View Full Version : PEX Tubing & Radiant Heat

Kurt Aebi
10-12-2004, 3:01 PM
Just curious as to who has experience with Radiant or Hydronic Heating systems and in particular has worked with PEX tubing.

My system is made by Buderus and I am installing the radiators myself and any advice, tips, warnings, etc would be much appreciated.

I will be using 3/4" OD (5/8" ID) PEX tubing with oxygen barier. I will be using barbs on the copper tubing side and compression fittings into the diverter valves installed in the radiators.


Chris Padilla
10-12-2004, 3:51 PM

No personal experience with it but I've read a lot about it and everyone seems to love it.

Don Abele
10-12-2004, 4:17 PM
Curt, haven't worked with myself either, but have been in several houses with it installed. Very comfortable, even heat. It's the way I plan on heating my ultimate retirement house. From those I've talked to that installed it, they found it very DIY'er friendly for new construction, and a little difficult, but managable for retro fit.

For the fittings did you get the drill powered expander? Makes short work of it.

Be well,


Kurt Aebi
10-12-2004, 4:20 PM

Thanks, that's the general concensus around here too, in fact the local plumbing supply house here says that it has become more popular than copper or PVC. I had the local furnace guys install the radiators in my kitchen, but as I rennovate each room, I am doing the work myself and am presently taking a crash course in this stuff. I can't let the heat go too long without being on as we've already had 4 or 5 frosts and 2 of those were hard (No Pressure here!)

Kurt Aebi
10-12-2004, 4:28 PM

I got the compound crimp kit that Watts has. For some reason their 3/4" crimper is $210.00 and the kit that can handle 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" & 3/4" with changeable mandrels cost me $204.00 and came with the Go/No-Go gage that didn't come with just the crimper alone. I don't understand their marketing.

The radiators are definitely the way to go for retrofit as they just mount to the wall and come in numerous sizes. Buderus has a thermostatic head you can put onto each unit and they will try to only heat up to a certain setting and if it does not require any heat, will by-pass that radiator. My kitchen used to be the coldest room in the house, now it is by far the warmest and most stable in the house.

New contstruction would definitely be under the floor. My dad did that for his garage addition and it works great. I am just nervous about the fittings, I guess. I have sweat copper joint for about 20 years and have No experience with the fittings for PEX and I guess just need reassuring that I am capable of doing it correctly.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Don Abele
10-12-2004, 11:13 PM
Kurt, not only from those experiences with friends (who had no prior experience) and from what I've seen and heard at shows/television/etc, this really is a user friendly system and has been in use for a long time with very little cases of leaks or problems. That expansion mandrel is the absolute key. One of the installation I saw didn't even had the tubing crimped - just expanded-press fit on. Had been that way for almost 10 years without a leak. Go for it and best of luck. Let us know how it turns out.

Be well,