Baseboard Return to Radiant in Basement

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Old 03-27-12, 11:06 AM
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Baseboard Return to Radiant in Basement

So, a simple/complicated question...

...I'm refinishing a portion of my basement (~470 square feet) into a play room for the kids. Without getting into too many specifics, I have an existing Utica boiler with 2 zones (Colonial style home with 1st & 2nd floor thermostats) and I'll be adding a third zone for this play room with baseboard heat (not sure of the exact length yet, anticipate ~16') and PEX barrier piping. The floor is going to have 2" rigid foam (overkill, I know but I have extra on-hand) with 5/8" T&G plywood/OSB and most likely wood laminate.

Is there a way or is it even feasible or would it not work without significant modification and investment to route the return from the baseboards through the floor as radiant before returning back to the furnace? I realize there are different working temps but since I have to return it back across the room to the furnace is there anyway the return line could be utilized somehow?

Heat loss calcs...I know, haven't done them. Not too worried about the furnace size as it would rarely, if never, call for heat from all 3 zones at the same time. Just thinking outloud...I'm just thinking this through now, not near ready for the install yet.

Any help would be great...thanks.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 12:02 PM
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Hello illin8,
Not sure i understand the question.
A typical teturn from 16' of basebaord would be to hot to run under a floor.

You could make the whole basement floor radiant and skip the baseboard.
It would be best to use a 3-way mixing valve and a second pump for the radiant in any case.

You would have to figure out how to run the radiant pex under the new floor.
Check out Thermalboard.


Peter
 
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Old 03-27-12, 03:49 PM
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Yeah, I don't know much about radiant flooring...after reading a couple of articles I figured the return from the baseboard was too hot to run through the flooring. I was wondering if there is anything you can do to run radiant in that situation (from baseboard return water) with minor modifications or if it really wasn't possible/worth the hassle.

I'm laying 2" rigid foam insulation (XPS) on top of the concrete floor with 5/8" tongue & groove plywood/OSB on top of that secured to the concrete using tapcons. Could I simply cut a notch/groove out of the XPS insulation to run the PEX for the radiant in lieu of the baseboard system?
 
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Old 03-27-12, 05:20 PM
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Not very easy to notch xps foam!
The pex needs aluminum plates of some sort to spread the heat, otherwise, an air space would be needed to spread the heat.
Just putting the pex into the foam will cause hot spots on the wood right above the pipe and cool areas away from the pex. Not very good. Takes some study and expense for radiant in a floor. If money is tight, the baseboard will be much less costly.


In any case. f there is moisture, imo it would be better to put down a heavy poly vapor barrier and then the foam. Let the plywood float on top of the foam.
Thnis will keep the moisture out of the new floor.

Peter
 
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Old 03-27-12, 05:41 PM
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Thanks...that's what I figured!
 
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