Code update for hydronic industry in 2021

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Snowmelt projects vary from simple to complex. This custom home project required snow melting on several elevations.

The hydronic industry is getting another code update. This is the fifth edition of CSA B214 Installation code for hydronic heating systems and will supersede any previous editions, including 2016, 2012, 2007, and 2001. It will set out the minimum provisions for the installation, extension, alteration, and renewal of hydronic heating systems.

CSA B214:21 will apply to open and closed hydronic heating systems, and includes, but not limited to hydronic space heating, radiant heating (wall, floor, and ceiling), convectors, and fan coils, combination potable-water-heating and space-heating systems, integrated mechanical systems, indirect-fire domestic-water heating, pool and spa heating, snow and ice melt systems, and other auxiliary systems.

Main changes to the code include:

  • added requirements for use of potable water as a hydronic fluid (clause 4.2.5.1),
  • clarified recycling requirements for prevention of stagnation (clause 4.2.5.2),
  • added requirement for pipe insulation in unconditioned spaces (clause 8.2),
  • removed allowance for PVC pipes and tubing, and PVC fittings,
  • clarified metal/plastic pipes refer to PEX-AL-PEX and PERT-AL-PERT composite pipes (clause 9.2.3 and 9.2.4),
  • clarified that polypropylene random copolymer refers to PP-R & PP-RCT pipes and tubing (Clauses 9.2.5);
  • added requirements for flexible pre-insulated plastic piping and installation of non-metallic piping in return air plenums (Clauses 9.2.7 and 9.2.8);
  • added requirements for support of larger sizes PEX and PERT tubing as per ASTM F876 (Clause 9.4.1);
  • added requirements for support of non-metallic pipe and tubing in support channels, and vertical run support for non-metallic pipe and tubing in support channels (Clauses 9.4.2 and 9.4.7);
  • added requirements for pipe insulation, pipe sleeves, thermal expansion and contraction, and contact with building materials (Clauses 9.5 to 9.8);
  • added requirements for PERT-AL-PERT composite pipe fittings, and plastic-to-metal connections (Clauses 10.4 and 10.10);
  • removed restriction on use for compression valves for isolation purposes;
  • added requirements for manifolds (Clause 11.3);
  • changed high-temperature requirement limit for radiant floor heating panels (Clause 12.2.2);
  • clarified requirements for makeup supply connection (Clause 12.5.4);
  • added exception for differential pressure regulation (Clause 12.5.5.1);
  • clarified requirements for air space above insulation (Clause 14.5.3.2);
  • added space limits for air space behind insulation (Clause 14.6.2);
  • added requirements for types of tube fasteners (Clause 17.4.2); and
  • added requirements for heat exchanger and piping and materials (Clause 18.4.1).

The update was released in January 2021. A comment period was opened to the industry to give their feedback on the update from Jan. 21, 2020, to Feb. 11, 2020.

The Canadian Standards Association, or CSA Group, is a global organization that focuses on standard development in testing, inspection, and certification around the world, including Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.

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