installing basement radiator

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    • #274268
      Anonymous

      I have an old (but effecient) hot water (not steam) heating system. I want to install an old cast iron radiator in our almost finished basement, but I am not sure how to do this: Do I need a pump to circulate the water at this level? What is the best zone to connect it to, and what configuration of piping will be best? All advice is greatly appreciated !

    • #289468

      How you do it will depend on how the rest of the system is piped. If it is a looped baseboard system then you will have to create its own zone. If it is a MonoFlo system then you can connect it to the existing main, but you will have to use both feed and return Monoflo tees. If you have any other type of system, then you will either have to come back with a description or have a local plumber determine the best installation.

    • #289469

      Thank you, Fourth Year! I do have the choice of tapping into two zones. One is composed of baseboard heat with a toe heater in the kitchen and family room above the basement area to be heated. The other zone is composed of old heavy, large cast iron radiators that include the dining room above the basement and all second floor bedrooms above the dining room. Will it be difficult for the circulator to pump at different levels? Thank you!

    • #289470

      Think of a large pot of water. Will a circulator anywhere under water have difficulty pumping water to the top of the pot? Your heating system is filled to the top, so it doesn’t require a circulator to pump water to the top. A circulator only has to overcome the resistance of the length of the pipes and the turns in the fittings, so your circulator does not have a problem pumping at different levels. It does have harder work pumping through small tubes such as the fin-tube baseboard run and the resistance of the kickspace heater because the smaller holes in the tube create a resistance to the flow of water.

      Although it doesn’t matter as much in a basement cast-iron radiator, because the basement is a large area less sensitive to temperature swings, it is not a good practice to put cast-iron radiators on a lightweight fin-tube baseboard loop because the cast-iron retains heat for a long time after fin-tube loses its heat to the room. A thermostat in a cast-iron-radiated room will sense that the room is dropping in temperature long after copper-tube baseboard in another room on the same loop has given up its heat – the other room will be cold.

      If the bedrooms are set back in temperature, the basement radiator will be giving off less heat at the same time if it is on the same loop. If this is not a problem, then the cast-iron radiator on the loop with the other cast-iron radiators is a good place to join the basement heat. If the basement needs heat at these times then a new loop with its own circulator is necessary.

      You can learn more about hot water heat in the free lessons at http://www.hydronic.net

    • #289471

      Besides the stated reasons for not installing the radiator on the baseboard circuit, the baseboards are usually installed in a continuous loop. Cast iron radiators do not always function properly unless connected to a continuous main and unless connected to a main line, the radiator cannot have a valve installed in its supply pipe.

    • #289472

      Besides the stated reasons for not installing the radiator on the baseboard circuit, the baseboards are usually installed in a continuous loop. Cast iron radiators do not always function properly unless connected to a continuous main and unless connected to a main line, the radiator cannot have a valve installed in its supply pipe.

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