Retrofitting Hydronic Heating

By June 20, 2020 Aged Home Upgrades, Energy, Floors, HVAC

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 50 seconds

Fins and PEX

Our client wanted heated floors in their existing home. There was a partial basement and crawl space access. I remembered a system that we have used before that circulates fluid beneath the floor and felt that this would be a good option to offer.  It uses glycol and is separate and detached from the plumbing system.

We decided to offer a radiant heated under floor system for a home that had a mixture of hardwood floors and Tile floors. The home already had a forced air system but the idea of warm floors was a big hit. It took 7 zones with three thermostats and 600 feet of pipe.

We use a firm in Bozeman Montana that helped design the zones and provided the manifold wit an electric boiler and all the necessary components for our project. We opted to install the extruded aluminum fins and the 1/2″ PVC pipe ourselves. We contracted with another firm to hook us up and get the system running. The thermostats just monitored the floor temp to dial them in.

We followed up with installing the insulation and doing a final clean.

Buttoned up


  • The home was ducked already
  • There was electrical and plumbing run already
  • The basement was used for storage and there was clutter about.

Things We Learned

  • The pipe wants to tangle up (Flipping the pipe stops tangle)
  • A sturdy mallet rubber or rawhide works well
  • Be prepared to cut and join long segments.
  • Running returns beneath the joists works best
  • Avoid drilling too many holes. 1 inch to 1 1/8th inch holes works well

Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about fixing stuff, click here to email me directly, or call 208-639-1808

I do these things during non-Levco time to be sure it doesn’t interfere with the Remodeling business. Repairing things and understanding homes is just another passion of mine.

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Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.

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