contractor needs to remove cast iron baseboards, im worried


  #1  
Old 04-10-21, 09:55 AM
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contractor needs to remove cast iron baseboards, im worried

I'm getting bathroom remodel in my 1950s house and had a couple people in so far but only one has brought this issue up to me. I have cast iron baseboard along 2 walls. Approximately 4 feet long each. One is under the window and one is directly adjacent to the window at a 90 degree angle. There's no room for baseboard anywhere else in the bathroom. The overall outside dimensions of the bathroom are 13 ft by 9 ft. I have an existing problem with that side of the house that my baseboards do not heat up as much as the baseboards and the other half of the house so that is an existing issue. No idea why. But he told me he needs to take the cast iron baseboards out in order to rip apart my walls to do the bathroom. thankfully this will be done in summer when i dont need heat lol.

The two other contractors had not mentioned this. Matter fact one contractor just wanted to put a quarter inch drywall over my existing. I am worried about removal of the baseboard because I just have this fear of moving things that are 70 years old. He suggested new fin tube and that I should just replace them because the covers are in pretty bad shape and would need a lot of sanding and paint. I didn't know if you could mix the new thing with the old and I'm pretty sure cast iron baseboard would to be a fortune if they even make them these days. I don't really care that they don't look like the rest of the house but it would be nice to have something new if it would work. So how do I make sure I don't have more heat loss by removing cast iron and putting in brand new baseboards or he even said remove the baseboard that is on the wall not next to the window and just not put it back in but then of course I would need to have the plumber extend the one line to the window baseboard. Also does anybody out there have any clue what this would cost if I did replace with brand new slant fin. i hesitate to remove 4 feet of baseboard and not replace it. i think thats just a bad idea.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 12:13 PM
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https://ocsind.com/

This sight will show you some options. If you google Slant/fin baseboard you will get other options. Just figured everyone has a box store ilike Home Depot.

Another option is Supplyhouse.com and type in Slant/fin baseboard which gives you heat ratings at different water temps being delivered.

Cast Iron and aluminum baseboard have about the same heat ratings. The thing is CI takes longer to cool so it gives off heat for a longer period of time where as aluminum cools almost instantly after heat shuts off.

You can google Slant/fin baseboard to see your options. Home Depot sells Slant/fin or Supplyhouse.com is another good place.

All that being said you are remodeling a 50's bathroom so I am guessing a complete gut job. In my opinion why would you want to go through a remodeling process spending all that money to only cover up what is already there. It's like putting new laces on an old pair of shoes.

If you are doing a full remodel by going down to the studs you will be able to fully insulate which really wasn't thought of back in the 50's. My point is I would be a little leary of the guy who thinks he can make things new by just covering up the old. You want to end up with a new bathroom from the studs to the finish.

A little off point but i bought a 50's home with a bathroom that was fully tiled from floor to ceiling that was desperate need of a tub replacement. In replacing the tub I had to remove some tile to get the tub out. When I started removing the tile I could just about remove them with my hands with nothing basically keeping them in place and the wall wasn't in much better shape. From a tub replacement I ended doing a full remodel to the studs and using the right products. My point is if you just go over the old stuff it may look aestitically pleasing but you'll still have that 70 year old structure. Do it right the first time and it will be done probably for your lifetime, at least the structure.

Pics would be helpful to see what you have but this is just mt opion.

Hope this helps a little.

 
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Last edited by spott; 04-10-21 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 04-10-21, 03:53 PM
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whta do you mean by insulation? other than the 9 ft external wall i didnt think you insulated the interior walls. the guy i met today that mentioned the baseboard removal did lift the floor piece i hvae in my existing shower and he saw the crawlspace and he thought it should be insulated but i could never afford to insulate the crawl. plus in winter the pipes keep it toasty warm anyway. i know this because one time my crawl window opened accidentally and it froze my pipes.(water meter right inside the window was great design). i closed the window and it thawed within 30 minutes, thats how warm it was in there. i now shimmed those windows closed so they dont open

also i do agree i never liked the idea of drywall over the wallboard i have. ill ditch that guy unless he does a total gut

i found a 4 ft new cast iron for 250 so i def could handle 2 new of them. do you have any idea how much it costs to replace 2 sections like that. i know every area is different pricing
https://www.consumersplumbing.com/he...ham-baseboard/

bathroom pics will follow soon
 
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Old 04-10-21, 04:12 PM
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You are correct. I'm only talking about the exterior walls or wall. As far as price goes,, it's competitive and labor costs vari with every contractor and your location. As far as walls go, especially in the tub and shower area they have special products that resist moisture in case of leaks and not just drywall.I used baca board, also called cement board after I saw the condition of the wall I removed.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 04:22 PM
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todays guy (ill call him the move shower guy) said something no one else did. he said why not move the tub to the inner hall wall and shower where the tub is. its a 28 tub now and he said if we exchange tub and shower we can get a nice 60x30 or 32 tub and it would be 10 inches of new open space near the entry door, he thought that was narrorw at the entry way. but i'm used to it. otherwise i have a serious issue about what tub will go in the existing alcove. 28 is apparently not ez to find or do.

the string on the floor represents the approximate position of the new shower that would be moved over. i have 42x42 stall now. ive been without that stall for 7 years.sigh.. he said id lose about 6 inches in depth. he would make a wall near the current cast iron and it would come out about 12 inches floor to ceiling and be the left wall of the shower. that wall and rear would be tile. right wall would be half height glass with knee wall (this is what we wanted) and front is glass door. i admit i dont like the idea of losing a bit of space in the middle of the bathroom but ive walked around that string all day without missing the space. i guess its a weird setup the shower being opposite the sink like that though. it would be striking entering the bathroom though. wider entry way but narrower in the middle. adding to the current tub wall near the baseboard may look weird though. ugh!

back to the the baseboard issue. what would they do. just cap the lines during construction then after install of the new wall install the new baseboards. the crawl is about 3 ft high and i guess someone has to go down there for this? he did indicated he wasnt sure if he has to replace my galvanized pipes yet. i do close the return valve to my baseboards in summer. i discovered it back fed thru the house and warmed up the house a bit when the boiler ran in the summer.

also the move shower guy said he could block the existing fan and make it insect proof but then put another fan over my window and outside. it would be installed after the ceiling is ripped down. unsure which way joists run. if the correct way he would do a fan in the middle of the room but if they run the wrong way it would be up against the window basically and out the side.



string represents the shower stall position once its swapped with tub

i feel its good to keep the length of existing baseboards and not eliminate the right side like he suggested as a possiblity





 
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Old 04-10-21, 07:15 PM
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There is no extra heat loss with cast iron baseboards compared with aluminum finned copper (Slant Fin and most other modern baseboards). But the speed at which they heat up and the number of BTUs per hour per foot differ. You would need an expert to come in or chime in to tell you whether the same length of Slant Fin will perform better or worse than the cast iron you have now. From that you can figure out whether you can use a shorter length of Slant Fin as a replacement and have more wall space for some other purpose.

On the other hand there is nothing wrong with modernizing the whole bathroom but leaving the cast iron baseboards in place and in use, if you don't have a specific reason in mind (not at the back) to replace the baseboards.
 
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Old 04-10-21, 09:20 PM
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LD,
Depending how your system is piped depends if he can cap it or if the system must be drained at least below that point. It sounds like you get your hot water from your boiler. You can drain down the system above the boiler and just leave water in the boiler to heat your tankless coil.

You should not be getting any heat through your system when the boiler just calls for hot water. Depending how many zones you have and if you have zone valves or pumps would help determine your problem with summer heating.

To Allen's point about maybe a professional might chime in to figure out your heat. Your CI baseboard will give you 530 BTU'S a ft, where as Slant/fin will give you 600 so the aluminum will give you more btu's than the CI but the CI will hold the heat longer so I just wanted to let Allen know that my initial post stated they were roughly the same output which I thought would cover it without going into all the specifics which I didn't think you would be interested in. Maybe this bit of information would qualify as being a professional or maybe Allen has someone else in mind.

If you decided to go with new aluminum fin they also make a high output which has larger fins and produce more btu's per ft.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 04:29 AM
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Just a thought here as long as this is a total gut job, have you or any of your contractors considered in-floor radiant heat? The initial expense is well worth the superior comfort.
Also, don't let the general contractor do the plumbing. Make sure, especially if your plumbing is going to be reconfigured, that a licensed and fully insured plumber does the work so that it's up to code and done correctly!
 
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Old 04-11-21, 05:53 AM
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At first I missed the part of the copper/aluminum being about the same as the cast iron in terms of heat output.

If you wish to you can be your own expert and do your own calculations, given the choice of keeping the cast iron, replacing with copper/aluminum of about the same output, or using a shorter length of high output copper/aluminum.

One disadvantage of baseboard radiators recessed in exterior walls is less space for insulation behind the heating element which can result in unexpected heat loss (regardless of what materials the heating element is made of). Again,doing a complete remodeling, you have lots of choices available to address this issue.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 06:01 AM
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the plumber was recommended by the supply house i went to. in turn that plumber said he uses a certain general. the crazy thing is it's my friends friends husband who did meet once a few years ago thats the general. small world. he uses a sep plumber and tile guy and electrician i think. on the other end of the scale is a general who i didnt meet yet who said he does it ALL except glass and countertops. i only met with the design girl, not the general in that case.

i also will call the guy who installed my boiler back in 08. id trust his advice.

i really have no clue how many zones i have. i can just tell you that one pipe goes from my boiler down into the crawlspace and 2 pipes return back into the utility room and join up near the boiler to return back into the boiler. i assume that means 2 zones? my laser thermometer showed in the worst room i think it was 20 or more degrees cooler but i havent tested in a few years. i may be off. i have a single thermostat and had him put in a tekmar outdoor reset. also have indirect triangle HW heater.

no one mentioned radiant flooring but how does that get plumbed in with my current boiler setup or do you mean its electric on its own? and does radiant heating really heat up a room?

as far as the new slant fin heating up quicker maybe thats not a bad thing. if the bathroom could heat up faster than the rest of the house then i wouldnt need to 'preheat' the rest of the house so much just to take a shower before work so to speak. but working from home past year has changed things a bit.

if i do keep the existing cast iron it gotta be sanded because of rust near the toilet issues which i hear are common. but truly if the cost of new cast iron for 8 ft is just 500 and the cost of taking old out and putting back in is the same as cost of new , labor wise , id think better to pay 500 for new and shiny if labor is the same.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 06:40 AM
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regarding the drain down comment. the boiler itself is higher than every bit of piping in the house except the 1 bedroom upstairs. i guess def gotta get my heater guy to give me the details.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 06:59 AM
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no one mentioned radiant flooring but how does that get plumbed in with my current boiler setup or do you mean its electric on its own? and does radiant heating really heat up a room?
SupplyHouse.com has lots of information about in-floor radiant heat for hot water systems. It can be added to your existing heating system easily.

It probably would not replace your baseboard heat completely but would supplement it and might allow you to eliminate one of the 4 foot sections you now have. A warm floor (either tile or wood) is a great feeling on a cold morning.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 08:35 AM
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Luckeydriver might first consider, reducing heat loss of outside walls with low cost, water based spray foam. That might eliminate need for increased heating.

Easy to use. Drill 1/4” holes and fill up areas. This type of foam is water based, has low pressure expansion and will not blow out walls or window frames. Easy to clean up excess with water.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/DAP-Dapt...E&gclsrc=aw.ds

Other urethane based foams are extremely expansive, will blow out walls and window frames. Difficult to clean up excess.

https://www.google.com/search?q=uret...client=gws-wiz
 
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Old 04-11-21, 03:12 PM
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ones

LD,
Are you saying you do not have a basement. The simplest way to explain the number of zones is how many t-stats you have which you said that you had 1, so you have 1 zone for heating. When you have an Indirect HWH that is considered another zone. So you have 2 zones in total. 1 for heat and 1 for hot water.

Is your Indirect HWH on a zone valve or a circulator pump. It sounds like you might need flo control valves on your system to stop water from going to unwanted places. If interested in solving that problem would be helpful to post pic of your boiler and tank and the near boiler piping or you can ask your boiler man if you're going to contact him anyway.
 
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Old 04-11-21, 04:26 PM
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no basement. one stat.i guess pump since its i see one attached on the pipe to the indirect

pump?
 
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Old 04-12-21, 11:00 AM
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LD,
From this angle you look like you have 3 pumps but say you only have 1 heating zone and an Indirect heater which should have 1 pump each. It looks like you have a pump, I'm guessing on the supply of your boiler and then 1 going to your Indirect and 1 looks like it goes to some Black Iron pipes going down.

Do you know what that 3rd pump is for. It's a little confusing from this angle but with all those pumps I do not see any Flocontrol Valves and you also need relays when you use pumps but I'm guessing that's what that Blue box is on the wall. Your heating should know or if you can post pics from another angle so all the piping where the grey expansion tank is and the piping goes up and to the wall where the BI pipe is shows.

My guess is those 2 Black pipes are your heating pipes and have a drain on 1 of them to drain your system. Because of the fact that they piped up from the boiler and then came down you can drain your system without draining your boiler because water doesn't flow up hill. In those pipes that I can't see I'm guessing you have a shutoff or ball valve to isolate the boiler from the system. As long as those isolation valves are installed beyond the supply and return of your Indirect Heater and the expansion tank you can drain the system and still run the boiler for domestic hot water.

Can you post pics of the piping from the side of the boiler wher the grey control is or the right side looking at it from the front.
 
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Old 04-13-21, 07:52 AM
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blue box is tekmar 256 outdoor reset and i love it. never installed the indoor sensor though

the yellow handle close up valve pic is the valve i close in summer that stops the water from heating up into the baseboards in summer






 
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Old 04-13-21, 09:03 AM
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my boiler installer called me back. said system has to be drained but id always have hot water. he wouldnt even guess a price on the phone. has to come out. said if i get him room size/insulation etc he can calculate heat loss if i can get rid of one of the baseboards. hes removed and sandblasted and made them new so id do that. he says these days 100 a foot for new ones to be installed.

so now the issue is i cannot have this done in heating months. ive gone without heat 2 days in january before and thats no fun at all! . and this would be more than 2 days probably.
 
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Old 04-13-21, 11:13 AM
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luckydriver:... tekmar 256 outdoor reset and i love it. never installed the indoor sensor though
luckydriver's Tekmar 256 is not functioning as out-door-reset/aqastat without installation of sensor on boiler. No heating cost savings, just a $160 indoor display of outdoor temperature.

Indoor sensor can just be clamped or taped on boiler outlet pipe, or inserted in well behind exsisting aquastat sensor.

Wires going to existing boiler temperature probe aquastat are switched to Tekmar 256 contacts.

Here are installation instructions. Recommend printing out copy and penciling on menu listings the settings to use.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyho...56-install.pdf
 
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Old 04-13-21, 11:34 AM
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sensor is on the pipe but i never had the indoor sensor installed. been saving a fortune but not running 180 degree temps on the water all these years. i forget what it was but you could put another sensor in the house somewhere but i never did

sensor is in pic blue wire i believe
 
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Old 04-13-21, 04:41 PM
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LD,
Is it possible to take a couple more pic from the right side of the boiler at a wider angle standing back a little so I can see where the pipes attatch to the boiler. I don't see any Flochecks anywhere and that 3rd pump on the pipe coming off the boiler, looks like the supply line, which means you have an extra pump for some reason. It looks like you have isolation valves to shut off the heat and run your hot water, at least to the pipes in the crawl space. Will tell better with additional pics.

As far as figuring your heat those Tekmars are OK but you must remember that when that heat was origional figured it was for 180 deg water to get the rated value of the baseboard and you tekmar varies that water temp according to the outdoor temp. so for most of the winter you're probably not getting the 180 so the baseboard isn't putting out what it was origionally designed to do.

Just a thought.
 
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Old 04-13-21, 05:52 PM
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[QUOTE][ 3rd pump on the pipe coming off the boiler,/QUOTE]

Donít overlook the possibility that the boiler may be piped primary/secondary with close-coupled tees. Hard to tell from the pictures.
 
  #23  
Old 04-13-21, 09:32 PM
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One Tekmar senor goes on boiler. See page 11.
A second sensor goes on outside wall of house, north side of house see page 10
https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.supplyho...56-install.pdf

Tekmar activates burner when water temperature sensed falls below temperature needed for adequate heat.

Without both sensors there is no out-door-reset.

Heat load calculation are based on coldest day, typically 0 F degrees using 180 water. When outsidetemperature is 32F or 50% of heat load 160F water matches heat load. Many do not understand the basics of hydronic system design. Room heat load varies with outside temperature!

Out door reset is all about providing only what is needed based on actual outdoor temperature. Water at 180F is not need at 32F but is needed at 0F
 

Last edited by doughess; 04-13-21 at 09:49 PM.
  #24  
Old 04-20-21, 04:33 AM
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There is usually a problem mixing different types of radiation in the same zone. The thermostat is in a room with cast iron radiation so the baseboard heats slower and cools down slower. The bathroom may experience a higher temperature swing than the rest of the home.
Bathrooms are usually designed with enough baseboard to output 10% more heat than the rest of the home to keep bathrooms a little warmer when showering/bathing.
Radiant is good for floor warming, but with tubs, toilers and cabinets a lot of floor space is lost. Although it may not be able to heat the bathroom alone it is nice to have them warm tile floors.
 
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Old 04-20-21, 08:49 AM
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Luckeydriver1950 home has minimal, if any insulation.

When there is inadequate room heat, often the focus is on heating, rather than reduction in heat load.

Insulation is often lower cost that improved heating, without adding to annual heating fuel costs. DH thinks of insulation cost as eternal payback.

The simplest way to improve heating during renovation of bathroom is to remove existing interior walls and fill fill spaces with foam insulation.

Existing baseboard heater does not have to be removed. It is probably fastened to existing wall with screws which can be removed to facilitate wall removal.

Would also install new, more energy efficient window. AND check to see that existing exhaust fan has good, air tight outside louver seals.
 

Last edited by doughess; 04-20-21 at 09:28 AM.
 

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