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Completely Draining and Purging a Copper-In-Concrete Radiant Heating System
Hello. My family's approximately 2,500 sq. ft. home is around 65 years old. It is constructed mainly of 8" thick concrete (floors and walls) with an above ground unfinished basement (unheated), a main level (heated), and an unfinished attic (unheated). The rather non-conventional copper radiant single-zone heating system installed at construction was embedded directly into the concrete. Recently it has been sprouting leaks. And when pressure is put to close up one leak, another weak spot in the copper spaghetti sprouts a new one.
I am not a plumber, so I am reaching out to all of you pros here. But despite my lack of professional skill set in the Plumbing field, I have reached the unscientific conclusion that this 65-year old system has most likely reached the end of its useful service life. So I am seriously contemplating retiring the system. However, I want to avoid further damage to ceilings, floors, and walls from bursting pipes and more leaks. So I would like to drain and purge the system of all water possible, and am asking you if fully draining the system would effectively prevent such damages.
As to its replacement, I am considering natural gas-fired forced hot air. Personally, I prefer a water-based system (like hot-water baseboard or radiators) as I feel it is much more comfortable. But I am sick of dealing with leaking pipes and tracing back leaks, and the particular construction of my family's home presents a unique challenge for the installation of ANY system, let alone a water-based one.
Right now, however, my priority is on preventing future damages and preserving the home even if it means it spends the rest of the Winter unheated. I am interested in your professional opinions on the matter.