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Runtal baseboards

RockyRocky Member Posts: 89
Installed them in my house about 4 years ago. LOVE 'EM. My wife likes them too as they are very easy to wipe clean. Nothing like laying in bed on a -50 below morning and feel your baseboard radiating like a wood stove.


  • vivviv Member Posts: 2
    Runtal baseboards

    We are considering installing Runtal baseboards in our kitchen and dining room to replace standard fin tube baseboards. The rest of the house, including the living room which is on the same floor as the kitchen and dining room, still have the conventional fin tubes. Will the Runtal system work in conjunction with the existing system? Also, do Runtal baseboards get too hot to touch?
    I would appreciate any advice you can give me.
  • Brad WhiteBrad White Member Posts: 2,440
    Generally speaking

    yes, Runtal is compatible with fin-tube on the same zone. It has similar density (thermal mass) and has some convection principles assuming you buy the model with "lamelles" (fins).

    They work best with constant circulation rather than on-off control I can tell you from personal experience. But they do "play well with others".

    As to surface temperature, that is a function of how hot is the water you supply. If there is a concern, Runtal has a cool-touch model which is more convective and less radiant in output. I forget the model name.

    But in all candor, this is one of those areas where common sense dictates. Kids touch hot radiators- once. Lessons for a lifetime!

  • vivviv Member Posts: 2

    Thanks Brad and Rocky for responding to my question about Runtal baseboards. I suppose Rocky, living in the far north, apparently, where 50 below temperatures are not uncommon, must use the 4 tubes (12" height) baseboards. Thank goodness we here in the western suburbs of Philadelphia don't have to face winters like that.

    Another question: Runtal says that the baseboards should be installed 3 inches above the floor. Traditional fin-tube baseboards are installed directly on the floor - or at least close to the floor. What accounts for the difference in the distance from the floor of the two types?
    Thanks -
  • lchmblchmb Member Posts: 2,545

    Viv, the spacing from the floor directly reflect's the BTU output of the baseboard itself. If your not calling for a large amount of output you can in some case's sacrifice spacing, I would however keep it above 1 1/2" although I have done one job that was 1" off the floor and work's great. Another thing to keep in mind is the location on the zone itself. If you are running this with baseboard on the same zone, Runtal recommends their baseboard be on the end of the zone so as not to affect standard baseboard. Hope this helps some..
  • Brad WhiteBrad White Member Posts: 17
    If I may expand on that

    I agree the "radiator bottom to floor" dimension has some give to it. The key principle being that the distance behind the unit (about two inches including unit total depth) should be allowed from bottom of the radiator to the floor.

    This is so as not to constrict airflow especially if you have the fins (lamelles) which afford higher convective output.

    As lchmb has said, this can be done and works fine; it just may not conform to the laboratory conditions under which they were rated.

    The concept of using these at the end of a run of fin-tube rather than the beginning is to preserve the hottest water for the fin-tube. With the higher radiant output of the Runtal, it is more forgiving of lower water temperatures. Just an elaboration on the point mentioned.

    I have it in my house among some cast iron units. Each radiator of either type is piped individually, not in series and with TRV's (thermostatic radiator valves) on each. They heat quickly and evenly.

    Viv, your comment about needing higher output in the far north would have me add that the radiators -of any type- should be sized for a calculated heat loss AND for the expected water temperature you will send out on the coldest day. From here you can plan a reset schedule (automatic outdoor reset) which will save you money.
  • AndiBAndiB Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2013
    Alternate to cast iron baseboard radiators.

    I have a small powder room with baseboard radiator next to the toilet. The radiator gets rusty since my son and his friends don't have great aim when using the toilet. I have repainted once or twice, but the radiator continues to rust. Any ideas how to solve this problem? I am considering removing the radiator and running the wall to the floor with molding and replacing the heat with a runtal radiator on an opposite wall.

    Is this a good idea? Are there any other possibilities? Thanks for your help! Andi
  • BB vs. Runtal mounting

    Baseboard (BB) has a built-in spacer that allows the heating element to be a couple of inches off the floor. It's part of the sheet metal enclosure and extends below the fins. Runtal radiators do not have that spacer.
    Often wrong, never in doubt.
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