Using PEX for baseboard heat

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Old 12-07-11, 07:21 AM
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Using PEX for baseboard heat

FYI--I originally posted this in the boiler heat forum ( Extending Baseboard heat using PEX back to copper)
but maybe this is the appropriate forum

I have baseboard heat in my home. There is a section in my rec room ( 40" below grade) that I would like to modify. There is a section that crosses a doorway. Currently the piping goes up over the doorway and then back down in the far corner to continue the loop back to the boiler.
I would like break into the concrete floor, extend the baseboard piping using PEX and then go back to copper to continue the loop.

This modification would eliminate about 48' of copper (22' in the ceiling + 16' vertical, + 10' horizontal which loops through a section of baseboard.) Also, it will eliminate the need for me to build soffits (or chases) to hide the vertical pipes in each corner.

My question is can I use PEX for this? It appears that PEX is used for Radiant heating application so I am thinking it is OK to bury it in concrete. I am thinking it doesn't need to be in a sleeve.

Also, can I use sharkbite adapters or should sweat on copper to PEX couplings? I haven't used sharkbites, however I know many speak positive about them

Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

Larry
 
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Old 12-07-11, 12:50 PM
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Yes, you may use PEX but I would run it through a PVC or PE pipe sleeve rather than embed it in the concrete. I would use soldered adapters because I think that sharkbites are horrendously expensive.
 
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Old 12-07-11, 01:52 PM
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Just a question...cause I think I've seen it mentioned here....

Don't you have to use a special type of PEX for heating? Something with an oxygen barrier or something like that?
 
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Old 12-07-11, 02:42 PM
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You can buy pex to copper fittings that crimp on the pex. My question in open air will pex give off as much heat as copper? Or are you just using the pex as a transmittal device to a heater core?
 
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Old 12-07-11, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Just a question...cause I think I've seen it mentioned here....

Don't you have to use a special type of PEX for heating? Something with an oxygen barrier or something like that?
Yes, you do need to use an oxygen barrier PEX. Using standard PEX will result in oxygen from the atmosphere diffusing through the PEX into the circulating water and then causing corrosion in the iron and steel parts of the heating system.
 
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Old 12-07-11, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
You can buy pex to copper fittings that crimp on the pex. My question in open air will pex give off as much heat as copper? Or are you just using the pex as a transmittal device to a heater core?
PEX will not have the same characteristics as copper when used to release heat to the environment but yes, it WILL release heat. Insulating the PEX where it runs through the concrete is a good idea but probably not necessary when it runs through a conditioned space.
 
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Old 12-08-11, 07:45 AM
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Anyone following this topic--Please go to the Boiler-Heating Area where I also posted my original questions---

The title of the post is :
"Extending Baseboard heat using PEX back to copper"

My apologies for any confusion.

thanks for the posts!
Larry
 
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