Baseboard fins facing the wrong direction in entire house !!!

Reply

  #1  
Old 01-09-13, 12:28 PM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Baseboard fins facing the wrong direction in entire house !!!

Guys and gals, hoping for ome wisdom. After deciding to paint the baseboards in a spare room, I noticed that the plumber/ heat tech installed all the sections of baseboard heating with fins in the wrong way, the fin's edges that are the bent edges all are on the top and bottom, not allowing the air to flow under and through and up.
Can there be any logical reason for this? I am hoping this install wa sdone by someone who suffers from dyslexia. This is a hot water hydronic system, I believe that is the term and every room but one has the piping the same way, wrong. The only room that is correct is an addition done much later and go figure, it's an un-insulated sunroom.
Sooooo......., is this setup as inefficient as i think it is? Should I drain the entire system and unsolder all the end joints in all the rooms and resolder?
Anyone have any idea what percentage of heat I can possibly be getting from the baseboards the way they are today?
Funny thing is....it's been like this for over twenty years and know one noticed, I just moved in and it is obvious to me the mistake made.
Let me know your opinions.

DanO
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 01-09-13, 12:37 PM
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Galivants Ferry SC USA
Posts: 18,145
Received 60 Votes on 52 Posts
Well it depends. I have some that are like that too but its older BB and pretty much open.

Take a pic of the fins and we can tell you.....
 
  #3  
Old 01-09-13, 12:39 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 19,571
Received 94 Votes on 83 Posts
  #4  
Old 01-09-13, 04:41 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
Can there be any logical reason for this?
No, none at all.

If the whole original house was done this way, one would have to assume that whomever did it thought it made sense to do it that way!

Sooooo......., is this setup as inefficient as i think it is?
Probably.

Should I drain the entire system and unsolder all the end joints in all the rooms and resolder?
Easier said than done. It takes WAY more heat to unsolder than it does to solder. Most of the time they do NOT simply 'unsolder' and just slip apart. They usually need a bit of a 'twist' to break loose.

IMHO, you would be MUCH better off to 'lose' some of the fins on each end of the element, CUT the pipe, make sure the pipe is DRY because one drop of water will cause a solder joint to not seal, TURN the element and then reconnect with "REPAIR COUPLINGS" (there is no 'stop' in these, they slip over the pipe, then when you get the element back in, slide it down to connect the ends and solder)

Because of the potential for 'problems' to arise, I would NOT take on this project now. ABSOLUTELY wait until spring time. Yes, it may cost more in fuel, but then you will have a 'baseline' to compare the change to next winter!
 
  #5  
Old 01-09-13, 05:04 PM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Attachment 7717

Name:  100_0996.jpg
Views: 2967
Size:  27.8 KB

Attached are two pics, one from above and one from the side, you will clearly see the fins are incorrect
 
Attached Images  

Last edited by NJT; 01-10-13 at 03:07 PM.
  #6  
Old 01-09-13, 05:15 PM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Trooper, I agree, not a job to do now. I am pretty good and knowledgable in the plumbing area, I have done a lot of plumbing in my day. I also have done some of this baseboard stuff too so I am glad we are on the same page as there can be no GOOD reason for it to be installed this way. I was going to loosen up the joints and with a helper at the other end heating that end up twist it into place, but I think you have a good point, use the couplers and this way I can get clean copper to work with and also a sure fire way of making sure the pipes are dry !! I am curious though, will it be worth the time and energy to do all this, I don't know how much difference in the end it will make.
 
  #7  
Old 01-09-13, 06:01 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
A trick I like to use... BEFORE you cut the pipe, get some of that plumbers sandpaper and clean the pipe FIRST. It's SO much easier when the two ends are still connected, and those fins are SHARP!

Those are pretty beat up, ain't they?

Where are the covers? I'm confused! Did these have some kind of custom covers over them?

I'm beginning to wonder if you shouldn't just go ahead and replace them... unless money is an issue of course (when ISN'T money an issue?)
 
  #8  
Old 01-09-13, 06:05 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
I am curious though, will it be worth the time and energy to do all this, I don't know how much difference in the end it will make.
If these were installed in the 'factory' covers, then it would probably make a large difference, due to the fact that in those covers the elements are snug to the front and back... very little airflow will occur. Baseboards rely heavily on convective air flow across the fins.

Without the airflow the room temp will be very slow to respond. The boiler will work overtime trying to heat the home.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that with the elements sideways as they are that there is less than half the BTU output they are rated for.
 
  #9  
Old 01-10-13, 01:49 PM
O
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 5
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Trooper, I am in agreement about how efficient or inefficient these are. The covers are off because my plan was to paint them, it's a kitchen remodel and yes, they are abused, between the previous owners having 2 new linoleum floors installed and me taking the back housing off, the fins got a little misshaped. I am planning on replacing these radiators with all new SlantFin baseboards in the spring or summer, til then I will cover these elements with the new housings.
I know those fins are sharp and I figure that the airflow is resticted by the covers allowing very little airflow so I imagine that the furnace is working twice as hard to get room temperature up. I am anal about some things and this one is bugging me so I have a fun project ahead of me when the weather warms up.
Also, by the way, I did see that I replied to a post that was a year old, I did it just for anyone who else may need that same problem answered.
Thanks for the input and advice.

DanO
 
  #10  
Old 01-10-13, 03:12 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
DanO... there IS one other thing you can try... but I'm thinking that it will loosen the contact between the fins and the copper pipe and reduce heat transfer itself... probably not terribly... but try it in a small section and see what happens... TURN THE FINS ON THE PIPE... SPIN THEM 90į... even if you do lose a little contact, it still HAS to be better than completely blocking the airflow! Try doing say a foot at a time.

I am planning on replacing these radiators with all new SlantFin baseboards in the spring or summer,
All of them? or just the kitchen? So try the above in the kitchen first and see how it goes.

I did see that I replied to a post that was a year old, I did it just for anyone who else may need that same problem answered.
Gotcha, and no problem... I kinda thought that, but wanted to make sure you understood it...
 
  #11  
Old 01-10-13, 07:53 PM
R
Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 51
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
My humble hunch is that, assuming there is enough clearance between the fins and the front-n-back of the baseboard enclosure none of this matters, the hot air will nonetheless escape upward. I say this because in my baseboard installation I have a hot-spot area where even when I totally close the baseboard's louver I still get a lot of heat.
 
  #12  
Old 01-10-13, 08:05 PM
NJT's Avatar
NJT
NJT is offline
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 23,539
Received 3 Votes on 2 Posts
assuming there is enough clearance between the fins and the front-n-back of the baseboard enclosure
That's the thing though, normally there is very little clearance there, and the air moving through is not going to take a right turn and decide to flow across the fins anyway.
 
  #13  
Old 04-30-13, 03:58 PM
M
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
DanO,

I have had exactly the same issue with about ten feet of this same type of fin on 3/4" copper pipe! You can actually rotate the fins on the pipe as they are just a resistance fit to the copper pipe.

Make sure that the system is off - ie pipes are cold!! I used 2 pieces of MDF (3/8") cut slightly wider than the fin profile (front dimension in your case) and about 5" long. Clamp them or strap them together (depending on how much deflection you can get on the pipe) and then simply turn them 90 degrees. If you feel uncomfortable doing this, you can also rotate them individually with taper nose pliers - you can also straighten the bent ones out as you go along!! It is very tedious, but is much easier than removal - maybe you can get wife/kids involved and make an evening of it!!
 
Reply
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: