copper tube fins
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    72

    copper tube fins

    In my garage there is an exposed 8' run of 3/4" rigid copper line which is a section of the circulatory system plumbing of the hot water boiler which heats the house. I would prefer that this 8' run was a finned tube which would then radiate some heat into the garage. Instead of having to cut the section out and replace it with a manufactured fin tube section, isn't there something like replacement fins that could be added to the bare pipe, perhaps clipped on, which would essentially create a finned tube radiator out of the bare section of run?
    Also, for other badly bent or damaged sections of fins on baseboard fin tubes in other locations in the house, is there such a way to replace them? I noticed that I can just cut the damaged thin aluminum square fins and pull them right off the pipe with no problem, leaving a bare tube...
    The basic type of baseboard fin (and fin tube) I'm talking about is pictured on the lower right in the photo below.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    ontario
    Posts
    92
    Ive never seen or heard of such a thing. I cant see it being as easy as said.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Yuma, Arizona
    Posts
    252
    Boy you sure did yourself a favor by removing the damaged aluminum square fins and pulling them off the pipe leaving the pipe bare.

    Perhaps you have the solution to your first question, Just keep removing these fins off of your baseboard heaters and I'm sure you'll find a way to attach them to your hot water pipe in your garage.

    Then perhaps on those really cold days you can huddle around your hot water pipe in your garage and stay warm? Just a thought.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by rotaryfrk View Post
    Boy you sure did yourself a favor by removing the damaged aluminum square fins and pulling them off the pipe leaving the pipe bare.
    I didn't remove any damaged aluminum square fins. I removed some that weren't damaged. They were located on the end of the finned tube next to the joint where the finned tube connects to the regular tube. I removed them so I could get the tubing cutter on the end part of the the finned tube in order to be able to repair a hole (cut out and splice in a repaired section) in the line which occured next to the end of the finned tube due to a a frozen pipe in a bedroom which caused the pipe to burst. So now I was just wondering if there is a way to replace the square fins which I pulled off, or perhaps other badly bent or damaged fins in other baseboard locations. But I guess there isn't, nobody's ever heard of such a thing. In the garage, the 8' section mentioned in my initial post used to be a finned section but was replaced with a regular section of copper line when the finned section burst by both ends because the pipe froze there. It was replaced with the regular section instead of a finned tube section because a finned tube section was not immediately available to make the repair which needed to be made in a hurry. FYI

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    Just replace the 8 foot section with new baseboard finned tube.
    Its not that expensive.
    Besides the copper tubing that is baseboard is thinner wall which transfers heat much better than standard M type copper tubing.
    I've never heard of the clip on fins either.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    294
    I'll bet you can buy an 8 ft section of 3/4 copper finned tube for less than $40.
    You don't have to buy the whole baseboard, just the heating element.
    There is no way you can do that finning yourself since you would have to not only attach each fin securely but guarantee that heat transfer between the tube and your fin is not compromised, a feat that only mfrs can handle.
    My advice:
    I abree with the previous poster.
    Spring for the new section.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Pennsylvania - Moved to Maryland
    Posts
    127

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    72
    After further consultation and consideration I've decided my crazy "re-finning" idea isn't such a hot idea, that it wouldn't work because the fins are pressed onto the tubing at the manufacturer so they make good contact with the pipe, and trying do anything otherwise in this case would be nutty. And a length of fins by themselves do not heat very good as they also need an enclosure to get the proper convection.
    So I'll probably just go buy a complete baseboard unit, install that and be done with it.
    thanks

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,260
    Also consider that there are more than the standard fin tube base board units. There are forced air exchangers, and high output baseboard. And if you are getting pin hole leaks, keep a close eye out. Replacing all the baseboard may be a cheap alternative to the water damage that you could get from a bad leak.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    72
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbaron View Post
    Also consider that there are more than the standard fin tube base board units. There are forced air exchangers, and high output baseboard. And if you are getting pin hole leaks, keep a close eye out. Replacing all the baseboard may be a cheap alternative to the water damage that you could get from a bad leak.
    Haven't been getting any pinhole leaks (yet). What is high output baseboard and how does it differ from the standard? Is it more durable somehow? Where do I get some?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    has higher BTU output rating

    usually taller, has larger fins. Check website for Slant-fin and others.
    Any good plumbing supply should have a selection.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,621
    HO baseboard could get you into the 1000btu per foot range.
    Be sure your circ is flowing enough GPM to cover the extra load and not cause other trouble with baseboard at the end of the heating loop.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    HO baseboard could get you into the 1000btu per foot range. Be sure your circ is flowing enough GPM to cover the extra load and not cause other trouble with baseboard at the end of the heating loop.
    What's a good method to find out my GPM flow and whether the system could cover the extra load required for any additional baseboard (either standard or HO?) GPM flow of my circ pump, square footage of area needed to heat?

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