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Old 03-14-2008, 08:22 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,138 posts, read 22,079,631 times
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Problems with cracking are gone if the system is installed correctly. If it is a major concern there is an anti-cracking system that can be installed, but frankly in the last 26 years in construction I can count on one hand the number of radiant floor heat systems I have seen that have cracked the floor, and on 1 finger the times it has caused a leak. The leak was in a home-owner installed system using copper pipe, and not the Pex tubing. Before anybody asks, I have been in hundreds of buildings that use radiant floor heat.

Under the floor between the floor joists can be done, but there is the issue of more volume of floor needed to heat, usually wood subflooring and it can reduce the units "felt" heat output slightly.

I like it personally, and if I were to build it is one I would put in my own home. Using the Pex line, not copper tubing.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,817 posts, read 28,375,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmperry View Post
I just built a new home in Perry (near Eastport) 2 years ago that has hwbb upstairs and radiant heat in basement. The home is a small ranch with a daylight basement and well insulated. The most effecient way we have found to heat our home is to turn the hwbb,radiant heat off and heat with a coal stoker stove in the basement with a single heat vent going upstairs. We keep the house on 70deg 24/7 and will burn under 3 tons for the entire heating season (local price is $280/ton). Coal comes in 40lbs bags and is very clean anthrasite coal (washed). My wife and I both work and the wood didn't work for us because we are gone most of the day.
You find that using coal to heat your radiant floors and baseboards is not efficient?
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycessna View Post
Ive heard a lot about radieant heat..I know its a very comfortable heat, and I know its effecient so far as the water does not need to be heated so high.

I was unaware of the problems with cracking..though, sounds like a nightmare when considering that it is built in the floor.

What about the the radiant heat that is coiled on the basement ceiling between the floor joices, Then there is a layer of insulation....I would think if there was a leaking problem you might be able to get to it easier. Is this an option or is there other problems with this also??

Its something I would want to consider in the future when I build
Our radiant PEX tubing is attached with flashing to the underside of our subflooring. Basically to the ceiling of the basement.

It has not cracked our 3/4 inch OSB subflooring.

I am not familiar with radiant heat cracking any type of plywood.
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Old 03-15-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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no, I find turning off the oil fired boiler system altogether and using the coal stove as a stand alone is the most efficient.
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,817 posts, read 28,375,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmperry View Post
no, I find turning off the oil fired boiler system altogether and using the coal stove as a stand alone is the most efficient.
Why not use coal to heat the water?

Coal being cheaper than oil.

Wood is cheaper then coal [less Btu per ton than coal].

Peat is cheaper than wood [more Btu per ton than wood].

There are water-heating furnaces that burn about anything. We have the option of using propane, coal, peat, or wood to heat our water radiant heating system.

This past month or so we have been using wood chips soaked in WVO.
[ I get both for free]
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Why not use coal to heat the water?

Coal being cheaper than oil.

Wood is cheaper then coal [less Btu per ton than coal].

Peat is cheaper than wood [more Btu per ton than wood].

There are water-heating furnaces that burn about anything. We have the option of using propane, coal, peat, or wood to heat our water radiant heating system.

This past month or so we have been using wood chips soaked in WVO.
[ I get both for free]
my domestic hot water is heated by my boiler (boilermate) and the cost is minimal. It would have cost alot to tie the hot water into the coal stove or buy a coal boiler.
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Old 03-15-2008, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,817 posts, read 28,375,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmperry View Post
my domestic hot water is heated by my boiler (boilermate) and the cost is minimal. It would have cost alot to tie the hot water into the coal stove or buy a coal boiler.
True.

Knowing what you know today, if you had no previous investment in any system. If you had to start from scratch.

Would you do it differently?
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Old 03-15-2008, 02:20 PM
 
45 posts, read 72,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
True.

Knowing what you know today, if you had no previous investment in any system. If you had to start from scratch.

Would you do it differently?
I would have a stand alone stoker coal furnace with plenum and 1 duct upstairs (1 duct heats our upstairs and residual heat off stove keeps the basement warm). For hot water I would install an on demand propane hot water heater, ( Bosch,Rennai..sp?). The stoker coal furnace gives me 2-3 days before I have to add coal or empty ashes. I would have saved around $8000 initially over the cost of the boiler system/boilermate also.
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