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Electric Hydronic baseboard - oil filled vs. silicone filled?

How did ya know it was filled with silicone? Did you check it yourself or have Elaine (from Seinfield) do it for you?


  • dutchman48
    dutchman48 Member Posts: 1
    Electric Baseboard Hydonic Heat

    I have a customer who wants to use Electric Hydronic Baseboard Heat (220V) that has a copper tube filled with silicone fluid. Is this type of baseboard better than the oil filled hydronic baseboard? "Silicone filled" costs more than "oil filled" baseboard. Is it worth the extra cost to purchase silicone filled baseboard.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    kW is kW BTU's are BTU's

    So long as the input in kW matches the output in BTUH, I do not see a lot of difference. The oil used is a mineral oil, non-flammable. The silicone, I have no idea of the advantage. The reason they use oils is for thermal mass, allowing some off-cycling and a more steady radiant output versus the on-off phenomina.

    Anna Nicole was silicone filled FWIW.

  • JJ_4
    JJ_4 Member Posts: 146
    Use a proportional T-stat (controller)

    I would agree with Brad. I have used both, silicon at my home and mineral oil at work. The important thing to get the most efficient use out of these is to use a proportional thermostat vs. on/off. This way only the current needed to meet heating needs is used and you don't get the swing in temps like with an on/off.

    Typically the proportional t-stat (really a controller) will only use 1/4 to 1/2 of the amps of an on-off t-stat. It "looks at" the difference between the room temp and the setpoint an only uses the amperage needed to make the desired wattage (which translates to BTU). Watts = VA, Watts x 3.41 = BTU. Full on (for the on-off stat) is 1500Watts = 240V x 6.25 A, if you only need 750 watts to make setpoint the proportional controller will reduce the amperage input to 3.125A. Saves money.

    To minimize temp swings this controller provides the same advantage as a modulating (4-20 mA, or 0-5V) or floating (open/close/off) valve in hydronics vs. a two-position valve. There are two sources Hydrosil and Aube (who makes them for Hydrosil). The links follow.

    AUBE: TH106



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