Busted Pipe in Radiant Floor Heat

kkllbDecember 2, 2011

We just bought a vacation home in WI, just over 1000 sq ft,with radiant floor heat throughout the entire house. The house is one story, built on a concrete slab, and all of the flooring appears to be ceramic tile. We had a plumber in today to hook up the water and get the heat running. When he turned it on we found out there is a leak in one spot in/under the floor. This plumber said that there is no such thing as repairing pipes in radiant floor heat. He is having someone else come look at it next week to lay out our options, but he suggested that we may end up having to convert to forced air. We already have ductwork for A/C, but it is up near the ceilings. This seems like it would be really ineffective for a heating system. Can anyone tell me what my options might be? Is it true that you can't repair the pipes? Would we have to demo the floors in the entire house and replace it? I have absolutely no clue when it comes to this sort of thing, so any advice would be appreciated. We are planning on getting a professional second opinion (or two) before committing to anything, but that won't be for a couple of weeks. Thanks for the help!

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PRO
CJ Mechanical of North jersey llc.

Using infared take temp readings until you find the spot of the leak. pull up tile and remove portion of slab to get to the damaged tube. cut in tube coupling and test. wrap coupling to protect from direct connact with new concrete patch. This is your only way and can be done.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2011 at 6:53AM
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peteinsonj

I think the bigger question is -- why did the pipe break?

In older systems -- pipes often corrode -- and where there is one leak, there are or soon will be more.

If it leaks, say, because the unit froze or b/c of an install defect, then fixing is feasible.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 7:17PM
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kkllb

Sorry, I forgot to specify that the leak was caused from a frozen pipe. I wasn't aware of infrared readings, but have found some companies in the region that do it. I'm excited to find out that the floors/radiant heat can be saved, and we don't have to convert to a furnace at a cost of over $4000! Thanks for the help, and for easing my mind.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:39PM
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