semi newbee question [baseboard]


Old 08-25-09, 08:49 PM
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semi newbee question [baseboard]

i bought a house 2 years ago, first winter was very cold.
last summer i did some baseboard modifications to my home. i added more baseboard to the current ones in my home [slant/fin 30] . my house is alot warmer now.the original baseboards were 10 years old. last winter i noticed that all my new baseboards produced significant more heat than the ones that came with the home[ there was no air in the system and i cleaned the old baseboards ] i added baseboards to all of my rooms except for one of them .
i would like to replace the current baseboards that are old in my home but im not sure how. when i did my first install i went and cut the original baseboard cooper and made a loop for the new baseboards. i have a six foot section[baseboard] by the door , im not interested adding just replacing.

Can i just use my blowtorch to heat up the original soldering and remove the old baseboard then replace it with the new one? can i reuse the original elbows to solder in the new baseboard or am i better off cutting the copper line and do a fresh solder on a clean piece of tubing?
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Old 08-26-09, 04:32 PM
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Even just a light coating of dust on the fins can significantly cut down the heat transfer... and those things are impossible to get back to showroom condition... so if yer up fer the work and expense, I gess you could replace them.

But let me ask ya... when you cut the new loop in, did you do so at the beginning of the heating loop? so that the water going to the new baseboard is much hotter than the water going to the existing baseboard? cuz that will make a large difference in the heat output too... that's IF I am understanding what you did when you added the new stuff...

Remember that as the water travels through the B/B, it's giving up heat the whole way, so if you've got 180 water going into a run of say 100 feet, you might only have 155 or 150 coming out the other end... if that water coming out is what's going IN to the existing, of course it won't give as much heat!

Don't bother trying to reuse the old fittings... it's WAY more work than it's worth to try to get them clean enough to fit back on the pipe... so, yeah, cut back and start fresh... also, you will find it quite difficult to UNsolder an old fitting... they can be very stubborn to come apart, and, they will often spit molten solder out right at you, and hit you in the face, worse, in the eye... WEAR SAFETY GLASSES! (I lernt that from Norm Abrams... unfortunately, it was AFTER my visit to the emergency room! )
Old 08-26-09, 04:47 PM
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It would be interesting to compare the thermal ratings of your old baseboards to your new ones. They are rated Btu/hr/ft (at specified ambient and water temps). The ratings for your new Slant/Fins should be readily available. If you can't find the rating for your older baseboards, find one that is similar. You might be surprised and learn they are pretty close.

I can see adding baseboards, but my thinking is that it's a mistake to replace them as you propose. It may not buy you anything, and you might run into installation problems in the process.

Is there one particular room that you think doesn't get enough heat? Then you could add a wall or kickspace heater (hot water) more simply than what you propose. That's what I did in a bathroom that didn't have enough radiation. It was easy, but ripping out and replacing existing baseboards would have been a real chore.

Last edited by gilmorrie; 08-26-09 at 05:42 PM.
Old 08-26-09, 05:39 PM
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Insulate and weatherstrip the cold rooms. If you still have a problem, then consider more baseboard, or using high-output baseboard (e.g., slantfin MP-80).
Old 08-26-09, 07:30 PM
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i have no idea which part of the loop i cut into , either the beginning or the end, i just started the loop on the side that was closest to where i was gonna add the baseboard. the room that needs replacing was actually the warmest [not that warm though] the first year i moved in, but i think that is because it was the room with the most baseboard [8x11 ft]. that room was what gave me the idea of adding baseboard to the other rooms.
as for the six foot baseboard by the door it is the only weak one in the room , using your advice i am going to cut the copper and replace the baseboard
every room with added / replaced baseboards heat up very quickly and stay hot, i also saved over $200 a month in heating bills because the boiler is not on all the time. the first winter i moved in i could not get the house hot at all during the winter, we were in our home with jackets on.

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