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.
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:
- corrugated, metal;
- consumables made of cross-linked polyethylene;
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;
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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.