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Unfinished 2nd Floor

Jason_20 Member Posts: 3
We have a 2 floor Saltbox. 1st floor heating is hooked up to the boiler and uses 3/4" piping for the baseboards all one loop considered zone 1. On the second floor that is partially finished the plumber used 1/2" tubing for the heat. Both floors are approximately 1200sf I have read that with 1/2" copper you can only use about 25' of baseboard for effective heating....If that is the case I will not have enough to effectively heat the 2nd floor of my home.

Also, on the first floor the pipes come from the floor that are connected to the baseboards however, on the second floor the pipes stick out of the walls about 3-4" from the floor. Is that acceptable? We purchased this house in its current condition thinking we could just finish the work needed on the 2nd floor.

How difficult is it to retrofit the 2nd floor with the correct size copper for the heat?

=If more information is needed please let me know.....I am not familiar with forced hot water heating.

Thank You.


  • Spudwrench
    Spudwrench Member Posts: 47
    heat loss needed

    1/2 inch copper pipe can typically "carry" about 12,000 BTU of heat/hr at standard flow rates. What you should do is perform a heat loss calculation for the second floor (there are various software packages and online helpers for this- Slant Fin has a free program you can send away for.) Once you have determined how much heat your 2nd floor NEEDS, then you can figure out if the piping system is sufficient and if you have enough feet of baseboard. You may also be able to insulate the space well enough to make the existing piping & baseboard sufficient.

    Best wishes & good luck

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