07 Mar Do-It-Yourself Inflooring Heating Part 2
Do-It-Yourself Part 2
We are really proud of our do- it- yourself project for our basement renovation. We want to share the work we have completed to date. This weekend we will be connecting the in-wall heating system to RadiantLink.
As mentioned in the first do-it-yourself blog Do It Yourself Project – In-Wall Hydronic Radiant Heating- basements are very much the energy guzzlers of the home. Improving the warmth in the basement will help the rest of the home feel comfortable. We have installed the pex piping into the walls. Installing the system into the walls instead of the floor allowed us to not eat up our limited headroom, improve our wall insulation from R10 to R25 and reduce our costs.
Insulation and In-wall Heating
We found this amazing insulation product produced by Amvic that has ridges to hold pex tubing in place. We purchased the 2’ x 4’ sheets of insulation at Sherwood Co-op here in Regina. This product saved us a great deal of time.
To install the insulation for our three walls took one person less than a day’s work. This included the time we needed to cut the top panels in half to give us a total height of 3’ from the floor of rigid insulation with pex piping. Once the insulation panels were installed, the snapping of the pex pipe into place took one person four hours to complete.
We were very impressed with the Amvic product and would recommend it to our friends.
In Wall Supplemental Heating System
In wall heating is a fairly new concept in Canada. There has been a great deal of discussion on the importance of proper insulation to creating comfortable homes. We at RadiantLink believe that shifting to supplemental in-wall heating can really improve the comfort of your home and lower your monthly power bills. For more information on hydonics and saving the planet see our blog 5 Ways In-floor heating can save the Planet We want to share the temperatures we measured before any improvements were made and then after installing the 3’ of wall insulation:
Before insulation After Insulation
Temp below the windows 13.6 16.8
Temp mid wall 18.1 18.4
Temp at floor 17 16.8
The outside temperature on the first day was -20 C and the second readings were taken on a day that was -13 C outside. We are very curious to see what the temperature readings will be at the floor level once the inwall supplemental heating system is turned on.
Oops we made a mistake – repairing the kinked pex piping
In all projects there are going to be mistakes. And sometimes they seem all consuming. I want to share that while installing the pex piping we kinked the pipe. At first I thought this was the end of the project as you cannot have a pipe that might leak.
The repair took less than 15 minutes and about $20 to fix. I learned from this experience that we were not the first ones to make this mistake and yes it is very fixable.
We purchased the couplings from Roth to ensure compatibility with our pex Per-T tubing and we pressure tested our system afterwards to insure that the repair worked. Our system is holding pressure so we knew we were okay to move to the next step of drywalling.
At RadiantLink http://radiantlink.ca
we believe comfort does not need to come at a large price.
Since we did this project ourselves we wanted to make sure that we did not put a drywall screw through our pex pipe. To make it easier for ourselves we attached 1’x4’ bracing over the insulation and the pex piping. This made the installation of the drywall much easier for us.
If you are hiring drywall experts you may not need this stage. It is worth a conversation with your contractor to ask them how they will NOT hit the pex piping with drywall screws.
As you can see in the above photos our wall thickness comes out just under 4 inches. This is space that we did lose instead of putting the pex piping into the floor. This detail we really like – the basement will be a place where we gather with friends so having one more place to set a drink was okay with us.
Economy of Size – Less really is More
We have installed our 3 loop Roth HK supply and return manifolds. The manifolds are mounted on the wall next to the furnace. Above is a photo of our control panel and the manifolds. And if you look closely you can see our pressure is holding at 20 psi.
One thing we are very proud of is the small space that RadiantLink takes up. Space is very important for living and the less we gobble up with copper pipe and valves, the more room there is for fun. The economy of size is an important detail to build into a renovation space or a new home.
This weekend we will be connecting our RadiantLink furnace coil with the control panel and in-wall system. We are budgeting 8 hours of one person’s time to install RadiantLink. We will take a great deal of care and time to insure that all air is bled from the system as we fill it with a solution of 25% propylene glycol and soft water.
Once the connections are completed and the pump is turned on, we will be recording more basement wall and floor surface temperatures. We will keep you posted and let you know how we make out.
We are curious what you think. Reach us at [email protected] for any questions.