Saturday, March 13, 2010
Zone 3 and the heat is on!
The last area calling for heat is the soon-to-be master bathroom in the upper level of the silo. Before tiling the floor, I installed a serpentine of hydronic tubing over the subfloor- basically 1/2" pex tubing pressed into Thermofin-U heat transfer plates, surrounded by 'sleepers' of 3/4" plywood to keep the floor at a consistent level. Schluter Ditra (the orange colored uncoupling membrane) was mortared over the subfloor assembly, and then our local slate cleftstone was mortared over the Ditra. By nature, this slate is not perfectly flat like manufactured tiles, so there was some resulting variability in the pieces. I did my best to maintain smooth transitions from stone to stone. After setting the stones, I put down the last few planks in the entryway, scribing the final board to fit the curve of the stones. The stones still need to be cleaned, sealed and grouted once the mortar has fully cured, but you get the idea. In the boiler room, I connected the lines for the bedroom and bathroom hydronic loops and installed electronic zone valves so they can be regulated separately from the in-slab heat. I also extended the supply and return branches that will run outside to the solar thermal panels we'll be installing this summer. Everything went back together and I fired the system back up this morning without any leaks. The barn is now fully heated and solar-ready!