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Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 3rd 07, 12:19 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 1
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system

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.

please help

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  #2  
Old February 3rd 07, 12:41 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 747
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system

wrote:

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.

please help



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
(or not).

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
pin holes.

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.

Jim
  #3  
Old February 3rd 07, 12:49 AM posted to alt.home.repair
RBM
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Posts: 1,690
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system

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
slab



"Speedy Jim" wrote in message
. net...
wrote:

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.

please help



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
(or not).

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
pin holes.

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.

Jim



  #4  
Old February 3rd 07, 12:50 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 555
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system

A moisture meter would work, be sure its probes are for concrete.

  #5  
Old February 3rd 07, 01:18 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 747
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system

RBM wrote:

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
slab



Quote: "...tubing in gypcrete right over the existing slab"

That's very good.
Jim






"Speedy Jim" wrote in message
. net...

wrote:


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.

please help



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
(or not).

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
pin holes.

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.

Jim




  #6  
Old February 3rd 07, 02:23 AM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,380
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system

In article , Speedy Jim wrote:

Inject a product like "Stop Leak" into the system?


NO!!!

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.)


Be very, very careful. Automotive coolant should never be used in a hydronic
system.

--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)

It's time to throw all their damned tea in the harbor again.
  #8  
Old February 3rd 07, 04:06 AM posted to alt.home.repair
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Posts: 5,834
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system


wrote in message
oups.com...
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.


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.


  #9  
Old February 3rd 07, 01:46 PM posted to alt.home.repair
DK
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Posts: 259
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system


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
wrote:

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
slab



"Speedy Jim" wrote in message
.net...
wrote:

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.

please help



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
(or not).

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
pin holes.

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.

Jim



  #10  
Old February 3rd 07, 03:11 PM posted to alt.home.repair
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5,834
Default Repairing a Hydronic floor heating system


"DK" wrote in message
...

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.


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.



 




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