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  • FOUR critical errors to avoid during the installation of an in-floor radiant heat system
  • What radiant barriers you need to use and where you should use them
  • Hardwood floor vs. carpet ... and how to correctly acclimate your radiant heat flooring to minimize expansion and eliminate problems.
  • Comparing thermal mass radiant heat to aluminum based heat. The pros and cons of each.
  • How to easily install successful staple-up radiant heat applications.
  • How to eliminate cold and hot spots. This ebook covers proper installation, bend protectors and much more!

Improperly Testing Your Radiant Heat System
with Water Instead of Air!

If you are thinking about radiant heat, you might find the following true story about Bill and Joan Hawley interesting.

Bill and Joan they were absolutely exhausted when I first met them because of the damage to their newly installed radiant heat system. What was supposed to be a peaceful and time in their life was now full of stress and worry.

Even though their story is not a rare one  it clearly illustrates how a simple radiant heat installation error can have drastic results.

Bill and Joan loved the look of tile and hardwoods and were excited to discover how a radiant heating system would keep their floors and bare feet toasty warm. So they had taken the time to educate themselves and were very much involved with in the design and construction of their new home.

Yet, they were soon to find out how one small radiant heat installation mistake could have such a disastrous outcome.

The crew that installed the in-floor radiant heating system made a huge mistake when they pressure tested the radiant heating system with water, rather than air.

What made matters worse is that construction of Bill and Joan’s home was running a few weeks behind and winter was quickly approaching. The radiant heating tubes that were tested with water had frozen and burst during a cold spell.

So instead of seeing the progress of their fabulous new dream home with toasty warm radiant heat floors, they were now dealing with radiant heating tubes which had burst throughout their home.

Being somewhat of an expert in radiant heating, I was called upon to help out. Unfortunately, the concrete had already been poured and the cost to start over would be astronomical.

The only practical thing to do at this point in the project was to continue construction without the in-floor radiant heat. The regrettable part was that Bill and Joan would not be able to enjoy the benefits of their in-floor radiant heat system even they had paid for it.

What happened to Bill and Joan is not that rare. Many radiant heat installers don’t know the damage that can be caused by testing a radiant heat system with water, rather than air especially when winter temperatures are near.

I certainly don’t want you to make the same mistake as poor Bill and Joan, so when testing your in-floor radiant heating system, make sure that your installers pressure test the whole system with air, before any concrete is poured over it.

This pressure test should be conducted for at least 48 hours. If it reveals a drop in air pressure, your radiant heat installer should check all joints and connections - this is where the majority of leaks will be found. However if the pressure continues to drop, all radiant heating tubes should be checked as well. Continue to retest the radiant heating system for at least another 48 hours after all leaks are identified and fixed.

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"I found your report to be very helpful and informative. I am the regional USG applicator for LevelRock brand underlayment. It is good to see that the information you are providing is accurate and readily available to the public. You are right on target with your four points and I plan on passing this along. My area has been depleted of contractors who are comfortable with in-floor radiant systems due to poor design and poor quality standards for plumbers and underlayment installers. We are striving to change this attitude towards in-floor heat and your article will further support our efforts. Thank you for your time."

Andrew Umhey,
Modern Construction Concepts

Andrew Umhey did not receive a promotional copy (and/or other material compensation), in order to facilitate his Honest opinion for this endorsement and Is Not a marketing affiliate for Radiant Heating Disasters