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  1. #1
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Radiant heat in concrete floor of a co-op

    Saw this today in a large building built in 1947, and two questions occurred to me:

    1) Is it safe to assume this is a common element? I would assume so, but just wanted to be certain.

    2) For my own information:

    - What is the likely construction and expected life of such a system? Supply plumbing within the unit were visible under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom galvanized steel, so I know *that's* like the original and at or near the end of its expected service life, but what's likely to be in the floor of a building of this vintage? Galvanized? Copper? The only place where the heating systems plumbing was visible was a small section that closet and presumably connecting to the thermostat which was on the opposite side of the wall, what I saw there was iron.

    - If galvanized, would one expect this would have a longer life than supply plumbing as the oxygen level is lower, as is the case in other hydronic systems?

    - At a building of this age and size (or probably 75 to 100 units) and age, would one normally expect an engineering study would have been performed to identify the material and estimate its condition and remaining life for a reserve study?

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Ormond Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Radiant heat in concrete floor of a coop

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
    Saw this today in a large building built in 1947, and two questions occurred to me:

    1) Is it safe to assume this is a common element? I would assume so, but just wanted to be certain.
    Being as it is a "coop", to my knowledge the entire structure and everything is "common", unlike condos you really don't even own your unit, you only own "your share" of the entire coop, which is, of course, 'your unit' and your share of the common elements (being 'not another unit').

    2) For my own information:

    - What is the likely construction and expected life of such a system? Supply plumbing within the unit were visible under sinks in the kitchen and bathroom galvanized steel, so I know *that's* like the original and at or near the end of its expected service life, but what's likely to be in the floor of a building of this vintage? Galvanized? Copper?

    - If galvanized, would one expect this would have a longer life than supply plumbing as the oxygen level is lower, as is the case in other hydronic systems?
    I have no idea.

    - At a building of this age and size (or probably 75 to 100 units) and age, would one normally expect an engineering study would have been performed to identify the material and estimate its condition and remaining life for a reserve study?
    Not necessarily "would have been performed" but "would have to be performed" to know that.

    I doubt they performed an engineering study, as costly as they are, without having some specific reason to do so.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: Radiant heat in concrete floor of a coop

    1947 typically copper was used in radiant floor heating. Buried in the slab with no protective sheathing, most have not survived this long as the concrete and copper aren't too friendly to each other. Kind of looks like a little copper nub going into the wall. Hard to say just whats buried there.
    I would recommend obtaining paperwork from the coop assoc. or service company on past problems with the system. Could be a big accessment if heating system was to be upgraded.


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