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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    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.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Yuma, AZ
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    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:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Rochester NY
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    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?

    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%

    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    I don't know
    Post Likes
    but the idea came to me to consider electric baseboards as an alternative.
    Don't do it.

    Get the hydronic system fixed.
    economic collapse is a certainty. debt based fiat currency monetary systems can never continue indefinitely because they require continuous creation of new debt to service the existing debt. in the absence of economical growth (which is always predicated on increased resource extraction rather than capital alone), this leads to massive inflation which destroys the currency.

    your leaders can't fix this - they're corrupt and only exist to enrich themselves and their corporate friends.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Post Likes
    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 many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Philadelphia PA
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    Replace missing copper with

    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
    Southeastern Pa
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    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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