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Are there effective electric heaters for a 400 sq. ft. uninsulated rock wall room?

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shmerls
shmerls Member Posts: 56
We live in a 1932 sone wall structure home mostly with radiator heat. The owner before us removed the rads from the 18' x 22' Family Room with 2' thick bare stone walls and large double pain windows. He installed electric baseboards which don't warm the room and costs a fortune.

We got a quote to re-install radiator heat, which would require new pipes and another boiler. The quote was way too expensive.

We've looked at gas, ventless and vented. Vented requires defacing the home for the large vent which don't want to do.

Ventless is controversial as many of you know. The Family Room is above our also unsheated garage and the ceiling is under a large deck off the master bedroom. It has doors which we closed off last Winter and didn't use it during the cold months.

If electric heat could work, there'd be little to no install or city permits, inspectors and least expensive to buy.

We bought an EdenPure Coppersmart 1000 and ran it for the first time last night. It was 60° outside and the same inside the Family Room. It took 3 hrs to raise the thermometer 2°. Plus EdenPure neglected to tell us I'd the unit is exposed to Winter cold, if the room doesn't have any other heat, the cold will damage the EdenPure. So it goes back Monday.

If allowed here, can anyone suggest any self-contained electric heaters brands/models to research that might heat our room? We can't go with a split system because the head is stylistically wrong for the style of the room (as you'll see from the link) and will still involve a difficult installation through the rocks.

Here's a gallery of the house when it was up for sale. http://www.sasnet.com/11highview/

The Family Room is the one with the pool table, which now has a couch and media section. We have to fix this this winter so we can use it.

Thanks
Steven
«13

Comments

  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    edited October 2016
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    Did they replace the boiler at the same time they removed the heat from the Room? If not, it seems unlikely that the boiler is too small and needs to be upized.

    Lots of big windows and exposed stone in that room. With the high cost of power in your area, I wouldn't want to be heating it with electric resistence.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    Electric heat is essentially 100% efficient, what you put in you get out. So if you have electric baseboard that isn't working you would need more to make it heat and it would cost more to operate. As far as electric goes that's pretty much it. You can't really get it any cheaper than what you currently have and you say no to a mini split.

    I think you need to do a cost benefit analysis here. How much does the electric cost to operate versus installing the proper heat that the previous owner foolishly ripped out? Electric is cheap on the install, but a fortune to run, pay me now or pay me later situation.

    Why do you need to install a new boiler to put back what was there? It looks like you have steam from the pics. Did they do a heat loss on the room to determine how much heat you need? I would be shocked if you need to add a boiler to heat that room as most steam boilers have been over sized and if the room had the steam before I'd just about bet money you have the capacity.

    Being in New York there are a couple of steam experts on here that could probably come out and give you an evaluation. Not sure if they come to your specific area. @JohnNY @Paul S @EzzyT
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    Fujitsu or Mitisubishi Inverter heat pumps. Have it professionally sized and installed.

    Keep the Baseboard as back up
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Something to consider is the mass of the home with all that stone. Your better off keeping a desired setpoint what ever that is. Trying to bring all that mass up to temp is a battle. Slow to heat, and slow to cool. Maintain a setpoint is much more efficient.
    SWEI
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    KC_Jones said:

    Electric heat is essentially 100% efficient

    Translation: Don't buy the marketing BS of the "magic Amish heater" promoters.

    Gordy gave you some important advice above. Radiant is by far the most effective way to heat the building mass. I'm not 100% clear whether the rest of the house is currently heated by a steam or a hot water system. Do you have a photo of the boiler and associated piping, or perhaps a closer shot of one of the radiators?

    Consider an evaluation by a competent consultant, if you can find one up there. Another option would be to spend a fair bit of time answering questions and posting photos here. Once that process is complete, the cost may well come down to the point where it makes sense. That is a spectacular home and deserves a proper job.
  • shmerls
    shmerls Member Posts: 56
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    Hi all, We are running late to dinner and I want to study and reply to you all. But wanted to let you know I wasn't ignoring your comments. Thanks much. I'll post replies shortly. Thanks!!
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    Insulate the walls
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Mark Eatherton
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
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    Yes, but...
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    Noooo Way I dig the stone.
    SWEI
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    Come on guys, It would be sick to cover those stone walls!
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    I have always thought some concrete, or stone columns with embedded radiant tubing would be an elegant touch in the right place.
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    @SWEI said: I'm not 100% clear whether the rest of the house is currently heated by a steam or a hot water system. Do you have a photo of the boiler and associated piping, or perhaps a closer shot of one of the radiators?

    I see a Hoffman vent on the one bathroom radiator so I suspect it is, in fact a one pipe steam system.
  • Robert_25
    Robert_25 Member Posts: 530
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    It doesn't make sense that you would require a 2nd boiler just to heat that room. The contractor may not know anything about steam and wanted to install a separate system rather than tie into the existing.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    Also if you did hot water off the steam boiler I know you would have the capacity for that. That may actually be the best option in this situation. The install in theory is simpler and it would function as it's own zone.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ZmanSWEI
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
    edited October 2016
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    @shmerls Let's make some assumptions about your room so we can get a back-of-the-envelope heat loss estimate, which will help us estimate what the room will need to be adequately heated, and provide some return on investment numbers to consider.

    If your room is 18 by 22 and has 58 linear feet of exposed wall, has 8 foot ceilings, 2 foot thick stone walls, and double pane windows, with a design day of 0F and an interior temp of 70F, based on the stone having an R value of 0.08 per inch and the windows having an R value of 2, the heat loss through the walls is about 18,000 BTUs per hour. If we assume the floor and ceiling have an R-value of 10, and the floor doesn't get as cold as the ceiling since the garage is below, that's another 5,000 BTUs per hour, for a total heat loss of about 23,000 BTUs per hour for the room. That equals 6.7 kilowatts per hour at the design day. About 25-30 feet of electric baseboard would be needed to meet design conditions.

    At $0.20 per kilowatt hour, the design day electric consumption is about $32. On a day where the outdoor temperature is about 32 degrees, that would equate to approximately 12,000 BTUs per hour, or about $15 per day for electricity. As a rough estimate, you are probably looking at (very roughly) about $2,000-$2,500 per year in electric resistance costs to keep the room warm enough to use during the 180 day heating season.

    The EdenPure Coppersmart 1000 is an electric resistance heater, the same as your current baseboard heat. It is rated at 1,500 watts, or about 5,000 BTUs per hour. It's not large enough to keep your room at 70 degrees if the outdoor temp drops below 45-50.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited October 2016
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    What a gem of a house. I'm glad you recognize the value in maintaining its integrity. I agree, your boiler probably already has enough capacity to heat that room. However, I doubt they went through the trouble to rip out that piping. Are you sure they did? Often they will just remove the rads, cap off the piping and plug the hole in the floor. Look around on your floor for round wooden plugs under the windows (that's where your rads would have been) and any wear/indentations on the floor indicating their total width. Then look for piping going there in the basement. It may be as easy as replacing rads. It's worth a try anyway. Probably there was some small issue with heating that room and they just decided to ditch it, rather than investigate further.
    I had almost the exact situation with two stacking sunrooms in my 100yr old house, one of which has exposed brick. The rads never really heated well unless the heat was cranked so we just closed the doors most of the time. It ended up the mains and lines feeding them were uninsulated and ran through the unheated garage, so all the steam would condense before reaching the rads.There was also a large valve feeding one side that was partially closed!!! Insulating those lines made a world of difference.
    Hiring a steam pro is also worth EVERY penny. Check out those suggested above and if they'll visit, consider yourself LUCKY. I might also suggest buying at least one of the steam books sold on this site to familiarize yourself with your system. @Jamie Hall has a Hoffman system like yours and always has a wealth of information.
    Another HO...Colleen
    P.S. What is the sq fto of steam rating for your current boiler? It's on the metal faceplate tag. If you figure out the EDR of your rads, we can see if you have extra capacity. I'm willing to bet that you do.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    Absolutely beautiful house, though I'd get that gas grill out from under that covered porch. All it takes is one bad grease fire and you're in trouble.


    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
    Brewbeervaporvac
  • keyote
    keyote Member Posts: 659
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    Probably the best choice is a radiant loop zone but since you are considering electric which is rarely economical let me throw you a couple suggesting you won't likely get. First is obviously a stove wood coal pellets corncobs whatever you like. nice modern wood stoves are perfect aesthetically for a stone room can be dampened down so as not to need restoking for a couple days and you can make tea and toast on them while enjoying the fragrant aroma of pine.
    another is gas powered infrared heaters which are a form of radiant If this is an occasional room it will give instantly cozy warmth without having to wait till the mass has warmed at cost. they have tube and pendant types nat gas and propane.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    You need an emitter to maintain setpoint. I don't know how often you use this assigned media room? However if it is often, or unscheduled you need to maintain a comfortable set point.

    To do this a hands off approach would be best. Set it, and forget it. Pellet stoves, and the like require hands on to some extent. Also venting which may not lend itself well to the location in the structure.

    IF your system is steam, and piping is doable for some steam rads in this room. I think it would fit in with your architecture beautifully. Plenty of opportunities for the purchase of steam rads.

  • shmerls
    shmerls Member Posts: 56
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    I wish I didn't just turn 65. While a really young 65, reading this thread inspires me to go to school, learn this stuff and do it for a career. Too late? Seriously I'm fascinated with not just what you guys know, but how well you say it?

    First off thanks very much!

    @Fred, awesome analysis. I think the ceiling is 9' maybe 10' - I'll measure when I get up.

    Pipies: my wife, Ann, and I wondered yesterday as well if they're still there. We "think" not but will check further. But, the previous owner was a contractor and did lots of work here including converting from oil to natural gas Dunkirks (2) , one steam for all the house rads, the other a small single burner for our potable water and water baseboards in the basement apartment underneath the media room which he finished as a granny apartment (he rented) and where it looks like the media room steam pipes must have run. It's our guess, during the apartment build, he could get to the pipes and removed them. I'll pull the stuffing in the media room floor old pipe holes and see if there's pipe.

    BTW, We don't see evidence of unused, or capped pipes in the boiler room further leading us to believe the original pipes are gone unfortunately.

    We ran the EdenPure as a test. 3 hrs on high got us 2° temp increase on a 60° day. While we don't know all the math like Fred discussed, feeling is believing. The EdenPure is boxed and soon to be on its way back to Ohio. 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee.

    Assuming no pipes, any kind of new vented heater will require a vent hole larger than we'd like to have drilled, aesthetically.

    While the head unit as is of a split Mitsubishi system is aesthetically wrong for this room, which will be used on demand versus often so pellets wouldn't work as Gordy points out, plus the required large vent, were wondering about installing a Mitsubishi and faux painting the heat unit to blend into the stone. Science meats art :)

    Next week is check into the Mitsubishi week. Since we don't want a large vent hole drilled, and electric heat won't cut it, our options seem rather limited. To be continued.

    PS it now going into winter, it's time to revisit and finalize the 2 Mains venting mod some of you advised me on last year but we ran out of winter to do and be able to test and tweak the antler additions. See you over at that thread next. Thanks again!

    Steven
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,649
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    Don't forget that there are ceiling cassettes and ducted concealed units available for some/most mini split systems. Possibly something to consider.
  • shmerls
    shmerls Member Posts: 56
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    @Brewbeer: just measured and the ceiling is 8' 7" if the 7" makes a difference.

    To everyone: In addition to the Mitsubishi mini-split system, which has 2 inverter head styles: the rectangular and the recessed flush which we have to see if we have the installation room.

    We were also considering a ventless gas stand alone system, which we know is controversial due to the carbon monoxide. I wouldn't think of ventless in a bedroom or frequented one, but the Media Room is off to the side of the house with the Apartment below and only an open porch above, so the Media Room doesn't feed into any other room and we won't be leaving the heat on 24/7. We'll only fire it up when we want to watch TV basically or sit for a glass of wine. So the room will be empty and the heat off more than on.

    If our sporadic use reduces the CO concerns enough, the stand alone stove certainly matches the room style much better than the Mini-Split inverter head, plus importantly, the single gas line hole is much smaller than the 3 line sized hole for the Mini-Split (electric, condensate, refrigerant).

    Given our lack of use, desire to main aesthetic style, and make the smallest hole possible, is a ventless system OK? Or, not so dangerous?
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    With all that stone mass you might want to reconsider your options here. Those stone walls won't warm up much for occasional usage and with a standalone system like you are proposing you will be sitting there cold from all that stone mass trying to pull the heat out that you are trying to put in. You have already seen this with the unit you are sending back.

    To do what you are theorizing you would need something big enough to heat your entire house for that one room to be comfortable for a few hours here and there. You would end up burning as much fuel for those few hours as you would probably spend to keep the room a constant temperature all the time.

    What is your aversion to adding in hot water heat or putting the steam back in? All of which would work off of your existing system.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
    edited October 2016
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    You may be looking in the wrong places for the old piping. If the pipes were removed, you should see plugged Tee's or 45"s on the main(s), probably elsewhere in the basement, not in the boiler room. If there are none, it is very possible the radiator run-outs are still there and capped off at the far end (where radiators use to be). When the boiler is running, feel each of the radiator pipe run-outs in the basement. If any of them remain cold, it is probably because that run-out is capped off and air can't escape so that steam can move down that pipe. That will mean that there either is no radiator at the end of that run or that you have the radiator shut off (which you will already know).
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
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    I think that's correct @Fred which is why I mentioned looking for plugs in the floor, but if there was an apartment put in below, the POs may have removed the piping to gain head space.
    In any case, it's probably not that hard to replace those lines as they would just need replacing from the capped lines up. This is something that if you're handy you could probably do yourself. Take your time and keep the room shut off until you find rads and do the piping. Why spend money for something that won't be correct for you, or the space?
    p.s. I totally agree with you @KC_Jones.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
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    I was just studying the pictures again, I'd bet this was originally outdoor space. It probably never had heat or it was a 3 season porch again not originally heated. The huge window area, the step down into the space. If that was the case it would explain a lot.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • Brewbeer
    Brewbeer Member Posts: 616
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    If you don't want to keep the space heated all the time, consider a wood or natural gas burning stove.
    Hydronics inspired homeowner with self-designed high efficiency low temperature baseboard system and professionally installed mod-con boiler with indirect DHW. My system design thread: http://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/154385
    System Photo: https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/FileUpload/79/451e1f19a1e5b345e0951fbe1ff6ca.jpg
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
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    @KC_Jones , I'm not so sure about that. I have exactly the same thing, but with brick walls and those floors look original wood, so I doubt they would be exposed to the elements. I think the OP stated the prior owner did convert to electric, probably when they yanked out the original windows. However, I have seen what you're talking about often, so it possible. My rooms were referred to as the solariums and they always had the steam with very large rads. Mine have casement windows with storms.
    It would be nice to have a constant heat and I'm sure with that it would become more than an occasionally used room.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
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    @shmerls , runout pipes could be bought at one of the big box stores and they'll thread them for you so long as they're 2" or smaller. This is definitely a job you could tackle with help from the folks here if you wanted. I bet your beautiful home has a great old workbench and vise grip. Even I learned how to do it.

    I also agree, steam heat is a fascinating subject, and it's great to have this forum to share with like-minded people as not everyone feels this way. I've had a number of eyes glaze over when I'm waxing poetic about my vaporvacuum system, but it hasn't stopped me yet! : )
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    vaporvac said:

    @shmerls , runout pipes could be bought at one of the big box stores and they'll thread them for you so long as they're 2" or smaller. This is definitely a job you could tackle with help from the folks here if you wanted. I bet your beautiful home has a great old workbench and vise grip. Even I learned how to do it.

    I also agree, steam heat is a fascinating subject, and it's great to have this forum to share with like-minded people as not everyone feels this way. I've had a number of eyes glaze over when I'm waxing poetic about my vaporvacuum system, but it hasn't stopped me yet! : )

    Do the pipes play for you like they always do for Oliver Wendell Douglas when he's talking about farming? :)
    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
    vaporvac
  • keyote
    keyote Member Posts: 659
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    Even in a well-insulated space mini split heat pumps really don't give a good feeling heat, they blow air that feels cold on you, its actually 68-72 degrees but that doesnt feels cozy.
    gas powered infrared heaters feel like a sun lamp but are gas powered theyre going to make you feel instantly warm when you switch them on for occasional use and not cost a dime when off theyre super efficient. eden pure is not what im talking about thats garbage look at whats above the doors at home depot you can get them in much smaller scale vented and unvented. personally Id get a wood stove its seldom used if youre made of money have someone build you a serpentined flue dutch oven
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
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    I'm going to go back to your mass, MRT (mean radiant temperature) and your predicted usage habits.

    This is all about what concessions in comfort you are willing to make.

    In the winter with intermittent set points, and occupancy. You will never be truly comfortable unless the stone is kept at a reasonable temperature. When mass lags setpoint you feel colder. Mother Nature likes balance. Hot goes to cold, high pressure to low pressure, and humid air to dry air. Always seeking a balance point.

    If you have ever owned a water bed, and tried to sleep on it the first night of filling, if it's not to 83 degrees it sucks the body heat right out of you.

    In your case if you could stand to lose a couple inches of ceiling headroom I would advocate a radiant ceiling off the steam boiler. It could be run at higher temps than a radiant floor, and have a surface density to cover the whole room. The piping would be smaller than steam. Just another option to think about.
    vaporvac
  • shmerls
    shmerls Member Posts: 56
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    @KC_Jones. Last year we got a quote to put rads back. We didn't ask if the rep couldn't find the pipes but the quote was a whopping $18k! So that killed that.

    We too think the space might have been a porch based on the windows being newer than the room. But there are 4 plugged rad pipe holes in the floor which is confusing as I doubt a rad system was added and then removed and electric baseboard put in. We are the 3rd owner. The 1st was the architect /builder.

    Perhaps owner 2 replaced the windows w more efficient ones and pulled the rads?

    We'd love to add steam or water rads back so next is to look for original pipes.

    If gone, I'm assuming re-installing pipes would require a team because the apartment below is 100% finished with sheetrock, painted, all w furniture. We'd have to rip the apartment all apart.

    If pipes are gone, the least dispuptive seems to be ventless gas or Mitsubishi split. And w the split system we'd get both heat and A/C!

    When I get home I'll take a few more pix in the garage where the mains are and the media room floor rad pipe holes.

    TBC

    Steven
  • shmerls
    shmerls Member Posts: 56
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    Got home. Checked the mains in the garage and possibly found a couple plugs where pipes to the Family could have been. We then pulled the round styro plugs where we assume the rad pipes were in the Family Room floor hoping to find pipe: but they're gone :)

    As said earlier, our best sleuthing and reading into our previous owner's quirky DIY contracting, we're betting the pipes ran through the Room under the Family Room and when Jerry finished the room into the granny apartment, since he could see the pipes probably, he pulled them out completely.

    We conclude the Family Room was always a rustic Room and not an open porch because 1) it's too large for a porch and there's a smaller version that is an open porch on the other side of the house, so a larger one just doesn't seem to make architectural design sense. 2) plus, the floor has 4 round plugged rad pipe sized holes plus rad leg burn marks by them where we bet the rads once stood.

    We think Jerry replaced the 1932 windows with double panes within the 20 years he lived here and why he pulled the rad heat is a mystery, but he replaced them with 3 inefficient electric baseboards which we've now removed and salvaged the 220 lines at least to create much needed 110 outlets since that large room had only two - single 1932 style round floor outlets to power that entire space!

    The garage is finished too so we can't find where the pipes were so trying to thread them back up isn't possible because we'd have to pull all the Apartment Sheetrock down and destroy that nicely finished space. Our options diminish...

    YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE? Ventless heat?

    We'd love to know your feelings about and experience with ventless natural gas stoves because this seems the best looking, best style choice and smallest hole through the wall for the gas line, thus the least destructive.

    A split system is a 2nd choice possibly and would give us AC too, but we don't think there's enough wall space to mount the inverter between the window and ceiling. So may be moot.

    But a rad system would involve a difficult if not impossible retro piping which is probably why the quote last year was $18k!
  • keyote
    keyote Member Posts: 659
    edited October 2016
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    removing and then patching enough sheet rock for a carpenter is a one day job maybe a couple more taping and painting, you will never see the patch if done by a pro. pex could be run to whatever radiation you decide on.
    I bet he removed them because he also was an occasional user and thought always heating it a waste, he likely imagined electric might work and was disappointed as well. If he had known how it could be zoned to not always be on or all the way up, even as part of the house system, he might have reconsidered. It may have had rads but i would think before that it was a screened porch or some such
    I recently put in triple panes with krypton and found while finishing the renovation without heat on that floor they kept the floor at least 20 degrees warmer than outside,
  • BBros
    BBros Member Posts: 41
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    Gordy is absolutely right. The mass has to stay warm for you to feel comfortable. I live in a ICF (concrete) house and can't do set-backs without feeling chilled. Just make your peace with that or don't use the room in the winter.

    I'll also put in a vote for gas fired stove. Direct vent or B-vent out the wall. Get a quality mason to make the hole and it will look like it's always been there. Only trick will be finding a location that gives proper clearance from the windows.

    Perhaps you could also mount a forced-air appliance in the garage space below and vent up through the floor of the family room. You would benefit from a little space heating down there too.

    Also, don't be scared to cut drywall. I do it practically every day. Two guys could drop the whole ceiling in the garage, rehang it, tape, sand, and paint in less than 3 days.
  • shmerls
    shmerls Member Posts: 56
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    @keyote, we agree that Jerry probably used the room occasionally and thus since the house is a single zone, didn't want to heat the room along with the house. It's the logical explanation. Here are the pix to show the holes in the Family Room floor where I'm sure the rad pipes were. I pulled the styrofoam wedged into the holes and there are no pipes sadly. Then in the garage where the mains are, the only place where pipes could have been that would be in the vicinity of the room upstairs, there are two plugs where I bet the pipes once where.

    Lastly, if you all don't mind, is a pic of the boiler room. We're looking for the fireplace ash shoot door because we want to install a fireplace log inset and as you all know the easiest gas pipe install is going up the ash shoot. But... good ole' Jerry seemed to have cemented it up and put the boiler exhaust up the chimney shoot. The ash shoot got closed up in the process we think. I knocked on the wall under the pipes you see and it sounds hollow, so my guess/hope is the ash shoot ended there since it's where the chimney is.




  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,542
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    That one plug, aimed up at a 45 degree angle is definitely where a radiator run use to be. The one aimed down, looks more like it might have been a drip leg. Does the main change pitch along that run?
  • keyote
    keyote Member Posts: 659
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    ide replace that whole mess with one high efficiency boiler and zone control what you need whether or not you put heat in the porch
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
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    @shmerls, I can't comment on the drywall, although it does seem to me it wouldn't require taking out the entire ceiling. In any case a Hot Water loop could be easily run to the rads. this utilizes the excess capacity of your current steam boiler by adding a Heat Exchanger. 30% is inherent in most boilers to allow for piping and pick-up factor and most boilers are oversized beyond that. I'd be surprised if you don't have the capacit to at one.
    Does that room face East? it may have been a "morning room". In any case it always had windows... the floor is clearly original and wood. The porch on the other side has tile flooring. I imagine the original windows were casements, at least that's what I always see on these types of rooms on houses of this vintage around here.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF