DIY Radiant Made Simple—Hydronic Radiant Floor Heat

Radiant Floor Heat Basement Installation

This home owner is building a garage and has installed 5 loops of 1/2” X 300’ PEX, in a 1500 sq. ft. monolithic slab. Foam staples are used to fasten the PEX tubing to the 2” thick insulating barrier. The staple spacing is at 2 ½'. The insulation board has been taped at the seams. Most do-it-yourself individuals with a little patience and paying close attention to instructions will be able to install a single zone system as did this individual from Canada.

Some Simple Rules

  • >> The base material for your basement or garage concrete floor must be level and well compacted.
  • >> You must have insulation under the basement or garage concrete floor.
  • >> The basement or garage slab edge MUST be insulated so the concrete floor is not in contact with the foundation or adjacent wall.
  • >> The length of each PEX radiant heat tubing loop should be similar (5 feet) and spaced apart equally. (Use closer spacing next to outside walls.)
  • >> If you use reinforcing rod in your basement or garage concrete floor, the PEX radiant heat tubing can be placed either beneath it or on top of it. You may tie radiant heat tubing to the reinforcing rods with either wire or plastic ties available locally.
  • >> If you do not use reinforcing rod, use the plastic staples supplied with the package to fasten the radiant heat tubing to the insulation.
  • >> Any floor covering material that you install on top of the basement or garage concrete will affect the performance of a radiant floor system. (The total R-value of the floor covering that you use should not exceed R-2)
  • Note: Specific installation instructions come with every unit. These are merely guide lines to help you understand if a radiant floor heating system by Radiant Made Simple is for you.
Basement radiant floor heat system  

How to install an RMS System

>> Attach radiant floor heating panel to wall
>> Attach pex floor loops to the radiant floor heating system manifold
>> Fill the radiant floor heating system with RV antifreeze (.92 gallons per 100 feet of PEX)
>> Purge air from the system
>> Mount and wire the radiant floor heating system thermostat
>> Mount and wire the pump relay
>> Connect electric power
>> Turn it on!

Easy Installation

Hydronic Radiant Heating systems are easy to install. Most do-it-yourself individuals with a little patience and paying close attention to instructions that we provide will be able to install a single zone system as did Yavon in Canada.

5 each loops at 300' per loop of 1/2” PEX have been installed using staples to attach them to the 2” thick insulating barrier. Notice that all surfaces of the concrete with the exception of the inside floor surface will have been insulated.

Basement radiant floor heat system  
Basement radiant floor heat system  

Radiant Floor Heated Concrete

Prior to pouring the concrete for the radiant heated concrete floor, it is a good practice to pressure test the loop pipe during the cement pour. This is the best way to make sure that your system does not have a leak in the PEX tubing. When purchasing your system, it is a good idea to obtain the Manifold at the same time that you purchase the PEX. This allows you to use our pressure test kit to simplify this pressure testing process.

You May Qualify for Lower Electrical Rates

Some electric utilities offer a reduced electrical rate in exchange for the right to interrupt the power to the Micro-Heater in your radiant floor heating system. Contact them for information and details. If their program calls for interrupting your power for short periods (such as 4 hours) you will scarcely notice any drop in temperature because of the storage characteristic of radiant floor heating. The floor continues to radiate heat after the power is turned off.

Some electric utilities interrupt power for longer periods, such as 12 hours on / 12 hours off. This will result in more significant reduced room temperature. Should you decide that you cannot tolerate the fluctuation in temperature, you will need to nearly double the mass of your RMS system for the room temperature to "catch up" after the long power interruption.