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hot water baseboard

First rule is, you shouldn`t mix cast-iron with fin-tube anyway, why do you need that other rad?


  • richard_15
    richard_15 Member Posts: 1
    hot water baseboard

    I have a large room that has 90' of 3/4 in copper fin tube.
    Plus 30 more feet of plain tubing, this in an area of the laundry room.
    My question, if I install a large cast iron radiator at the begining of the system that has only a 1/2" inlet and outlet, will it adversely affect the rest of the system?
    I believe the flow rate is 4 gal. per min.
    Thank you,
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    You must do

    an awful lot of laundry, Richard... light starch and boxed, not hangers, please.

    The key to success using cast iron with fin-tube is constant circulation. Let's get that out of the way first; the thermal masses and radiant effect will favor the cast iron while, if cycled on-off, the fin-tube portion would lose heat and feel chilled rapidly.

    Allow me to paint a mental picture of your system:

    With 90 feet of element at say, 500 average BTUH per foot and water at 180 degrees, that is 45,000 BTUH, so you are using most of your hot water potential at a 20 degree drop. You are likely to see a 22.5 degree drop overall. The decay rate of the fin tube might go from 550 entering to 450 leaving BTUH per foot.

    If you were to install a cast iron radiator of, say, 10,000 BTUH, you would drop your first fin-tube temperature by five degrees at a 4.0 GPM flow rate. Thus your fin tube will start at 175F entering water. Not too bad.

    What is the imperative to do this, may I ask? If to add heat to a too-cold room, I wonder if you might split the zone in two, the better to have more output/less temperature decay from each circuit.

    Personally I would add the CI radiator to the return. The radiant effect will work better than the loss of convection from the fin-tube, minor as that might be. Radiant effect is more forgiving.

    I would also set the room up for constant circulation with a 3-way TRV mixing valve to avoid spikes and swings in apparent heat output if that is your goal.

    Rambling I know, but that is my $0.02

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