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Radiant Floor Heating/in-slab copper radiant floor heating

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Question
I have a house in Antioch, IL.  The heating system is a Weil-McCain boiler that was installed 2 years ago.  The house was built in 1968 with a radiant floor heating system in the basement using copper pipes in concrete. There are six zones in the systems.  During the winter it is not possible to heat the basement above 70 degrees.  Over the 15 years I have had the house, the heat in the basement has deteriorated.  It was very hot downstairs at one time.  I have been told that copper set in concrete eventually erodes the copper.  What would be the alternatives to be able to provide heating in the basement?
Possibilities, as far as I can determine are:
1.  Tear up the concrete in the basement and start over with new piping.  Possibly PEX.  (This would be fairly expensive.)
2.  Put baseboard heating around the perimeter of the basement.  (I do not like this solution.)
3.  Tear up the carpeting downstairs and put a new radiant heating system over the concrete.  This would have to be fairly thin, about a 1/2 inch thick.  
4.  Tear the house down and start over.
The basement is not being heating properly at this point.  Possibly some zones are being heated while other zones are not.  What would you recommend doing?

Answer
Badger Radiant Designs
Badger Radiant Designs  
Dean,

We have repaired copper-in-slab and below-slab radiant systems with some success but the bulk of our local work involved removing the old concrete, repairing or altering the plumbing and drain tile with radon control, following by a vapor barrier, rigid insulation, PEX tubing tubing and new concrete.

We also insulate the occasional basement slab and fasten PEX to wire with an over-pour of gypcrete or concrete. Where this is not practicable radiant walls or panel radiators are often a very effective alternative with less invasive consequences and related cost.

The advantage of wall-hung panel radiators is our ability to size them to any load and design water temperature and controlling each one individually giving our clients zone control for enhanced comfort and fuel savings.  

Radiant Floor Heating

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Morgan M. Audetat

Expertise

Radiant panel heating design, including floors and ceilings, European wall panels and snow melting for residential and light commercial buildings..............................................................-Master of Steam and Hot Water,City of Minneapolis....................................................--- Master Plumber, State of Minnesota...........

Experience

30 years..... Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association, former manufacturer of condensing boilers, former national distributor of radiant floor products, son and apprentice of mechanical & plumbing contractor. Current owner---www.BadgerRadiantDesigns.com---Minneapolis mechanical/plumbing contractor specializing in hydronic based, integrated HVAC systems. Radiant floor heating/cooling. Snow Melting. Condensing Boilers. Indirect water heaters. System design, consulting and technical training world-wide. Licensed contractor, designer, installer and consultant.

Education/Credentials
B.S. University WI 1981 CONTINUING EDUCATION: Viessmann Condensing boiler and Solar water heating certification 2010, N.D.S.U. Lead Worker RRP certification 2010, Knight condensing boiler certification 2009, Wrightsoft Manual J CAD certification 2009, RPA Designer & Installer Certification 2008, Nate Hydronic/Forced Air Certification 2008, Uponor/Wirsbo advanced design school certification 2007, Buderus Wall-hung certification 2007, Power Limited License (low voltage controls) 40 CE credits 2005, Basic Hydronic Certification IPEX & Northern Alberta Institute of Technology 1998, Charter Board Member - Radiant Panel Association 1994, Residential Off-Electric to Hydronic Conversion Heating School Canadian Hydronics Council 1994, B&G Little Red School House 1993, Rood Utilities (now Auburn Technical Institute) Oil Burner School 1993 ,Tekmar Controls residential and commercial 1993, Division Manager and Advanced Hydronic Seminar Instructor for the first Exclusively Hydronic Radiant Floor Distributor in the USA 1990, Hydronic Radiant Heating Association Workshop participant with Richard c. Bourne, PE spring 1988, Master Plumbing, Hydronic, Solar Course Red Rocks Community College 1987.

Awards and Honors
2009 System Showcase Award - Radiant Panel Association

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