MountainView Supply, Inc.

 

Manabloc™ Plumbing System      Hydronic Radiant Floor Heat Systems (HRFH)

 

ViegaPex Tubing      Mr. Pex Oxygen Barrier Pex Tubing

 

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Manabloc Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

 

What is included with Manabloc manifolds?

What is the difference between Manabloc and COMAP manifolds?

Can a Manabloc be recess mounted between wall studs?

Why use both 3/8" and 1/2" Pex with Manabloc systems?

Can 3/8" Pex connect to a 1/2" Manabloc port?

Can 1/2 Pex connect to a 3/8" Manabloc port?

Are Manablocs available with more than 36 ports?

Why do Manablocs have 3 water service supply connections?

What size main supply tubing is supplied with the Manabloc Packages?

How can I determine if the tubing quantity in the Manabloc Package is enough for my project?

Do I need to get the chrome angle stop upgrade for my Manabloc Package?

How long does it take to plumb a 2-1/2 bath house with your Manabloc Package?

What do I do if I kink a Pex line?

Can I add additional fixture ports to my existing Manabloc?

 

 

Q.    What is included with Manabloc manifolds?

A.    All Manablocs (except "bare" or some custom Manablocs) include fixture port fittings (3/8" or 1/2" 4-piece compression fixture port fittings, or 3/8" or 1/2" crimp fixture port fittings), a MBS136R  T-Handle valve key, fixture port labels and an installation manual.  Standard Manablocs do not include main water service supply fittings (they are available separately in several sizes for both crimp and threaded connections).  For more information, please visit Manabloc System.

 

Q.    What is the difference between Manabloc and COMAP manifolds?

A.    Manablocs are water distribution manifolds for potable water systems only (like your electrical breaker box, but for water instead of electricity).  COMAP manifolds are for radiant floor heat systems only.  Manablocs cannot be used for radiant floor heat systems and Comap manifolds cannot be used as a distribution manifold for potable plumbing systems. 

 

Q.    Can a Manabloc be recess mounted between wall studs?

A.    Yes, but you'll need a MBB2 mounting bracket (for studs spaced 16" on center). Manablocs can be flush mounted right out of the box. 

 

Q.    Why use both 3/8" and 1/2" Pex with Manabloc systems?

A.    Since 3/8" Pex is rated to 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), it is the correct size tubing for all std 2.0 gpm, or less, low-flow fixtures (lav's, toilets, kitchen faucets, dishwashers, washers, icemakers, etc).  1/2" Pex can be used for these fixtures, but more water is wasted waiting for hot water to reach the fixtures (1/2" Pex holds almost twice as much as 3/8" Pex, so it takes almost twice the volume of water to travel between the water heater and the fixture).  Then, after the fixture is turned off, all the energy required to heat the hot water between the water heater and the fixture is wasted.  We recommend 1/2" Pex for high-flow fixtures only (many tub/shower valve and most hose bibs are the only std fixtures that require 1/2" Pex).  For more details, visit our Manabloc Packages page.

 

Q.    Can 3/8" Pex connect to a 1/2" Manabloc port?

A.    Yes.  The MXLCD24 3/8" to 1/2" port adapter is used to crimp 3/8" Pex to 1/2" Manabloc ports.  The MXLCD24 has a swivel nut, so you can crimp the tubing onto the fitting either before or after the fitting is screwed onto the 1/2" Manabloc port.

 

Q.    Can 1/2" Pex connect to a 3/8" Manabloc port?

A.    Yes.  The MXLSA33 1/2" to 3/8" port adapter is used to crimp 1/2" Pex to 3/8" Manabloc ports.  The MXLSA33 has a swivel nut, so you can crimp the tubing onto the fitting either before or after the fitting is screwed onto the 3/8" Manabloc port.

 

Q.    Are Manablocs available with more than 36 ports?

A.    Yes, Manablocs can be custom made with just about any number of ports, but usually, 2 smaller Manablocs are installed instead (dual Manabloc system).  For additional info, see the Vanguard General Products Catalog.

 

Q.    Why do Manablocs have 3 water service supply connections?

A.    Manablocs can be supplied with one hot and one cold main supply line, or with just one cold main supply line with the water heater plumbed through the Manabloc.  For details, please visit Manabloc Installation Tips.

 

Q.    What size main supply tubing is supplied with the Manabloc packages?

A.    None.  The Manabloc Packages are configured "Manabloc Forward", which means they contain the std. tubing, fittings, supplies, etc starting at the Manabloc and ending at the fixtures.  The Manabloc Packages include two MSA45 3/4" threaded main supply fittings and one ECAP1 end cap (for the unused main supply port when not plumbing the water heater through the Manabloc).   A low cost upgrade to 1" threaded main supply line fittings is available and recommended for larger Manablocs MSA55(upgrade).  Main supply line packages are available separately in both 3/4" and 1" Pex sizes, and include tubing, fittings, and installation supplies for a typical finish plumb.

 

Q.    How can I determine if the tubing quantity in the Manabloc Package is enough for my project?

A.    We use 25' as the average fixture run length for the tubing quantities in the Manabloc Packages, then round up to the next hundred (shortest coil available is 100').  25' average per fixture run is usually enough tubing for most relatively efficient floorplans, but if your home is spread out, has multiple floors or has extra fixtures (dual Lavs in bathrooms, laundry sinks, separate tubs & showers, etc), you will need additional tubing.  The simplest way to figure tubing quantity is to scale the horizontal fixture runs from a blueprint (make sure to measure the same path that the tubing will follow), then add the vertical distance from the floor (or ceiling) to the Manabloc and the vertical distance from the floor (or ceiling) to the fixture. 

 

Q.    Do I need to get the chrome angle stop upgrade for my Manabloc Package?

A.    Probably not, but there are a few places in the US with outdated plumbing codes that still require a stop on each line within a few feet of the fixture.  For the ultimate look, opt for the chrome angle stop upgrade with braided stainless steel risers, the braided SS risers definitely add a dazzling look to your finish plumbing.

Q.    How long does it take to plumb a 2-1/2 bath house with your Manabloc Package?

A.    Times vary dramatically, but generally, an experienced 2 person team can complete a 2-1/2 bath Manabloc rough-in, including tub/shower, washer and icemaker valves and hose bibs, in about 3 to 4 hours.  The Manabloc finish plumb takes about the same time for an experienced team (about half a day), but most of the time is taken up by installing fixtures (toilets, sinks, dishwasher, disposer, etc.).  For a plumber team installing a Manabloc Package for the first time, allow at least a full day for both the rough-in and the finish plumb.  We generally hear that Manabloc systems install in about 1/4 to 1/3 of the time it takes for a copper system install.

 

Q.    What do I do if I kink a Pex line?

A.    Unless the tubing has been kinked AND stretched, it's probably OK.  If it's badly kinked though, the simplest and safest fix is to cut the kink out and crimp a coupler in its place.  For the experienced professional plumber only, you can usually use a heat gun to reshape the tubing if needed, but be VERY careful with the heat gun, you can easily melt the tubing, burn yourself or start a fire if you're not very careful.  Wear safety goggles, welding gloves and protective clothing and make sure to protect the surrounding area from the heat gun (use a plumbing fire blanket) and heat the tubing with a back and forth motion until it becomes somewhat transparent.  Then turn the heat gun off and remove it, and roll the tubing back and forth with your fingers IN THE INSULATED WELDING GLOVE to reshape it as the tubing cools.   Do not touch the heated tubing with your bare hand!

 

Q.    Can I add additional fixture ports to my existing Manabloc?

A.    No, Manablocs are not expandable, you'll need to tee off your main supply line(s) and add one or two Miniblocs (Miniblocs are not dual temp, so if you need additional hot and cold ports, you'll need to add a Minibloc for both cold and hot.

 

Updated 06/27/2010