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Locating under floor heating pipes

Underfloor plastic heating pipes can be located by GPR

Prior to undertaking any cutting, coring or drilling works, it is important to determine the position of any underfloor heating pipes in the vicinity. GPR is a non-invasive survey method, which detects changes within the sub-surface. It can detect and locate both metal and plastic underfloor heating pipes.

Using GPR to locate under floor heating pipes.

The use of under floor heating has become increasingly popular in recent years. Low running costs, no need for radiators and a comfortable environment are some of the main benefits.

However, if at a later date it is necessary to drill the floor slab (eg. fixings, service penetration, etc.) then it is essential to locate the position of the under floor heating pipes in order to avoid damage. This can be difficult, especially if the pipes are plastic.

Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) we are able to locate under floor heating pipes, both metal and plastic, as used in the majority of under floor heating systems. This is because GPR detects changes in the sub-surface and hence can locate metallic and non-metallic pipes. The results from our survey can be plotted on a CAD drawing or, in most cases, it is possible to interpret the GPR data in real time and mark up pipe positions in situ.

GPR radargram showing detected underfloor heating pipes

Radargram showing detected underfloor heating pipes (detected pipes shown by red dots)

Installation of underfloor heating pipes

Typical underfloor heating pipe installation prior to screed application

Under floor heating pipes are usually installed within the screed layer of a concrete floor. We have however also encountered under floor heating pipes cast directly into the structural concrete slab (at the Physics Building, University College London). This makes location of the heating pipes more difficult as they have to be differentiated from the floor slab reinforcement.

One of the main advantages of GPR, is that a trained GPR surveyor, can interpret the data as a pseudo cross section view, often in real time. For this particular survey, we were able to interpret the data and differentiate between the reinforcement and pipes. We marked up the position of the heating pipes in situ and the fit-out contractors were able to drill their fixings safely, clear of any pipes.

Site Survey

GPR can be used to locate underfloor heating pipes locally (e.g. for a single floor fixing or floor penetration), or a larger area. Larger areas are typically scanned on a regular orthogonal grid and the results processed off-site. The pipe positions are then plotted in CAD.

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Contact us to find out more about our GPR surveys to locate under floor heating pipes and how we can help you:

Telephone: 0207 565 7056