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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been asked to build an additional bathroom in an all concrete house.

first floor ,above basement. Is there a tried and true method of locating the hydronic heating runs that are cast into the floor?

Infra red photo? Heat sensitive chemical?

I would hire a core driller outfit to punch the holes, however I'm in the loop for any damages.

Any one been down this road before?
It's a high end job--sure could use the work. Done a fair bit of work for these folks. If I can figure a safe way to get this done,I doubt if I'll be bidding against any one else.


mike
 

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Seems like this has come up before and thermal imaging was the way to do it. You might try a search. Seems the amish looking guy from PA gave the best answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Keep em' coming, I'm going to find a thermal imaging company on the phone .

Customer will have to pay for that up front . They benefit and can use it with other contractors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Going to see them to finalize a basement bath in a couple of hours.

I'll tell them about thermal imaging for the first floor bath. thanks---mike
 

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What do you mean as in hydronic? Im from UK and never heard that term. I guess it's central heating (Example gas or electric boiler, Rads or under floor heating powered by a pumped system.

If this is what your talking about then it can be pretty expensive and time consuming job. I aint seen one system like this since being in the US but in the UK they are all like this. The common way to lay the pipe was to stick close to walls and run through door ways if you have rads and not underfloor heating. If you have rads then you can do the heat up test and get the system nice and hot and feel the floor area for the hot heating pipes. We also used to use a temp gun to test the area to find the hot spots. The same goes for the hot domestic water feeds. The cold will be right next to the hot so it's easy to find. It's a slow process but it works. The Problem with a lot of these concrete floors is they have so much metal in them that the pipe find function of these scanners cant get a proper scan because of all the rebar. I have also found chicken wire in concrete floors! You might also be lucky and find that the floor screed is cracked right above the heating pipes enough so that you can see the path they run.
 

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One more vote for the thermal imaging. Just a few days ago we encountered this exact situation. We turned the boiler on for 30 minutes & were able to find the tubing fairly easily & mark it out in the affected area. I'll add, if you know a firefighter that can "sneek away" a thermal imaging camera for a little while, it's a simple process.:whistling
 

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BC It's hot water heating cast into the concrete floor. Very expensive mistake if I cut the tubing.

Ohhh under floor heating. Well your def gonna have a problem then. If they have a manifold for each room then at least you can shut down the zone if you hit a pipe but the problem is your not ment to have joins under the screed so you cant really patch it if you do hit it. Most of the time the pipes are spaced anything from 3-6 inces from each other and will run from wall to wall so you will have no room to run anything. Plus if you do use a thermal imaging cam the underfloor heating gives such a uniform heat cover that the whole floor will be the same temp. You dont really get hot spots. All the system i have fitted have been like the pic below and as you can see it covers a massive area. Try and find the manifold and take a pic and post up so we can identify what type of system they have. Manifold should like like below. Beware though that there are many system and some are cheap and nasty and only cover a small area of flooring so you might be lucky.



 

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BC, the manifolds you posted look very similar to what get's used around here. But, the tubing layout is far closer than anything I've ever seen or poured concrete over. Generally, we see 12" spacing in the field & down to about 6" spacing on the first 2-3 rows around the perimeter. I cant say I've ever seen the insulation/tube restraint "mat" ever used around here either, probably due to the cost. I've seen this system at a redi-mix suppliers showroom a few years ago, but again, have never seen one used on a job. Around here, almost all tubing gets stapled to 2" Foam, 25 psi.

As for the thermal imaging, I can honestly say it worked better than I anticipated, but we did start with a cold floor, which may make a huge difference.
 

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We also used to use the foam insulation with plastic staples method but laying out the area to the pre designed layout was getting to be a pig compaired to other system on the market. The reason we started useing the above system was because it was 10x easier to lay out the pipe to their drawing and you would just walked around with the pipe reel and click it in with your feet as your moving so also a lot faster. It also gave better heat coverage as the spacing was perfect everytime. No more hot spots or cold spots. I still aint seen one wet undefloor heating system in the US yet. But im sure theres a lot more up north. The other good thing about the system above is you get perfect radius on every return so you get a lot better flow rate. We found the above system to heat the room up 2-3 times quicker than the foam and clip method of laying the pipe as like you say the spaceing is a lot closer so more heating area in each room.
 
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