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Copper pipes in Concrete Slabs

I'm thinking of buying an old house built in 1957. The house has copper plumbed in floor radient heat with an old oil fired boiler. I heard, over the years the concrete can corrode the copper and cause leaks. I was also told that replacment would go from 15,000 to 25,000 dollars. The square footage is 1720 total I wonder if I should take the gamble and buy the house knowing that the expensive heating system could fail at any time. Anyone know how much more time, I can expect to get out of the system? Thanks S.


  • Ed_13
    Ed_13 Member Posts: 164
    1957 slab

    I have a concrete slab with copper pipes in a house built in 1960. The potable cold/hot water "was" also in the concrete. The potable water pipes failed long years ago. (much more pressure than the boiler water). The radiant part of the tubing is still is use today although it may have very minor leakage. Bottom line: it's a gamble, it may last years or fail tomorrow. Some failures can be fixed. I would have a backup plan in mind.
  • Robert O'Connor_7
    Robert O'Connor_7 Member Posts: 688

    The house I grew up in was built by my grandfather and he installed copper radiant in the basement floor (before I was born). I'm now 50 and the heat is still going strong. The best part about it was the the way he piped it. There is no zone valves, no pump (for just the floor) no thermostat, just a couple of homemade restricter tees (I couldn't even call monoflow) with some carefully sized bushings. I too have been in the biz for 30+ yrs. & still can't figure out how it does what it does so well. Roll the dice!Who knows? maybe my grandpa installed it..Robert O'Connor/NJ
  • Ken_8
    Ken_8 Member Posts: 1,640
    Bob's right

    Copper pipe in concrete is better than most of the stuff on the market and designs of today.

    The real problem was the footings, re-bar or wire in the pour and the sub-base substance. If the concrete has cracks or fissures, be very careful. If it still works well and has no apparent leaks, it is likely to last another 50 years.

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  • Floyd_5
    Floyd_5 Member Posts: 418

    I knew you would chime in on this one, Ken :-)
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