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Old 10-04-2009, 07:37 PM   #1
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


I have hydronic baseboard heating in our house. I'm sure it's original but we aren't. My question is this. See image.
Is this a shut-off for water flow to this particular baseboard unit? If yes, can I do this without jeopardizing the rest of the system? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I believe these baseboards are mounted to concrete block walls and the blocks are covered with stone on the exterior. Therefore, no insulation between baseboards and exterior. That would explain $300/mth natural gas bill. I want to shut this baseboard off and see if my suspicions are correct. If I am right then, gas bill will reduce and room can stay heated by wood burning fireplace.

Thanks,

Thomas
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:27 AM   #2
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


I'm pretty sure that it's a shut-off. It's possible that closing it will stop flow to the entire zone. You have to see how the system is plumbed to be sure.

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Old 10-05-2009, 07:49 PM   #3
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


It is definitely a shut off valve. My guess it is a monoflow system which means it will not affect the rest of the system. After shutting off the valve do not expect to see a fuel reduction.
A picture of the supply and return connection to the system would help.
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:57 AM   #4
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


boy that is raw......how's that wall in the winter with the wind blowing?the hot water is being delivered at 150F-170F from the boiler and anything metal,stone,air on that baseboard or piping will pull on that temp to make a room temp at eay 70F on the stat.if you could loosen the baseboard(get it away from that wall even a 1/2") and slip a sheet of foil backed styrafome that would bounce the heat more towards the space.is there insulation on any visable piping supply or return there?
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:08 AM   #5
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


That is the shut off.

BUT. Shutting it off may create a bigger problem then a high heating bill.
Very possible that the water in the pipe will freeze and burst the pipe. Causing a lot of water damage.

Your high heating bill is simply because of the construction of your house. And may be your boiler if its an older low efficiency model.

How big is your house. What kind of windows. Where does the combustion air for your wood stove come from. Are your doors and windows leaky.

Can you make any improvements that will lower your heat loss.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:13 AM   #6
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


biggles,
that's exactly my point! water is flowing thru that pipe and down to the baseboard. there's no insulation so, in the winter, the wall is warm until you go past the point where the baseboard ends and then it is frozen cold. Add to that, the fact we never have snow building up on the west wall of our walkout basement, actually, it melts because we have (you guessed it) baseboards all along that wall. I just know that with all of this stone heating in the winter, it must be driving up my gas bill.

Thomas




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Originally Posted by biggles View Post
boy that is raw......how's that wall in the winter with the wind blowing?the hot water is being delivered at 150F-170F from the boiler and anything metal,stone,air on that baseboard or piping will pull on that temp to make a room temp at eay 70F on the stat.if you could loosen the baseboard(get it away from that wall even a 1/2") and slip a sheet of foil backed styrafome that would bounce the heat more towards the space.is there insulation on any visable piping supply or return there?
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:20 AM   #7
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


beenthere,
Jeez, I never thought of those pipes freezing in the winter if I shut them off. That's a real possibility. Boiler is H/E Weil-McLain system, all new windows, no leaky doors and wood burning fireplace in the family room where these offensive pipes are located. As I see it the only real way of making this better is re-plumbing the basement to get the pipes out of the stone wall and get the baseboards away from the exterior walls so the only thing I'm heating is the space inside.

Thomas

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That is the shut off.

BUT. Shutting it off may create a bigger problem then a high heating bill.
Very possible that the water in the pipe will freeze and burst the pipe. Causing a lot of water damage.

Your high heating bill is simply because of the construction of your house. And may be your boiler if its an older low efficiency model.

How big is your house. What kind of windows. Where does the combustion air for your wood stove come from. Are your doors and windows leaky.

Can you make any improvements that will lower your heat loss.
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Old 10-06-2009, 05:27 AM   #8
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Hydronic Heating (hot water baseboard) Question


A temp solution to prevent frozen pipes(can also be permanent).
Is to have glycol added to the system. Glycol will lower the waters heat transfer ability. But, will also help protect against frozen pipes.

It can be added in one of 2 strengths.
Freeze protection(high glycol volume).
Burst protection(lower glycol volume).

Burst gives you good heat transfer. But will allow the water to jell if it gets too cold. But the water will not become a solid(ice) and "burst" the pipes.

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