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Basement hydronic baseboards; order of construction

wormwood1978 | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I am working on finishing my basement and learning as I go. I’m trying to do most if not all the work myself. To date, I have finished my subfloor (1in XPS, Advantech), put up walls and done the the rough in electric. I’m just finishing up roughing in the pex for the hydronic baseboard heating. After that I will finish insulating the walls with rockwool on top of 2″ XPS, then drywall and flooring.

My question is this, should I install the baseboard heating elements now and pressure check everything, then drywall and flooring, or should I drywall, floor and then do the baseboard heating (elements and enclosures). If I wait for the baseboard heating last and find out I have a leak somewhere like in an elbow in an enclosed wall, I will have to rip out at least part of the drywall.

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  1. user-2890856 | | #1

    Cap one end of each individual loop and put a guage on the other . Pump up to 30 - 50 # and leave pressure on that piping for 24 hours . Fix your leaks as you find them , if at all . Then sheetrock .

  2. Expert Member


    As Richard said, pressure test the rough-in before drywall. That's the same with any waterlines in a house.

  3. Expert Member
    AKOS TOTH | | #3

    I leave all plumbing pressurized with compressed air while working. This way you know right away if somebody puts a screw through any of the pipes.

    P.S. All pipes should be protected with nail plates, there is no such thing as too safe, sooner or later somebody will try to use too long of a fastener and hit the pipe. Also double check that you have the right height and location for the stubs, easy to change now and pain to re-work if off a bit.

  4. wormwood1978 | | #4

    Pressurizing and checking for leaks prior ot drywall sounds like the way to go. I attached a diagram of my basement loop. I have not purchased/installed the baseboard heating elements yet. Pex segments A, B, C and D are installed. As far as pressurizing and testing for leaks, which of the following methods do I do?
    1) Test each Pex segment, A, B, C and D individually? This will obviously check the crimp elbow fittings I put in.
    2) Purchase the heating elements now, connect the elements to the pex segments but hold off making the boiler connections. Unsure how this will hinder me hanging the drywall but would allow me to check the elbow fittings and heating element connections
    3) Temporarily connect the pex segments to each other using pex, which would allow me to check the pex segments all at once rather than individually.

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