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Lost radiant heat on half of first floor. Weighing my options. Suggestions?

Options
Nitroman58
Nitroman58 Member Posts: 16
So, after many years in my home, we developed a crack in radiant heat pipe in the kitchen floor. Home was built in 52, so I feel we were fortunate to have it this long.

My heating guy was out this week, and said we have a few options. The house is on a concrete slab, and I do have ductwork for central air, which is only in the ceiling. My air conditioning unit is a Carrier and only 2 years old. In April of this year, I had a new Energy Kinetics gas boiler put in.
I will still be able to use the hot water system for the 2 upstairs zones, the downstairs west zone, and hot water supply.

My heating guy thought the Mitsubishi split ductless units for the 2 down stairs bedrooms would be my best option, and I am inclined to agree. There is also a bathroom, that I am considering running a wire for an electric baseboard unit.

The area that I have an option is my living room, and half of the kitchen. There is a south facing wall with new windows, and the contractor thinks it is possible that he could run tubing to an 8 foot radiator. The other side of this living room has a brick fireplace with a newly installed gas insert fireplace. The gas insert really does a more than adequate job of heating the room, but we could not use it as a main source of heat.
On the other side of the brick fireplace is a tall kitchen cabinet which my contractor can get PEX to run a toe kick style heater. The contractor said the toe kick heater is capable of producing about 20,000 to 40,000 BTU's.
I am still awaiting his price for the radiator and toe kick heater option.

His other option was to place another wall (or ceiling) mounted Mitsubishi Electric split ductless unit which would be enough to heat this space. This unit would deliver 18,640 BTU's for heat.

Would you recommend going with a toe kick heater? Are they noisy when generating the lower heat output?
We do like the hot water type of heat, but it seems the efficiency of the split ductless units would make for a good choice.

Comments

  • mikedo
    mikedo Member Posts: 213
    Options
    can you fix the pipe might get a few more years out of it.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
    Options
    Ideally you would want a heat load number for those various spaces. Then you could see what type of heat emitters may work.
    Both Runtal and Jaga have panel radiators with a boost fan option. Nicer looking and a quiet variable speed blower beneath, compared to kick space heaters.

    May as well find a way to use the new boiler.

    file:///Users/bobrohr/Downloads/DBH_Upgrade_set_ex.pdf
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Nitroman58
    Nitroman58 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    I don't want to try to repair a 70 year old pipe in a concrete slab.
    hot_rod
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
    Options
    I'm curious if anyone tries using radiator stop-leak kinda stuff with in-slab hard pipe ?
    It would have to circulate (heated, i think) on it's own (not thru the boiler) until it builds up the "plug".
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
    Options

    I'm curious if anyone tries using radiator stop-leak kinda stuff with in-slab hard pipe ?
    It would have to circulate (heated, i think) on it's own (not thru the boiler) until it builds up the "plug".

    Generally 50 year old pipe has more than a pin hole size leak, the pipe is probably corroded thru somewhere. And rust never sleeps.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    bburd
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
    Options
    hot_rod said:

    Generally 50 year old pipe has more than a pin hole size leak, the pipe is probably corroded thru somewhere. And rust never sleeps.

    If it's just general corrosion due to age, then the whole in-floor system might be on it's final gasp.
    Might be worth thinking of a path forward for the whole house (as opposed to room by room).

    I was hoping it might be a small imperfection or maybe a rock chip that scratched its way thru etc.
    But I guess 50+ is old and worn out ( I can personally attest to that )
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
    edited June 2023
    Options
    My heating guy thought the Mitsubishi split ductless units for the 2 down stairs bedrooms would be my best option, and I am inclined to agree. 
    This is a pretty poor option unless it’s two separate outdoor units for the two indoor units. Mitsubishi themselves advises against this, your guy didn’t read the memo. They should be your last option, the spaces are likely way too small. They’re great options for when ductwork is too expensive, but that’s irrelevant here. 

    Since you have existing ductwork, why not use that? You could use a hydro air handler and/or switch to a centrally ducted heat pump.
  • Nitroman58
    Nitroman58 Member Posts: 16
    Options

    My heating guy thought the Mitsubishi split ductless units for the 2 down stairs bedrooms would be my best option, and I am inclined to agree. 
    This is a pretty poor option unless it’s two separate outdoor units for the two indoor units. Mitsubishi themselves advises against this, your guy didn’t read the memo. They should be your last option, the spaces are likely way too small. They’re great options for when ductwork is too expensive, but that’s irrelevant here. 

    Since you have existing ductwork, why not use that? You could use a hydro air handler and/or switch to a centrally ducted heat pump.
    So, would then have 2 sources of heat for the entire house?
  • Hot_water_fan
    Hot_water_fan Member Posts: 1,917
    Options
    So, would then have 2 sources of heat for the entire house?
    Up to you - since you have the boiler it’s easy to go with two. The ductwork facilitates a lot of flexibility 
  • Nitroman58
    Nitroman58 Member Posts: 16
    Options
    So after talking with 3 contractors, I was able to find a guy that does baseboard heat retrofits for an application like mine. It will be dirty, since it involves jack hammering sections of the concrete slab, but the end results will probably provide the best heat, next to radiant heat.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,476
    Options
    A bit more $$ but panel radiators are a nice look and you still get the "radiant" feel. Add TRVs for individual control. Many brands and looks to choose from.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    GGross