Upgrading to baseboard?


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Old 12-01-05, 12:01 PM
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Upgrading to baseboard?

I have a Diverter Tee system, 1 zone, probably put in during the 40’s. The loop is all 1-1/2” – 2” pipe with smaller branches going to the radiators. The radiators (hot water not steam) are recessed into the walls. So there’s no insulation behind the radiators on the exterior walls, just wood and siding. The boiler is only 10 years old. I want to revamp the whole system, multiple zones with baseboard, Pex.

How much benefit is there in going to baseboards and multiple zones? Filling those radiator holes is a no brainer. And, I assuming the plumbing would be smaller, so less water to move and reheat.

With the right mixing valve, can the boiler provide the potable water also? We have an electric water heater; it would be nice to consolidate. Or does the potable have TO remain separate?

Do multiple zones make the boiler run more often? I’m going for more comfort and lower bills, I don’t want the boiler to run 24/7.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 05:20 PM
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Converting to baseboard

Most people who take out radiators & replace them with baseboard regret it.
If I were revamping a system & could install all radiant I would do so. If that is not possible/practicle I would seriously look at either new radiators or cast iron baseboard.

Multiple zones is great for comfort & energy savings. Your biggest energy saving will come from improving the envelope of the house. By that I mean doors, windows, & insulation. Outdoor resets can also offer increased comfort & energy savings.

You could use your existing electric water heater TANK as a storage tank for domestic hot water via an external heat exchanger. You could also install a dedicated indirectly heated water heater.

Multiple zones usually do make the boiler run more often but far shorter run times.
 
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Old 12-01-05, 10:02 PM
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Grady, going on that train of thought, does radiant work well below hardwood (and I mean, old house hardwood, not engineered, etc.) if you can get at the underside of it (so it would be underfloor not in-floor)? Also, does the subfloor material (i.e. plank instead of plywood) make a difference? I think I saw in one of the other threads that you're not an "expert" with the radiant systems, but I thought I'd give it a shot.
 
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Old 12-02-05, 02:43 PM
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Stick with the rads. Get an indirect hot water heater. ditch that electric. crown makes a good indirect, also vaughn. it will need it's own zone. like grady said, focus on windows, doors, insulation. old windows are the worst for heat loss.
Mike
 
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Old 12-02-05, 04:16 PM
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RSimplicio

What you read is absolutely correct. I an no expert on radiant. From what little I know, as long as you are dealing with hardwood floors without carpet & padding (insulation) underfloor radiant should work fine. You need to do a Manual J to determine heat loss then use a program from a radiant manufacturer to establish how much tubing, what size, how many loops, etc.
 
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Old 12-09-05, 09:32 AM
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What?! Regret it, Why? can you explain please?

I am working on the envelope, New windows and reinsulated about half the house so far, Its a 100+ year old farm house. I figure moving the radiators inside the envelope would be a big help. Though the box outs in the wall are lined With sheet metal, which seems to help, the wall doesn't feel warm outside. If I moved the radiators in, the covers won't fit anymore, so the easiest way would be to replace 'em with base board. The plumbing is all iron pipe so to break it into zones I would have to scrap it all any how. Just trying to decide if its worth it.
 
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Old 12-09-05, 04:19 PM
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Replacing Radiators

Nearly everyone with whom I've talked who removed cast iron radiators & replaced them with baseboard has complained that the room "just isn't as warm". If you can lay hands on some freestanding cast iron rads, that is the route I would go unless you do the under floor thing. In hydronic heat circles, in order of most comfort, people say in-floor is best, followed by under-floor, then cast iron radiators, & lastly fin-tube baseboard.

Granted, zoning would be a lot of work but in the long run it's worth the trouble. This is not something you want to get into this time of year. Get all of your plans done & materials gathered over the winter & sail in on the project next spring.
 
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Old 12-10-05, 09:23 AM
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Ok, My radiators arn't cast iron, they're copper like a heater core in a car. Heres a couple of pics to clarify.

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mkleic...be.jpg&.src=ph

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/mkleic...7d.jpg&.src=ph
 
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Old 12-10-05, 06:00 PM
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Trus-Rod

Clearer now, thanks for the pics. Those are convectors. They work on a chimney effect & can be moved out & attached to the wall if you wish. Convectors are really efficient at releasing heat into the room. Most people would rate them somewhere between cast rads & baseboard. It would save you a lot of piping trouble if you just move them out & attatch to the wall board. If can give me the cabinet length, depth, & height, I can probably tell you the aprox. BTU/hr output of each one. From that, using 500 BTU/hr/ft. you could figure how much baseboard it would take to replace each one if that is the route you wish to take.
 
 

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