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Should we fix leak in copper radiant heat line?

Tina_3 Member Posts: 2
We have a ranch built in the mid 50's on a slab. We noticed that water was leaking up through our flooring. We pulled up the flooring, cut up the concrete and found the copper pipe. Right at the area where the pipe bends there is an area of about 4 inches where the pipe has corroded. We dug up a few feet of the pipe to make sure we weren't missing any leaks. The rest of the pipe that is visible seems to be in good condition.

We have called several companies and get different answers from each. Some say the leak signals the end of the life of the radiant heat and we'll just get more and more leaks. Some say to just turn off the heat in that room and use an alternate source. Some say to bag the whole thing and get new heat for the entire house.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Is it worth it to fix the leak? Is there anything we can do to prevent more leaks?



  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Since you have

    it exposed, may as well fix it and roll the dice :) Hard to say what the life expectency is of those old copper and steel systems. You may get years or months of service.

    I would have contractors start giving you some options. It's not going to last another 50.

    It's not a matter of IF it is going to leak again, but WHEN.

    hot rod

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  • jeff_51
    jeff_51 Member Posts: 545
    it is the reaction between the salts in the concrete

    and the copper. As Hot Rod said, it is only a question of when, and no one can really tell you that. There are NOT alot of those systems still operating anymore, and I would agree that it is probably a gonner. You can repair and air test the system to make sure you have found all the leaks. You have done all of the hard work in exposing the leak. It may last for years yet, but I doubt it.
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931

    Sounds like you already did the dirty hard part . i'd give it a shot . Most homeowners don't want to dig up the floor to find the problem to begin with .
  • rick_31
    rick_31 Member Posts: 10

    been there and tried that .you want to save money ,repair it but,it will leak again . Think about having radiators or radiant installed one room at a time, .I can show you houses in upstate n.y where everyone with copper in the concrete leaked . good luck.
  • Tina_3
    Tina_3 Member Posts: 2

    Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I was afraid that your answers were what I was going to hear.

    If anyone would care to answer another question, I'd appreciate it.

    If it does happen again, and we find the leak (we're trying to unload this place so we'd hate to invest a lot into it), is it feasible for us to fix the copper lines ourselves? Or is this something best left to a professional?
  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411
    Great place

    For a radiant concrete groove job!

  • Burnerman
    Burnerman Member Posts: 14

    Get an est on bypassing the lines in the floor. If it's all radiant in the floor get est's on installing baseboard. Unless you're unloadeing this place soon and don't mind "leaving it for the next guy" do it right....
This discussion has been closed.