Basement slab radiant heating problem

Had a call from a home owner. He had excessive “gurgling” in the 1st and 2nd floor circulatng hot water heating system.

He also had pipes (flexible copper) in the slab. Older (1965) split level house.

Called me to do a thermal scan to see if there was leakage in the basement slab pipes.

Found it.

He also had other problems. Newly added bathroom in the basement, but the water heater and boiler (both conventionally vented) were located behind a louvered door (bi-fold) in the bathroom.




Another successful IR application!

Good job Will! :slight_smile:

Did you use any other means to determine that was a water leak. Could the pipes at this part of the installation be not buried as deep in the slab, creating a “hot spot” near the surface?

The point, if I made an error, would be of the pipes were buried too deep, not to close to the surface.

Sorry I didn’t put arrows and indicators on the picture.

The intact pipe came into the bathroom (from the large, open basement rec room area, to the right of the picture) into the bathroom. The clearly delineated hot spot at the top, right, is the pipe.

Where it goes into the bathroom (lower, and to the left of the picture) we see a constriction in the pipe and then a large, diffuse area. This is the break (later, when they took of the tile and broke the concrete slab) and the leaking hot water draining into the sub-slab grave.

During the inspection, I monitored the ingoing water temp and followed the pipe’s progress.

Deep probing moisture meter registered increased mositure under the tile and slab, compared to the surrounding tile.

Finally, there was a sump pump (interior drain tiles) to the north (extreme left of the picture). After about 1 1/2, the sump started draining warm water that became progressively hotter (bit not real hot). I also documented that the difuse warm area continued to grow, over time.

The hardest part was keeping the owner from walking all over the time floor (bare feet) and leaving latent heat footprints. :mrgreen:

any other questions?

Yeah. You didn’t have a plumber contractor and HVAC specialist back up your findings??:stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue:

The HVAC guy told the client that it was, probably, a leaking pipe in the slab.

I was called in to find the location. I did so. I tld the client that if I couldn’t locate the leak, he didn’t have to pay me. Sometimes you can’t localize it.

I did. I got paid.

The client called in some “handymen” to remove the tile and break the slab where I told them to.

Sure enough, a leak in the pipe.

The Handyman “fixed” it by soldering in a new section, which fixed the leak.

They will be re-pouring the floor and re-tiling, next week.

Good catch Will.

Very nice detection, Will.

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