No fins in bedroom --just the pipe!

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Old 11-13-07, 03:24 PM
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No fins in bedroom --just the pipe!

I just realized that our bedroom hasn't been heating up at all because there are absolutely no fins around the copper pipe---nothing, nada, zip, zero. I've checked everything. I used to be a plumber's apprentice. There are NO hidden fins, nothing at all resembling fins.
So, our bedroom isn't getting any heat.
When I was an apprentice many years ago, we used to slide fins onto the copper pipe, as I recall. Am I right about that? If so, is it possible to purchase ONLY the fins from someplace and slide them onto the pipe? Or purchase fins and snip off sections of each fin so they can be placed around the pipe? If this is possible, where can I purchase them from? Internet searches have led me nowhere.
We can't turn off the water to the pipe until the spring in order to replace the pipe with a finned pipe, so we don't have that option. Don't ask why, we just can't. No way no how until the spring, so we have to find another solution to this problem. I'm in PA and it will get cold.....

So my question is: does anyone know if I buy the fins separately (and where) so I can put them on myself (even if I have to snip them to get them on)?
P.S. This is a 50-60 year old piping system and the pipe is 1" measured from the inside.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JimmyJazz4 View Post
I just realized that our bedroom hasn't been heating up at all because there are absolutely no fins around the copper pipe---nothing, nada, zip, zero. I've checked everything. I used to be a plumber's apprentice. There are NO hidden fins, nothing at all resembling fins.
So, our bedroom isn't getting any heat.
When I was an apprentice many years ago, we used to slide fins onto the copper pipe, as I recall. Am I right about that? If so, is it possible to purchase ONLY the fins from someplace and slide them onto the pipe? Or purchase fins and snip off sections of each fin so they can be placed around the pipe? If this is possible, where can I purchase them from? Internet searches have led me nowhere.
We can't turn off the water to the pipe until the spring in order to replace the pipe with a finned pipe, so we don't have that option. Don't ask why, we just can't. No way no how until the spring, so we have to find another solution to this problem. I'm in PA and it will get cold.....

So my question is: does anyone know if I buy the fins separately (and where) so I can put them on myself (even if I have to snip them to get them on)?
P.S. This is a 50-60 year old piping system and the pipe is 1" measured from the inside.
You will get heat when the bare pipe heats up anyway.Buy a section as long as you need and slip the fins off.You will have to snip them to get them on.
 
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Old 11-13-07, 04:33 PM
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Get yourself a bunch of Christmas tree light reflectors. Or other materials to get creative with like aluminum foil, or the smallest round tin trays (like what a pot pie would come in) -and make your own fins. But you have to keep in mind the difficulty for duplicating the fin, as the fin is not only this thin piece of metal, but they are folded around the pipe at their centers by a good quarter of inch in order to transfer tubing heat into the fin. It woud be less efficient to just to have the thin metal on edge over the fin, I presume. You need that 1/4 inch spacing between fins for the same reason. The idea is to have the hot pipe temp transfer into the fin and in turn transfer to the surrounding air around each fin. If the fins were too close, the temp between each fin would be too equalized and would cause the heat transfer to be slower.

Can you run a fan into the bedroom at least during the day? Set it right by the door and shoot the air in. Better yet, get a hook and hang the (box) fan at the top of the outside of the door and blow hotter ceiling air into the bedroom and the cold return air would come out the bedroon door down by the floor.

Obviously there are electric heaters and I'm sure you thought of that. The fan idea would be cheaper. You could run it also at night if you don't mind leaving the door open and best to have a night light by it so you don't trip/run into it, when getting up at night. And use more quilts/comforters.
 
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Old 11-14-07, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by gunderson1 View Post
You will get heat when the bare pipe heats up anyway.Buy a section as long as you need and slip the fins off.You will have to snip them to get them on.
OK! I thought I remembered doing that from the 1980's. Thanks!
 
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Old 11-14-07, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Get yourself a bunch of Christmas tree light reflectors. Or other materials to get creative with like aluminum foil, or the smallest round tin trays (like what a pot pie would come in) -and make your own fins. But you have to keep in mind the difficulty for duplicating the fin, as the fin is not only this thin piece of metal, but they are folded around the pipe at their centers by a good quarter of inch in order to transfer tubing heat into the fin. It woud be less efficient to just to have the thin metal on edge over the fin, I presume. You need that 1/4 inch spacing between fins for the same reason. The idea is to have the hot pipe temp transfer into the fin and in turn transfer to the surrounding air around each fin. If the fins were too close, the temp between each fin would be too equalized and would cause the heat transfer to be slower.

Can you run a fan into the bedroom at least during the day? Set it right by the door and shoot the air in. Better yet, get a hook and hang the (box) fan at the top of the outside of the door and blow hotter ceiling air into the bedroom and the cold return air would come out the bedroon door down by the floor.
Great ideas! Thanks so much!
 
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Old 11-14-07, 11:00 AM
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Regarding what I said about the fan: Do you realize many moons ago, attic bedrooms often had no heat, and what they did is cut a hole in the floor and put a grate in so that heat from a room below would rise up and heat the room some? I'd have to say that such a method couildn't possibly be as good as the fan.

For the fun of it, I am actually going to experiment with my own idea. I'm going to close off my back bedroom and let it get cold and then with the heat register still blocked off good, I will both set a fan on the floor and then try hanging it in the door and see what kind of results I get, and over what period of time.

Oh. And I have box fans laying all over the place. I could both hang one and set one at the entrance to the room and have both go at once, and see what that would do also. As far as the noise goes, I don't know about you but fan noise has never bothered me for sleeping. Many nights this summer I have had my cyclone fan going full bore in the bedroom while I slept.
 

Last edited by ecman51; 11-14-07 at 11:07 AM. Reason: added last paragraph
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Old 11-14-07, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by ecman51` View Post
Do you realize many moons ago, attic bedrooms often had no heat, and what they did is cut a hole in the floor and put a grate in so that heat from a room below would rise up and heat the room some? I'd have to say that such a method couldn't possibly be as good as the fan.
Not to mention a smoke and fire hazard...


JimmyJazz, does it look like the rad element once had fins? I've been trying to think of simple ways outside of the obvious but undoable cut-out element and replace.

I was thinking of cutting Alu cans into squares, drill or punch out the centers - do a cut from the hole to the edge and then slip on and straighten, but it could just turn into a big blood letting session. There should be significant heat going by in that pipe and the big question is how to transfer it rom the bare pipe without cutting into it.

If you had cans with no ends you might be able to just cram them vertically behind the pipe. The pipe should heat the small vertical cans and then the air could convect that way up through the cans.
 
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Old 11-14-07, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Who View Post
Not to mention a smoke and fire hazard...


JimmyJazz, does it look like the rad element once had fins? I've been trying to think of simple ways outside of the obvious but undoable cut-out element and replace.

I was thinking of cutting Alu cans into squares, drill or punch out the centers - do a cut from the hole to the edge and then slip on and straighten, but it could just turn into a big blood letting session. There should be significant heat going by in that pipe and the big question is how to transfer it rom the bare pipe without cutting into it.

If you had cans with no ends you might be able to just cram them vertically behind the pipe. The pipe should heat the small vertical cans and then the air could convect that way up through the cans.
Thanks for the post. I'm not sure if the radiator pipe ever had fins on it---hard to tell.
I appreciate the suggestions you made. I'd like to find someplace that still sells fins separate from the pipe. And the idea of buying a pipe, sliding off the fins and putting them on my pipe sounds fairly doable, don't you think?
 
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Old 11-14-07, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by JimmyJazz4 View Post
Thanks for the post. I'm not sure if the radiator pipe ever had fins on it---hard to tell.
I appreciate the suggestions you made. I'd like to find someplace that still sells fins separate from the pipe. And the idea of buying a pipe, sliding off the fins and putting them on my pipe sounds fairly doable, don't you think?
Truthfully and coming from someone with fin tube rads, cutting out the section and then soldering in a finned section sounds far far easier. How will you get them on?
 
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Old 11-14-07, 07:48 PM
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To bad you didn't post this about a month ago. I had about 12ft of copper with the fins just sitting in my garage. The fins wrapped around the copper in a spiral (one whole piece) so you wouldn't have to cut them to get them on. Unfortunately, I gave it to my buddy to scrap. I'll see if he still has it. If so I'll PM you if you want it.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 06:34 AM
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Jimmy,

The using ONE fan experiment did not work. I tried it last night at a bedroom at end of hall that I let get 10 degrees colder. I set it at door. In one hour the tempo never came up even 1 degree.

I walked down the hall toward bedroom and the hall was warm to within 3 feet of the fan located in the doorway. As I approached the fan, the temp SUDDENLY dropped. I realize now what is wrong: The air was just circulating. Instead of drawing warm hall air in, all it was doing was blowing air in and forcing cold air out which in turn would be sucked through the fan again, over and over.

If I remember, tonight I will use 2 fans with top one hanging from top of door blowing in and another fan in the doorway pulling return air out of the bedroom toward the hall. If I was a betting man, I bet this time it works.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by johny2050 View Post
To bad you didn't post this about a month ago. I had about 12ft of copper with the fins just sitting in my garage. The fins wrapped around the copper in a spiral (one whole piece) so you wouldn't have to cut them to get them on. Unfortunately, I gave it to my buddy to scrap. I'll see if he still has it. If so I'll PM you if you want it.

Thanks John! Let me know if he has them.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 05:34 PM
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I think you will need to bite the bullet and install a proper finned tube. Anything else is probably going to be a waste of time and money.
 
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Old 11-15-07, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by furd View Post
I think you will need to bite the bullet and install a proper finned tube. Anything else is probably going to be a waste of time and money.
Thanks for the post, but installing a finned tube isn't an option. I'd definitely do that if I could, believe me...
 
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Old 11-18-07, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by JimmyJazz4 View Post
Thanks John! Let me know if he has them.
Sorry it's gone.
 
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Old 11-19-07, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by johny2050 View Post
Sorry it's gone.
Thanks for checking...
 
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Old 11-30-07, 12:58 PM
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Hey I happen to have a bit of pipe with fins that lengthwise is about 140" of fins (12' total length). The fins are 2" by 2" square with a hole in the middle and do slide off with some effort.
Let me know if you want me to take a photo or if this would be helpful. (I am on east coast usa)
 
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Old 11-30-07, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by fmradio View Post
Hey I happen to have a bit of pipe with fins that lengthwise is about 140" of fins (12' total length). The fins are 2" by 2" square with a hole in the middle and do slide off with some effort.
Let me know if you want me to take a photo or if this would be helpful. (I am on east coast usa)
Appreciate your response, but did I mention that it's for 1" pipe (as measured from the inside...it's an old bldg in Philadelphia)? Is that what you have (not 3/4", which is the standard pipe size nowadays)? If it is 1", then I'm definitely interested...
JimmyJazz
 
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Old 11-30-07, 06:55 PM
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Is it possible just for the winter, to run a 12/2 w/g romex, designated, into your bedroom, and wire up to a 6 or 8 foot baseboard heater? Each foot gives off 250 watts (convert X 3.4? for btu's). So, you'd need double-20 breaker, romex, a srain relief, and the 6-8 foot heater, which is plenty for a bedroom.
 
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Old 12-01-07, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JimmyJazz4 View Post
I just realized that our bedroom hasn't been heating up at all because there are absolutely no fins around the copper pipe---nothing, nada, zip, zero. I've checked everything. I used to be a plumber's apprentice. There are NO hidden fins, nothing at all resembling fins.
So, our bedroom isn't getting any heat.
When I was an apprentice many years ago, we used to slide fins onto the copper pipe, as I recall. Am I right about that? If so, is it possible to purchase ONLY the fins from someplace and slide them onto the pipe? Or purchase fins and snip off sections of each fin so they can be placed around the pipe? If this is possible, where can I purchase them from? Internet searches have led me nowhere.
We can't turn off the water to the pipe until the spring in order to replace the pipe with a finned pipe, so we don't have that option. Don't ask why, we just can't. No way no how until the spring, so we have to find another solution to this problem. I'm in PA and it will get cold.....

So my question is: does anyone know if I buy the fins separately (and where) so I can put them on myself (even if I have to snip them to get them on)?
P.S. This is a 50-60 year old piping system and the pipe is 1" measured from the inside.
OK, so work on putting on a REAL baseboard WITHOUT shutting the water off. No, I'm not crazy. They sell kits that FREEZE the pipe and water in it, assuming you do not have anti-freeze in the boiler water, long enough so that you can at least get a fitting on (usually just long enough to sweat on the copper) and complete the job. You would freeze the copper about a foot away from wherever your cut will be and have everything ready because you have to work fast. I do not know where to buy the freeze kits, but I do know that they are available cheaper nowadays for the do-it-yourselfer. I would suggest, if possible, if you cannot shut off the boiler water, maybe you can shut off the feed valve and drain the boiler to about 5 psi while you do this to minimize the pressure 'behind' the freeze. This may buy some extra time and you may want to wrap a wet sock around the copper between the sweat joint and the freeze to minimize any heat transfer to the freeze points. Don't forget, you need to freeze 2 points, not one. You can always go back and re-freeze the points if you are running out of time. Last time I saw someone do this they used liquid nitrogen in a small tank but they told me that they also sell cartridges that do the same thing. Check it out. Look around. What you need is a REAL baseboard or radiator in your chilly room. Don't forget to put the boiler feed valve back on! Good Luck. Charlie
 
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