Plastic pipes come in various plastic forms, and plumbers often consider using Polybutylene (PB) and Cross-Linked Polyethylene (PEX). Your preferred plumber or engineer has probably told you that central heating plastic pipes would be a better fit for your home. And now you are wondering if plastic pipes would work well with central heating because all the reasons compel plastic pipes below their counterparts, copper pipes.
Can I Use Plastic Pipes for Central Heating?
Yes, you can use plastic pipes for central heating. First, plastic pipes are a certified material in the building industry. You can use plastic pipes as long as they are fitted well and adequately supported. Ensure the plumber has clipped all the plastic joints, preventing the fitting from being loose.
Plastic pipes specifically, PB and PEX, are flexible, so you can easily handle and install them. The pipes come in different shapes. However, the PB and PEX are available in straight and spiral shapes, making them easier to snake around barriers and through joints, decreasing the required number of joints. Multi-layer composite pipes (MLC) maintain their original shape.
In application, plastic pipes have numerous advantages over traditional materials. The pipes are less corrosive, minimize mechanical noise, and reduce scale build-up. Also, the pipes do not break easily when ice-covered because the pipes accommodate thermal expansion within the length of the pipe run. The pipes are cooler on touch when carrying hot water because the pipes have low conductivity thermal systems.
Various fittings suit every piping system, facilitating reliability, and it is an easier and faster way to make various commercial and domestic systems.
Are Plastic Central Heating Pipes Good?
Contrary to the general opinion, plastic central heating pipes are always wonderful and up to the task. My plumber and home engineer always consider the plastic pipes for central heating and heating the home safely.
The pipes are flexible and run up to 25m under the floor with minimum consideration of the joints. Further, you do not need joints and soldering during installation. On the contrary, copper pipes are rigid and consume more time during installation, specifically in a tiny property or flat.
Saving time in the installation process of plastic pipes translates to saving some dollars. Additionally, the pipes are manufactured according to the recommended standards and are pressured tested to 10 bar.
In case of leakage, plastic pipes are easier to repair than copper.
Disadvantages of Using Plastic Central Heating Pipes
Plastics don’t appear suitable on the surface, for example, when connecting to a boiler. Above the floor, it would be appropriate to use copper pipes because they are rigid and can sustain lots of damage lying on the surface.
Another downside that might not apply to many of you unless you are on rural farms is mice. Mice could get into your floor and trouble your plastic pipes. Mice gnaw the plastic pipes just like how they do it to the electric cables. Therefore having mice at home is not something enjoyable. However, it does not cause a considerable problem if mice gnaw your plastic pipes.
Types of Central Heating Systems
There are three types of central heating systems. They include:
- Combination Boiler Systems
- Conventional central heating
- System of Pressure Central Heating
Conventional central heating
Many people use conventional central heating globally. Although modern alternatives have limited their usage precisely in the new buildings, many houses still have the traditional central heating system.
How it works
The central heating system is removed, and cold water flow is controlled through the handle pressure. You can then position the hot water tank in a high position in the house, often in the lobby or a closet on the top floor, to produce hot water for heating and taps. The water in the boiler is then heated.
Once it has warmed up, water can flow into the under floors through your plumbing, radiators, and taps.
Factors that have reduced the popularity of the conventional heating system
- Gravity feed systems owing to physical limits, are sensitive to pressure restrictions. Therefore the manufacturers should develop other systems to enhance and handle the pressure.
- Since not all of the water in a hot water tank is utilized, the energy needed to heat and maintain the temperature sometimes becomes ineffective.
Combination Boiler System
Gravity-fed systems were standard in the earlier years; however, presently, people have adopted the combined boiler. Due to its effectiveness and compactness, this central heating system has been more popular in the last few years.
How it functions
Heat water in combined boilers where it is most needed.
When the hot water tap or boiler is activated, it produces heat immediately. Since all heating is given at the moment of use by the equipment, no hot water storage is available.
Benefits of using combined boilers
- Combined boilers are highly efficient, as previously indicated. You have to heat the amount of water you need.
- The pressure of the handle operates the boiler since the water is cold and heated by the boiler, making the pressure constant in the house.
- There is no need for a hot water tank when heating is done directly through the boiler, and it is beneficial in smaller houses where it would be tough to install a hot water tank.
Disadvantages of combined boilers
Since they are technologically more complicated and have more complex internal workings, the chance of failure is higher than that of previous systems. The amount of water you use influences the pressure you have.
If you try to operate two hot water taps simultaneously, the flow rate becomes poor since limited combined heating boilers can provide hot water. It is not appropriate, therefore, for large households with several people.
Pressurized Central Heating System
Similar to a combined boiler is a pressurized central heating system. The water supply is immediately heated, saving time and space compared to the old processes, instead of warming water in a hot-water tank. However, the compressed method differs from the combined boiler since the water is heated via a water cylinder.
A water cylinder is a container that flows through it and heats the water that you can construct in the house. As a result, many taps can simultaneously supply hot water at central pressure, making it perfect for large homes or structures.
Before we glorify this system, I would like to inform you that installing the central heating system at home has two significant disadvantages:
- Pressurized central heating systems require higher installation and maintenance of pressure costs. They need to be checked once a year due to their nature. The installation methods are more complex than other systems since their complex design requires highly skilled plumbers to be hired for extra costs.
- Do not choose it when you have a low local power supply. Since the installation of pressurized equipment in a low-pressure environment depends on external pressures, this is not a possibility.
Copper joints and plumbing prolongs the life of the structure. However, plastic piping systems are estimated to last for at least 25 years. Because plastic pipe has only been available for around two decades, it is unknown how long it will last. However, plastics have not been used for long, so we are unsure how long they can last.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use Speedfit pipe for central heating?
You can use Speedfit pipe for central heating and hot and cold water services. Always consider using brass chromium-plated service valves.
Can plastic pipes be used for radiators?
As an engineer, you can use the plastic pipes in the rad valves. Consider using 52932 as the item number to do outstanding work if the pipes are facing down. The male end of the pipe goes into the valve, whereas the pipe impulses into the female end.
Can I use 10mm pipes for central heating?
8 or 10mm pipes are sometimes a huge problem because they carry a reduced amount of water but with a higher pressure. However, many homes have used the small gauge pipes that have served them well enough with the early heating systems.
Do plumbers prefer plastic pipes for central heating?
Plastic pipes have taken over copper; however, you may not use plastic pipes in the gas supply and some pipework close to the boilers. The pressure of the joints undergoes testing for domestic utilization. The tests go as far as 10 bar.
Which plumbing plastic pipe is the best?
Most plumbers have often considered PEX the most appropriate pipes for home and business applications. It has a low maintenance cost and is easier and quicker to install; however, its initial cost is high.
Plastic pipes can be used for central heating and hot and cold water systems; however, they will perfectly fit if you don’t fit them on the surface. Plastic pipes serve the same functions as copper. They are also easier to fit and also less costly to repair.
I hope you are reassured that plastic pipes can heat your home just like copper pipes from the information above. Plastic pipes will often be the best choice, considering costs and installation timelines.