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Radiant Floor Heating/Tiny house with radiant floor heating

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Question
Hi there!

There's a shell of a cabin-like structure situated on a custom-built trailer here in town that was built ten years ago an then abandoned in a storage facility. I'm considering purchasing it to convert into a tiny house. The owner installed Pex-AL-Pex piping, aluminum heat exchangers, reflective barrier, and isocyanate foam underneath the wood floor and said they are exactly the same as any modern hydronic system. I want to know if this sounds like a safe investment, as I may take off for a week at a time in the winter. The structure's radiant floor system has never been used and no water has been pumped through it yet. What are the chances of a set-up like this bursting in a cold winter if I am not around to keep the water heated? Do people put antifreeze in their Pex tubing to prevent winter-time disasters? What other concerns should I know about?

Thanks!
Lisa

Answer
Hello Lisa.

I would have to have more information. Tube size, spacing, with insulation depth and insulation in walls, ceiling etc.

People do use antifreeze in radiant floor systems when absolutely necessary. We like to use freeze alarms as well. Sounds like a good candidate for one of our combi storage tank water heater systems.  

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Morgan M. Audetat

Expertise

Radiant panel heating design, including floors and ceilings, European wall panels and snow melting for residential and light commercial buildings..............................................................-Master of Steam and Hot Water,City of Minneapolis....................................................--- Master Plumber, State of Minnesota...........

Experience

30 years..... Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association, former manufacturer of condensing boilers, former national distributor of radiant floor products, son and apprentice of mechanical & plumbing contractor. Current owner---www.BadgerRadiantDesigns.com---Minneapolis mechanical/plumbing contractor specializing in hydronic based, integrated HVAC systems. Radiant floor heating/cooling. Snow Melting. Condensing Boilers. Indirect water heaters. System design, consulting and technical training world-wide. Licensed contractor, designer, installer and consultant.

Education/Credentials
B.S. University WI 1981 CONTINUING EDUCATION: Viessmann Condensing boiler and Solar water heating certification 2010, N.D.S.U. Lead Worker RRP certification 2010, Knight condensing boiler certification 2009, Wrightsoft Manual J CAD certification 2009, RPA Designer & Installer Certification 2008, Nate Hydronic/Forced Air Certification 2008, Uponor/Wirsbo advanced design school certification 2007, Buderus Wall-hung certification 2007, Power Limited License (low voltage controls) 40 CE credits 2005, Basic Hydronic Certification IPEX & Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 1998, Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association 1994, Residential Off-Electric to Hydronic Conversion Heating School Canadian Hydronics Council 1994, B&G Little Red School House 1993, Rood Utilities (now Auburn Technical Institute) Oil Burner School 1993 ,Tekmar Controls residential and commercial 1993, Division Manager and Advanced Hydronic Seminar Instructor for the first Exclusively Hydronic Radiant Floor Distributor in the USA 1990, Hydronic Radiant Heating Association Workshop participant with Richard c. Bourne, PE spring 1988, Master Plumbing, Hydronic, Solar Course Red Rocks Community College 1987.

Awards and Honors
2009 System Showcase Award - Radiant Panel Association

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