Underfloor heating from polypropylene pipes

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Even 5–10 years ago, warm floors could be safe­ly called an expen­sive plea­sure. Water heat­ing, which uses under­floor heat­ing, was con­sid­ered a lux­u­ry item. This method of heat­ing in most cas­es was installed in elite hous­ing. Today the sit­u­a­tion has changed rad­i­cal­ly. The water floor is becom­ing com­mon­place. An increas­ing num­ber of con­sumers pre­fer this par­tic­u­lar option for heat­ing res­i­den­tial premis­es. The main rea­son for such pop­u­lar­i­ty of warm water floors is their cost-effec­tive­ness, afford­able price and high effi­cien­cy.

In addi­tion, con­sum­ables, appli­ances and devices appeared on the heat­ing equip­ment mar­ket, allow­ing you to inde­pen­dent­ly equip heat­ing floors in your home, sav­ing both mon­ey and time. You can always choose mate­ri­als that meet the tech­no­log­i­cal para­me­ters of the heat­ing sys­tem and your per­son­al require­ments for this type of heat­ing. If the equip­ment includ­ed in the pump and mix­ing unit for under­floor heat­ing is a sep­a­rate con­ver­sa­tion, then the pipes deserve spe­cial atten­tion.

Despite the fact that today the choice of con­sum­ables is quite large, pref­er­ence is giv­en to the option when the warm floor is made of polypropy­lene pipes. Why? Let’s look into the details.

The main arti­cle about polypropy­lene pipes.

Underfloor heating — features of this heating system

Let’s start with the fact that floor heat­ing can be used as the main heat­ing option in a res­i­den­tial area or act as an addi­tion­al source of heat. Depend­ing on the tech­no­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics of the res­i­den­tial build­ing, which heat­ing option to use in the case of under­floor heat­ing is up to you. For an apart­ment in an apart­ment build­ing, under­floor heat­ing may be an excep­tion. In some cas­es, res­i­dents try to increase com­fort in the bath­room or in oth­er tech­no­log­i­cal rooms with the help of a heat­ed tiled sur­face.

Impor­tant! It should be recalled that there is an exist­ing ban on the instal­la­tion and instal­la­tion of warm water floors in res­i­den­tial premis­es of apart­ment build­ings. The rea­son for this sit­u­a­tion lies in the unpre­pared­ness of the engi­neer­ing struc­tures of a res­i­den­tial build­ing for the instal­la­tion of a com­plex heat­ing sys­tem, which is water floors.

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In a sit­u­a­tion when it comes to installing a heat­ing sys­tem “warm floors” in a pri­vate house, there are no pro­hi­bi­tions and obsta­cles for the imple­men­ta­tion of the project. It is pos­si­ble to car­ry out the instal­la­tion and instal­la­tion of under­floor heat­ing of any area in var­i­ous com­bi­na­tions.


For those who nev­er­the­less decid­ed to install under­floor heat­ing in their homes, it is impor­tant to know about the nec­es­sary equip­ment and con­sum­ables. Pipes for any water heat­ing sys­tem are the main work­ing ele­ment. It is through them that pre­pared water cir­cu­lates, trans­fer­ring ther­mal ener­gy to heat­ing sources. These can be radi­a­tors or, in the case of water floors, a heat­ed con­crete screed, a type-set­ting wood­en floor struc­ture. The trans­fer of ther­mal ener­gy from the heat car­ri­er of the floor sur­face is car­ried out through water heat­ing cir­cuits. What mate­r­i­al the water loop pipe is made of depends on the speed of instal­la­tion of the under­floor pipeline and the qual­i­ty of the heat­ing of the floor sur­face.

Why is polypropylene chosen for underfloor heating contours today?

Today, man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies are ready to offer con­sum­ables for every taste. It all depends on the finan­cial capa­bil­i­ties of the con­sumer. On the prac­ti­cal side, the fol­low­ing types of pipes can be used for under­floor heat­ing equip­ment:

  • cop­per;
  • cor­ru­gat­ed, met­al;
  • met­al-plas­tic;
  • con­sum­ables made of cross-linked poly­eth­yl­ene;
  • polypropy­lene.

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Any option has the right to be imple­ment­ed, but here the fac­tor of econ­o­my and tech­no­log­i­cal expe­di­en­cy comes into play. Polypropy­lene pipes in this aspect look prefer­able in many respects. Why today many con­sumers pre­fer con­sum­ables made of polypropy­lene.

Under­floor heat­ing made of polypropy­lene pipes is cur­rent­ly the most com­mon option. It’s all about the price. When installing large-scale heat­ing sys­tems, when it comes to water floors with a total pipeline length of sev­er­al hun­dred meters, the eco­nom­ic com­po­nent comes to the fore. Polypropy­lene heat­ing cir­cuits in this regard are a good solu­tion to the prob­lem.

The advan­tages of such a con­sum­able can be safe­ly attrib­uted to the fol­low­ing para­me­ters:

  • the nec­es­sary mechan­i­cal strength and elas­tic­i­ty of the pipe made of polypropy­lene;
  • nec­es­sary tight­ness of con­nec­tions;
  • dura­bil­i­ty;
  • high tech­no­log­i­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics that sim­pli­fy the instal­la­tion of heat­ing cir­cuits;
  • low cost.

A cou­ple of points should be not­ed here. Polypropy­lene is high­ly resis­tant to low tem­per­a­tures. Freez­ing of the coolant in the pipeline will not lead to mechan­i­cal dam­age to the heat­ing cir­cuit. Such a pipe is per­fect for under­floor heat­ing, equipped in coun­try hous­es and coun­try hous­es, where the heat­ing sys­tem works peri­od­i­cal­ly.

A spe­cial weld­ing method for polypropy­lene pipes ensures the tight­ness of the joints. The pipeline, laid in a con­crete screed, can safe­ly func­tion in nor­mal mode for more than a dozen years. By fol­low­ing the nec­es­sary instruc­tions and lay­ing tech­nol­o­gy, you can make a warm floor in your home, for­get­ting about its design and device for a long time.

For ref­er­ence: in accor­dance with the instruc­tions for the prod­ucts, polypropy­lene pipes are able to with­stand the oper­at­ing tem­per­a­ture of the coolant up to 750C at an oper­at­ing pres­sure of 7.5 atm. Accord­ing to the prod­uct pass­port, a polypropy­lene pipe can be used for 25–30 years.

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Hav­ing appre­ci­at­ed the advan­tages of this option, do not for­get about the neg­a­tive aspects of polypropy­lene heat­ing cir­cuits.

Impor­tant! Polypropy­lene in the usu­al ver­sion has a high coef­fi­cient of ther­mal expan­sion, there­fore, it is nec­es­sary to lay a pipe made of rein­forced polypropy­lene pipes in the thick­ness of the con­crete screed.

The main dis­ad­van­tages when using con­sum­ables based on poly­mers are poor-qual­i­ty raw mate­ri­als and non-com­pli­ance with the tech­nol­o­gy of instal­la­tion work. In oth­er words, pipes are often found in which, as a result of expo­sure to high tem­per­a­tures, swelling of the upper lay­er is observed. The bend­ing of the water cir­cuit can be done incor­rect­ly, with­out tak­ing into account the coef­fi­cient of ther­mal expan­sion of the mate­r­i­al.

Features of the use of polypropylene pipes for underfloor heating equipment


Plain polypropy­lene pipes are com­mon­ly used for water sup­ply and sew­er­age pipelines. For under­floor heat­ing, using a sim­ple polypropy­lene pipeline is dan­ger­ous from the point of view of the mis­match of the prod­uct with ther­mal and hydraulic loads. Warm floors are best cre­at­ed on the basis of rein­forced pipes. Such a prod­uct has all the nec­es­sary char­ac­ter­is­tics inher­ent in this method of heat­ing. The chan­nel is three-lay­er. Between the inner and out­er lay­er of polypropy­lene there is a rein­forc­ing lay­er made of alu­minum foil or woven syn­thet­ic threads (glass fiber).

The pho­to shows two options for the man­u­fac­ture of pipes, with an alu­minum lay­er and with fiber­glass in the mid­dle.

The pres­ence of a rein­forc­ing lay­er allows the pipeline, immured in a con­crete screed, to with­stand tem­per­a­tures up to 950C and water pres­sure up to 10 atm.

Existing marking of pipes made of polypropylene

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In order to avoid mis­takes already dur­ing the instal­la­tion process, you should deal with the exist­ing mark­ings for polypropy­lene prod­ucts. Today, man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies offer the fol­low­ing types of polypropy­lene pipes on the mar­ket:

  • PN10, mark­ing that is on ordi­nary prod­ucts with a homo­ge­neous poly­mer struc­ture. These con­sum­ables go to the equip­ment of con­ven­tion­al water sup­ply sys­tems at an oper­at­ing water tem­per­a­ture of 200With and with work­ing pres­sure up to 10 atm. The diam­e­ter of such a pipe usu­al­ly varies between 20–110 mm.
  • PN16, mark­ing cor­re­spond­ing to a homo­ge­neous prod­uct that can be used for the instal­la­tion of warm water floors. Per­mis­si­ble coolant tem­per­a­ture para­me­ter should not exceed 800C. Work­ing pres­sure is allowed — 10 atm. The out­er diam­e­ters are sim­i­lar to those of the PN10 type, how­ev­er, in this case, there is an increased thick­ness of the pipe walls.
  • PN20, mark­ing for a homo­ge­neous pipe in which hot water cir­cu­la­tion with a tem­per­a­ture of up to 95 is allowed0C. Here, a work­ing pres­sure of not more than 6 atm is already allowed. Pipes are pro­duced with diam­e­ters of 20–110 mm.
  • PN20 AL (PN20 GF), mark­ing for polypropy­lene, in which there is a rein­forced lay­er of alu­minum or glass fibers. In all oth­er respects, these prod­ucts cor­re­spond to pipes marked PN20. The main dif­fer­ence from oth­er con­sum­ables is a low­er coef­fi­cient of ther­mal expan­sion (CTLR).

What nuances must be observed when laying polypropylene pipes

In order to make a water-heat­ed floor in your home effi­cient and work­able, it is nec­es­sary to make pre­lim­i­nary cal­cu­la­tions of the num­ber of pipes required for lay­ing. Ther­mal and hydraulic cal­cu­la­tions will help you cor­rect­ly lay the water heat­ing cir­cuit and con­nect all heat­ing equip­ment in a cer­tain sequence.

When work­ing with polypropy­lene, it is bet­ter to focus on the lay­ing pat­tern: snail. Despite the fact that this instal­la­tion method is a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult to install, how­ev­er, in the future you will expe­ri­ence the unde­ni­able advan­tages of this scheme.

On a note: the snail scheme gives a full and uni­form heat­ing of the floor sur­face due to the fact that both the sup­ply line and the return line go next to each oth­er. Due to the elas­tic­i­ty of the mate­r­i­al, it is easy to cre­ate the required bend­ing of the pipe, since with this scheme the cur­va­ture of the heat­ing cir­cuit is of deci­sive impor­tance.

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The polypropy­lene water cir­cuit is laid on an already pre­pared sur­face, fixed with met­al clamps or plas­tic clips. In order to speed up the lay­ing process, you can use anoth­er tech­nique. A mesh with large cells is laid on the pre­pared base, into which heat­ing pipes are laid. The mesh imme­di­ate­ly per­forms the role of a rein­forc­ing base for a future con­crete screed.

After lay­ing, the polypropy­lene pipeline is con­nect­ed to the dis­tri­b­u­tion equip­ment. Dur­ing the test run, the con­nec­tions are checked for leaks. Only after check­ing the oper­a­tion of the heat­ing cir­cuit in all oper­at­ing modes, it is pos­si­ble to pro­ceed with the equip­ment of a con­crete screed or lay­ing a stacked struc­ture.

In custody

There are no dif­fi­cul­ties in the instal­la­tion of polypropy­lene pipes. The mate­r­i­al is so con­ve­nient and prac­ti­cal in work that it allows you to install under­floor heat­ing on your own. Here it is nec­es­sary to recall the intri­ca­cies of styling. For under­floor heat­ing, it is impor­tant to com­ply with the pipe lay­ing step. When using warm water floors as the main heat­ing, the pipeline should be laid in steps of 12–15 cm. If you want to make floor heat­ing more intense, the pipe lay­ing step should be 30 cm.

In case of emer­gen­cies asso­ci­at­ed with a break in the main heat­ing cir­cuit, repair work is car­ried out. You can find the place of a break­through of a polypropy­lene pipe using a ther­mal imager, or using a map — a dia­gram of lay­ing heat­ing floors. After remov­ing the screed, the dam­aged area is cut out and replaced with a new frag­ment. The tight­ness of the joints is achieved by weld­ing work. Polypropy­lene pipe in this regard is very con­ve­nient and prac­ti­cal.

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