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radiant heat piping repair
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been in contact with Roland, he has been very supportive. Roland wrote an essay about his experience which is posted on an ultrasound detection equipment site:

http://www.uesystems.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/repradht.pdf
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5589
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Dan! I know this is going to come in handy at some point. It's just a question of time before our pipes (also iron) give way.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if, for those whose systems are still intact, there isn't some preventive measure that could be employed -- an internal coating of some sort ?

SDR
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3717
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anybody every try this technique?

http://www.nuflowtechnologies.com/products/epoxy-lining/
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peterm



Joined: 13 Mar 2008
Posts: 5589
Location: Chicago, Il.---Oskaloosa, Ia.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sounds similar to what Wrighter explained in his post on the previous page?
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7492

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epoxy for potable water lines? Amine hardeners in epoxy are carcinogenic. For heating pipes, OK, but drinking water should not come in contact with it. I know we're discussing a closed system where this does not come into play, but I have always viewed epoxy, while not as toxic as formaldehyde or asbestos, with suspicion.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I have learned about the system in my house and the steel or iron pipe systems in similar installations I have inquired about, is that the corrosion of the pipes rarely comes from within, but rather from the outside. Interactions with dissimilar metals or repeated wetting of the outer exposed surface of the pipes from groundwater, stormwater, condensation, or leaking sub-slab domestic or sanitary piping are the causes most often found for leaks. Old, funky, well air-bled, fully pressurized systems do not tend to promote corrosion of steel pipes, however if many tiny pinhole leaks begin to allow oxygenated or mineral laden make up water to enter the mix regularly, interior corrosion begins to be more of a possibility. Expansion/contraction cycling of imperfect welds (particularly at bends) over the course of many decades can lead to leaks as well.

Copper pipes have their own issues, contact with dissimilar metals, chemicals in concrete admixtures, etc.
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 7492

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet, DRN, from what I have gathered, the systems that hang on the longest are the ones with copper pipes.
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Mod mom



Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 383

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DRN, Im sorry to read this and hope there is a way to determine where exactly the leak occurred and correct only that small section. Regarding copper pipes, we elected to use copper pipes for all drinking water after reading studies of leaching from PEX and used PEX only for the hydronic system. However, we have a vapor barrier for radon mitigation (I'm not sure this is a problem nationwide but with Ohio's shale reserves, radon is a problem here and I know we addressed it)

If Joe can be of any help with questions, just going through it, let me know and he'll be glad to answer.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for the offer Mod mom.
I'm tracking down ultrasonic testing firms local to us...there seem to be a number in and around NYC, though I may have a candidate in Trenton NJ. One would think with the petrochemical and chemical industries and their miles of piping around Philly and Wilmington, I'd find more...I'm beginning to think the industrial process companies do this work in-house. I'm finding more detector manufacturers and dealers than operators. I'll find one shortly.
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a leak detection company out to the Sweeton house on Friday. Using acoustic detectors (teacup sized mics set on the floor, wired to a belt mounted amplifier, heard through aviation type headphones) the leak was located.
We did not turn on the pumps, just the water make up valve to start, as pump noise sometimes can be heard more than the leak. Once the pressure got near operating level, the leak became audible with the instruments. The sound was loudest and clearest in the southwest corner of the master bedroom. It sounded like a repetitive gurgle.

I have a concrete cutter scheduled for Saturday, May 6th to open a 2'x 4' section of the floor (the loudest point detected is within a half unit at the south wall of the room) cutting along the unit line about 2" deep, followed by chipping. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully there will be good splice-able pipe within that removal section or another unit will need to be cut out. In any case, it will be interesting to see what the piping material and substrate looks like and to attempt to diagnose the cause of the leak.

As the cutting will seriously dust up the room, we have decided to move all of our stuff out of the MB and bedroom #2 and complete our restoration of them as part of the effort (ceilings, roof insulation, window screens) ...lemonade out of lemons so to speak.
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 14328
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While looking for other matter in the Jacobs's book I found this entry about the heating system. Here are the relevant paragraphs:






1978 by Herbert Jacobs and Katherine Jacobs
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DRN



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 3164
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that SDR...I had forgotten that detail from the book.
From the description, and some photos, it would appear the pipes at Jacobs I held to the perimeter of the footprint rather than evenly distributing over it.

Does anyone know if this caused the floor toward the centers of the spaces to remain chilly to the touch?

At our house the pipes are organized as two not completely isolated loops each controlled by its own thermostat and circulator pump. Each loop consists of a series of panels (zigzagged runs of pipe that approximate an area of about 60-100 SF depending on room configuration) that are fed and returned by leader pipes that run more or less at the perimeter of the house. This placement keeps the floors pretty uniform in temperature when the system is operating. All pipes are filled with water, but the flow of freshly heated water to each panel can be controlled by flow valves at the return manifold.

Mr. Sweeton wrote that he all but closed a valve for the panel in bedroom #2, where the bedroom wing thermostat is located, to prevent overheating of the master bedroom.....all rooms have been comfortable, but there is a chilly spot on 2 full units and 2 half unit floor squares in B2 and its closet that one notices when barefoot.
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outside in



Joined: 29 Jul 2006
Posts: 1058

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Radiant heating is normally laid out with the pipes laid close to one another at the perimeter with fewer pipes at the center of the space. This practice distributes the heat more evenly.

The Jacobs 1 radiant heating in the primary space froze and heaved the slab on a cold weekend in the mid-80's, requiring the replacement of the piping and slab. In an effort to reduce heat loss, one inch of rigid board was placed beneath the new piping. This would still allow some heat into the ground to prevent frost heave, but improve thermal performance. Interesting that Jacobs also noticed the effect of radiant heating - we too noticed that grass was green and growing 3 feet from the exterior wall in the dead of winter!
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Paul Ringstrom



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 3717
Location: Mason City, IA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We rented the Schwartz House in Two Rivers, WI over the Christmas holidays several years ago and there was three feet of green grass around the house even though the rest of the yard was snow covered. That system had the pipes laid in the gravel under the concrete slab. Obviously no perimeter insulation.
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