Can a pipe act as a heater?

Hi,
My bathroom is too small for a radiator so I'm looking for alternative solutions.
On my visits to Europe I notice that they have exposed pipes that run along the walls and are hot. I think those are pipes that deliver hot water to the radiators.
Would that be a viable solution and does there exist an aesthetically attractive version of it in the US?
Thanks!
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Aaron Fude wrote:

use brass pipe?
nate
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Finned pipe/tube is certainly made in the US. It might not be easy to find a small quantity retail. Also, most is used for industrial applications and for greenhouses. I doubt that it will be pretty. And, if the bathroom is that small, I'm not sure you'll have a sufficiently long run of pipe to significantly raise the temperature of the room.
You might want to think about a ceiling mounted electrical heater. It's much more standard and it will be much easier to avoid running into any code violation problems. Probably a lot less costly to buy and install. Although they consume a fair amount of power, they're normally only switched on for very short periods.
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Get an in-wall heater, and plumb the heating pipes to that.
Bob
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Aaron-
How much heat do you need? US location?
Do you already have hot water heat in the rest of the house?
You could solder something up out of copper tube but you'd need to be careful of the burn hazard.
They make chrome plated brass tube as well
Depnds on how much effort you want to put into this, you could integrate this into the towel rack arrangement...heat the bathroom & the towels :)
Electric heat is easy
www.mcmaster.com
cheers Bob
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Just drill a hole thru one of the studs in the wall, the entire length of the 2x4. Run the hot water thru the hole. <LOL>
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Plain pipe is not going to give off much heat. Finned pipe, such as in baseboard heat, will give off much more as air convects over the fins. Although most efficient installed horizontal, it will still radiate heat in other directions too. If you have room for a pipe, you have room for a finned pipe. Just buy a section of baseboard heat.
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If you noticed, in Europe, they use pressed metal radiators for hot water heating retrofits where their living spaces are quite small. These radiators mount on the wall and only protrude a small amount. Possibly you should/could research a source of this type of rad for your bathroom. I do not know if they are readily available in North America so it may take some work to locate one.

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If these don't have fins, I think you're just seeing surface-mounted supply pipes for the real radiators. The pipes don't deliver much real heat - the radiators do.
If you're seeing them in a rack-like arrangement in bathrooms, they're towel warmers. Sometimes they're in-line with the hot water radiators, and other times they're inline with the hot water supply to the bathroom fixtures. The latter heats only when you're using hot water - throw the towel on the rack, have a shower, and voila, warm towels. Sometimes they're electric heaters, not hot water.
Towel warmers are becoming more popular in North America, but they're usually 120v plug-in devices that either mount on the wall or are free-standing racks.
Electric towel warms don't consume that much power. We have one - it's only 60W.
If you get stuck looking for a slim-line hot water radiator, you might want to look into wall mount electric heaters. Either in-wall fan heaters, or surface mount ones. The surface mount ones protrude 2" or less.
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In my house, which has the old-fashioned cast-iron radiators, most of the radiators are short (roughly knee-high) but the one in the bathroom is taller (chest-high), but with a very small footprint, maybe 18 inches wide and a foot deep. So one option would be to look for a small-footprint radiator like that. Another would be to use a baseboard radiator, they run along a wall at the floor, maybe 10 inches tall, 3 or 4 inches deep, by however long you want. I know you said "there's no room for a radiator" but just trying to present some options. How was the bathroom heated before? -- H
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You could make one out of copper for a few $. In fact, a little creative sweating and you could create a pretty nifty room warmer that could double as a towel warmer for those mornings stepping out of the shower. Running the shower would heat the pipes, room and towels.
If you don't run the hot water for a while, the pipes (and room?) might cool down, tho.
Wait, let me patent that idea! ;-)
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