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Big Big problem -Leak

6 replies [Last post]
Joined: Nov 6 2005

While installing new flooring(were moving), wet areas were found. Were told that if the leak was too small,they can't detect it and just have to wait til problem gets worse til it can be detected. I believe my only option is to turn off and disconnect the radiant heating and install new heating system. Would be grateful for any ideas for a good but economical heating system for my eichler and the cost. Thank you Angela

Joined: Apr 2 2003

I would get a second opinion on getting the leak fixed.

I had a very small leak and it took a little longer but they definitely found it. The radiant heat is a closed system so the current approach is to drain the water then fill it with a gas. The gas particles exit through the leak and are small enough to rise through the cement. A gas detector signals when it passes over the gas molecules, thus indicating the location of the leak. Any floor covering is removed over the area, the cement dug, weld made, then cement patched.

The radiant heat specialist can probably tell you from the location of your home whether you have steel or copper tubing. Copper is easily repaired and is well worth fixing. If you are unfortunate enough to have steel, it is possible that you will want to consider a replacement heat source.

If you provided an email address, people can mail you direct with recommendations of radiant heat repair companies. Otherwise, you can check the service/repair link of the main page of this site to try one of the affiliated companies.

Good luck.

eichfan at rawbw dot com

Joined: Nov 6 2005

Thanks Jake for your reply. my e-mail is Would love any ideas. We called a leak detector from an ad on this site and they were coming out monday morning. I believe they said if the leak is less than 3 gallons a hour they may not detect it. If anyone knows a company that uses gas for small leaks,would be grateful if you could let me know. Thanks Angela

Joined: Mar 25 2003

I've had numerous leaks found and fixed, some very small, in two different Eichlers. An expert should be able to find it. If not, you still don't have to write the system off. If you have copper, it's worth saving as Jake said. Simply use a flooring that has a tile pattern: ceramic, stone, slate, or my favorite, VCT. Eventually the leak will get large enough to detect and at that time, most experts can detect it within a few inches and repair it without needing to go more than 24 inches around it. They'll be able to remove a couple of tiles and you're good to go. Make sure and keep some extra tiles from the original installation.

Joined: Dec 11 2005

You can in the meantime turn off a water valve to the room where the leak is in order to stop the leak until it is fixed. In most Eichler hallway closets there is a hidden shut off panel (usually with a mahagony cover) which is against the back wall on the ground. You may shut off water to the floors of certain rooms this way.

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Joined: Mar 23 2003

Are you sure the leak is from the heater? If you have a leak the water very seldom comes up to the fondation. I had the same problem u had and i install a french draim and it took care of the problem. To see if you have a leak turn of the main valve on you boiler and see if the pressure will drop in 8 hrs.

Joined: Jun 19 2007

I just moved into an eichler home and I'm trying to find some answers to a similar problem. Water seems to be coming up from the slab. First was in one of the bedrooms, soaking the carpet. Now water is coming up between the tiles in the master bathroom.

I turned off the water valve to the furnace, the manifold valves in the hall closet, and released the pressure from the furnace. This was over a week ago and yet the water keeps coming up from everywhere, it seems. Can anyone help or give advice? Email me directly at weiside AT


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