Plumbing Manifolds for Water Supply

Easily direct water throughout your home from one designated source, like the water heater, with the use of a plumbing manifold. A manifold features many separate valves in order to supply water to different pipes. For example, it may route hot water from the water heater to the shower, bathroom sink, kitchen sink and washing machine.

For radiant heating, you may decide on a water manifold that features both supply and return valves on the same unit. These radiant heating manifolds circulate water from the heating source to your heaters, then circulate the cooled water back through the system. They’re available with various numbers of loops to fit the needs of your home.

Manifolds give you an easy way to organize your plumbing system. To choose a plumbing manifold with the correct number of ports, count all of the hot and cold water outlets in your home, including ice makers and outdoor faucets. If you’re thinking of updating your plumbing fixtures, check out our for help.

About PEX Manifolds

The primary purpose of a PEX pipe manifold is to act as a distribution center in a plumbing or heating system. Select manifold types and models allow users to set up automatic flow control, monitor temperature and flow and much more.

Manufactured manifolds save installers significant amount of time and help to eliminate leakages associated with manual assembly from individual components, such as fittings, valves, pipes, etc. In many cases, the cost of manufactured manifolds is less then the cost of such individual components, which further helps to increase savings.

Applications

Hydronic Radiant Heating
A classic hydronic type radiant floor heating system is comprised by (2) or more loops (circuits) of PEX tubing which are fed by the main hot water supply line from the boiler or other heating equipment. A PEX radiant heat manifold incorporated into this system helps user to balance the flow in individual circuits, achieving equalized temperatures throughout the zones. Optional manifold actuators can replace manual balancing valves and in combination with an external zone valve control device (such as Taco ZVC) allow to control the room temperature via the thermostat.
Other components integrated into the manifolds’ design, such as shut-off valves, air vent and drain valves simplify the installation and maintenance process without the need for installation of separate costly components. PexUniverse sells a complete range of Everhot radiant manifolds.

Plumbing
In traditional rigid pipe systems, water is delivered to the fixtures by branching off the main water pipe with smaller diameter pipes. The issue of such systems is a large number of connections concealed behind the walls and in the floor/ceiling, which take more time to make and present a potential leak problem.
PEX plumbing manifold, installed in proximity to the hot or cold water supply, helps to eliminate these issues by allowing for a PEX pipe run from the manifold directly to the fixture with little or none concealed connections. PEX manifolds with valves (“valved”) or without valves (“valveless”) sold here are made in USA from type “L” copper and are fully compliant with “low-lead” regulations.
PexUniverse offers the largest selection of Sioux Chief copper manifolds online.

Compatibility

Leading US PEX companies, including Watts, Viega, Zurn, Nibco, Everhot and others offer PEX products manufactured to the same standards, meaning that they can be used interchangeably.
Radiant PEX manifolds by Everhot can replace similar products from the above manufacturers, as well as brands such as Uponor (Wirsbo), Caleffi, Mr. PEX and several others.
Copper PEX manifolds by Sioux Chief are also capable of replacing the products made by mentioned, however, the type of connections must always be considered. PexUniverse sells plumbing manifolds with either standard crimp style or push-to-connect outlets.

Sizing

Heating Manifolds
Main factors which influence the selection of a heating manifold include size of PEX pipe used for floor heating and the size of the heated area.
For a typical slab heating system with 1/2″ PEX spaced at 12″ OC (On Center) and a 1,500 sqft space, the project would require about 1,500 linear ft of PEX. Since advised loop length for 1/2″ PEX is 300ft, the project would require (5) 300ft circuits of PEX and therefore, a 5-branch heating manifold set (such as SSM005).

Plumbing Manifolds
Since hot and cold water plumbing requires separate PEX plumbing manifolds, they are sized and selected based on the number of fixtures as well as inlet and outlet pipe sizes. Larger manifolds can be used for whole-house plumbing, whereas smaller – for point-of-use applications. Select models have as much as 12 branches with trunk diameter of up to 2″.
Models with valves provide the user with ability to shut off the flow in the event of maintenance or repair. PDQ manifolds with push-fit connections allow to connect any brand PEX pipe without the use of tools.

Six benefits at a glance

Balanced Water Pressure: Compared to a typical manifold, where the branch lines all stem from a single linear chamber, a custom manifold can be fed from two directions, offering more stable water pressure if the toilet is flushed, the shower is running, or the washing machine is starting a rinse cycle.

Repairable: The system is made from off-the-shelf tubing, valves, and PEX connections of your choosing, so it can just as easily be repaired with off-the-shelf components, too. If a manufactured manifold fails, you have to disconnect and replace the entire unit.

Quality: Branded manifolds typically have a warranty of just five to 10 years and rely on all-plastic valves, which are sensitive to flux, filings, and other tiny debris that may be in the supply lines. A homemade version can include more-durable metal ball valves.

Price: Branded manifolds start at around $100 and often include both cold-water and hot-water outlets in the same unit. (The cold-water setup shown here cost about $100 in parts.) To match the quality of a pair of hot-water and cold-water homemade manifolds, you would have to step up to a model with metal components, which are usually intended for hydronic radiant-heat systems and cost $300 or more.

 

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