Tubing Installation Guide
Step 1: Clean the Panels
Clearing the panels and tubing channels of debris will ensure the tubing sits flush and level. This is essential to a well functioning radiant system.
- Use a broom, shop vacuum or leaf blower to clear the debris from the panel and tubing channels
- Use a 1/2″ conduit to break loose stuck-on material
Step 2: Mark the Tubing Paths
- Follow the Tubing Layout plan set and mark the tubing paths on your panels with a permanent marker
- Clearly mark turns, bury points, custom routes, and manifold locations
- Mark locations of all plumbing waste lines
- Mark each loop to avoid any future confusion
- Use a Sharpie or wax pencil to mark panels.
- Use a 3/4″ drill bit to create a 3/4″ x 11/2″ bury point which will help prevent the tube from kinking.
Step 3: Return Lines to Manifolds
To return the PEX tubing back to the manifolds, there are a few different options which will work.
- Method 1
Use the existing channels in the panels to return the tubing to the manifold
- Method 2
Create custom routes in the panel and return the tubing back to the manifold
- Method 3
Create a bury point and feed the tubing back to the manifold by going through the subfloor (illustration)
- Method 4
Use the “panel cut back” to create a tubing channel above the slab for the tubing to return to the manifold. Fill with Portland cement to create a level surface (illustration)
Step 4: Custom Routes
Follow the instructions for Custom Routes
Step 5: Install Tubing
- Avoid installing tubing at temperatures below 50˚F as the tubing becomes rigid and difficult to bend
- ONLY use tubing from our Approved Tubing List
- Use a 16oz. rubber mallet to secure the tubing in the channel (be sure the tubing sits level and flush with the top of the panel)
- DO NOT use silicone/adhesive in the channels
- Tape over the ends of the tubing to prevent debris from clogging the lines
- A tubing uncoiler will help avoid twists and kinks when installing the tubing. It is an excellent investment and highly recommended for large jobs
- Use nail plates to secure tubing as needed and remove before finish floors are installed
Step 6: Install Manifold(s)
- Follow all installation details and specifications documented by the manufacturer. Manifolds are usually placed in closets or between interior wall stud bays with an access door
- Clearly mark all supply and return loops. Document rooms and zones on the manifolds to avoid future confusion
- Pressure test all loops to the mechanical code requirement of 100 PSI for 15 minutes. After this, the PSI will drop 5-10% (this is normal)
- After the 15 minutes, lower the air pressure to 60 PSI and maintain during the construction process.
- After this, the PSI will drop 5-10% (this is normal)
Minimum Framing Dimensions:
Step 7: Tubing Repair
Every tubing manufacturer makes a repair coupler to repair a punctured section of tubing.
Repairing tubing damage is an easy fix and should require less than 30 minutes to complete.
- Pop the tube out of the tubing channel
- Cut out the damaged area and insert the coupler
- Chisel a groove into the panel to accommodate the size of the coupler
- The tubing MUST be level and flush with the surface of Warmboard.
- Consider Ram Board (or equivalent) to help protect the tubing in high traffic areas.