Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-07-2012, 07:07 PM   #1
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


I buy and renovate foreclosed duplexes to rent.

In one house, several cast iron radiators were stolen.

I'm planning to replace the missing ones w/ modern baseboards, but I have two questions:

First, a 6' baseboard radiator seems to have less BTU capacity than a 3' 4 row cast iron one. Can you point me toward the resources I need to figure out how to get the right capacity? (I can read and do math, links are fine, but a walkthrough on calculating capacity on baseboards vs cast iron would be helpful).

Second, if I need 6' of capacity but only have 3' of wall space, what do I do? Stack two 3' baseboards one over the other? Can I plumb them in parallel, or do I have to run a return line across from one to the other? (think a bathroom that had a tall narrow cast iron radiator).

Third, I know the remaining cast irons will have latent heat causing imbalances. How would I balance them w/ the baseboards? Or should I just replace all the radiators w/ baseboards since they're so cheap?

Thanks,
John
nycphotography is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 08-07-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
Pro
 
Jackpine Savage's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/carpenter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 161
Rewards Points: 152

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Quote:
Originally Posted by nycphotography View Post
I buy and renovate foreclosed duplexes to rent.

In one house, several cast iron radiators were stolen.

I'm planning to replace the missing ones w/ modern baseboards, but I have two questions:

First, a 6' baseboard radiator seems to have less BTU capacity than a 3' 4 row cast iron one. Can you point me toward the resources I need to figure out how to get the right capacity? (I can read and do math, links are fine, but a walkthrough on calculating capacity on baseboards vs cast iron would be helpful).

Second, if I need 6' of capacity but only have 3' of wall space, what do I do? Stack two 3' baseboards one over the other? Can I plumb them in parallel, or do I have to run a return line across from one to the other? (think a bathroom that had a tall narrow cast iron radiator).

Third, I know the remaining cast irons will have latent heat causing imbalances. How would I balance them w/ the baseboards? Or should I just replace all the radiators w/ baseboards since they're so cheap?

Thanks,
John
Been there done that. I'm not a heating guy, but the only way I could see it working is if you have two completely different zones for the two different types of heaters.

Fill a cast iron radiator with hot water, and it radiates heat for a long time. A fin tube is stone cold in a short time. Completely different animals.

Advertisement

Jackpine Savage is offline  
Old 08-20-2012, 10:56 AM   #3
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Can anyone point me to a reference to help w/ sizing the baseboards using the cast iron as a reference?

Looks like I'll be pulling the half of the cast iron that wasn't stolen and replacing ALL the cast iron w/ fin tube baseboards in both units (7 baseboards per unit). It's a lot cheaper than replacing the missing cast iron, and baseboards work great if sized correctly in a matched system.
nycphotography is offline  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
LRG WoodCrafting

 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Trade: DIY Home Owner
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 23,706
Rewards Points: 15,240

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


You can use a euro style radiator. They are tall like cast iron and might have the BTU capacity of them.
__________________
Sawdust Follows Me Everywhere
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HusqyPro View Post
Carpenter by day.
Mad scientist by night.
http://lrgwood.com
Custom Cabinets in Hartford County Connecticut
Leo G is online now  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
LRG WoodCrafting

 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Trade: DIY Home Owner
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 23,706
Rewards Points: 15,240

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


These even look like cast iron but not as bulky. They have BTU listed

http://www.runtalnorthamerica.com/re...radiators.html
__________________
Sawdust Follows Me Everywhere
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HusqyPro View Post
Carpenter by day.
Mad scientist by night.
http://lrgwood.com
Custom Cabinets in Hartford County Connecticut
Leo G is online now  
Old 08-20-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
Pro
 
rrk's Avatar
 
Trade: remodeling
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: new jersey
Posts: 1,663
Rewards Points: 2,120

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


I guess you already checked to make sure it is not steam heat, right?

The euro style like the Runtal are nice, there is another one who's name escapes me that I used to get from a place in N.H. That was also nice and cheaper than Runtal.
rrk is online now  
Old 08-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
Box Builder
 
Morning Wood's Avatar
 
Trade: Pretty much anything with wood and some metals
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rockport, MA
Posts: 3,198
Rewards Points: 3,164

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Who the hell steals a cast iron radiator? Those things are so heavy. Buderus makes a panel radiator too. They're ok
Morning Wood is online now  
Old 08-21-2012, 08:56 AM   #8
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


The house is definitely hot water and not steam.

I guess I really need help reverse engineering the BTU capacity of the cast iron radiators, then from that I can size the baseboards.
nycphotography is offline  
Old 08-21-2012, 09:01 AM   #9
Guy who makes things
 
UALocal1Plumber's Avatar
 
Trade: Plumbing
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Queens NY
Posts: 295
Rewards Points: 254

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


I think you're giving yourself a headache for no reason. Pick up CI radiators to replace the missing units. Governale makes the common ones around here. They're similar in price to CI baseboard.

Copper baseboard may seem like a good idea in the rental unit, but they're subject to abuse and theft as well. Plus you'll never get the system to run well because the pipe and drops were designed for a certain BTU/hr in each area. there's no reason to mess with it.

Think of the labor needed to pipe in the new baseboard as well. Replace the radiators, you'll be done in 1 2 3.

Keith
__________________
"To pipe" means to install a plumbing system, not "to plumb". When someone says that they "plumbed the house in" I want to cringe. What you told me is that you held a 6' level against the wall.
UALocal1Plumber is offline  
Old 08-21-2012, 09:24 AM   #10
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


For example, one radiator that was "almost stolen" is 24" tall, 5 rows, 22 sections.

This site says that's 3.0 x 22 x 170 = 11,220 BTU.

http://www.colonialsupply.com/resources/radiator3.htm

But a new baseboard says 330 BTU / ft. That means I need 34 FEET of baseboard??

Really?
nycphotography is offline  
Old 08-21-2012, 09:26 AM   #11
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Quote:
Originally Posted by UALocal1Plumber View Post
I think you're giving yourself a headache for no reason. Pick up CI radiators to replace the missing units. Governale makes the common ones around here. They're similar in price to CI baseboard.

Copper baseboard may seem like a good idea in the rental unit, but they're subject to abuse and theft as well. Plus you'll never get the system to run well because the pipe and drops were designed for a certain BTU/hr in each area. there's no reason to mess with it.

Think of the labor needed to pipe in the new baseboard as well. Replace the radiators, you'll be done in 1 2 3.

Keith
Really? I'll look for those this afternoon...

any suggestions where to buy in NJ or E PA?
nycphotography is offline  
Old 08-21-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
Guy who makes things
 
UALocal1Plumber's Avatar
 
Trade: Plumbing
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Queens NY
Posts: 295
Rewards Points: 254

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Just try a local plumbing supply. I don't know who's near you sorry.
__________________
"To pipe" means to install a plumbing system, not "to plumb". When someone says that they "plumbed the house in" I want to cringe. What you told me is that you held a 6' level against the wall.
UALocal1Plumber is offline  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #13
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


I called Governale, they referred a couple local houses. Only one in NE PA is in Stroudsburg. When the time comes, I'll call OCS too. They both do CI, both in Brooklyn.

$350 to replace one stolen radiator. With 2-4 missing, it becomes an even wash between buying $1500 of radiators or buying $1500 baseboards. Or maybe $750 in baseboards and consolidate the iron from two units into one.

Guess I should just replace the CI to avoid sizing and design problems in the future. Thanks.



As an aside, I just checked scrap prices... they're worth around $20 in scrap iron. Gotta love a meth head. Wrestling 200 lbs of iron out of a house to get $20 (or less) for scrap, and doing $500 damage in the process.
nycphotography is offline  
Old 08-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #14
Member
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Trade: general renovation
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: ny and pa
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Guess what I just found....

http://bed-stuy.patch.com/listings/k...ating-supplies

A huge warehouse of used radiators in Brooklyn... open 24/7.

That should help lower the cost of replacing them.
nycphotography is offline  
Old 08-22-2012, 12:12 PM   #15
Guy who makes things
 
UALocal1Plumber's Avatar
 
Trade: Plumbing
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Queens NY
Posts: 295
Rewards Points: 254

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Quote:
Originally Posted by nycphotography
I called Governale, they referred a couple local houses. Only one in NE PA is in Stroudsburg. When the time comes, I'll call OCS too. They both do CI, both in Brooklyn.

$350 to replace one stolen radiator. With 2-4 missing, it becomes an even wash between buying $1500 of radiators or buying $1500 baseboards. Or maybe $750 in baseboards and consolidate the iron from two units into one.

Guess I should just replace the CI to avoid sizing and design problems in the future. Thanks.

As an aside, I just checked scrap prices... they're worth around $20 in scrap iron. Gotta love a meth head. Wrestling 200 lbs of iron out of a house to get $20 (or less) for scrap, and doing $500 damage in the process.
Trust me, that **** will make you do crazy things.

Keith
__________________
"To pipe" means to install a plumbing system, not "to plumb". When someone says that they "plumbed the house in" I want to cringe. What you told me is that you held a 6' level against the wall.
UALocal1Plumber is offline  
Old 08-24-2012, 09:14 PM   #16
Repair & Renovation
 
Rich D.'s Avatar
 
Trade: R. Damato Construction
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 3,226
Rewards Points: 2,532

Re: Replacing Cast Iron Hw Radiators W/ Hot Water Baseboards


Get used radiators.. i know that place in brooklyn as posted above

Advertisement

__________________
“The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price has faded from memory.” - Aldo Gucci
Rich D. is online now  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Refinishing an Old Cast Iron Sink? sbcontracting Kitchens & Baths 6 08-17-2011 06:03 PM
Cast iron shower pans?? ruskent Remodeling 18 11-24-2009 08:29 PM
Has anyone heard of cold fusion welding for cast iron tmpnc Welding & Steel Trades 1 02-04-2009 01:24 PM
water heats water but doesnt circulate heat in baseboards geno49 HVAC 4 10-17-2006 08:38 AM
Cast Iron Pipe denick Excavation & Site Work 18 05-13-2006 09:32 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?