We have electric baseboard heat now and I would like to convert to oil
heating system. I would like to know what is the fair price for installing a
new radiator system alone, _not_ including the furnace. I am thinking
whether I can do the pipe work myself and then have oil company to install
the furnace later. I don't have knowledge in heating system but I think I
can have two branches. One remains in the basement and another one for
upstair which look like the water pipe can go along the ceiling of the
basement and poke up to the floor above in places where radiators are needed
and then go down to the basement ceiling again. Is it something I can do
without a professional? TIA.
Maybe, it is not fair straight forward. First, you have to know what size
baseboard you need. Each room will usually have one wall with the metal on
it for appearance, but only a portion may be needed with the actual finned
tubing. This has to be sized out first.
Next, how good are you at soldering in tight places? This is probably the
most difficult and critical parts of the job. Even if you have a pro do
that portion of the job, you can save by drilling the holes and mounting the
There is more to it than just installing the radiators and running the
piping. Another poster mentioned proper sizing. Another tricky part
is getting the piping sloped (or not sloped in some cases) to make
sure the air bleeds are at the high spot, and there are no loops that
will trap air and cause the system to air lock. Basement radiators
where the piping is run above require special care to avoid airlocks.
If you are going to have multiple zones you have to decide if you will
have zone valves, multiple circulators, or passive flow splitting
tees. This greatly affects how you will do the plumbing: a big loop,
two loops, each area home run back to a manifold, etc.
See if your library has "Modern Hydronic Heating" by Siegenthaler.
Spend a few hours or days studying that and then decide if you are up
to the task. This is not a job you want to do or have done twice.
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Probably not...but only you'll know for sure.
Read Paul's very wise post. At the very least, you should probably
have more than one zone...to conserve energy and accompanying costs.
And you'll need to run some wiring, too.
Have a nice week...
Certified breast self-exam subcontractor.
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