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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    9

    Plastic vs. Pipe for heating

    we have an apartment that has had all the copper stolen. at the cost of copper i am consedering using plastic. i have never used plastic for boiler heating, i know i have to use copper at the boiler as to not expose plastic to exsesive heat. i know it works great with water but i have never used it on a boiler. i am looking for pro's & con's. is clamping or shark bites better. i don't think it is safe to glue or is it. there are 2 type of plastic which is better?

    Thanks George

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,349
    PEX with O2 barrier is a great product.
    Climate Control Solutions for your Home or Office

    Serving Northeast Philadelphia and Surrounding Areas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    41
    Shark bites are great for little stuff, i've never used the for larger stuff. Make sure you get the right pipe if its not rated for the temp youll have problems. It does work on the boilers and can be eaiser to install in some places.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    9
    thanks for the replys, i am using 3/4" thanks for heads up on pex with o2 barrier. what i was looking at was rated 200 degrees @80 psi which should be well within tolerances.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,792
    ¾", must be a small boiler. Under 50,000 BTUs.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    9

    Confused small boiler

    boiler is 70,000 btu's for four rooms with three zones of 3/4" baseboard should i use 1" to the base boards? i was thinking because of the zones coming of the 1 1/2 Manafold this should be ok. but now you have me thinking. thanks Gcloss1

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    66,792
    The ¾" may be fine.

    You need to determine GPM of each zone, and the head of the zone to know for sure that all zones will be ok with ¾" PEX.
    ¾" tops out around 40,000 BTUs. Requires excessive FPM to get more then 4 GPM flow through it.

    You didn't say it was zoned in your other post.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    9

    Smile resize pipe

    on futher thinking i absolutly think you are rite. the existing pipe was 3/4" copper but was probely under sized? if they did not steal the boiler too i would have checked the size of the btu's. sorry about not mentioning the zones.
    Thank you gcloss1

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,934
    Just make sure you use an oxygen barrier tubing designed specifically for hydronic applications or the problems that you'll have down the road will make you wish someone had stole everything again.
    Use the biggest hammer you like, pounding a square peg into a round hole does not equal a proper fit.

  10. #10
    i like the wirsbo brand with the vapor barrier, you need this barrier so "air" wont get in to the closed loop system as your boiler will rust out from the inside out,
    you cant yous sharkbites for heat because of the expansion and contraction they'll leak

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    9

    Smile O2 & shark bites

    Thanks for the info on shark bites this confirms what i thought and the supplier is full of it, and i am getting hydronic pipe so i will be covered on O2

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    South East PA
    Posts
    9

    Cool clamping

    at this point i believe i have to use clamps, or bite the bullet and charge the owner for copper. i still have time it is still august oopps amost september

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,826
    Plastic/Pex tubing is what most people are using today to cut down on labor costs. Cutting, cleaning, pasting and soldering all take time and also increase the rist of fire. For boilers in our area most are several considerations. But mostly we do primary/secondary piping with either copper or steel or a combination of both. Once we're out to the supply and/or return manifolds, we take over with HePex or Fostapex or similar but for heating, whatever method you use, it MUST have an OXYGEN barrier or you'll ruin the boiler in short order. Uponor (used to be Wirsbo) uses an expansion tool to spread the tubing and a pex collar that goes on over the tubing. Once spread, you have a few second to push the tubing/collar over the barbed fitting and it should then be water tight. There's a manual spreader with several size mandrels that you can get for fairly short money. It'll pay for itself in labor saving in short order. Or you can get the Viega product, which is more of "click" tool where you put a metal collar over the tubing, slide the tubing over the fitting and click the tool to complete the connection. I've had better luck with the Viega product but all-in-all, the Uponor /Wirsbo we've seen a few more leaks. Also, with the Uponor product you've got to get it right or take it all apart. With the Viega, if you miss clicking a fitting (you'll find that out when you test the system) you just have to get to it and 'click' it with the tool, no disassembly requried. Both systems however have electric and/or pneumatic tools you can purchase (much pricier) if you're doing a boat load of connections. No fire hazard, guaranteed no leaks. Less labor. What could be better?
    If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.

    If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!

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