Warm floor of polypropylene pipes. Do not do that!

Are you considering adding a heated flooring system to your house? Although it’s a nice concept, particularly in colder climates, not all approaches are the same. We’ll explore polypropylene pipe warm floors in this post and discuss why they might not be the ideal option for your heating requirements.

To begin with, describe a warm floor system in detail. In essence, it’s a heating system that’s under your flooring and radiates heat upward to evenly and comfortably heat the entire space. Polypropylene pipes have been one of the materials and methods used in the installation of these systems historically.

Although polypropylene pipes appear to be a contemporary and effective option, there are certain disadvantages to take into account. The vulnerability of polypropylene pipe warm floors to damage is one of their primary problems. These pipes are easily crushed or punctured during installation, or even afterwards, which can result in leaks and expensive repairs.

The low heat conductivity of polypropylene pipe warm floors is another issue. Heat is not transferred as efficiently by polypropylene pipes as it is by copper or PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). This implies that the temperature may not be reached by your warm floor system or the room may not be heated evenly.

Furthermore, when exposed to specific chemicals or environmental conditions, polypropylene pipes can deteriorate over time. Reduced efficiency and even structural damage to the pipes themselves may result from this deterioration. Therefore, even though polypropylene might have seemed like a cheaper option at first, the costs associated with replacement and ongoing upkeep may have exceeded any initial savings.

The more joints – the higher the probability of leaks

Polypropylene pipes are sold in lengths of 2-4 meters that have been chopped into whips. Many dozen towering meters of pipe are needed to mount a warm floor. It is necessary to connect separate segments with one another. Experts estimate that a 150 square meter home’s polypropylene heating system with a warm floor could contain as many as 300 joints!

If the polypropylene pipe technology is closely monitored, there is very little chance of leaks at the joints. But labor is done by hand with a basic tool and acquired knowledge. The tool does not always function as intended, and skills are frequently far from satisfactory. The never-ending rush of builders attempting to swiftly pass the object has an impact on the warm floor’s ultimate quality.

Increasing the amount of work done increases the likelihood of an error. As a result, eventually at least one of the hundreds of joints will leak. In order to find and fix the issue, a lot of expensive work will need to be done.

Manual joint problems are innumerable

Professionals with years of experience, on whose shoulders thousands of flawless polypropylene pipe joints rest. However, a performer’s personal skill and sincerity are not always prerequisites for success! How many building sites have a reliable power source? In the meantime, as the network voltage rises, the soldering iron heats up more quickly and cools down more slowly. It is sufficient to divert attention from work for a short while, and it feels like time is running out.

For plastic pipe butt joints, overheating and non-reinforcing are equally detrimental. Plastic that has been overheated becomes brittle and begins to crack after a short period of time. Because polypropylene diffusion is not sufficiently deep, incutant pipes have poor connections. Due to its fragility, the joint might not be able to sustain the heating system’s operating pressure.

Overheated the polypropylene pipe’s joint

The quality of the connection deteriorates when the welded parts are not thoroughly cleaned of pollution. Sand and dust inhibit the parts from setting. In the area of dense contact, plastic was isolated by lubricant and organic materials. Internal layers form at the junction from chips that are formed during pipe cutting.

Unwanted inclusions are occasionally welded into plastic. A tiny fragment of metal wire that dropped into the polypropylene pipe joint fluctuates with the coolant’s current, destroying the plastic array.

Overwork on the part of the worker during the joint’s manual installation, which was softened by heating plastic stabs into the pipeline’s interior, eating a portion and lowering the connection’s bandwidth.

The most depressing thing is that high-quality and low-quality joints have the exact same exterior appearance!

Hidden dangers of pipe reinforcement

Use of pipes with restricted oxygen permeability is mandated by the collection of building codes and regulations governing the construction of heating systems. All of the components of the system actively interact with the dissolved oxygen in hot water, which oxidizes the metal and loosens the plastic. By using fiberglass or aluminum foil to reinforce polypropylene pipes, the chance of atmospheric oxygen seeping into the coolant is decreased.

Fiberglass-reinforced pipe

On the other hand, polypropylene pipes reinforced with fiberglass are more frequently found on the market, and pipes with an oxygen barrier made of foil are more costly. The benefit of fiber reinforcement is that it makes the polymer more resistant to temperature changes that occur while the system is operating. Minus in terms of polypropylene products’ strict adherence to loading, storage, and transportation methods.

In order to prevent blowouts and bending, the manufacturer advises storing polypropylene pipes with fiberglass reinforcement at above-average temperatures, particularly during the winter. The realities of home life are harsh! The brittle fiberglass strands are destroyed by unheated warehouses, leaky awnings, negligent loading and unloading, and transportation on uneven roads, which shortens the pipes’ lifespan.

The idea of installing a warm floor with polypropylene pipes might seem like a cost-effective solution for heating your home, but it"s crucial to understand the potential drawbacks before proceeding. While it may initially appear to be a DIY-friendly and budget-friendly option, there are several reasons why you should think twice. Firstly, polypropylene pipes are not designed to withstand high temperatures, which can lead to them warping or even melting under the heat generated by the warm floor system. This can result in leaks, water damage, and potentially hazardous situations. Secondly, the heat distribution from polypropylene pipes may be uneven, leaving some areas of the floor excessively hot while others remain cold, compromising the comfort and efficiency of your heating system. Additionally, the longevity and durability of polypropylene pipes for this application are questionable, raising concerns about maintenance and potential replacement costs in the long run. Therefore, it"s advisable to explore alternative options that are specifically designed for underfloor heating systems to ensure safety, reliability, and optimal performance for your home heating needs.

The service life of polypropylene is limited

Polypropylene products have a 100-year shelf life in theory. Only 50 years of trouble-free operation are promised by cautious producers of polypropylene pipes, and even then, only under strict adherence to installation, transportation, and storage guidelines.

Experience demonstrates that a well-assembled polypropylene pipe remains in good shape for 15 to 20 years before exhibiting indications of "fatigue" such as cracks, roughness, and dark or yellow patches. These are all indications of material deterioration. It is unknown how much and to what extent the pipe wall is "affected." Consequently, the polypropylene pipes’ ultimate service life of the heated floor is uncertain.

Technological difficulties

The volume of heated polypropylene increases. On external pipelines, this feature of polypropylene pipes is easily noticeable. Even after sealing polypropylene pipes into the warm floor’s cement screed, it remains visible.

Preheated plastic cannot progress through frozen concrete. Consequently, polypropylene pipes experience excess bursting loads when the warm floor is in operation. While not guaranteed, leaks are likely to occur in this scenario.

Fittings – a weak point of the pipeline

The walls of polypropylene pipes’ connecting sections, or "Fittings" as they are called in construction, are quite thick. Compounds: tees, bounces, couplings, etc. P. – in diameter, significantly larger than the pipe’s own diameter. Lots of knots in the screed—the heated floor is not the point!

It is clear from studying the nuances of polypropylene pipe warm floor systems that care should be taken before choosing this course of action. The benefits of having a warm floor may be outweighed by the disadvantages of employing polypropylene pipes for this purpose.

The longevity of polypropylene pipe warm floors is one of the main issues. The constant pressure changes and temperature swings required by a heating system are too much for these pipes to handle. They may deteriorate with time, resulting in leaks and possibly water damage to your house.

Moreover, there is doubt about the effectiveness of polypropylene pipe warming floors. In contrast to alternative heating systems, such as hydronic systems or radiant heating using specific materials like PEX, polypropylene pipes might not distribute heat equally throughout the room. This may lead to uneven heating throughout, as well as hot and cold spots.

Furthermore, installing polypropylene pipe warm floors can be a difficult and labor-intensive task. Poor installation can make durability and efficiency problems worse, necessitating expensive future repairs. If you decide to move forward with this option, it is imperative that you hire knowledgeable professionals.

In summary, although many homeowners find the idea of a heated floor appealing, polypropylene pipe systems might not be the best option. The advantages are outweighed by the possibility of complex installation, inefficient heating, and durability problems. To make the greatest choice for your house and your budget, do extensive research, weigh your options, and speak with industry professionals before making any kind of heating system purchase.

Video on the topic

Never make polypropylene pipes into a screed! #Shorts

Why you can not put polypropylene pipes in a screed? #Teplypol #Heating #Pipes

Damage to warm floor pipes. What to do? Pour the warm floor connection into the screed. Scary!

What type of heating you would like to have in your home?
Share to friends
Michael Kuznetsov

I love to create beauty and comfort with my own hands. In my articles I share tips on warming the house and repairing with my own hands.

Rate author
Add a comment