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SureBert 12-05-2008 04:49 PM

Finned-tube elements for hot water baseboard heat
I recently refurbished a house about a year ago. I had cleaned the fined-tube elements of my basboards due the amount of grunge on them (they're easily in the 40 years-old range). I used a light solution of Dirtex which did a remarkable job, considering. Last year when running the heat everything was fine. This year I have noticed that each time the boiler goes on, and the lines are flush with hot water, as the elements heat up a rather pungent odor is "released".

My question is two-fold - first, is there a proper cleaner that I can use to cleaned the finned-tube elements? Second, can I paint the finned-tube elements themselves. say with an enamel based paint? I am not talking about the baseboards, but the actual elements - the piping and fins?

I have not measured the temperature that the elements heat up to, so I am not sure, given that I can paint them, if a high-heat paint would be needed.

Any guidence or assistance would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance!

yuri 12-05-2008 04:54 PM

Adding paint is like adding insulation to them. It will reduce the heat transfer rate/efficiency. Bare copper is the best. Try rinsing them with fresh water to get rid of the solvent.

SureBert 12-05-2008 05:01 PM

Gee, that (rinsing with fresh water) sounds too simple for me to have even thought of. Thanks for the quick reply! Guess I'm always looking for the hardest way to do anything. I had however thought of the issue of painting them resulting in a reduction of the heat induction.

I will take your advice and give them a good rinsing. THANKS AGAIN!

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