Leaking central heating pipes in concrete floors

Have you become aware of the pressure gauge on your boiler dropping on a regular basis? 


After checking that there are no defects in the gauge or leaks from the boiler or pipework above floor level, you will need to undertake test to ensure that the pipes are not leaking below floor level. This may be problematic where the central heating pipes are buried within solid concrete floors.

Where copper pipes are buried, these should be given some protection with bitumen wrap material or equivalent which will resist high temperatures. It is also essential that lagging be properly provided to permit thermal expansion and contraction. Even well-made joints can fail if the pipework is screeded in solidly and unable to respond to thermal movements.

It is impracticable to confirm that any of the above provisions have been allowed for without breaking into the floor. The above photograph shows an example of extensive investigatory work being undertaken where wide-spread leakages were discovered.

The pipework in this case was devoid of any protection and insulation. Some initial non- invasive investigatory work can be undertaken first by way of a pressure test on the system to ensure that no leaks exist. Such a test is recommended if you wish to replace the system as many modern systems are of a high pressure nature and additional strain may be put upon the existing pipework.

As noted above, any significant drop in pressure may indicate leaks. Such leaks are likely to be undetected until consequential damage has been incurred, resulting in the costly and disruptive repairs shown in the photograph.

For further information, please contact Woodward Chartered Surveyors.

Latest from our blog