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steel flat panel radiators vs copper baseboard vs aluminum flat panel rads

ivm Member Posts: 2
I have a 1880 Victorian with retrofit slantfin baseboards from 1960's by previous owner. Fins are broken and need replacement. I have 3 zones and gas Crown boiler with 3 pumps. All I need for one zone is 1800 BTU after installing new patio door. Baseboard gets in way of bookcases and furniture. Researching flat panel baseboards/radiators. Told by local plumbers that steel flat panels like Runtal or Buderus corrode from inside due to water pH and various metal content. Cannot find any dealers for aluminum flat panel bseboard/radiators.

Found Slant-Fin TBG Series Commercial Radiation with copper  to hang on wall --- 

Lengths: 2' to 8' Depth Heights: 17" (one tier) 24" (one or two tier) Depth: 5-1/4"

TBG Series  ELEMENTS: Copper with aluminum fins: C-340, C-440, C-540. Steel with electro-galvanized steel fins: S-532, S-540, S-832.

Anyone have any info on steel flat panels vs. copper such as the TBG series vs aluminum flat panels?


  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,353
    Panel Radiator Corrosion

    What is the pH of your water?  Where do you live? I have never known of this to be a problem in our area.

    The statement by your local plumbers that steel panel rads corrode cannot be accurate except in some extreme condition. In that case, your copper baseboard would have also developed leaks after 40 years.

    I would have the pH tested and if it is indeed an issue, there are boiler treatments available to counter act the condition.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • EricAune
    EricAune Member Posts: 432
    I love them...So do my customers

    System fluid PH is an issue all the time, no matter the emitters.  Commercial baseboard is a very expensive alternative to the standard in a residential setting.  Large pipe diameters and more of it also play a large role in counting costs.  I have been installing panel radiators for only a couple years, although I hope we do not see any corrosion problems, my customers have been very pleased.

    Panel rads, when sized to certain parameters, can allow for low system operating temperatures.  The same is true for fin tube but often the extra footage needed will have you lining the walls in order to achieve the same "lower" temps that the rads will allow for.  Panel rads also have a higher fluid content and because of this provide less of a spike in temperature change across the on/off cycles, something most high temp baseboard systems will do.

    If possible, I design and install all my rads with 1/2" PEX from a radiant manifold.
    "If you don't like change, your going to like irrelevance even less"
  • ivm
    ivm Member Posts: 2
    corroding steel flat panel baseboard/ radiators

    Thank you for your post. Don't know the pH and don't know the reliability of the report of water corroding  steel panel rads. Thank you for the hydronicalternatives suggestion. Their radiators are also steel but the baseboard is aluminum-copper. However, in a 3-story 1880 house with copper baseboard already piped in,  I would have to change all the rooms and go through floors and ceilings. This is not an option. 

    I would be willing to go with aluminum flat panel radiators but cannot find any US companies. Anyone know of any?

    Also, in my zipcode, nary a plumber knows anything or installs any type of flat panel baseboard/ radiators. And I am in metro NYC area by the the Tappan Zee Bridge. Pretty astounding. After living in Germany for 10 years, I also would love to install flat panel rads and get rid of these hideous slantfin-type baseboards. Anyone know of anyone in zipcode 10960 who is knowledgeable and would install them in a hundred year old house? Currently, I have no heat on the second floor. Thank you again for all your help.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,086
    There is a Guy

    Under find a professsional. Bruce Perry Plumbing and Heating. A friend and someone that has been installing radiant, panel rads and high end boilers for 20 plus years. Have done many projects together. Top notch guy.He specializes in Viessmann, radiant heat, panel rads and low temp heating.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    only issues i have had with panel radiators

    has been miss handling in transport. As far as ph goes if it is off it needs addressed.  
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    Panel Rads

    I've been using the panel rads for many years and recommend them highly. The only time I've seen one leak was where they were connected to a water heater in an open system.  I use either the DiaNorm or Buderus radiator.

    Finding a contractor who has the experience is more of a problem. I do know a contractor who does work in Westchester Cty. Email me if you need the info.

This discussion has been closed.