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radiant heat test

I am looking into buying a house on Long Island, NY built in the 50's like those in Levittown with a copper tubing radiant system on slab.  I have no idea, though, if there is any way to have the system checked for possible leaks.  From what I've read there is a good chance the copper pipes may get corroded.

1.  Does anyone know of a good test(s) to have done?

2.  Is there anyone out here in Nassau County, NY who specializes in these older radiant systems?

3.  What is the cost of having a test done?

Thanks for any suggestions.


  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Pressure test

    With air would be the way. See if the system loses pressure in a 24 hour period. But this is in no way a means in determining how long the system will be trouble free in the future.

    Another way would be to monitor system pressure with out draining, and make up water valve shut off. See if boiler pres sue drops in a week. Less invasive as it would not require the system to be drained, but system should sit at ambient during the monitoring. Not so easy now that heating season is starting.

    As for question 2 and 3 I'm not from the area.

  • jammo_2
    jammo_2 Member Posts: 7
    More about the old system

    Thanks, Gordy.

    In addition, if it turns out that there are leaks in the copper pipes, is there a potential for damage to the slab or flooring if the system had been used with leaks and/or continues to be used with leaks?
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    potential issues

      The system would need to have a pretty large leak ignored for a long period of time to cause structural damage to the slab. Flooring damage would be evident visually.

      The Boiler,and circulator would probably fail first due to lots of make up water being added to the system. Make up water adds more oxygen to the system each time causing oxidation to ferrous components. Such as pumps, and boiler if cast iron.

  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Take pics

     Of the system ( boiler area), and post here if possible.  The pressure test is really the only way to be sure though.
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