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Radiant Floor with Kitec

dlrising
dlrising Member Posts: 2
Checking to see if in the installation of a radiant floor system if fittings were placed within the concrete itself or if the continuous piping has no fittings in the concrete. Didn't know if that was a code requirement that fittings not be placed in the concrete.
Also sounds like the pipe failures are at or near the fittings.
I'm trying to determine the risk to buying a house with Kitec radiant floor heating. Folks have talked about the temperature as a factor also but wasn't sure what the actual operating temperature for a radiant floor system was. Any input would be helpful, thanks in advance.

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    It is always preferred to not have any fittings or splices in a slab. The tube manufacturers have specific requirements if a splice absolutely must be made in a slab, typically when a pour is underway :)

    It been anything from electrical tape, to heat shrink, or a larger sleeve over the repair. Some pex A brands specific thee type of wrap tape. It would be nearly impossible to determine if a slab has a splice, after the fact.

    Most of the Kitec failures were on the domestic water piping, but I have seen radiant tube fail. Usually it was a blister between the various walls of the tube, I have seen some that collapsed or blistered inward on radiant tube.

    I would be leery of buying a home with ANY tube that has been removed from the market or gone through a class action suit. Entran and Kitec are two types of radiant tube that comes to mind.

    Really no way to predict if or when a tube or fitting could fail on those systems. If it has been trouble free for 20 years or more... i would certainly have a plan B in mind should the system fail, it can be an expensive redo to fix an entire radiant slab, floor coverings, etc.

    Correct in that the lower the operating temperature the better the chance of the tube lasting, and lower temperatures reduce O2 ingress, which was the big issue with some early rubber tubes. Not only tube failures but corrosion of all ferrous components in the system. Outdoor reset control is a good stratergy.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    dlrisingkcopp
  • dlrising
    dlrising Member Posts: 2
    Replacing the radiant floor system sounds bad to impossible, any experience with replacing? Or is abandon and find alternative heating the real solution.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,753
    dlrising said:

    Replacing the radiant floor system sounds bad to impossible, any experience with replacing? Or is abandon and find alternative heating the real solution.

    There are some over the top products, however they would need 1/2" or more, plus floor coverings. So doors, dishwashers, and stair elevations, if any get a little tweaked.

    Ceiling radiant, panel rads, a few different options depending on the homes layout and getting tubing from A to B.

    At this point I would run with it, add a means to determine if leaks develop, maybe a fill tank instead of fill valve.

    It is possible to get many more years out of it, unless the seller, homeowner, or home warranty company wants to qualify that, I would use it as a bargaining chip.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    dlrising
  • seattlehiker
    seattlehiker Member Posts: 0
    Well, I've have Kitec in my house for 16 years and not one problem - knock on wood. I have a 1906 old craftsman which I remodeled to keep for generations. I hired a CIPE who had 25+ years experience in plumbing and heating, including doing large buildings in NYC. He custom-designed and built (in his own shop) a radiant floor heating system for me. It uses Kitec tubing. He is out of the trade now, but never told me about the lawsuit, so it is too late for that now. Every floor, including the slab, has it. Only one of the pumps has gone out over 16 years. My house is 3250 sq ft, 3 levels, and my heating bill has never reached 300 and is around 200 even in the dark dreary period from Nov-Feb. Is it possible that I don't have the kind that has had the failures? If the pipes were going to fail, wouldn't they have failed by now? At this point is there anything that myself or a future buyer should be concerned about? I mean the system has been virtually maintenance-free.




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