I have a Concrete slab home that was built in 1954. i was outside the
other day and observes some wettness on my block foundation. i think
one of my radiant floor heat pipes is leaking. does anyone know if
there is a way to pinpoint the location of a leak? i do not want to
think of removing my entire concrete slab and having to reinstall
tubing and pour a new slab. I do want to figure out how to make the
repair because i never want to give up the floor heat.
Hmmmmmm Half a century of copper tube embedded in hostile
concrete? Folks would say that's end-of-life.
OK. You're committed to salvaging it.
As a first step- shut off the boiler feedwater and see if the
pressure begins to drop (over a period of days, maybe).
Refill the boiler manually to get some idea of the magnitude
of loss. That will establish that you have a hydronic leak
There are many hi-tech instruments today for measuring
moisture content by probing the surface. If you can
pinpoint the spot, then what?
Inject a product like "Stop Leak" into the system?
That may be effective at least short term in plugging
A corrosion-inhibitor mixed with the boiler water *might*
help, but only if the corrosion is from within and not
on the outside. (I'm not a corrosion engineer.)
My take on this is that you are shoveling against the tide.
I would be making a plan for some alternate heating method
while plugging the leaks.
I was on a job where they jackhammered a floor like this and we found the
copper was pretty much disintegrated throughout. I'm thinking he may be
better off adding new plastic tubing in gypcrete right over the existing
This is by far the best answer - just lay a new floor over the top of
your hydronic slab. It will be more energy efficient and with the new
tubing will last 100 years, not 50.
On Fri, 2 Feb 2007 19:49:27 -0500, "RBM" <rbm2(remove
How thick should the new floor be? I can't imagine the changes needed to add
a 2" or 4" floor. All the doors, entrances, kitchen cabinets and plumbing
changes to be made. If there is a step at the entry doors, it may no longer
meet code. Ceilings will be "lower" now; windows will be "lower" now. What
do you do for closet doors? How about al the trim?
Do you really think this is a sensible method?
Installing baseboard heat requires none of the other changes needed here,
aside from some baseboard trim removal.
Unless there are a few hydronics experts reading this newsgroup -- and
although I've answered a few hydronics questions recently, I am
decidedly NOT an expert on the subject -- you're much more likely to get
solid answers here:
http://www.heatinghelp.com -- then scroll down to the Got Questions?
box, and click the link for "The Wall".
Or go there directly:
Registration is free, and they don't spam or collect personal
About that time, Levitt was building thousands of homes in Pennsylvania
using the same type of system. Some years ago they started to corrode and
leak. Many have been converted to standard baseboard heat. Not easy, but
sensible and long lasting. It may be your best solution.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.