Replacing ground floor pipework

13 Sep 2007
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United Kingdom
Our house was converted from an old barn in 1986. The builder installed microbore central heating with the ground floor pipes buried in the slab. Unsurprisingly, we have just suffered a pretty major leak which drops the pressure from 2 bar to zero in 15 minutes. The walls in the area are showing clear signs of rising damp (floors are tiled, so not obvious).

My insurance company will pay for a Trace and Access company to find the leak, but I'm not sure that's worth it - even the excess. If they do find the source, and I get it repaired, with all the upheaval and mess that that entails, it seems quite likely that another leak will occur in the coming months and years. So I am tempted just to isolate all the ground floor microbore and leave things undisturbed.

But this leaves me with the problem of ground floor heating.

One option would be to re-pipe the radiators above-ground. If I did this I would probably use 15mm as the furthest radiators were never very effective anyway. So, first question - what does one do about doorways and passages? I can't believe it's economical or efficient to run the pipes up into the ceiling then down again. Dig out a channel beneath the door/passage and box the pipes in? Something else I am missing?

Or, do I remove the wet system downstairs altogether and look to install some form of electric heating? I believe storage radiator technology has improved dramatically in recent years, and there now seem to be various types of ceramic radiators etc. Or is this still going to be wildly more expensive to run than the gas-powered system I have at the moment?

Any thoughts and suggestions gratefully received!
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I suggest you ask a plumber to visit the property and assess the situation.
Lots of variables to consider and often microbore installations are fitted differently using a manifold system, rather than a standard central heating circuit.
These may well have implications on pipe sizing and very possibly 22mm pipe will be needed initially to load the the system up for the demand required.
As far as routing pipework, the best option with your scenario, would be to route in ceiling void and drop-down, rather than surface mount and box in. (that would be my preference anyway).
But that upheaval maybe as much as the removing tiles and below floor method.
You really need someone with experience to take an onsite look at it.
Rather than use a website forum, asking people remote of your situation, the best method to undertake the task.
Not saying the information you may gain from the forum, will be useless or bad, but better someone see your issue in real life.

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