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I refuse to pay $10 per foot for thermopex

Jake Wise

Jake Wise

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I have read a couple of threads on here from people interested in finding a way around using store bought insulated pex with lots of people telling them not to. However none of the posts were recent. Has anyone successfully built their own?

Here is where I am on the idea: 2- 3/4" pex lines ziptied to my freshly harvested "dowel rods" and wrapped in fiberglass insulation then duct taped and spueezed into 4" schedule 20 sewer pipe that will be sealed to prevent water incursion.
 
MNGuns

MNGuns

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Not sure what the sticks are for, but my setup is similar to that and works very well. I do have a short run though with the boiler being 35' from the house. Heat loss is null, verified by thermometers at each end of the loop. As long as ground water is not an issue, I'd say go for it. If the fiberglass gets wet it's junk. If I recall correctly I used trunk insulation in solid, NOT VENTED drain tile.
 
dave_dj1

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Well a couple things to consider. One, 3/4" pex isn't very big inside, will it carry enough btu's?
Second, if the two lines touch each other you will get heat transfer from hot to cold and vice versa.
Third, fiberglass loses some of it's insulating capabilities when compressed, it relies on the air trapped in it to insulate.
There are much better products to use, common foam sill seal can be wrapped around each pipe, then wrap them both with a product called reflectex, it's like a foil bubble wrap. I did this with some 3/4" pex that went to and addition on a garage that needed hot and cold water. It all slid inside a 4" corrugated drainage pipe. It's also in very sandy soil and dry. It's about a 55' run and so far no problems.
At ten dollars a foot i would buy it, that would be a bargain here, it goes for seventeen bucks a foot!
The homemade method has been tried and failed many more times than it has worked, I read on several different forums where people have to dig up their lines and re do them with "the good stuff".
I'm all for DIY but not if I have to do it twice, I don't have money to throw away. One of the concerns with the drainage pipe is over time it can crack and let water in.
good luck,
dave
 
NSMaple1

NSMaple1

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I have read a couple of threads on here from people interested in finding a way around using store bought insulated pex with lots of people telling them not to. However none of the posts were recent. Has anyone successfully built their own?

Here is where I am on the idea: 2- 3/4" pex lines ziptied to my freshly harvested "dowel rods" and wrapped in fiberglass insulation then duct taped and spueezed into 4" schedule 20 sewer pipe that will be sealed to prevent water incursion.
What are you trying to heat with that setup? You won't be sending much heat that far thru 3/4" pex, and most of it will end up in the ground before it gets there. Looks doomed to failure to me.
 
Jake Wise

Jake Wise

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mnguns- The sticks are to hold the pex straight. What is trunk insulation?

dave- In hindsight I should have used something bigger than 3/4 but I didn't do enough research before buying. I have been using this thing for almost 3 weeks now and it does keep the house warm so I guess it carries just enought btus. I live on a hillside with good drainage and almost no topsoil

nsmaple- it is already heating my house and has been for 3 weeks.
 
legg28

legg28

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I refuse to do things twice if possible and digging up my yard and redoing my 135 feet of underground is not something i would want to tackle . Lots of bad stories with homade lines .
 
NSMaple1

NSMaple1

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mnguns- The sticks are to hold the pex straight. What is trunk insulation?

dave- In hindsight I should have used something bigger than 3/4 but I didn't do enough research before buying. I have been using this thing for almost 3 weeks now and it does keep the house warm so I guess it carries just enought btus. I live on a hillside with good drainage and almost no topsoil

nsmaple- it is already heating my house and has been for 3 weeks.
Either you have a small house with a small heatload, or it hasn't been very cold where you are at the past 3 weeks. 3/4" pex moves very little BTUs, relatively speaking, when it comes to heating a whole house - that's ignoring any heat it will lose in the way there.
 
beerman6

beerman6

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My 1" al/pex buried 4' started melting snow after 5 years. I made a 25' long insulated waterproof box with 2- 3/4 pex pipes in it,I have not noticed any difference between the 2.

The box sits above ground and gets strung up in the barn rafters when we are not burning.
 
Poston5

Poston5

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I used 1" pex and wrapped it in 2 3/8" pipe insulation. The pipe insulation came in 6 foot lengths and was not split. We threaded the insulation over the pex and then pulled it through a piece of 4" corrugated pipe. I probably have less than 5 bucks per foot in it. Your local hardy dealer will have the cheapest pipe insulation right at a dollar per foot. I also taped the joints together.
 
cantoo

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Poston, I did about the same thing only I used 4" solid PVC sewer pipe. My 1" HydronX was $2 per foot so that's $4 per foot of run. The insulation was under $1 per foot so with taxes let's say $1 per foot so that's another $2 per foot of run. Sewer pipe was just under $2 a foot and because I used 4" I had to make 2 separate runs so we're at $4 per foot of run. You can see that I'm already at $10 per foot of run and haven't added a penny for my labor or the pain in the azz of having to do it. I also used 2 elbows at the owb that were $20 each so another $40, it was straight into my basement though. Logstor here is $17 per foot. Afterwards I found another dealer that only charges $1.00 per foot for the HydronX.
 
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