiant heat tubing at the supply and return radiant tubing manifolds that are usually close to the heating boiler.
Our photo (left) illustrates Entran-3 tubing.
If the tubing was stapled-up beneath a wood floor and subfloor, by moving insulation (you may have to also remove ceiling coverings) you can also inspect the tubing and its condition.
In our OPINION unless you already see visible leaks, cracks, or damage, it is not easy to determine the remaining life of the Heatway Entran-II tubing. If the tubing was never subjected to high temperatures (which should have been the case with a properly installed and operated radiant heat floor system) the remaining life could be good.
If you suspect that the tubing is already leaking (leaks may not be visible if tubing is embedded in a concrete slab) a pressure test or infra-red scanning and thermography can not only detect the leak but can detect where it is occurring. Of course if the tubing has leaked in a finished ceiling you'll probably see water stains.
Only for homeowners who filed a claim prior to 19 November 2009, a financial settlement offered limited damage payments for homeowners in two categories, depending on the actual extent of leak damages that occured due to Entran-II tubing. The product names involved included Twintran, Nytrace, Entran II Trace, Entran II Wire, Entran 2, Entran 2 Trace, and Entran 2 Wire. Details were at www.entraniisettlement.com or could be obtained by calling 800/254-9222. A follow-up check of these contacts in 2012 lead nowhere.
Questions & answers or comments about the different types of tubing used with radiant heating systems.
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