Radiant floor heat

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by DreamingBig, Oct 16, 2004.

  1. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    Hi all. I really like this forum! I've learned so much from all of you and wonder if you could answer a question for me. I'm homestead-hunting and have found a nice place with radiant heat. The original floor was dirt, and the current owners installed the heat pipes and poured a concrete floor over them. At the time I didn't think to ask the full details of this, but have since been wondering, what happens if the pipes leak or break? Would you have to dig up the whole floor with a sledge hammer or pneumatic drill? This seems like it could be real problem! :eek:

    BTW I'm looking for something affordable in the Southwest. If anyone knows of anything, please email me!

    Chris
     
  2. yes it could be a problem but most radient heat has a 25 year warenty not sure what sort they used but as long as it dont freez I would not worrie just takes a long time to heat an area that has not been kept at a tempeture.
     

  3. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,267
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    Everything has a good & bad point it seems.

    Really nice even heating. you'll love it!

    If it was installed right with the real in-floor heating tubing, should outlast the building. However if it was installed wrong or a problem does develop, it's a hassle to deal with. I wouldn't be too afraid of it, but I'd ask who installed it & what materials....

    Often times they are installed in several different zones with valves, so you can shut down a section. Supposed to be! Then you can deal with a problem, but the rest of the house still heats.

    If this was a good installation, I would be happy with it & not give it a second thought. If some dude bought some cheap hose at the off-shore supply store & threw a bunch of concrete on top of it, then I'd look it over pretty colse....

    --->Paul
     
  4. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,283
    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    A woods in Wisconsin
    When we installed ours the literature indicated there is some sort of gizmo that can detect the leaking area---------maybe it makes that determination by temperature change or maybe maybe it measures humidity content of the cement.........
    Anyway-----you then need to chisel out that area----maybe a foot in diameter----make your repair...and seal it up again.

    We love having a warm floor----------works great for us and we don't expect to have any leaks within our lifetime.
     
  5. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    Wish my digital camera had not have went down on me. I am putting mine in right now. gonna pour slab monday. The thing I would worry about most is the heat loss and inefficincy apparent in your design. You are lsoing considerable heat due to it being layed upon dirt and covered. You should always put some directional heat reflective material or at least some styrofoam panel insulation with the silver backing down between the pipes and the ground. this way it direct the radiant heat way more efficiently upwards and you are not as likely to get cool spots near the far end of the piping from the cooling by the ground. Also I broke mine down by rooms or circuits as they call it. ALL of them have to be the same length of piping to truly function correctly. You have to really know waht you are doing with it when you get the mainifold down. I hired the guy for that part. Mine is running off two hot water heaters large capacity and of course gas powered in case of off grid or loss of electric. According to how many feet you end up having sometimes you have to use a pump to help circulate the water as well.
     
  6. DrippingSprings

    DrippingSprings In Remembrance

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    As far as leaks I had a neighbor that somehow acquired a leak during installation that went unnoticed til after the slab was poured. I was working for Advance Auto Parts as a Division Manager. I went to one of my stores and took the heat sensor gun off my battery charger/tester. We went back and walked around aiming it at the floor until we found a large spot that was reading hotter. Tore that up in about a 3x3 area and found the leak. Alot of mechanics have these ''heat guns''. You can buy one fairly cheap and they are very accurate. I could stand at the end of the counter and point it at a employee across the store and the temp would move up rapidly on the digital screen from their body heat
     
  7. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    100
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    MA
    Wow, what a lot of good information! From what I've read, radiant heat seems like the way to go, so it's nice to know that problems can be avoided and/or solved without too much trouble. Thanks guys!! Chris