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Oygen Barrier Pex, A Flexable Solution
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If you may be considering installing a radiant heating system one of the first materials you are going to need is an oxygen barrier pex tubing. Oxygen barrier pex tubing is a type of a high density cross linked polyethylene (pex) which has been treated with an oxygen barrier usually ethyl vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) which is commonly used in the food industry.

Pex piping which has been used in Europe since 1970 was introduced in the United States in roughly 1980 and has been gaining popularity ever since, replacing copper tubing in many applications. Although it is not always essential to use a oxygen barrier pex, in most closed system hydronic heating systems it is nessesary to prohibit air from entering into the system and wreaking havoc on ferrous components. Oxygen barrier pex has many advantages over standard copper tubing. Some of the advantages are:

  • Lower weight means cheaper shipping cost and ease of handling
  • Available in longer lengths which equates to less fittings
  • Joints are made by crimping which means no soldering
  • Pex does not pit or corrode like copper when exposed to acidic water
  • Pex costs much less than copper

If you are considering installing a radiant heating system and are curious as to how much oxygen barrier pex you may need a rough way to estimate how many linear feet you will require is to determine how many usable square feet you have to lay tubing in. As an example, if you have two thousand square feet of area you will need roughly two thousand linear feet of tubing. This is assuming that you are spacing your tubing loops 12 inch's apart which is most often the case, except for your first loop on outside walls which is usually spaced at six inch's due to the greater heat loss on outside walls.

As with any project it is always wise to do thorough research and to make sure you fully grasp the concept that you are about to dive into before jumping head first, making some serious mistakes and costing yourself a ton of money and headaches. Although hydronic heating is definitely something a homeowner can under take themselves a few good books can go a long way. If your interested in reading more check out Modern Hydronic Heating by John Siegenthaler. This book is full of tons of full page diagrams that are very well layed out and explained. I own this book and absolutely love it. However if you find the price to be a little too high shoot on over to my site at www.modernhydronicheating.com and leave me a comment or a question and I will be more than happy to answer them for you

I have been a heating contractor for over a decade with more than 100 radiant heating systems to my name. Thanks and I hope you found this article informative, keep your eye out for more to come.


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