View Full Version : Got a hot kitchen floor!!
02-06-2007, 11:45 AM
I just located this forum and thank you for being here. I searched but did not find this same issue...
I discovered a 48" x 48" square of hot tile in the dining room the other day. It is roughly 3' from the wall and nearly directly in line with my hot water heater.
I am thinking hot water line break. :eek: The last two days, the warmness has spread and is following a path into the kitchen. :mad: so now there is a 48' by 48" area that turns 90 degrees and goes into the kitchen about 2'. :confused:
I need to know if the hot water line is in, or under the slab?? If under how deep is average? Should I escavate around the initial 48" x 48" area or less?? How do I determine the center of the work area?
I want to jack hammer out the area myself to save cash and will have a plumber and concrete finisher on site to finialize repairs..
Any suggestions, tips or tricks?
I have acces to the jack hammer, have a wheel barrow and am williing to break the slab and move the dirt and concrete myself. What am I getting my self into and what are the risks of doing the demo' myself??
Hot floors in Santee CA.
02-06-2007, 11:51 AM
Mabye your athlete's foot is flaring up again?:eek:
Sorry i know nothing about a water line break in a slab, but I'm sure somone here will pipe up.....:)
02-06-2007, 11:53 AM
If it was that easy, I would not stress!!
02-06-2007, 12:24 PM
You appear to be real eager to jackhammer your floor up. There are companies that can seismically locate (pin point) your leak if you have one, perhaps the sun was shining on that area of the tile the other day and now it was shining on the new area.... If you have a water meter you can watch to see if you have water flow with everything in the house turned off. Plumbing would be under the slab, is this area in line with where the water heater would feed into the kitchen, most plumbers like to bee line their pipes to reduce costs, so the right angle thing doesn't make sense. You can buy one of those hand-held infared thermometers at an auto parts store for about $50, the one I got to locate leaks around my house was a Raytek.
02-06-2007, 12:42 PM
[QUOTE=Rancher]You appear to be real eager to jackhammer your floor up.
Not really, but there have been a rash of water line breaks in our area due to extreme cold.
There are companies that can seismically locate (pin point) your leak if you have one, I guess calling in a pro is the best bet, but was hoping that this would be an affordable DIY project
perhaps the sun was shining on that area of the tile the other day and now it was shining on the new area....
Dual paned windws and the floor is almost hot to the touch. Outside temp this morning was 48 degrees, floor feels like 80
If you have a water meter you can watch to see if you have water flow with everything in the house turned off. Will try this tonight. Do I need to turn off the main outside or just close all faucets and close the hot water valve??
Plumbing would be under the slab, is this area in line with where the water heater would feed into the kitchen, most plumbers like to bee line their pipes to reduce costs, so the right angle thing doesn't make sense. Not a plumber, so I do not know. the lheat does lead to the center of the kitchen though
You can buy one of those hand-held infared thermometers at an auto parts store for about $50, the one I got to locate leaks around my house was a Raytek. That may be a good investment, but I think I may need a pro out here after all.
Thanks for the info, I am just hoping that there is a way to get this done at an affordable price. Any other advise, or just get it done by the pros??
02-06-2007, 01:02 PM
Just turn off all you faucets. Check your water meter. Wait.... don't flush the toilet, oh turn off you ice maker..... then go back and look at your meter, if there is a leak it will tell you. Not exactly sure how long you need to wait, i've read it here before, i don't remember it being a long time maybe just 1 or 2 hours..... Good luck!
02-06-2007, 01:33 PM
Not sure if this is the tool needed to isolate the issue, but it sounds like a point and shoot device. I am hoping this will allow me to find the center of the leak. Once I find the center, what is the radius of clearance needed to access and repair the leak? I am concerned that the issue is spreading and want to resolve this before it gets worse. thermometer looks kind of like this:
02-06-2007, 02:11 PM
If all the valves are off you can walk out to the meter and check to see if its spinning. If its spinning you may have a problem. Shut off valve and call pro.
02-06-2007, 02:13 PM
Appears that the majority agree that self demo is not really a viable option. SO much for saving some cash on this repair. I will be checking the meter tonight when I get off of work.
02-06-2007, 02:45 PM
A few things to consider...
To jack out the floor and repair the pipe is not a hard job - and should not be too costly if you did the hard work for the plumber...(the expensive part is usually repairing the floor afterwards...lol)
Generally the hot area should be the area the leak is in...
That being said... The pros can tell where to dig so tend to minimise the damage and repairs required later....
As well, understand that the hot line expands and contracts as it heats and cools during use and rubs against the fill like sandpaper...
If it has sprung a leak in the middle of your slab, chances are a few more leaks are just around the corner...
I would call in a pro and get a consult/quote for the repair vs a re-pipe if required...
If you do get the leak fixed, make sure that the plumber who fixes it is licensed and that he "brazes"/silver solders the patch instead of the usual flux and soft solder.
02-06-2007, 02:48 PM
That is just what I was getting at. I have a friend that is willing to pour and finish the slab for me (For computer support), and I am willing to demo for the plumber. That way I will only pay for him to fix the leak.
I will get someone out there in the morning to take a look and see what is needed to get this thing fixed.
02-06-2007, 03:14 PM
Breaking up the concrete is hard work, and if you ahve it done, costs. The comment about if there is one leak, there are potentially more just waiting to happen. You'd have to have a look at the pipe. Sometimes, there are just defects, and the rest isn't a problem. Running hot water lines in the ground, in my opinion, is just plain wrong and wasteful. I'd rather run it in an interior wall where it is accessible, and not at the ravages of time in ground.
The only big hassle is if you chop a line in half while excavating...then you are without any water until things can get fixed.
Rather than cutting through the floor, repairing something that you aren't sure will survive on the rest of it, you might just consider abandoning that line, and find a way to run it inside the building. Might end up being quicker and cheaper, especially if you need to tear things up again next year to fix another leak.
02-06-2007, 03:20 PM
But that is assuming that they patch in at another location?? I do not want my entire house replumbed as I can not afford that.
I am under the impression that the line runs through out the house under the slab.. bathrooms, kitchen wet bar??? How do you reconnect all of those rooms? Do you have to run all new piping to each room? Uggh.
The leak is in the area where you first noticed the hot spot. If you use a jackhammer be sure not to hit the pipe, or you will have additional lines to repair. If you are going to have extensive repairs after fixing the pipe you should contact your homeowner's insurance company first.
02-06-2007, 07:55 PM
It is indeed stemming from that spot. reads 108F on the laser guage. :(
I am contacting the insurance company tommorow morning. It appears there are a total of 6 tiles that are over 95F so it is slowly spreading the heat around. all other tiles read 78 or lower. Radiant flooring??? not a good thing if caused by a leak.. I can hear the water from the heater running constanly and am wondering if I should reduce the pressure from the line there to reduce any damage and lower my bil??
02-06-2007, 08:38 PM
Hotfloor. I tend to strongly agree with Jadnashua. I've been there and done that... fix a hole and another pops up a few feet away when I turn the water back on. If you can't afford to repipe the hot water throughout the house then you sure can't afford to jackhammer the whole house to do repetitive repairs... think hard about it. I'd gladly bet you 2 to 1 that this is only the beginning.
It may be worth doing 1 time as you may find a specific reason for this break ie. a rock, kink in the line or some other install problem.
How old is the home?
Be sure that the line is repaired by brazing or silver solder. brazing being the best. If you cant find a plumber to braze it call a heating and A/C company to braze it as they do it with their line sets all the time.
The width of the hole will depend on the depth of the line.
The hot spot / first area noticed is close to the break.
master plumber mark
02-07-2007, 04:49 AM
Perhaps you have a slab leak and
maybe you dont.....
it might be wise before you start tearig up your
concrete floor or buying a heat lazer gun
to check your water meter and see
if water is actually moving through the meter.
you should first shut off your water heater at its stop and then check the meter......
then check again with the hot water heater back on...
either way, this is not a fun job and tearing up a kitchen floor
with tile and other surprizes yo might find in the floor
it might be wiser to see if you could run the hot and
clold lines over to that kitchen overhead or along a wall
and simply abandon those lines in the floor......
or on the other hand.....you can just go in like a bull in a china shop.....
02-07-2007, 07:10 AM
House was built in 1974
I do not have time to test the water today as I have to get to work.. When you are referring to the stop oin the water heater, is that the one on the top cold water line? or the main water flow towards the middle of the tank?? Computers are easy, plumbimg I am learning.
P.S. I love the comment about a bull in a china shop.
02-07-2007, 06:11 PM
or the main water flow towards the middle of the tank??.
I don't have a clue what that refers to but you want to turn off the valve that stops the hot water from flowing...
If you intend to use a jack hammer on the floor it might be a good idea to use a concrete saw to make cuts in the concrete then bust out the area. Otherwise you may cause a crack in the concrete to run all the way across the slab.
02-07-2007, 06:44 PM
I turned off all faucets and made sure that no one was runnig any water. The triangle there was slowly turning. If I turn off the valve on the top of the water heater, it no longer spins at all. I am assuminfg this means hot water leak. I have a plumber coming in the morning to take a look. I am keeping the hot waterturned off for the evening and this will hopefully reduce overall damage.