How to Locate Radiant Heating Lines Using Xradar

March 23, 2021
Radiant heating systems rely on a network of electrical heating coils (electric system) or water-heated tubing (hydronic system) embedded into a surface to provide heat from infrared radiation. For hydronic systems, the most popular form of radiant heating, the tubing network can be installed directly within concrete slabs. gives really good overview of why radiant floor heating is one of the most efficient ways of heating a building

Why are Radiant Heating Systems So Difficult to Locate?

In the past, thermal infra-red cameras were the industry standard when it came to locating existing heating lines.

For proper operation, these cameras require on-site coordination due to the short window of opportunity created by the initial temperature contrast between the warm lines and cold concrete. Once the concrete slab has warmed up, distinguishing the lines from the slab can be extremely difficult.

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has become a more effective method for locating heating lines as it relies on physical detection of the tubing structure versus a visual temperature interpretation.

That being said, GPR still faces many challenges when it comes to radiant heating system location including non-uniform network patterns and the presence of existing structures like mesh and rebar in the concrete slab.

An increasingly popular method of locating heating lines within complex slabs is to use Xradar™, which in recent years has become the industry standard for concrete imaging.

What is Xradar™

Have you ever been told that you must get an x-ray of a concrete slab before proceeding with your project? This comment can often be quite misleading, when the answer in most cases is that you need the services of a trained and experienced GPR technician. 

The modifications Xradar™ have made to conventional GPR technology can distinguish between multiple layers of embedded contents, whilst determining accurate depth.

The experience of Xradar™ technicians allows the ability to scan huge areas quickly, with pin-point accuracy and complete safety. This method and technology is at the forefront of concrete inspection, achieving results well beyond the capability of x-ray.

Using Xradar™ For More Effective and Accurate Heating Line Locating

Xradar were recently hired by the Toronto District School Board to locate heating lines on a rooftop parking garage. To avoid costly damage and project delays from cutting/

Radiant heating line scanning
Using Xradar to scan heating lines, yellow being the scan boundary and red being the embedded lines themselves.

Our trained Xradar technicians performed concrete scanning in two large areas using our Xradar™ Enhanced Concrete Scanning System. Heated lines were marked accurately on the slab as you can see above, and all existing structural objects including mesh and rebar were identified.

As an addition to Xradar™, our technicians also utilized an infra-red camera to verify and confirm the locations detected using GPR. By combining Xradar™ with infra-red verification, our client had the knowledge and confidence to continue with the project.

As with any Xradar™ project, a thorough report was produced, removing any doubt in the minds of the project handler.

For more information on how Xradar™ can save you time and money on your project, check out this blog article, or get in touch with one of our experts!