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1811 Home - Ripped Out Baseboards - Now What?

Hi everyone. I have read some great information on this forum in the past and wanted to reach out for some help and advise on a situation I have right now with my 1811 home.

We just gutted the kitchen, and the bathroom off the kitchen is next. We tore our all the nasty baseboard heaters that were in the kitchen and bathroom, and now we are stuck trying to figure out what to do because we are getting lots of different opinions.

The heating system is forced hot water. The kitchen and bathroom are on their own zone, so we wanted to go with reclaimed cast iron radiators, but the guy we were buying them from sold out and now we have no idea where to get them and the cold weather is coming. There are plenty of steam radiators for sale on Craigslist, but we really don't want to convert anything, and would prefer to use radiators made for hot water. Is there any other place we can get hot water cast iron radiators?

Our neighbor said Buderus panel radiators would work for out kitchen, and I prefer the look of them over the baseboard, however, when looking on the Buderus website, I can't seem to figure out what we need to heat the kitchen. It's about 600 square feet, and 9 feet tall, and according to the Buderus BTU calculator, 2 radiators will not even come close to heating the kitchen, or am I doing something wrong?

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,462
    edited September 2015
    I'm heavily biased towards steam so that's automatically going to be my response.

    Many "steam radiators" are actually radiators that can be used for either. You can tell by looking at them. If the top of all sections is connected as well as the bottom and they have plugs on the sides on the tops like the bottoms they can be used for hot water.

    For example, this can be used for steam or hot water.




    This one is steam only.




    Like I said, I'm a steam guy but kudos for going after cast iron rather than ripping it out and scrapping it like many do.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    LegendsCreekkcopp
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,543
    The quick calculators on most websites are only going to confuse you.
    Go to a company like slant fin and download their heat loss calculator. Walk through the house and do a room by room heat loss calculation.
    Next you can figure out what type of heater you like . I really like the look and function of the Runtal panel radiators. http://www.runtalnorthamerica.com/residential_radiators/index.html They take up less space than the buderus. Cast iron is also a nice option if that is the look you are going for. Some caution needs to be used if you are going to mix and match.
    Do the heat loss calcs and decide on style and you can get plenty of help here on the sizing and details.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I'm thinking A-1 Radiators in MA, not sure if they are still there. It's been a while since I've dealt with them.
  • LegendsCreek
    LegendsCreek Member Posts: 65
    Wow thank you very much for the info. I am not opposed to steam at all, but I thought in order to use them for hot water you need to remove one of the caps or something? I heard it's next to impossible without causing damage. I notice on the steam, units, there's only 1 pipe going on, where is the pipe to bring water back to the boiler?
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,462

    Wow thank you very much for the info. I am not opposed to steam at all, but I thought in order to use them for hot water you need to remove one of the caps or something? I heard it's next to impossible without causing damage. I notice on the steam, units, there's only 1 pipe going on, where is the pipe to bring water back to the boiler?

    Perhaps some pros can comment as I'm just a DIYer but as far as I am aware any plumber should be able to remove the plugs with little effort.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    edited September 2015
    But try to find hot water rads. It's roll the dice messing with plugs, I for one don't really need or want the challenge and liability and steam rads typically have crustacean rusticle type junk melded to the interior bottoms. A steam rad that was sketchy in integrity for steam, will certainly leak under hot water applications
    Charlie from wmassGordyZman
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,393
    Where are you located?
  • LegendsCreek
    LegendsCreek Member Posts: 65
    I am in Rhode Island. I am certainly looking for hot water radiators, but cannot find any!
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,350
    The choice you make depends upon a lot more than just the type of rad you prefer. If you're gonna re-use the existing piping and boiler, then steam is off of the table. Its really not cost effective if you're starting from scratch either. If your existing baseboards are piped in a series loop, (many are) then you're not gonna be able to use CI rads or panel rads without repiping.
    If you would post some pics or an accurate diagram of your boiler and piping, then we could give you more useful advice.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • LegendsCreek
    LegendsCreek Member Posts: 65
    I just spoke with my plumber, and he said if we go with Buderus panel radiators, we don't need to do any major repiping. He said that the old copper piping would connect to the pex he would use for the panel rads with compression fittings, so I think that due to time constraints we are going to go with Buderus panel rads, and I like the look of them.

    My problem with this is that I need to do an accurate BTU requirement assessment. Can anyone recommend a site that I can enter in all the room details and get a good idea of what size rads I need?

    Thanks
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    Slantfin has an app for that
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    let me know what you you need I may have a radiator that fits and I drive to Carver, MA every other week so if I have on that fits I can deliver it. Burnham makes brand new cast iron radiators too,
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
    RobGkcoppZman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,350
    Again, make sue it's piped in parallel: the panel rads won't function properly if connected in series. Neither will any of the baseboards that are downstream.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Charlie from wmass
  • LegendsCreek
    LegendsCreek Member Posts: 65
    Ironman said:

    Again, make sue it's piped in parallel: the panel rads won't function properly if connected in series. Neither will any of the baseboards that are downstream.

    Ironman, can you please explain what piped in parallel means? My plumber has installed these rads before so I am confident he knows what he is doing, but if you can explain it so I know what he is doing that would be helpful! Thanks
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    If you pipe in parallel each rad will get the same supply water temp. If piped in series then each rad, baseboard section down stream will get lower water temps as the water gives up btus to each rad in the line up of the loop. That means that the last rad, or baseboard possibly needs to be larger to make up for the temp drop, or water temps need increased, or a combination of the two.

    A side note series piping can add more head than parallel piping. So piping circuit lengths need to be watched carefully.

    We dont know your plumber. He may very well have installed many of these rads that does not mean it was done correctly.
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,350
    See the attachments.
    The first is series; the second and third are different methods of parallel piping. Reverse return is the better, but not essential method as it assures even flow to each rad.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Charlie from wmassZman
  • LegendsCreek
    LegendsCreek Member Posts: 65
    Thank you very much for the diagrams! It certainly helps me understand the proper plumbing and I will make sure they are installed correctly. I am still looking for cast iron but will be ordering the Buderus tomorrow if I can't find iron today.
    Bob Bona_4