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Radiator Heat

fuse_5
fuse_5 Member Posts: 10
edited January 19 in THE MAIN WALL
Hello, 

I live in a house that was built in 1974. I have hot water boiler heat for the house. In the crawl space area under the kitchen, I noticed that there is some darkening of the floor joists above a heat radiator (fins). Is there a distance between a radiator and wood that should be maintained for safety? Is there a danger of that joist combusting?  The joist is currently about 0.7 inches away from the radradiator.  I was going to take a sawzall and cut an inch or so off the bottom of that joist. What do you advise i should do here? See attached pictures.  Thank you. Sorry if i posted this in the wrong category. 

Comments

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,574
    Get a carpenter in to sister that joist up. 
    The fins can be removed if in the way. 
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,331
    Is that joist cut at all?
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,216

    it looks to me as though that particular one has already been seriously compromised to fit the pipe.

    I think that is just wane.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,216
    But the stain is either just dirt in the air from the air convecting through the fin tube or some char from when that fitting was soldered when the element was installed.
    fuse_5
  • fuse_5
    fuse_5 Member Posts: 10
    Thank you guys for replying ... so just to clarify:

    - the floor joist has not been reduced or tampered with. It's a 2x10 board the whole way. The bottom of it is just a bit "rough sawn"

    - so it sounds like this black staining is just dirt and that I should just leave it be as is? It will not start my house on fire 😅? Do I need to do anything about it?

    - is there actually any code or guide on how far these radiators should be from joists ideally?

    Thank you all for your time helping me on this issue. 

  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 593
    There is no danger of fire there. The piping can safely be in direct contact with wood. The only reason we generally don't do that is because if the pipe rubs on the wood it will make expansion and contraction noises.

    Bburd
    fuse_5kcoppLong Beach Ed
  • deanofsteam
    deanofsteam Member Posts: 1
    The temperature of the water circulating through that "radiator" is probably not more than 190F from the boiler, and therefore not high enough to cause a fire. I agree that the discoloration on the joist is either from air convecting upward from the "radiator" or it's from the propane torch when the "radiator" was installed. I agree that you don't want to cut into the joist because you may compromise its strength. I use quotation marks around "radiator" because it appears to be a pretty crude guess-timation of a heat exchanger at best.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,080
    The marks are pollutants in the air that get caught up in the stream of the convection of the heating element staining the wood . Burning of wood , tobacco and candles would cause the ghosting ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 18,279
    I wonder what the intention of that short fin tube is? Not much heat transfer without being in the metal enclosure to pull cooler air into the bottom.

    Possibly just a joist warmer🧐
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,080
    I was thinking the same , It is not in the crawl space , assuming the storage of Christmas ornaments just below it . Maybe they ran out of 3/4" copper . We all been there .
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 10,331
    I have seen bare elements hung at the ceiling in basements in North Dakota.

    Also read of them put under CI tubs for a little warm up.
  • fuse_5
    fuse_5 Member Posts: 10
    So just for clarification, the space is definitely an indoor crawl space ... we live in a tri level house and this space is below the main (middle) level and is accessed from the basement. It has concrete floor and is about 3.5 ft high used mostly for storage. There's a sump pump there too. There are 2 other fins down there spaced out equally so they definitely intended to put these in there to maybe provide some heat. There are a lot of water piping and electrical cables attached to the floor joist "ceiling". 
  • fuse_5
    fuse_5 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks again for all the replies .. you put my mind at ease regarding the no fire hazard.