I recently bought a house that has gas hot air heat. While it does a
good job, I am noticing the basement is always cooler than the rest of
the house even after opening up all the registers in the basement. I
would like to add supplemental heat in the basement on it's own
thermostat. Is it possible to add hot water baseboard heat off an
existing hot water heater I have in the basement? I thought I heard at
one time it can be done.
I am now sixty seven years old. When I was in a play pen we lived
in a house with a hand fired coal furnace and gravity /
convection circulation of hot water to the radiators. My father
installed valves to connect the hot water heater to the radiator
in the kitchen so my brother and I could have a warm radiator
next to the play pen in spring and fall when the furnace was not
fired up. During the heating season the valves were turned to
The valves were still there when I checked the house as we were
about to sell it after the funerals.
It is possible, but against code in most areas to use a potable water for
heating too. During times when the heat is not needed the water can stagnate
and even grow bacteria. Then the next time the heater is on you have just
flushed stagnant water into your water heater.
You need a seperate heater, or just use electric baseboard heat. If you had
intended using an electric water heater, electric basebord would make more
Yes, it is done. You'll need a (small) circ pump which is approved
for potable use. The stat can control the pump. The return line goes to
the tank outlet where the drain valve is now.
It will probably shorten the heater life, so weigh that. For only
intermittent use, you might be ahead with some baseboard electric.
You would probably be better off to leave your water heater alone and
install the hot water baseboard system with a new small electric water
heater and a circulating pump. You could just turn it on during the winter
months. The system would probably run maintenance free for a long time.
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