For many of us, an autonomous heating system is a real lifesaver, thanks to which you can make almost any home comfortable and cozy. A warm water floor is one of the most comfortable, efficient and convenient ways to heat residential premises. Despite the relative simplicity of design and understandable operation scheme, even such heating systems can fail. Emergencies in this case are rare, however, often quite unpleasant. The main problem faced by the owners of private houses and apartments in this situation is damage to the water circuit. Due to violations in technological processes and or as a result of mechanical damage to the pipeline, a leak appears.
If you have found malfunctions in the heating system, therefore, you have damage in the warm floor. If traces of the flow of the coolant are visible, the pressure in the system has dropped, it is necessary to urgently eliminate the situation. Otherwise, the situation threatens with a new overhaul of the screed, reconstruction of the flooring. How to find damaged water floor pipes, what algorithm of actions in such a situation, we will consider in detail.
Reasons for damage to underfloor heating
The heat-insulated floor on the reliability and operational parameters is one of the most reliable, practical and durable heating systems. Design features allow not only to independently lay a warm floor in your house with your own hands, but also allow you to fix technical problems on your own. From a technological point of view, any underfloor heating system justifies the investment and effort, but even the most reliable equipment can fail, and at the wrong time.
For reference: Functionally, properly laid underfloor heating can effectively do its job for a long time. According to the technology, the water floor normally works for 25-30 years, if all operating parameters are observed.
If the problem with a warm water floor is not critical, you can try to fix the technical failures that have arisen on your own. However, in order to do everything right this time, you need to have an idea of \u200b\u200bhow the water floor works in your home. The main reasons why a coolant leak can be found in a warm floor are commonplace. This is usually our negligence. In most cases, damage to the water circuit is caused during construction work.
Working with heavy mechanical tools, for example, a perforator, it is very easy to cause mechanical damage to a pipeline immured in a concrete screed. If you do not know how the pipe is laid in the floor, then in this situation the probability of damaging the integrity of the water circuit is almost 100%.
During installation, the careless behavior of workers can lead to the fact that the pipe will receive mechanical damage even before it is laid. An ordinary accidental hammer blow, a fall in gravity will cause microcracks to appear on the pipe walls.
For reference: such troubles often arise in an apartment with electrical wiring, installing suspended ceilings, installing or dismantling interior partitions. The absence of a technological scheme leads to unauthorized damage to the electric cable. The situation is similar with underfloor heating, both with water and electric cables.
Another reason why a break may occur is a defective water circuit pipe. In most cases, this is due to the use of consumables of unknown origin during the installation process. The discrepancy between the pipe material and the technological parameters in which the heated floor is operated often leads to a violation of the integrity of the pipeline.
For example: a pipe from an unknown manufacturer, with a missing certificate, may have a non-uniform wall thickness. With an increase in the temperature of the coolant and the operating pressure in the system, weak points in the pipeline can become a rupture point.
In this aspect, it should be recalled that unprofessional installation of the heating system often causes leakage. Poorly made connections in 50% of cases cause a violation of the integrity of the water circuit.
On a note: professionals recommend using whole pieces of the pipe when laying the underfloor heating pipeline, trying to make sure that all fittings and joints are brought out.
It is almost impossible to determine the extent of damage by eye. The pipe may appear intact at first glance, the joints are strong and reliable in appearance. When starting the heating system, the pressure rises in the pipeline (1.5-2 bar), which naturally forces the liquid to look for a way out in the weak points of the water circuit.
The last mistake that can cause a violation of the integrity of the pipe is an incorrectly laid screed.
At first glance, there are many reasons why a warm floor can be damaged. Don’t panic. In this situation, the main thing is to choose the right course of action and proceed with the elimination of the accident.
Troubleshooting underfloor heating
Repair work in identifying a break in the warm floor is built according to a specific algorithm. It is important here that almost all the main elements of the heating system are in the access zone. The procedure in a situation where it is necessary to eliminate a leak in the water circuit is as follows:
- the water supply to the water circuits is stopped. For this, all supply valves on the manifold are used (you do not know in which particular circuit the break occurred);
- if the damage is caused by the operation of the tool, then it is already easier for you, you know where the leak is;
- the place of leakage is freed from screed and construction debris;
- remove the remains of concrete, access to the damaged pipe should be done carefully. It is necessary to work with a perforator step by step, breaking off small fragments of the screed within a radius (10-15 cm) from the damaged area.
This concludes the first stage of your actions. Now that you have a damage site in front of you, the whole task comes down to pressure testing the water circuit.
For this purpose, you will need a hacksaw or metal shears. The edges of the cut pipe are thoroughly washed from dirt, chips and debris. The edges of the pipes are unfolded with a special reamer. This is done to align the hole and what would be after. The fitted fitting did not slip. Only now you can put the fitting on the cut pipe and press it in. Further, the preparation and pressure testing of the other end of the damaged pipe is carried out in a similar way.
A prepared piece of pipe of identical diameter and size is installed in place of the damaged section, slightly exceeding the length of the removed fragment.
Having completed the installation and eliminated the place of the break, you can start running water into the pipeline system. If everything is in order and no side effects can be traced in the operation of the water circuit, you can begin to restore the screed.
Important! After the restoration work is completed, a clear plan should be drawn up — a diagram that will indicate the place where the screed will be opened and a new connection will be installed. Such a precautionary measure will allow you to know the location of the break in the event of further maintenance work or during the repair of the dwelling.
In the video you can see how the leakage of the water circuit is eliminated
How can you identify a hidden break in the water floor
In a normal situation, when you yourself see the place of the cliff, the procedure is simple and clear. And what to do in those cases when you have no idea where you have a leak. Linoleum, tile or other types of flooring cleverly mask the leak, while water freely enters the underground, destroying the structural elements of the house or, worse, flooding the neighbors from below.
There are a lot of primitive and simple ways to search for a break in the water circuit, from filling the system with a colored liquid to supplying high-pressure air to the pipeline. The exit of a colored liquid or a jet of air will indicate to you approximately the problem area where it is worth looking for a leak.
The examples given are not so complicated at first glance, however, for this you will have to drain the water from the entire heating system, which at the height of the heating season is fraught with significant discomfort.
Today, in such situations, a completely different, simple and effective tool is used — a thermal imager. In this case, such a device will allow you to find the break points with high accuracy, up to a millimeter. Typically, the masters of companies involved in the maintenance of heating equipment use such equipment. Thanks to the thermal imager, you can not only find the location of the defect, but also receive detailed recommendations for troubleshooting. Then everything goes according to the knurled pattern, opening the screed or tile coating, cleaning the damage site and eliminating the failed fragment.