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Radiant pex leak in concrete

I am looking for a way to repair pex piping in concrete without ripping up the floor. The multiple splits were the result of the installer leaving water in the pipe overnight after a pressure test. The temperature went well below freezing. Is there any unique way, i.e. chemicals or liner that anyone has seen to make repairs.

Comments

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    I doubt you will find success. I have used a product called Base Hit by Hercules for sealing minor leaks, but if your system has been exposed to a major freeze, I think you are looking at jack hammer surgery :neutral: It might be worthwhile to talk to the installing contractors insurance company if they are still around.

    I guess common sense isn't so common any more, is it...

    You might want to consider radiant ceilings...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    Ironman
  • WiscoJoe
    WiscoJoe Member Posts: 2
    Since the tubes may be a lost cause, I was thinking of isolating the loops that were not compromised and then circulating a sealing compound product through the individual leaky loops, hoping that they will seal. Otherwise, I could use a track panel system above the concrete.
  • Mike Thomas_2
    Mike Thomas_2 Member Posts: 109
    We do leak detection in the swimming pool business. Small leaks in pool and spa plumbing can be repaired using a product call Fix a Leak. Just get it in the system and let it circulate. Available at any pool or spa store. The other option is to get someone in with the right equipment, find the leak, might be just one, and fix it.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,542
    The leaks are usually not in the pex encased in concrete. They are usullally found in places where the tubing was not pulled up during the pour or at the manifold locations.
    If you can operate the system, an infrared camera is helpful in finding the leaks.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Zman said:

    The leaks are usually not in the pex encased in concrete. They are usullally found in places where the tubing was not pulled up during the pour or at the manifold locations.
    If you can operate the system, an infrared camera is helpful in finding the leaks.

    Which is most systems... Even on systems with "chairs" when I've had occasion to go back in (electrician, and others drilling holes, FINDS pipes) the tubing is on the bottom of the profile.

    I once asked a concrete contractor if he'd mind if I went out and hooked the tubing to pull it up on a major snowmelt system we'd installed, and he said "Sure, so long as you don't mind ending up like Jimmy Hoffa...."

    I (obviously) didn't chance it...

    I've also seen PEX that was fully encased in concrete that froze and burst in concrete. You could see every foot of the tubing where it busted up the slab. Automatic make up on the system dontcha know...

    If you do decide to locate with an IR camera, don't circulate, just flood with hot water and look for the hot spots. Otherwise, you will see a LOT of tubes, but no direct indication of leaks.

    ME

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    Zman
  • jb9
    jb9 Member Posts: 104
    edited February 2016
    This thread is very intresting to me. I still don't have a sense of what went wrong and what the best practices of installing pex in concrete is. Should the installer have pressurized the system with air (and NOT water) during the pour and then sealed up the system while it cured? Just trying to figure out what the best practices are.

    Thanks.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,542
    jb9 said:

    This thread is very intresting to me. I still don't have a sense of what went wrong and what the best practices of installing pex in concrete is. Should the installer have pressurized the system with air (and NOT water) during the pour and then sealed up the system while it cured? Just trying to figure out what the best practices are.

    Thanks.

    The system should have been tested with air not water.
    The system should have been left under pressure during the pour. That way you know if the concrete guys puncture the tubes.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Until just last year, the UMC required the use of hydrostatic testing. We wrangled with the committees and finally got them to agree that if the manufacturers allowed the use of compressed air, that hydrostatic testing was not necessary. Not sure about the IMC, but I remember it USED to require hydrostatic testing,

    The use of compressed air for testing plastic DWV systems is still not allowed by code, and for good reason. We lost a good plumber here in Denver from a 6" PVC cap that blew off during a test, hitting the plumber in the head and causing him to fall 4 stories to the ground. The said they thought he was probably dead before he hit the ground. When PVC or ABS fails under air pressure, it's like a bomb going off. Shrapnel everywhere...

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
    kcopp