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Cast Iron Baseboard Question.....

NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
This summer I’m planning on replacing an 8’ and 10’ section of standard fin-tube with two 10’ sections of GOV-BOARD cast iron baseboard (same product as Burnham Baseray CI BB).
I ‘d like to add some thermal mass to an isolated zone (with its own t-stat and zone valve) that is exposed to the weather on three sides has high ceilings.

These two fin-tube radiators are at the end of the line and the last one uses a “return bend” fitting with the ¾” copper pipe carrying the return water running through the center of the radiator rather than below the floor. The return from that last radiator continues on through the center section of the second radiator where both the supply and return risers are located at the right end of the second radiator end cap.

From what I can see with the GOV-BOARD cast iron radiators- there may not be enough room behind its legs to run a ¾” copper line for the return lines? The good news is, it does have two water channels in each section- an upper and lower channel.
So what I was considering was running the supply through the bottom channel, fabricating a “return bend” of ¾” copper on the end of the last radiator looping up to and using the upper water channel as the return line and continuing it back through to the second radiators upper channel. Doing that- both the supply and return would still be located where the risers are currently and it would solve the return line problem.

I put in a call to Governdale tech support this morning to run it past them… but I haven’t heard back from them yet.

I’m wondering if anyone here has set up any cast iron baseboard in such a configuration, and if it will present some sort of problem down the line?

Thanks in advance……



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Comments

  • RichRich Member Posts: 2,198
    I would suggest using top supply bottom return Rob . Feeding through the bottom the fluid will release heat the colder water going back across top will effectively rob some of that heat back . It is a small number but it is a number nonetheless . This can be seen in the output numbers for Heating Edge 2 baseboard from Smiths .

    http://smithsep.com/wp-content/uploads/Heating-Edge-2-Literature.pdf
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC 732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey , Eastern Pa .
    Consultation , Design & Installation
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    Thanks Rich... very good suggestion based on the Heating Edge chart.

    Appreciate the help as always!

    Now I have to see if my supply house has the Baseray assembly tool for loan or I'll have to come up with something else for joining the two sections together.
  • bob eckbob eck Member Posts: 537
    I checked with my local Gov-Board rep and this is what he said.


    Must go in one side and out the other to assure flow through the board.
    Water will always take the path of least resistance,
    in your scenario below flow will go in the one end and exit immediately out the same side.
    The baseboard will never get hot.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    edited June 9
    Thanks Bob...

    It seems your rep is suggesting that the upper and lower channels are internally joined? Well, that would certainly dash my plans as using one of the channels as a return.

    I hope he's wrong :o

    Governdale tech support- (a fellow named Bob Belski) did call me back Wed... but unfortunately I was out to lunch so he left me a voicemail that he will try to call me back again. I'm going to call him again today and post the results...

  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    @Bob eck...
    Thank you for your post!

    It seems your rep was correct- the upper and lower water channels on the GOV-BOARD and Burnham Baseray are joined internally (almost like an automobile radiator) so I can't use one channel as a supply and the other in place of a return loop pipe.

    I called Burnham support (since they own Governdale), they said if you need to use a return loop because both risers are on the same side of the radiator... raise the radiator up on a couple of 2"x4" blocks, drill out the center of the blocks and run the 3/4" return pipe through the 2"x4" blocks.

    Edit... the Governdale rep just called me back to confirm what Burnham stated regarding the return loop.

    Oh well, nothing's ever easy on an old house...





  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,314
    How about using Smith's? I can give you over 900 btus per foot, depending upon how you pipe it.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    ^ Smith's? Is that cast iron BB?

    I have plenty of radiation in that area... but no thermal mass with the fin-tube.
    The main living area in that zone is exposed to the weather on three sides and has a higher ceiling than other rooms because it's a single story. Even though it's well insulated, with three walls exposed to the elements- it just doesn't retain heat as well as the rest of the house- so I would like to add thermal mass in the form of cast iron rads in place of the present fin-tube to to even out the heat in that area.
  • steamfittersteamfitter Member Posts: 116
    http://www.modine.com/download/ae86b9433fda58a6ee5957dfbcaa7446/12-135.pdf

    I know you're looking for cast iron, but Moines makes a fairly slim commercial double 3/4 " fintube that also has a built-in hanger above to run a return line back through it. It's 14" high, so if you hang it off the floor it's probably going to get you around 18" off the floor. Just a thought. The literature has all the btu info. Good luck!
  • steamfittersteamfitter Member Posts: 116
    sorry, that was Modine, not Moines.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,314
    NY_Rob said:

    ^ Smith's? Is that cast iron BB?

    I have plenty of radiation in that area... but no thermal mass with the fin-tube.
    The main living area in that zone is exposed to the weather on three sides and has a higher ceiling than other rooms because it's a single story. Even though it's well insulated, with three walls exposed to the elements- it just doesn't retain heat as well as the rest of the house- so I would like to add thermal mass in the form of cast iron rads in place of the present fin-tube to to even out the heat in that area.

    No, it's double fin tube.

    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    Thanks steamfitter and Ironman for the info on the double fin tube rads.
    Although I think CI BB will be the best solution for the current project... I'm considering the double fin tube you both mentioned for another area where we lost some standard fin tube (kitchen remodel) a couple of years ago. I think that double fin tube would give me back what we lost plus some which would be helpful considering 130-140f supply temps with the MOD-CON.

    Thanks again for the info.... Rob
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 3,314
    edited June 11
    Here's a link to Smiths brochure:

    http://smithsep.com/wp-content/uploads/Heating-Edge-2-Literature.pdf

    A word of caution:
    The riser must be plumb coming through the floor since you have to Tee inside the BBs to feed both passes. If not, you'll have some real grief. Watch out for this if your replacing single pass BBs with the Smiths.

    Don't ask me how I know this.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    ^ looks good!
    Impressive heat output at 130F... 460BTU/ft when piped parallel.
    Seems like a great solution for ppl who want to go with a low temp MOD-CON but can't add additional radiation.

    One thing I've learned over the 25yrs I've been in this house... nothing is plumb! Thanks for the tip on the risers.
  • bob eckbob eck Member Posts: 537
    Take a look at the Sterling Synergy copper baseboard great for using with condensing boilers with low water temps. Shows ratings up to 150 DEG F but will put out higher BTU per foot if water temp goes above 150 DEG F plus the baseboard is only 9 1/16" high and you can run the return line in the enclosure.

    http://www.sterlingbaseboard.com/documents/DL-SG-1.pdf
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    Thanks Bob.... the Synergy output is impressive!

    When you look at the dimensions of their aluminum fin (3.25" X 3.25") vs. Fine Line 30 (2.31" X 2.12") the Synergy fins give you more than 2x the surface area (10.12" per aluminum fin) then the Fine Line 30 (4.47" aluminum fin).

    Synergy............477 BTU/ft @ 140F
    Fine Line 30....320 BTU/ft @ 140F

    Synergy gives almost 2X the output of Fine Line 30.

    I think I have two rooms where the Synergy will work out perfectly and another where the double fin tube will work.
    I'll be using cast iron BB in the original location that this post was in regards to.

    Great info guys.... thanks very much!

    Looks like a fun summer project for rainy weekends...
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 1,857
    You could also possibly make an injection tube that would dump water at the other end of the heater. That way you could have supply and return at the same end.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    I'm sorry Harvey.... I don't follow?

    Are you suggesting running a sealed tube from one end to the other through the upper taps as a return?
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Member Posts: 1,857
    No, make an injection tube similar to a dip tube on a water heater.
    This way you can make the supply and return connections on one side and still have counter flow internal to the rad.
    Your injection tube should go on the supply.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    ^ Excellent idea Harvey!

    I'd have to run the 3/4" copper "dip tube" pipe through a reamed out (to let the pipe pass through it) 3/4" threaded male adapter?


    For the 10' radiator lengths I need- I have to use a 6' and 4' section... if the 3/4" copper pipe will fit through the section connector nipples it may be a better solution than raising the radiators off the floor on a 2"X4" block.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 2,097
    Excellent suggestion by @Harvey Ramer I have used dip tubes before myself on other applications (oil suction and return in 1 tapping) didn't think of it this time.

    You can probably buy 3/4 x 1/2" double tapped threaded bushings if 1/2" won't restrict the flow too much. I have drilled out compression fittings to allow the tubing to slide all the way through
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    Ordered the (2x) 6' and (2x) 4' cast iron sections along with the inside corner and left and right valve enclosures this morning.

    Blackman will rent me the Burnham assembly tool for the weekend.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    My parts arrived today, and the assembly tool is available.
    Will probably take a 3-day weekend on the 24th to start/finish the project.

    I saw a few posts where people used Megaloc on the nipples prior to joining the sections vs. "nipple grease" as mentioned in the Burnham assembly instructions.

    Any reason not to use Megaloc on the nipples?
    I have Megaloc onhand BTW.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    Brought home the two 4' sections last night.... heavy stuff!

    Unfortunately the "injection tube" idea won't work as the run from one end to the other on either top or bottom isn't unobstructed by castings, etc... It was an excellent idea though.

    I does look like there may be enough space to sneak a 3/4" return line tucked up in the corner above the air vents under the top horizontal section without impeding airflow.

    The counterperson at Blackman gave me the incorrect size nipples to join the sections.... :/
    Gotta go back there Monday anyway w/the truck to pickup the two 6' sections and the rental Burnham assembly tool.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    edited June 18
    delete...
  • StetStet Member Posts: 6
    First, unless the cast iron baseboard in segregated from the finned baseboard on the zone, you will have balancing problems. The cast iron, needs to be on a zone by itself. The supply and return for the baseboard tie in at the bottom. You have to have an air vent to bleed the air out of the baseboard or it wont function. The supply and return lines to the baseboard MUST pitch up toward the baseboard so there are not any air pockets. I would also suggest using mono-flow tees to supply the cast radiation.
  • hot rodhot rod Member Posts: 6,768
    NY_Rob said:

    ^ Excellent idea Harvey!

    I'd have to run the 3/4" copper "dip tube" pipe through a reamed out (to let the pipe pass through it) 3/4" threaded male adapter?


    For the 10' radiator lengths I need- I have to use a 6' and 4' section... if the 3/4" copper pipe will fit through the section connector nipples it may be a better solution than raising the radiators off the floor on a 2"X4" block.

    This valve is used to convert single connection radiators to two pipe. It can use a TRV also. I extended the dip tube with a piece of pex to the far end of the radiator.



    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • CanuckerCanucker Member Posts: 299
    Stet said:

    First, unless the cast iron baseboard in segregated from the finned baseboard on the zone, you will have balancing problems. The cast iron, needs to be on a zone by itself. The supply and return for the baseboard tie in at the bottom. You have to have an air vent to bleed the air out of the baseboard or it wont function. The supply and return lines to the baseboard MUST pitch up toward the baseboard so there are not any air pockets. I would also suggest using mono-flow tees to supply the cast radiation.

    Normally that would br true but I believe @NY_Rob is ussing it to try and balance a room that loses heat faster than the others on the zone
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    ^ Thanks Canucker... you're correct on my intended use of the CI baseboard.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    hot rod said:


    This valve is used to convert single connection radiators to two pipe. It can use a TRV also. I extended the dip tube with a piece of pex to the far end of the radiator.

    Thanks Bob... another great idea!

    I took a look down the length of the sections at the 3/4" NTP taps with a flashlight... unfortunately there are too many restrictions and cast supports, etc... to go with a long enough diptube to be effective on the Baseray.

    After pondering it a while and sizing it up with a section of 3/4" copper pipe- I can sneak a 3/4" return line tucked up in the corner below the top lip and above the air vents without impeding airflow from the back side fins below.

    I still like this idea better than raising up the sections on a 2X4 block and running the return through the blocks.





  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,170
    PVC square tube? With PVC angle glued on either end to hide the returns? Foam it to insulate it, or get crazy on a drill-press to ventilate it.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    edited June 19
    ^ Run the return on top of the BB inside the PVC square tube?

    Now you got me thinking Paul :p

    You guys are awesome!

  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    While I'm still working out the return line details.. I need to address the paint question....

    Here's the blurb from the GOV-BOARD install manual:

    Painting – Gov-Board and Trim are primed with a latex (water based) paint and must be top coated with a high grade oil or solvent based enamel to prevent rusting of the metals immediately after installation. Primer coated products should not be allowed to sweat as a result of high room humidity or cold water in system. The use of flat wall paint is not recommended since it may chip or crack when applied to surfaces that are heated. Consult reputable paint dealer.

    The support rep from GOV couldn't offer any advise on which paint to use- he suggested checking with a Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore store for advise.

    So I guess rustoleum is not the right paint to use?

  • Paul48Paul48 Member Posts: 4,170
    I'm no painter, but I didn't think you prime with water-based, then topcoat with oil or solvent. I always thought it was the other way around?
  • GordyGordy Member Posts: 6,843
    If they were worried about rust why use a water base primer......
  • DC123DC123 Member Posts: 54
    My experience starting with a standard latex paint was almost instant formation of rust. I stopped and bought a pint of benjamin moore satin impervo, which was expensive, a pain to use, and smelled awful, but did the trick. Needed about 3 coats spaced a day or two apart for really good coverage.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    Thanks DC.....

    Did you paint the back side of the radiators too?
  • DC123DC123 Member Posts: 54
    It was already installed, so couldn't reach it. Hopefully won't be an issue...
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    ^ thanks...

    Since mine hasn't been installed yet- I think I'll paint the back side anyway.

    I spoke with the guys at our local hardware store (old school hardware store w/guys who actually know their trade) and they suggested Rustoleum. I checked the datasheet for the regular Rustoleum "Stops Rust" paint... It's recommended for temps of up to 200F. My MOD-CON maxes out at 160F SWT at -4F outdoor temps.
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 615
    I sand blasted, self etch prime, and automotive paint these. The smell lingered for the first 10 heatings or so. Bought the paint at local carquest, they color matched something my wife liked. And put it in rattle cans. These were done 5 years, held up very well.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Member Posts: 306
    ^ I'm guessing that spray paint was a solvent based lacquer?

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