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How to determine source of leaks on new radiant panel home system and the fix

Rich712 Member Posts: 3
We had the radiant wall panel system-(a high efficiency combi propane boiler) installed last Nov. and have had 2 leaks each on the two biggest panels (20"by 62"). None of the smaller panels have leaked -there's 6 of them. Compression fittings were used. Our contractor tightened the fittings each time and since the last call about a month ago there haven't been new leaks but I worry about a repeat. I got a second opinion and was told that using the compression fittings ,in his opinion, was not his best choice- he likes the barbed fitting, using tape, and then connecting the pex below that. He also thought a bigger pex line than the ones used on the smaller panels might be called for. Lastly, he wondered if maybe the pump pressure feeding theses bigger panels may have been too much and that the pressure might need to be lowered. I would greatly appreciate any feedback so that I can make the most informed decision to try and fix this very unfortunate situation. Thankyou.


  • Firecontrol933
    Firecontrol933 Member Posts: 73
    I've used a lot of compression type fittings on pex and have yet to ever have one leak. The thing to consider is that the fittings and the tubing were not by the same manufacturer or that the proper procedures were not used when making the connections.

    Your second opinion person being concerned with the pump pressure being too high makes me very suspect of this person's knowledge base as it pertains to hydronic heating system components and how they function. "Pumps" in a hydronic heating system can develop very little pressure as such and are designed and used to circulate in a closed system and then only to the maximum pressure of the pressure relief valve at the boiler which SHOULD be 30 psi maximum (for the standard residential heating system).
  • Rich712
    Rich712 Member Posts: 3
    Thankyou for your input!
  • A radiant panel system shouldn't have any splices and the only connections should be at the manifold. Splices should only be done when necessary to repair damaged tubing.

    As far as compression fittings, they will easily leak upon any movement of the tubing. I prefer barbed or crimped fittings.

    Often wrong, never in doubt.
  • ShepherdEHC
    ShepherdEHC Member Posts: 2
    Re install the lines and fitting for the system. Check pressures to make sure that you are receiving the right amount of pressure also. From my knowledge the splicing is the problem.

    Shepherd ENG Heating Cooling and Refrigeration
  • Rich712
    Rich712 Member Posts: 3
    Thankyou very much! When you say "reinstall the lines" do you mean using all new lines/getting rid of the ones that are there now? Also, what about the "splicing"- do you mean where the pex was connected to the compression fittings? And what about "the only connections should be at the manifold" - what about at the panels?
    If I went with barbed fittings (should tape be used?), should I have ALL the compression fittings replaced in the system even though the others haven't leaked - I think I would be much more comfortable replacing all.