Entran Remediation

ENTRAN REMEDIATION OPTIONS

The following are five typical methods for replacing heating in homes with Entran II radiant tubing:

(1) Staple-up

As the name implies, new radiant tubing is stapled-up underneath existing subfloors, whether in a crawl space, basement or above the ceiling underneath a second floor. Existing insulation and Entran II tubing are first removed, discarded, and a heat shield is attached to the subfloor in advance of the tubing, to provide optimum heat distribution. If tubing is installed in a floor under existing finished areas (such as a basement or first floor), the entire ceiling must be removed and replaced. Once the heat shield and tubing are installed and tested, foil-faced fiberglass insulation is installed under the tubing with the foil facing up, providing an additional reflective surface. The staple-up is the lowest cost option for Entran II replacement, but is only practical where there is a crawl space or basement throughout the house.

(2) Radiators

With this method, new supply and return piping is installed throughout the house to radiator locations in each room. To facilitate this piping, walls, floors, and/or ceilings are cut and pipe is installed. Once piping is complete and tested, surfaces are patched, textured and painted. If walls are hard-toweled plaster, the restoration costs may increase significantly. The radiators we recommend are Runtal euro-style steel panel units or Thermo Tek. See www.runtalnorthamerica.com . This is the least costly replacement method when existing Entran II tubing is embedded in or below a concrete slab.

(3) Radiant overlay

This is the most expensive and problematic approach to Entran II replacement, but maintains radiant floor heat in a concrete slab home. In the Santa Fe area, slabs are often covered with relatively thick tile. This tile (or other flooring) is removed and a steel mesh is attached to the slab. New radiant tubing is then installed and tied to the steel mesh. A 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 " layer of GypCrete (a liquid gypsum product that dries and hardens) is poured over the tubing and a new finished floor is installed.

At this point the new finished floor elevation is an inch or two higher than the original floor which creates two problems. First is the new floor is higher than outside door thresholds. These doors and their frames have to be removed and reinstalled, including possible plaster patch inside and out. Second is that cabinet toespaces in kitchen and baths no longer have adequate height. This means cabinets have to be removed and reinstalled at the new finished floor level. Tile wall-surrounds, countertops and sinks/lavatories have to be reworked. Interior doors have to be cut down.

(4) Rooftop forced air units

A popular solution to Entran II problems is to install heating or heating/cooling units on the roof or in crawl space (if available). Ducting is then installed on the roof, in the attic or in the crawl space. In general, however, Santa Fe homes do not have crawl spaces or attics, which means the ductwork and units are exposed on roof. This can be unsightly and often against covenants. If the home has parapets at least 24" high and there are not many changes in roof levels, this method works well. Numerous holes will have to be cut and patched in the roof and ductwork maintained weathertight. A real advantage of this system is that air-conditioning can be achieved for a small extra cost.

(5) Brick on sand

If Entran II tubing is in sand bed below brick flooring, the brick is entirely removed and salvaged. New tubing is installed in the sand and the brick reinstalled and refinished.

General conditions

1. Except with the staple-up and roof-top methods, there is much disruption to the living areas of the house, and it is generally not practical for the house to be occupied when work is in progress. In our proposal for Entran II replacement we include moving and storage, which includes packing of all furniture and possessions, transfer to bonded storage, with all items moved back to house and set in place once work is completed.

2. Once the work is complete and the house is still vacant, we employ a janitorial service to thoroughly clean the entire house.

3. Any of the above scenarios may require cutting and patching of finished surfaces. Our proposal will include satisfactory restoration of all surfaces whether they are tile, carpet, wood, sheetrock, plaster, paint, sheetmetal or roofing.

4. Existing boiler and related equipment may or may not have to be replaced, in conjunction with Entran II replacement. All equipment will be evaluated and recommendation made to homeowner when work is in progress.

Copyright 2004 John M. Onstad