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  1. #1

    Repair or replace

    Hello all,

    I am a newbie to this forum and have found a property which I am looking at purchasing with an aim to renovate and rent out. The property was recently vandalized and much of the copper pipe for the heating system was ripped out in the basement. Luckily, the thief wasn't too ambitious and only took what was exposed and didn't rip the walls apart.

    The house is from 1900 and uses a gas hot-water furnace fed to old cast-iron radiators throughout the house. The furnaces were last inspected/serviced in 2006, but I was told that they were in use last winter, this was confirmed by neighbors. The house has no duct work and no room to install any.

    I plan to get an estimate on repairing the pipes before making an offer, but the idea came to me to consider electric baseboards as an alternative. Searching this forum, I don't see many good things said about that type of system. If the cost of new electric was the same as repairing the gas, which would be the better way to go in terms of how economical to run and how much maintenance could be expected.

    If it helps: The house is 2300sqft and elec is .11/kwh and gas 3.77/mcf.

    I will likely look in to both, but any expert advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    -Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Yuma, AZ
    Posts
    2,361
    We can't help much without a city and state. (climate matters also.)
    Either way, be sure to air seal the house during the renovation.
    Is this multi story?
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
    Mark Twain
    More at: http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/education/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,739
    Cast iron radiators are fantastic.

    An energy audit should get you an idea of the heating liability, capital and monthly, using gas or electric.


    Quote Originally Posted by lynn comstock View Post
    We can't help much without a city and state. (climate matters also.)
    Anybody else think membership should require at least zip or state?

    Dad?
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    I don't know
    Posts
    2,905
    but the idea came to me to consider electric baseboards as an alternative.
    Don't do it.

    Get the hydronic system fixed.
    General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,369
    At the rates you posted. 1,000,000 B TU of hat from electric resistance heat will cost $32.22

    1,000,000 BTUs of heat from an 80% efficient gas boiler will cost $4.71
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190

    Replace missing copper with

    PEX
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,912
    Energy audit, pex piping, and if needed, a new boiler in the offer.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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