Dan McClary of Balfrey & Johnston Inc., a manufacturer's representative from Oak Park, gave the presentation, which was co-sponsored by the Zurn Plumbing Products Group of Grand Rapids. McClary divided the presentation into two parts, detailing some typical installations and talking about the tools and fasteners used in each method.
Installation MethodsMcClary reviewed common installation methods, including:
Tips, ToolsMcClary talked briefly about installing tubing on walls. He discussed the need to inform both drywallers and homeowners about the location of the tubing, citing the possibility of sheetrock screws or fixture hangers putting holes in the tubing.
McClary demonstrated some new tools for installing tubing, noting, "More and more tools are being ergonomically designed to save people's backs."
EMRPA chapter members got a firsthand look at the tubing and took part in installation demonstrations.
EMRPA chapter member Jim Turnquist of Mich-I-Gas Sales, Warren, said, "I don't believe that there is a preferred method for installing radiant tubing, save what a particular distributor/representative likes and/or prefers to sell. The versatility and the flexibility of the numerous and varied installation methods is exactly what provides the uniqueness of radiant heating systems. Tools required to install many radiant heating types will vary greatly by manufacturer. Even many tubing manufacturers have their own style of tubing connectors, and each style will demand its own tools."
Sidebar: EMRPA President Talks Radiant HeatCarl Clark took over the president's gavel for the first time at the September meeting of the Eastern Michigan Chapter of the Radiant Panel Association (EMRPA). He talked with The News about the chapter and the growth of the radiant heat market.
The chapter was founded in 1998 and currently has 37 members. Monthly meetings bring turnouts of 15 to 20 members. Outgoing president Tony Rizzo of Nu-Way Supply Kitchen & Bath, Utica, Mich., commented that EMRPA has the most "active membership of any RPA chapter in the U.S."
"The radiant market continues to grow each year, with many areas of the market as yet untapped," said Clark, whose business is Performance Engineering Group Inc. of Livonia. "These areas include hangars, residential snow melting, parking lots, and condos, to name a few.
"I feel that the consumer is already thinking radiant, and too many contractors are leaving money on the table by not offering a radiant solution. A proper radiant/snow melting system is more than just putting some tubing loops in the floor and hooking up a boiler.
"Each particular project has its own unique problems and solutions, and by joining an association such as the EMRPA, you can learn alternate solutions to any problem you may encounter."
- John R. Hall
Publication date: 10/11/2004