It finally happened. We have become radiant heat experts. You want to know how? We read the Internet and got a book from the library. I also charged up the wayback machine and visited my engineering degree. Helloooo fluid mechanics! Heat transfer also stopped by. Fortunately, economics stayed the hell away. This interaction calls for a special brand of approval.
So, how'd this happen, you reasonable people may ask. Why are these crazy people installing the most expensive, complicated, labor intensive heating system themselves? Well, it's a long story that begins in 2005 when we bought this damn lot with trees on it. It continues into 2006 where we drew plans on the floor of a rental using a quilting ruler and eraser shield. We had this idea that in floor radiant heat was the bees knees. We still have that idea but tend to cry when someone says it will cost $30,000.
There are various interbob companies that will design it for us, but since we already installed the 5/8 inch hePex pipe in the garage slab, we would need a custom package. These companies are all fine and dandy but the Dirty Fisherman thinks he/we can do it better, because he a) usually can and b) I'm an enabler. Also, the local expensive plumbing store has a bunch of Wirsbo radiant manifolds and what not at pretty steep discount.
See, this guy I married decides on something when I'm not around. He'll spend a huge amount of time convincing himself that this is the correct course of action. Then he'll call me and ask my opinion, while I'm at work and focused on other stuff. At first (in 2005) I actually gave my opinion. I later learned that he didn't want my opinion--he wanted me to agree with him and give him the green light. Today, this took the form of buying a whole bunch of brass crap from the plumbing store.
ME: So you pretty much made your mind up about this, didn't you.
the Dirty Fisherman: Yeah.
Me: What made you decide to do this today? (implied, isn't there something else you could do, like work on the several unfinished projects in the house)
tDF: Well, I'm trying to take it easy today. Tryin' not to get sicker. [he's been fighting a cold since our recent trip to Portland, OR]
Me: So that means buying stuff at [plumbing store].
tDF: pretty much.
Here we go, putting together a complex heat system that includes: at least 2 pumps that we don't know the size of, a boiler, four (4) manifolds, at least 12 actuator valves, expansion tank, and a brain that drives the whole thing. We need to re-work our electrical panel (with 200-amp service thank goodness) to make room for at least 2 60-amp breakers.
We can figure this out, right? I mean, we have two books coming to us in the mail.
You all can address us by our new titles: I am now an HVAC engineer and the Dirty Fisherman is a Radiant Heat Technician.