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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Questions on Hot Water Baseboard heat

    I am buying a early 1950's home in Montana, the house originally had a oil fired boiler (still there don't know if it works) and base board radiators. My question is are old baseboard units OK to use if they don't leak or is today's technology in baseboard units that much better? and if i want to revive this system with a propane boiler unit how would i size it? I read the spirited posts on sizing and would like to know if i am wasting my time and money reviving this system. Thanks Bill

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    South*East
    Posts
    1,183

    Default Re: Questions on Hot Water Baseboard heat

    Bill what type baseboard is it copper fin or cast iron? Both should work fine but if it's copper fin you may find it a little noisy. The old copper fin didn't have the sliders on the heating element to help with the noise created with the expansion and contraction. The noise isn't exceive but some find it objetsional. If it's cast iron you have a home run.
    John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Questions on Hot Water Baseboard heat

    Bill,

    Generally speaking, baseboard systems last for many decades without springing serious leaks & can usually be brought back, but it's hard to make an evaluation without actually being there, or at least looking at some photos; your best bet would be to get a heating technician in there to evaluate the situation & see if he can get it going---even if he can't get the boiler going he can usually get at least the circulator (pump) working so he can evaluate how well the piping/baseboard hold up as water is pumped thru the system.

    Have you tried to talk to the previous owners---can they give you any info???

    If baseboard noise is an issue, sliders can be easily placed under the baseboard elements to prevent any serious noise issues.

    Consult the Yellow Pages under "Heating Contractors" to find a tech in your area.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-16-2013 at 11:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Questions on Hot Water Baseboard heat

    Thanks for the advice. I am just starting to investigate this. I will have a tech. come and give me advice. I remember seeing copper pipe with siler fins around it. The past owners are not in the picture and i don't beleve it has been used in several years. Thanks again Bill PS could you lead me to an idea as to what a slider is?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Questions on Hot Water Baseboard heat

    Yes, what you describe in your post is the standard, very widely used baseboard radiation composed of 3/4" copper tubing bonded to heat-reflecting interlocked square aluminum fins; if you remove one of the front steel panels you will be able to see if you have any neoprene sliders present & how these copper/aluminum fin elements are mounted on the same steel brackets that hold the front steel panel; the only problem with this setup is that the copper metal elements expand when the 180 degree water is pumped thru and this creates the scraping noise against the bracket; the "slider" is a neoprene or plastic piece placed between the bracket & the aluminum fins that allows the fin tubes to slide during heat expansion with a minimum amount of noise; you should be able to see if any sliders are present in your present setup, otherwise, the sliders are available at heating supply stores, or you can even cut up some plastic milk cartons to adequate size & place them between the brackets and aluminum fins.
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-16-2013 at 03:34 PM.

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