R&R Hot Water Baseboard Heaters


Old 08-27-13, 10:01 AM
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R&R Hot Water Baseboard Heaters

I need some drywall repair. Heaters are in the way.

Just read a couple tutorials on removing the heaters. It says to CUT the copper tubing with a saw to remove, then reassemble with a splice.
Seems to me it would be easier to de-solder the fittings to remove heater. Then reinstall, probably using a new copper elbow on each end. Did I miss something?
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Old 08-27-13, 10:32 AM
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Tubing cut with a saw will be deformed on the end, making a soldered joint difficult. Better to use a tubing cutter. You could cut it first with a saw, neaten up each stub with a tubing cutter, and reassemble with connectors and a short nipple.

Unsoldering a joint is possible, but there may be limited play to pull the joint apart, one handed, while the other hand is holding the torch. There may be a possibility of inadvertently melting an adjacent joint. A previously soldered connection may have old solder remnants that makes proper fit-up of a joint difficult.
Old 08-27-13, 03:15 PM
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Soldered joints RARELY come apart easily after they've been in place for decades. It's not as easy as simply melting the solder and having the joint fall apart.

Don't forget too that you will never get all of the water out of the system and that water will complicate getting the joint hot enough to melt the solder.

I too would shy away from using a saw for the reasons Gil stated. It can be done though.

I've used hand-held angle grinders (sometimes called die grinder) with a metal cutoff wheel in the past with pretty good results. Still have to clean up the pipe ends but it's a cleaner cut than a saw.

They also make tubing cutters that will work in close quarters but perhaps not as close as you may need.

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