Radiant Heat line leaks in concrete...


Old 01-02-14, 04:39 PM
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Radiant Heat line leaks in concrete...

I have radiant hot water heat in my garage floor. It uses pex-al-pex water lines which are divided into four loops. I have determined that there is a leak in my garage zone by installing a pressure gage in that zone and closing off that zone from the rest of my hot water heat system. I lose about 18 lbs of pressure in about a day and a half down to no pressure. I have an 'in' manifold and an 'out' manifold in the garage which distributes the water to each of the 4 loops. I next closed off the first loop in the garage and reapplied pressure. Magically the leaking stopped and the other 3 loops held pressure. My question is, "How do I pinpoint the exact location of this leak within the concrete floor, an area of about 8' by 36'?" There is no physical evidence on the floor surface that I can find. I have heard about ultrasonic sensors and also IR sensors, but do not know how they are used. The idea of injecting dye has also occurred to me but I wouldn't know how.
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Old 01-02-14, 05:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I've heard of using a mechanic's stethoscope to pinpoint the sound of the leak, but it's not something I've had to do myself.

Others will be around with solutions I'm sure...
Old 01-02-14, 06:32 PM
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A friend used to work at one of the mfg facilities north of me and explained how they had a service come in once a month and listen for ultra high frequency sounds. They could find anything from bad bearings to water leaks. The point is there may be a service specific to your problem.

We each tend to grab the tools we are used to. In my case I would be searching with my infrared camera. However, the concrete, from the few I have looked at, tends to absorb the heat and it can be difficult to spot the pex. But, trying various cycles from cold to hot while looking for an area that is larger and warmer than it should be is a possible approach. If the moisture is making it to the surface it would look like a cool spot once the floor cools down.

Call some of your local HVAC companies to see what they say. You are not the first.
Also, check the rental companies to see if they offer a solution.

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