Fine Tuning

The first year we moved in we just needed to get things done, especially when it came to things like… heat… hence this crazy installation of pex at our boiler.

We completely redid the heating system when we bought the house. At the boiler we installed individual valves on all radiators on the supply side but on the return only had a valve per zone.

So for this project we installed valves on each return line and reorganized the pex to make the whole installation a little neater.

So you ask why? Well say you are renovating one bedroom… but still want to have heat in the rest of the zone/ floor, you can isolate individual radiators. This also gives the ability to turn off the heat in individual rooms or when you have an issue, such as a leak.

I did take apart the semi-old return manifold to reuse as much as I could. Here I am starting the layout. Mounting the whole thing to plywood allows us to make it that much neater.

Here is the new manifold mounted to the wall and connected to the boiler. Now on to the mess of pipes…

It was a tight space between the boiler and hot water heater to wrestle the pex and make all the connections!

All done and heat is back on!

We can now control both zones and individual radiators. We also labeled everything to make it a little more user friendly.

Now back to the other projects now that this distraction is done.

5 responses to “Fine Tuning

  1. I love Pex so, so very much. When we purchased our home back in ’09 we replaced all the copper lines in the house with pex and it was so worth it (and easy too).

    It’s always a good idea to have your plumbing in order, you did a great job!

    • Pex is great. We used it for all our heating- radiators and radiant floors. We did use copper for all the domestic water service because it’s all pretty central and Rob lovvvves copper 🙂

  2. We’re considering using pex for our radiator heating system, in conjunction with a new electric boiler already installed. From the pictures, it appears you’ve used 3/4″ pex. Any particular reason you didn’t use 1/2″ as most radiant systems seem to use?

    • Going up to 3/4″ from 1/2″ actually doubles the amount of flow, which helps a lot with big old radiators. We did talk to both a contractor and an engineer we work with to get additional opinions before deciding on 3/4″ for the big rooms. It makes for a more efficient system and provides much faster response times when the system calls for heat. For smaller room like our closet and for radiant floors the 1/2″ is fine. With the floors they are on their own zone, and are meant to heat up slowly over a longer period of time.
      The pex is great to run through an old house with flew connections inside your walls to leak. But be aware pex has a high coefficient of expansion so make sure it can move as it expands and contracts and that there is slack left at corners. Otherwise you will hear lots of squeaking inside your walls every time your system turns on and off. Goodluck!

  3. Pingback: Continuing the ‘Fine Tuning’ of Our Heating System – Part I | madison square home·

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