Tubing and Fittings

Since there are many ways to use radiant heat, there are many types of radiant tubing and accessories available. They all have slightly different properties and features. Here are some of the important factors:

  1.  The tubing should last a long time.
  2.  It should be strong enough and durable.
  3.  The tubing must have good heat output.
  4.  The tubing must be easy to work with.
  5.  A local code official may have to approve it.
  6.  The tubing may need to be potable rated.
  7.  The tubing may need an oxygen barrier.

ENGINEERED RADIANT TUBING

Much of the tubing and accessories used for radiant heat were designed to carry water from one place to another (water line).  The fact that some heat wants to be lost along the way was not considered. However, water line may not be the best choice for radiant heat. The tubing often has thick walls to allow for high pressure and temperature. This is not normally required in a radiant system.

There are many advantages to Radiantec’s Smart Wall tubing and accessories that are designed for radiant heat. Some of them are as follows:

  1.  Higher heat output: Smart Wall tubing can increase heat transfer in the range of 18%-28% because of its thin wall. The amount will vary according to temperature and flow.
  2.  Lower, safer operating temperatures: Smart Wall tubing will do the same work at a lower temps than traditional tubing. The possibility of burn from contact with hot pipes is eliminated as well.
  3.  More energy efficient: This is simple. Lower operating temperatures result in lower operating costs.
  4.  Less pumping cost: The electricity savings that can be realized from reduced pumping work can be substantial. Savings of 40% or more are typical.
  5.  Quieter operation: Expansion and contraction in higher temperature systems result in annoying creaking, squeaking, popping noises, particularly at night.

CONVENTIONAL PEX

This product has thicker walls when compared to the Smart Wall tubing and has higher temp and pressure ratings (180 degrees F. @ 100 psi). However, the smaller diameter and thicker wall means that the product is much less effective for radiant heat. Conventional PEX is certified under ASTM 877/876 which makes it very code compliant. Also, it is rated for potability with NSF. Some sizes of conventional PEX are significantly more maneuverable than the other products and will be easier to install in tight areas. The heat exchange properties may not be as good as other products but it still puts out enough heat to be effective and efficient.

The technicians at Radiantec will help you select the best tubing for your project. Our technicians will tell you if your project needs special tubing that we do not offer.

Click Here to learn more about your radiant tubing options.

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