Copper heating pipes in concrete


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Old 10-25-06, 03:27 AM
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Copper heating pipes in concrete

Hello and thanks in advance for your time.
I have a hot water heating system with oil burner. The majority of the heating system is baseboard heat, but on the first floor I have radiant heat which consists of copper pipes imbedded in concrete. The house was built in 1957. I have a concern that in the future these pipes could start leaking, as I have heard that the concrete eats into either the sweat joints or the copper pipe itself. I am planning a major remodel next year and am looking for some professional advice as to weather this is just a wives tale or if it really does happen. At present there are no leaks.
Thanks.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 06:16 PM
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My home is on a slab and have had to repair pipes in several areas where they come up to the radiators and replace the oil line that goes through cement to the oil tank. Some of the leaks were caused by the chemical reaction from the cement and some is caused be the pipes expanding when they fill up with hot water.
Your pipes have been there for 50 years, I would look for another way to heat that room before doing any remodeling.
Water damage can be costly to repair.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 06:36 PM
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Wink

In my area I have seen many pipes relocated to the attic of these slab ranches, heat and otherwise. That just adds new issues here with the New England winters. PROPERLY treated and insulated, you can be all right.50 yrs.. your' lucky you've dodged it so far.

Explore your options now, so you'll be ready to move if you must.

Do it for Justin----- (just in case)
 
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Old 10-25-06, 06:55 PM
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Thanks lectriclee and mrbizness1 for your input. This is a system which uses directional tees. I am thinking of trying to inactivate the part of my heating system which is in concrete (the radiant heat part), as I live in a half slab house. I am thinking of installing an electric radiant heat system supplemented by radiant heat panels if needed. I really don't want to tear up concrete which is in my living space (foyer and den). Thanks again for your time!
Ray.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 06:56 PM
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Wink

some professional advice as to weather this is just a wives tale or if it really does happen.

Like has been said it is true. the cement will like eat small pin holes in to the copper pipe
 
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Old 10-26-06, 05:05 AM
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Thanks ed.
 
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Old 10-26-06, 09:45 AM
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If you've already got a hydronic system in place, then why not keep it and run either baseboard (cheapest) or panel radiators (not so cheap, but very nice) in the areas currently served by the slab radiant?

Or if you're doing a major remodel you might consider installing new PEX tubing with a gypcrete over-pour on top of the existing slab. I forget what the total thickness would be, but might be an option worth considering
 
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Old 10-26-06, 03:50 PM
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Thanks 4 the info xiphias. The baseboards wont work because I don't have the ability to run the copper tubing without drilling or breaking up the concrete as there is a brick wall on one side with the fireplace. I may be able to run the PEX tubing but I can't raise the floor up too much as this would interfere with adjoining rooms. Also, I currently have linoleum tile over the concrete floor and am thinking of adding a wood floor on top of the concrete. If I add the PEX tubing plus wood floor, I am thinking as a rough estimate I am adding at least 1 1/2". I saw a website that claimed adding electric radiant heat only adds 1/4" to the floor height.
Thanks!
Ray
 
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Old 10-26-06, 04:55 PM
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A thought. Concrete saw down the edge. Relatively clean, simple, doesn't take long. PEX tubing in a concrete groove (fill/cover it with a PEX-friendly media to handle the expansion of the high-temp baseboard water temps). Flooring of choice.
 
 

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