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I think they first came onto the scene about 10-15 years ago. From what I last heard they were made with hose layed out on a floor in a planned pattern, then a lightweight cement is poured over it, then the finish floor is installed over it. Heated water or water with some kind of antifreeze is pumped through the hoses to heat the floor instead of the air. From what I have heard is is cheaper to operate. Have any of these systems failed or do the hoses wear out over the years?
I'm not sure what category to put this thread in. Move it to wherever you think it should go.
 

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This has been in use MANY years. A buddy lived in a house with it, that was prodably built in the early-late 60's. That system used copper pipes though. The Modern setup, using the PEX tube has been around for a wile also. I think I heard about it 20 years ago.
 

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The regional office for the company I work for has heated sidewalks. Keeps the snow and ice off.
 

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Most systems now use PEX, and pure water is passed through them for most applications. Some radiant floors are covered with other flooring, but just plain old stained concrete looks nice IMHO.

Gyp- crete is another way, and is lighter but does not have the strength to hold up to traffic, so it needs a finish floor over it.

Mine is kinda in-between, a hard, light( ish) weigt mix that can hold up to traffic.

I haven't seen too many failures overall, but they happen usually when someone is retrofitting something into/ through the floor. I bet the HVAC/ plumbers here have some horror stories though. LOL

One house I was in had a system consisting of regular steel pipe in regular concrete, ( I think it was a post stressed deck) about 60 to 70 years old and was just starting to have problems with leaking in 2 spots.

BTW- The Hoover *** was cooled this way- a big chiller - Neat!
 

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Do they or can they or why not put radiant heating in the basement walls as well?
 

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Do they or can they or why not put radiant heating in the basement walls as well?
I've never heard of it being done, and I think it would not work so well if it was done.

Heat rises and the top of the foundation walls would stay real warm, it would not however radiate out into the room all that well.

Slab floors are the best way IMHO. It speads the heat all around the room or rooms evenly.
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. What do you use to heat the liquid?
 

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In regards to the walls, it actually is done fairly frequently in places that need / want better climate contols in a basement/ underground structure. It gets a little spendy versus just doing the floors, but seems to be worth it, like for a room of collectible goodies that go bang . There should be a thermal barrier from the outside , and some sort of reflective surface for the heat to radiate out decently, otherwise like Ken ssaid the heat will just climb the wall surface. Foiled insulation or mylar coated barriers work for that .

As for heating the liquid - I've seen anything from a simple solar array , a tank style water heater with one circulating pump all the way to some really complex boilers with multiple manifolds, circulation pumps and zone valves. Really its kinda just like a regular boiler heat system, just that the " radiators " are the floors , walls, or both.

Oh, and your feet are nice and cozy all the time.:)
 

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Levitt houses on LI were built with radiant heat in the 1940's and '50's. Eventually, the concrete would react with the solder joints and the system would leak. That was an unusual feature in what was considered an entry-level house at the time.
 

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Have had it in mine fro about 12yrs, and we never had a problem.
 

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I did the pex system in my shop 5 years ago and it works great. Pipe is zip tied to the rebar and the concrete is poured. The only concern I had was some planning ahead for where I was putting a hoist later so I don't drill into it. I insulated underneath with door cut outs from the window installed in residential doors so I ended up with styrofoam panels with the door metal/tin on both sides. It worked great we could walk on it and drag the rebar around without damaging it. It also made for a very solid base for under the floor. I also put it all around before backfilling against the edges of the slab. Another couple of tips is to use plastic electrical conduit elbows where the pipe comes out of the floor before pouring and tape up the end of the hoses so no debris gets in them during construction. Some people pressure check them before pouring the floor as well. I am heating with an electric boiler. I chose this over gas because I didn't want any open flame devices so I can safely work with gasoline fumes etc. as well as not having to run a gas line to the shop.I now regret not putting pipe in my basement floor when I jackhammered it out in 1997. Hope this helps.
 

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Just thought I'd ad a pic of how I heat mine. :)

On the right, the black box hanging on the wall is the gas boiler, along with a couple manifolds and pumps for the first and second floors. Solar heated water is introduced via the big water tank , and circulated to the boiler or domestic hot water tank. Solar controllers are on the far left , the blue boxes.

If a person was not doing solar , the stuff on the right would be about all is needed.
 

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