Hot Spots Under Tile - Mystery


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Old 02-26-07, 09:13 PM
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Question Hot Spots Under Tile - Mystery

I have a mystery that nobody has been able to resolve and I've shown this to several *experts*.

I live in Arizona and have a tile floor. The house was built in 2000 and has a foundation that is poured slab. There is a spot (near the bottom of our stairway) where the tile is very warm. It is 1 tile (18"x18"), yes just 1 tile, that is very warm but not quite hot. My kids stand there to warm their feet in the morning. It's just 1 tile!

I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IS CAUSING THIS BUT IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE'VE NOTICED RECENTLY -- WITHIN THE PAST 6-8 WEEKS.

Here's what I know it's NOT:

* There is no underground electrical
* There is no underground gas
* The only thing I know that is underground is: the foundation, dirt, and the plumbing drainage pipes.
* There is no heat vent blowing down on this spot - in fact it's near a cold air return vent.
* The sun doesn't beat down on this spot
* The tile was installed 2 years ago - I removed the original tile and know there is no junction box, cracks, or underground cables at this spot.

Nobody has any idea what could possibly cause this but it's really bugging my wife - so know I'm asking anybody who will listen.

I'm up for any suggestions - so far I've heard everything listed above plus:

* It's a poltergeist
* It's a gas pocket
* It's settling - and the concrete is still curing releasing heat.
* It's Coke that was poured onto the grout and created a chemical reaction

I'm not buying any of it but would welcome any further questions and possible answers.
 
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Old 02-27-07, 04:31 AM
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Do any of your domestic water lines run under the slab?
If so perhaps a leak in a hw line?

Shut off the water to your house over night to check on this.
 
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Old 02-27-07, 02:47 PM
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Never heard of this. Maybe try Gregs idea.

Tile that gets warm all by itself - hmm. I think we can make money with this one if we can figure out how to replicate it. Save lotsa money with zero cost for energy radiant heat.
 
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Old 02-27-07, 04:11 PM
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It might also help if you could put a number to "very warm".

Not sure if you are into gadgets but this would be a good candidate for an infra-red thermometer.
The infra-red would be usefull because you could compare several spots in the house.
Barring this you could lay a thermometer on the floor and cover it with something insulating.............A feather pillow with a phone book on top would do it.
 
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Old 03-02-07, 11:15 AM
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In my experience, the easiest answer is usually the right one. I would assume that there is a leaky hot water line under that tile. If not a line, then possibly a hot water spring.

Barring those two options, I would think that there is some kind of exothermic reaction happening in the materials underneath that tile. Was epoxy grout used?

One thing I picked up on was that you said you removed the original tile to confirm that there was no junction box in that spot? Does that mean that you have just recently reinstalled a tile in that spot or that you did the original work 2 years ago?
 
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Old 04-15-08, 09:13 AM
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Re: Hot Spots Under Tile - Mystery

I had the "hot spot" in a bath tile area (small tiles) and it was the leaking hot water piping (UNDERGROUND!) and it was expensive. Try going to the hot water heater and closing the inlet (or outlet) valve(s) when all other hot water users are OFF. If you feel/hear a "throttling" effect, it can indicate a "new" hot water user - an underground leak. Turning OFF the heater and vhecking the temperature change over a day or two will also be needed to verify it as the "repair" is costly and tramatic...and not to be undertaken without sufficient confirmation.

Cause of my leak - not determined except that the copper used was not per code/spec but the builder was bankrupt and not available to recoup from.
 
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Old 04-15-08, 05:52 PM
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fiji,

1.) Be sure no one is using water anywhere in the home. Don't turn off anything just leave everything alone. Make sure no toilets are running and the ice maker is not ready to call for water.

Go take a look at your water meter. It should have a digital read out or maybe roller numbers. It should also have a small needle indicator. If you are not using water anywhere and the needle is moving, you have a leak somewhere.

2.) Turn off all noisemakers in your home, radios, TVs, washer, dryer, etc.

Then go listen to your hot water heater. Use an empty glass and place the base on one of the water pipes, stick your ear inside the glass. If hot water is leaking somewhere you should be able to hear it hiss, and hear fresh water coming into the heater.

Poltergeists are fun but this ain't no poltergeist.
 
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Old 04-16-08, 11:13 AM
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This thread is a year old. Hopefully the orginal poster has figured it out by now. Probably got a water bill bigger than his mortgage payments though.
 
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Old 04-16-08, 03:32 PM
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hehehe...I gotta start lookin' at those dates a little closer. What a stinkin' waste of time!
 
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Old 04-16-08, 05:48 PM
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So, I too got caught up in this year old thread but for a different reason. Here's a change of concept but not the subject:

Poltergeist!!

I was on site last friday testing a snow melting system we had just completed installing in a clients driveway. One of the activation devices is a 12 hour manual timer from Intermatic. It's a simple mechanical timer that, with the turn of the dial just connects the two leads together to activate the system when you turn it past 2 hours.

The timer has another option where if you turn the dial CCW, it will switch it to a HOLD position and remain on until switched out of hold. The CCW move is no easy task. It's a difficult turn over a hump in the mechanics of the internal switch to prevent a mistaken activation.
Here it is... While I was standing against a wall looking at the system on the wall with the timer in the off position, on the phone with my office calling in before leaving the job, the switch turned CCW by itself an activated the system.

All I could do was say holy f--k out loud! My secretary was a bit set back by my comment. Needless to say, I got the hell out of that house faster than my little feets could take me up the stairs, stumbling all the way out!

I regained my senses while driving back to my shop and I called the manufacturer to ask "how?". They said emphatically, "it's not possible".

I still get the chills typing this...
 
 

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