Managing Your HVAC System

3 Common Repairs For Radiant Heating Systems

While radiant heating improves forced air heating in many ways, these systems may still need occasional repairs. Fortunately, underfloor systems are often quicker for professionals to diagnose and repair. Here is an introduction to three common repairs for hydronic radiant heating systems.

1. Faulty Thermostat

Like traditional central heating systems, radiant heating systems rely on a wall thermostat to control their operation. If your underfloor system isn't working the way it should, the thermostat is the first place you should look. A stuck thermostat can cause your system to run continuously or fail to start at all, depending on the position it's stuck in.

In other cases, your radiant heating may fail to start because of a power interruption to the thermostat. This could be a short in the wiring leading to the thermostat, or simply a dead battery if your thermostat is battery-powered. In the worst case, an HVAC contractor simply needs to install a new thermostat if your old one is faulty. 

2. Water Loop Leaks

Hydronic heating systems use a network of pipes under your floors to circulate warm water. While it is rare, it's possible for a leak or puncture to occur in the water transport pipes. An unaddressed leak in your hydronic heating system can lead to structural damage and mold growth in the frame of your home. Leaks caused by corrosion are a factor if your system uses copper pipes, but some manufacturers use PEX pipes to eliminate this risk.

HVAC contractors rarely need to pull up your floor to repair a leaking radiant system. Instead, technicians have leak detection systems that allow them to pinpoint the source of leaking water. After the leak is found, your contractor will make a small access hole in the floor, patch the leak with a repair coupling, and repair the damaged flooring.

3. Circulating Pump Failure

The circulating pump is the component that pushes water through the heating loop in a hydronic heating system. If your system doesn't provide heat and makes no noise when it starts up, the circulating pump has likely failed. Circulating pumps can fail due to a stuck valve or a failed motor.

Modern hydronic circulating pumps have a modular design to facilitate repair. Valves and fittings are contained in switchable cartridges that your technician can replace once the problem is identified. In most systems, your technician can remove and replace the entire motor assembly if required.

Radiant floor heating is one of the most reliable heating systems. The rare issues that can occur are straightforward for professional HVAC contractors to repair. To learn more about installing or repairing a radiant heating system, contact a local HVAC company such as JR Putman Heating and Air.