Underfloor Heating - Features - Longevity, Maintenance and Repair

Longevity, Maintenance and Repair

Equipment maintenance and repair is the same as for other water or electrical based HVAC systems except when pipes, cables or mats are embedded in the floor. Early trials (for example homes built by Levitt and Eichler, c. 1940-70’s) experienced failures in embedded copper and steel piping systems as well as failures assigned by the courts to Shell, Goodyear and others for polybutylene and EPDM materials. There also have been a few publicized claims of failed electric heated gypsum panels from the mid 90’s.

Failures associated with most installations are attributable to job site neglect, installation errors and product mishandling such as exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Pre-pour pressure tests required by concrete installation standards and good practice guidelines for the design, construction, operation and repair of radiant heating and cooling systems mitigate problems resulting from improper installation and operation.

Fluid based systems using Cross-linked polyethylene (PE-x) a product developed in the 1930s and its various derivatives such as PE-rt, have demonstrated reliable long term performance in harsh cold-climate applications such as bridge decks, aircraft hangar aprons and landing pads. Since the materials are produced from polyethylene and its bonds are cross-linked, it is highly resistant to corrosion or the temperature and pressure stresses associated with typical fluid based HVAC systems.

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