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Old 04-12-2013, 03:28 PM   #1
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


I had a strange idea and want to see if it is feasable.

Can I run a single baseboard heater off of my 40 gallon hot water tank without expensive mixing valves?

I know there are systems that you can run radiant floor heating from them but they require mixing valves to cool the water a bit as not to warp floors etc.

I keep my water heater at about 120 degrees and have a window in my livining room right above the tank that is located in the basement and want to warm this room warmer than the rest of the house as this is the room we spend the most time in.

Just checking and please tell me if I am nuts and not at all possible. Also is there a problem with running that hot of water through the heater?

Thanks,
Rick

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:06 PM   #2
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


A cooper tube aluminum fin baseboard won't give you much heat with only 120F water going through it.

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:10 PM   #3
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


Really? Wow! I thought it would be to warm. What is the normal temp of a boiler for a hot water heat system. Just curious.

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:16 PM   #4
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


160F is normal. The length of your baseboard can compensate for the lower water temp.

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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Copper finned baseboard is usually 180F. Cast iron rads or cast iron baseboard 150to 170F.
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Old 04-12-2013, 04:50 PM   #6
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


I have a gas fired 40 gallon hot water tank. The living room is only a 10'x20' Does this sound at all efficient or should I just bump up my whole house temp a couple of degrees.

I have a 95% efficient gas furnace and my house is only about 1500 sq feet.

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Old 04-12-2013, 04:59 PM   #7
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


Can you legally run baseboard off the drinking water system? Seems like those two things ought to be separate...

Anyway, I'd start with re-balancing your forced air furnace system. Go around to all the other rooms and partially (not completely) close the supply dampers to force more air into the living room with fully-open supply dampers.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:05 PM   #8
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Baseboard Heat From Hotwater Tank


Thank you for your response.

I beleive it is allowed to run them off of domestic drinking water.

I have seen systems where they use the water for radiant floor heating in the winter then run the cold water through the floor in the summer to kinda "pre warm" it before going into the hot water tank and also so it does not get stagnant just sitting there.

In ref to the adjusting of the vents, yes that is probably the easiest and most obvious thing to do but I dont want to go and have to adjust all the vents every day before bedtime to warm the other rooms.

This all was just a random thought. Thanks for the replies. I wonder if an electric baseboard is worth the cost?

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Old 04-12-2013, 05:11 PM   #9
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Not sure electric baseboard is cost effective. The baseboard itself isn't too bad but running 240V power to that location might be expensive depending on the location of your breaker box and the layout of your home. And of course running it is expensive as electricity is usually 3X or more $ per BTU than gas.

What kind of climate do you live in? Perhaps a window- or through-the-wall heat pump is an option. Above 40F outside temperature, they only use 1/3rd the electricity as electric baseboard. (Below 40F, they still produce heat but with the same electric usage as electric baseboard.) They may be too noisy for a living room, though... basically as loud as a window A/C unit.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:14 PM   #10
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I may be wrong but I don't think domestic water system can be used for heating. I've always seen or used heat exchanges.

Also, how did you plan on circulating the water to the heater?

I think you're on the right track by looking at something electric.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:18 PM   #11
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I live in Pittsburgh, PA, so we can get cold in the winter, down to 0 at times but usually around 20-30 for the winters.

This is not really a huge issue. The living room is not frigid but I was just trying to think of a more cost effective way to heat the space without heating the whole house. I do have a wood burning fire place that I would love to convert to a more efficient use with an insert but just exploring at this time.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:21 PM   #12
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No, the tank in question won't be able to make up the delta t fast enough, water heaters won't get the water hot enough, no means to circulate it. forgetaboutit.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgfdc3 View Post
I live in Pittsburgh, PA, so we can get cold in the winter, down to 0 at times but usually around 20-30 for the winters.

This is not really a huge issue. The living room is not frigid but I was just trying to think of a more cost effective way to heat the space without heating the whole house. I do have a wood burning fire place that I would love to convert to a more efficient use with an insert but just exploring at this time.
I totally get it. My basement is cold too. The wife bought one of those portable heaters that look kind of like a pot belly stove.
I laughed at first, But I soon realized it does a decent job of taking up the room temp a couple of degrees- couldn't tell you how it affects my bill though
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:31 PM   #14
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Gotcha. Well, there may be another option depending on the layout of the furnace ducting: one central damper in the main trunk, either electric (for inaccessible crawlspaces, attics, or inside walls) or manual (if you can get to it easily).

With a damper in the main trunk, you can reduce supply to part of the house (bedrooms) while maintaining full flow to the other parts (living room). Depends on how the ducting runs though, if the bedrooms are fed from the trunk first before getting to the living room, it's a no-go. And, you can't close it down too far, or you do bad things to the blower motor or trip the furnace safety devices, but it could potentially let you inexpensively do quasi-zone heating without running around to all the supply registers twice a day.
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:52 PM   #15
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Thanks all, I may just not do anything. The wife doesn't there is even a problem. She just sits there with her blamket on her lap.

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