Built in 2010, I moved in to my 3-bedroom, 2 bath home in Jan. 2011. The house has radiant in-floor heat (natural gas) and sits on a slab. This past late fall the City notified me of an unusually high use of water. A plumber broke down all the valves and added shut-offs. He narrowed the leak to the master bedroom bath. Once that room was shut down - the problem was solved - at least for the water bill.

We know the leak is somewhere between the master bathroom (tub/shower combo, toilet and sink) and the furnace room - each to the opposite end of the house from one another.

Some have suggested the only fix is to re-route the water lines in to the unheated attic using a trough, insulation and heat tape. I have already had one frost quake that broke the concrete and caused a shift in my house. I just think water lines in an attic in Minnesota is a huge disaster waiting to happen.

What else could I do to get my master bath back in working order? I just want to get my master bathroom up and running again. I am not sure how this can be done?

PS: Insurance will not cover unless leak was located and proved not to be a break caused by earth movement. Legal action is not an option in this case.

  • Why can't you run it on the heated side of the attic insulation?
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 13:17
  • Please clarify - the leak is in is the heating circuit to that room, or the water supply to that room? ...and I'd have issues with your concrete contractor if the slab is cracking due to frost heaves, it wasn't built right.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 15:15
  • I am by no means an expert on this - but what is the heated side of the attic insulation? The side closest to the ceiling? My attic aka crawl space is unheated and probably has crappy insulation as well knowing that this contractor pretty much did everything on the cheap. I already know it was not built right but I am stuck with this lemon. We have no idea where the leak is - it could be in the middle of my house for all we know. There is a vast distance between the furnace room and the master bathroom.
    – grpam79
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 15:36
  • How does one LEAVE this group or unsubscribe? Thank you.
    – grpam79
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


Your options:

1) Add perimeter baseboard hot water heat units. Just re-route the existing master bath feed to these baseboard units.

2) Add perimeter electric units. This would be more expensive in the long run as electricity is more expensive than gas. Plus the installation would require added wiring. You could also opt for under tile electric heat.

3) Depending on the flooring in the master bath, you could tear it all up (or pour over it) and add ½" pex tubing on top of the existing slab and pour an additional 1" of concrete or gypcrete on that. This would require raising the entry door frame or cutting an inch off the door and a transition at the threshold. Aesthetically, not very pretty.

4) Or, remove the entire slab in the master bath and re-pour the whole thing with new tubing in the slab. This option would be the most expensive but would leave you with a seamless repair.

The cheapest option is to add perimeter hot water heat to the master bath. You could even add a hot water towel warmer that would actually add something to the repair. Unfortunately, the baseboard heaters will look out of place in a slab heated home.

Good luck!

  • If we can not locate the leak and it is in the middle (say perhaps between my kitchen and living room area) - wouldn't hooking up to the master bathroom feed be ineffective as the leak spot is unknown.
    – grpam79
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 15:39
  • You said "He narrowed the leak to the master bedroom bath. Once that room was shut down - the problem was solved" So you need to go back to the header and remove that circuit and use those connections to feed the baseboard heaters or whatever you decide. That should be ahead of the leak. If it was properly identified.
    – ArchonOSX
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 15:29
  • The water line was shut down in the furnace room - not at the bathroom. We have no idea where the leak is. We pulled down a wall behind the shower and could not find it. Sorry, was trying to respond - so many pop-up's. Thank you.
    – grpam79
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 16:55
  • Well the. I guess you will have to run new lines from the last known good point. Apparently, the furnace room.
    – ArchonOSX
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 21:42
  • Yes and that would be all across the house in the crawl space attic. I think I will just shut down the bathroom. I wish I knew of others who did the ceiling run across the attic and it worked out swell in a freezing cold northern climate.
    – grpam79
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 3:53

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