House Froze, how to check radiant heating system?


  #1  
Old 08-26-17, 01:19 PM
J
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House Froze, how to check radiant heating system?

Hi everyone,

So I was out to my Dad's house today which has a long story that goes with, I'll spare you. In any case, nobody has been in the house since this time last year. The house had a little bit of heat over the winter, but at some point it must have run out because I just discovered 4 baseboard heaters that split open. Looks like the rest of them are ok. All 4 are in one section of the house. We are hoping to buy the house out and move in before winter, my worry lies with the radiant floor system in the basement. I'm worried that it could have split in the concrete somewhere. How can I investigate this? Any help is appreciated.
 
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Old 08-26-17, 02:07 PM
B
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I'm not a pro on this topic but if the radiant lines are pex they are pretty tough and probably would not have split. Add to that the basement floor is in contact with the ground and with the house over the top the temperature was probably not as cold as the outdoor readings.

Now, how to test. The HVAC pros will have the "how to", but if you can apply some pressure to the in-floor zones and monitor to see if the pressure drops that should tell you if it leaks or not.

Bud
 
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Old 08-27-17, 03:22 PM
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The lines may be PEX, but what about other components in the system?

The system will need to be hydrostatically tested. An experienced plumber would do it this way: fill the system with water and pressurize the system with a few psi of compressed nitrogen. Install a pressure gauge on the system, and check for leaks and reduction in pressure. That's the proper way.

Otherwise, you can fill the system with water and pressurize it the way you normally would, and check for leaks. Doing it this way runs the risk of flooding if there is a major leak, so check for leaks quickly.

Good luck.
 
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Old 08-28-17, 09:13 AM
J
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Thanks guys! I went back up there yesterday and did a pretty thorough visual inspection, everything looks good except for those few baseboards that split inside the heater (where the thin wall copper is). Depending on how things shake out we might have somebody come pressure test it if he has the time (acquaintance of my dad) otherwise we'll pressurize the system as normal and start it up. I was mostly worried about what's buried in the concrete. I don't want to have to jackhammer up floors to fix things.
 
 

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