Converting steam radiator to hw baseboard


Old 01-31-05, 02:05 PM
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Converting steam radiator to hw baseboard

I have a Weil Mclein (sp) gold furnace - I've been told by a few plumbers that its an excellent furnace & in great shape (less then 8 yrs old), but I need to drain off a few gallons a week to keep system clean (?). Its in a rental unit and I'm afraid that someone may burn themselves while draining off those gallons or they may decide its to much work and just not do it.....

THe house is ripped out now and awaiting insulation/new walls - Its a small house 2 bd up (12 x 15 ) 2) 12x 15 rooms and a 5 X 10 bathroom room on main floor and approx 15 x 18 of basement that I'd like to heat (its walk out & very usable but currently unheated) remainder of basement is furnace utility area.

Plumber says now is the time to convert to hw baseboard or at least run some of the lines for future conversion.

I know a few master plumbers who will offer advice, but not labor for the project.


Is this a DIY project?

Is it usually cost effective to convert?

Will it resolve the overheated/underheated room problem?

Or are these just to general typw questions to answer?
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Old 02-14-05, 09:15 PM
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1. If you feel absolutely confident on soldering copper pipe and being able to drill studs for pipe access it is DIY material. It can be done later on as for the first floor, but the second floor is best done now at least, first floor has unfinished ceiling I assume so that could be done anytime, second floor would require ceiling and wall openings to return the loops, and you'd probably want 2 zones for upstairs and downstairs.

2. I beleive steam is the best heat as far as efficiency especially if you have a good Mclain boiler, its just tough to balance the heat, but it can be done with radiator mounted valves with thermostat in them, they will help cool off the radiator, and if theres no exposed pipes in the rooms will make a difference, but if the boiler is running other rooms, the feed pipes will still be very hot and you'll even feel heat coming off the wall buried pipes if any.

3. It will definitely help balance the temperature, you could throw a bunch of zones in the house and have every room its own temperature, a programmable thermostat will certainly save money as you can set it back automatically with presets while sleeping or at work, makes a huge difference in $$ bills

4. A competent handyman/plumber can do alot of the plumbing work now if your not able on your own, plenty around. If you cant water test the pipes now before closing the walls, use a rigged fitting with a garden hose or faucet supply to test for leaks, or even a compressor with a rigged fitting and an air guage for a sustained pressure drop test, that way you dont open up walls later if there is a leak
Old 02-15-05, 06:59 AM
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Converting to HW

thanks for info I'll discuss it with my plumber

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