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Lisa45

04:25AM | 01/18/09
Member Since: 01/17/09
1 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
I have just bought a ranch home with radiant ceiling heat. The original owner/builder (deceased) also owned the local lumber yard. It was built in 1954. It is very well constructed -- seems rock solid, all cedar wood, and masonry. I am looking for info on these heating systems from this era. I am told it is wires/coils sandwiched betwen 2 layers of drywall sheets. Are they 110 or 220? Can I fix cracks with the usual stuff or do I need special heat sensitive materials? How energy efficient are they, and can I upgrade them to be more energy efficient without a complete redo? Any and all info will be appreciated.

Tom O

07:18AM | 01/18/09
Member Since: 09/17/02
477 lifetime posts
It has been a very long time since I installed a radiant system.

Do not assume that the wire is sandwiched between two sheets of drywall. It could be one sheet of drywall with the wire attached to it then a plaster coating.

You can use the usual spackles/crack repair mixtures AFAIK, but be very careful if you are removing any loose material from the crack just in case you have the plaster finish installation.

Electric heat converts all the energy to heat, so from that perspective, it is 100% efficient. However, your fuel cost (electricity) is usually higher than other fuels.

I suppose a small room could have a 120 volt system, but most of the time you're likely to be dealing with will be 240 volts. If it is important for you to know, look at your breaker box and locate the breakers that control the heat. If the breaker takes up two spaces, you're most likely dealing with 240 volts. Or, remove a thermostat and take a voltage measurement.

rhender48

02:25PM | 02/11/09
Member Since: 02/10/09
1 lifetime posts
I have recently purchased a home built in 1969 with radiat ceiling heat. It appears to work fine and in my area of Michigan electricity costs are reasonable. I also hae a number of ceiling cracks along the plaster seams - appears to be a paper tape. Wil repairing thes cracks with a mesh drywall tape work long term in this application? Please advise. Thank.

Rick
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