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Author Topic: How much baseboard?  (Read 4144 times)
Ross
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« on: October 16, 2006, 08:51:04 AM »

Time to start thinking about installing the Proheat.  Anyone out there in the heating business have a guideline on how much baseboard would be about right for a 45K Proheat?  For the time being, the plan is to just loop the proheat through the baseboard system and a small expansion tank so I can get some hydronic heat going for the winter.  I'll use the propane water heater and electric block heater until spring, then I'll install a proper system with a larger expansion tank and zone pumps for Heat, hot water and engine preheat.

For available wall space, on the passenger side I have 14 feet in the liveing room/dining room, 3 feet next to the toilet and 8 feet in the bedroom.  On the driver side, I have 6 feet in the living room behind the couch and 8 feet in the bedroom.  3 feet beside the toilet is probably not worth messing with.  So does this sound like enough baseboard...or not enough?

Also...Is it cool to plumb the baseboards with PEX?  It seems to have a high enough heat rating.

Thanks....Ross
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belfert
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 09:05:02 AM »

PEX will be fine for heat.  Radiant heat in concrete floors is all done with PEX these days.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 09:17:00 AM »

Hey Ross,
Personally, I don't like cold bathrooms, Shocked   so I'd definitely have heat in there.  Smiley

What is the heat rating of your baseboard heaters?
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2006, 09:24:32 AM »

I don't have the baseboards yet.  They are probably rated so many BTU per foot though.  I didn't think of that.  I'll check it out on the next Lowes run.  I don't mind a cold bathroom as much as ccccccold tile.  I thought of staping some pex under the bathroom floor and looping through that on the way back to the front of the bus.

Ross
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2006, 09:33:57 AM »

If you could get Buddy trained to sleep on the floor, you wouldn't have to worry about warm floors!  Grin
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2006, 09:36:39 AM »

Hi Ross,

With your bus complete allready, You would be better off with Hydronic kick space heaters. Theese heaters have 1/2"

supply and returns, with the blowers running off 115v. A company by the name of Beacon/Morris makes some good units.

I belive they come in 3 sizes, 4200btu / 8400btu / and 11400btu's.    Site: http://www.beacon-morris.com/

Nick-
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2006, 10:15:36 AM »

Ross, How is your coach heated now? How well is it insulated?

The heat required to raise the temp inside is easy to determine, it goes something like this -

On a cold night, put a 1500 watt electric heater (set on high) inside the coach (keep it a safe distance from combustables) & close it up.

Record the inside bus temp. & the outside bus temp & the time (should be the same at the start).

Several hours later, record the temps & time again.

This information can be used to determine the heat required to raise the temp inside your coach above ambient.

Then you will be able to know how many heaters are required for your needs.

Sounds  simple, right?Huh?

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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2006, 12:19:22 PM »

Hi Ross,

With your bus complete allready, You would be better off with Hydronic kick space heaters. Theese heaters have 1/2"

supply and returns, with the blowers running off 115v. A company by the name of Beacon/Morris makes some good units.

I belive they come in 3 sizes, 4200btu / 8400btu / and 11400btu's.    Site: http://http://www.beacon-morris.com/

Nick-


Two reasons for not using kick space heaters, Nick.  (1) I don't want to spend the money on them and (2) It's 3 more fans running and drawing DC from the house bank.  Installing the baseboards will be easy.  All I have to do is punch a few holes in the floor and connect the baseboards down in the bays.  The baseboards in the bedroom can be connected above the floor under the bed.  Should be a pretty easy install.

Ross
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2006, 12:25:19 PM »

Ross, How is your coach heated now? How well is it insulated?


It's insulated pretty well.  I used blue foam boards.  I did heat it during the winter in NH for a little while with 3 1500 watt heaters during construction and they would cycle on and off.  I did that until I got the elctric bill. 

I'm inclined to just install baseboard where I have space for it with a loop under the bathroom floor.  That loop should also keep the tank bay above freezing....Although I don't plan on spending a whole lot of time near freezing temps.

Ross 
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2006, 12:29:25 PM »

I have always heard that it is very nearly impossible to get enough baseboard heaters installed to warm a coach. Especially when the temperature gets to freezing or below. Apparently just not enough wall space available to provide an adequate amount of heat.

Before you commit to this may I suggest that you get some input directly from some nuts that have successfully done this.
Richard
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2006, 12:39:17 PM »

The common baseboard  (3/4" tube - 2" fin) that I used was 900 BTUs per foot but I expect it is available in different ratings. If you bus is well insulated and you are not going into extreme cold weather you can get away with 25 - 30 feet if you run the boiler at 185* F.

There are many other factors to consider when you make your permanent system.  Consider floor insulation or heated bays, number and type of windows and window covering, air circulation nside the bus, how often the door will be opened, method to control flow to engine and  domestic water heater.
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2006, 02:03:49 PM »

I did heat it during the winter in NH for a little while with 3 1500 watt heaters during construction and they would cycle on and off. I did that until I got the elctric bill.

Ross

LOL, I had the same experience the first winter when I used the engine block heaters for a few weeks straight until I could change the antifreeze .... OUCH!  Shocked

1500W times 3 equals 4500watts which equals ~15353 BTUs

15353 divided by 900BTU/FT equals ~17 feet of base board.

However, the electric heaters were heating the air in the middle of the bus. The baseboards will be heating air that will soon be cooled by the  outside wall & windows, so it won't feel as warm until the walls are suficiently warm.

Radiant base board heat 'feels' different than forced air heating.

You could always start with as much baseboard heat as you can fit in & add a toe Kick heater for occasional use at a later date.




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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2006, 04:53:02 PM »

I have the wall space for 41 feet of radiator + I can do coils under the tile floor.  That should just about match the capacity of the Proheat.  I went to Lowes today and the guy in the plumbing dept didn't know what I meant when I asked for hot water baseboards.  Must not be a common thing in NC.

Ross
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2006, 05:03:41 PM »

Ross,

For baseboard finned fixtures,

Try a Johnstone Supply or  R E Michael Supply. They are nationwide and in most yellow pages.

As far as size and how many feet.....As  many as you can fit will be just enough!

Give me a call if you need to, you got my #

Nick-
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2006, 05:57:04 PM »

Ross:
This is more complicated than it appears at first glance & Nick may be able to give you some more pointers.
That said, I am looking at putting baseboard in my MCI 7. I ran a heat/cooling load using a Manual J computer program I have for my HVAC business. Using metal walls & the insulation values (R-3) that came in the bus, I came up with 37,455 BTU for heat and 21,820 BTU for cooling. Legal Disclaimer: This is for MY BUS. YOUR RESULTS MAY VARY!  Grin
According to the specs published by HeatTrim, regular baseboard will deliver the following values:

G.P.M.                   Average water temperature
   160F   170F   180F   190F   200F   210F   220F
1   430   500   560   630   690   760   820
4   460   530   590   670   730   800   870




They also have a commercial product with the following values:

G.P.M.            Average water temperature
   160F   170F   180F   190F   200F   210F   220F
1   620   710   800   890   980   1080   1170
4   650   750   850   940   1040   1140   1240



Using these values I would need a minimum 67 feet of regular baseboard if I have 180F water @ 1 G.P.M. If I use the commercial product I would need about 47 feet.

You can extrapolate your own needs based on the table.

Hope this helps!

TOM
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2006, 06:47:21 PM »

Home Depot in NH sells it bu the foot from about 2 feet on up.  This will be the first order of business when I land in TN later this week, so I'll check the book ofr those companies.  Maybe the local HD has it.  I mean, they need heat in TN too, right?

Ross
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2006, 06:54:20 PM »

Ross,

Oldmanmax has some great calculations. 

Our Proheats at the supply put out roughly 170 deg. and the circulators are 8gpm. Which means you may be a little short but, I don't think you are going into

Canada temps either. So don't sweat it. 

Nick-
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2006, 07:12:45 PM »

Ross hope all is well,as far as home depot maybe having them in Tenn.well I have done jobs from upstate NY to AZ and use home depot alot and I can assure you that just because one has something it does not mean any other home depot anywhere will have it but it will be in their system and can be ordered by them if you talk to the right person,usally the people at the contracter desk are the best to deal with since they make some commision on their sales they will take the time to help where as the dept people will just say we do not have it and that is it,   Mike
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JerryH
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« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2006, 03:25:49 AM »

I'd have to agree with Nick -- use as much as you can fit.
Unless I am wrong, won't more simply mean that you'll likely be able to satisfy the heat demand more quickly?
If you're short ... you could be screwed.

Jerry H.
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« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2006, 07:26:39 AM »

Hey Ross
We just got a chance to use our bus for the weekend. Temps down into the high 30s low 40s overnight, windy on the Nanticoke river.
As you know, I have 4' of baseboard in the bedroom, and 15' in the front of bus. I also have 1 toekick with 12 volt fan in front and small 12 volt fan coil in bedroom.

Within 1 hour the bus was up to 75 degrees. Shocked now that quick response was mostly due to the fan coils. I turned down the thermostats on the fan coils and went to sleep. I woke up hours later in a sweat, Huh the fan coils were not on, thermometer read 78 degrees , seems like those baseboards were doing a good job. Shocked The fan coils may have run sometime though, I am going to disconnect the electric to them and see how it goes with just the baseboards and let you know.

I dont think you can go wrong with all the baseboard you can put in, but I like the quick response of the fan coils. $150.00 for 1 fan coil up front and it's a done deal, not much electcic draw, and you only run it on start up till the t stat shuts it off. Speaking of t-stats put the one controlling the Proheat in the bathroom, you can open either door and get a ballance. Just a thought. You could also put a valve on the front loop and back loop to ballance or shut off each zone. Cheapskate I am I do not want to heat the front of the bus when I am asleep. But to each their own.

Hope all is well, scratch Buddies ears for me, and give him a treat from Roberta.

Bill & Roberta

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« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2006, 07:35:40 AM »

Nick,
Can you tell me the overall use of resources for proheat/baseboard system versus standard Surburban furnace? In my case, I want to stay as long as possible on batteries so what I am wondering is the battery drain. Last longer on Proheat? Longer on Surburban? I know I can add my batteries or solar or run the gen set but the basic use of resources should remain the same.... X number BTUs/H @ X number watts. I can probably figure it myself for Surburban because I have one of those but I don't have any specs on Proheat or Wabasco.
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« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2006, 07:35:50 AM »

Ross,

Like Bill said, Toe kicks or forced units heat alot quicker.

Maybe only have a forced hydronic system to get the chill out.

Here is another versitile unit from QL   http://www.boatersworld.com/product/331230029.htm

Nick-
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« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2006, 07:42:18 AM »

Hi Oldmanmax,

Yes, the proheat uses Diesel. Pretty much unlimited supply from your bus tank.
In sumwhat mild temps this week my proheat used 3 1/2 gallons of diesel in 8 day's . Stat set at 72 inside bus.
Goto Pro heats web site to learn more.  www.proheat.com
They come in 12v and 24v,   32,000btu, 45,000btu, 90,000btu's, so baseboard would cost you no extra draw.  and we have a supplier with used takeouts....

Nick-



Nick,
Can you tell me the overall use of resources for proheat/baseboard system versus standard Surburban furnace? In my case, I want to stay as long as possible on batteries so what I am wondering is the battery drain. Last longer on Proheat? Longer on Surburban? I know I can add my batteries or solar or run the gen set but the basic use of resources should remain the same.... X number BTUs/H @ X number watts. I can probably figure it myself for Surburban because I have one of those but I don't have any specs on Proheat or Wabasco.
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« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2006, 09:32:18 AM »

See my previous post about some of the variables that have to be considered when designing a heating system for a bus. Keep in mind that every foot of baseboard used is a foot of wallspace that cannot be used for something else. Baseboard under the cupboards or behind the couch don't have much benefit. In limited space you may  increase the size of the finned tube instead of increasing the length. There is a target flow rate for a boiler and that determines the volume of coolant and the size of the circulating pump.

Remember:  Reducing heat loss is the critical thing in having a comfortable living space.
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« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2006, 07:07:29 PM »

If you have a good plumbing and heating supply they have programs where you measure the square footage of your "room" incling hieght etc and sqr footage of windows and construction type and amount of insulation. It is called a "heat loss" program. after the program totals all the rooms(!) it will tell you how much baseboard you need and how big a boiler. If I get a chance i will try it out on our coach. Our program was supplied by Slantfin Corp. Its on a CD. Dave
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« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2006, 08:30:32 PM »

I am looking at a used Proheat M50.  Have had trouble finding much info on their site.  Need to know how to run Proheat unit with a thermostat.  The Proheat tech I have talked to doesn't know if that can be done.  Seems like of course it can be done, but what do I need to do it?  Any ideas?  thx. Forrest
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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2006, 08:45:24 PM »

Hello Forrest,

Welcome!  Glad you are posting!

Yes, you can use a thormostat [as an on/off contact] with a proheat.

I can most likly locate you a used M50. You are welcome to contact me if you need to.

Nick Badame
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2006, 09:34:43 PM »

Alot of good posts here Ross.

I think Huh Huh if the couch is about 2" from the wall and adequate inlet air under the couch, you can create a chimney effect to make that baseboard heat exchanger work behind the couch. I don't have the couch there yet so I cannot confirm.  

I just went out to check,,,, my webasto uses 10 amps when firing, 8. something when not firing but on cooldown, temp satisfied with pump circulating.  Smiley  I have 2 seperate march and 1 ivan labs el-sid pumps on my coolant loops. 1 for bedroom- bath, 1 for front of bus (salon), and 1 for the engine preheat, bay heat loop. I bought 3 different pumps the el-sid, P-ivan 10-bat-12 draws .5 amps, the March P-M809-12, draws 1.5 amps and the third pump, March model# p-m809hs draws 4 amps. I tried all 3 of these pumps to see what was needed, and tried them on every loop.  I don't know offhand what the gas-air heaters ran but I remember it to be close, maybe someone who has one can give us a realworld figure.

My system is plumbed somewhat like an aquahot system.  I now believe you can divert the flow to the needed coolant loops without the added draw of the added circulating pumps. I run my Webasto without running the circulating pumps on and there is enough flow thru that I do not experience short cycling of the Webasto, of course I added a 6 gallon buffer tank.  Circulation losses add up quick though, and George Myers has documented cases of restricted coolant loops that caused short cycling, overheat, shutdown situations.  Manifold early, split the restriction, ease the flow, have an unrestricted priority circuit.  

I think I have a small blower coil for you Ross. I put this in to keep the bays warm, but with all the heat radiating from the webasto and heat exchangers, piping in the wet bay there is no need for it. I am taking it out to add the instant and continuous hot water heat exchanger set up we put in Bruces bus. You need to think about adding that in your bus while you are at it ($100.00 on ebay). No sense having to crack into the coolant loop to many times.  I got my heat exchanger blowers from Wrico, check the price of their units, alot cheaper than boaterworld prices. I love my baseboard heat Cheesy

Let me know when you want to install it, I  ,,,,, WE would like to help. Smiley Wink Cheesy Grin Cool Cool Cool

Bill Glenn
P.S. they have hot water baseboard in various lenghts at our local R.E. Michaels plumbing supply house and we have an account there. Wink
P.S.-P.S. Forrest, Wire the main power in through a fused unswitched power supply with 12 guage wire for 24 volt system or 10 guage wire for a 12 volt system. (this allows the system to cool down and cycle properly) Wire the on-off trigger wire thru a switch and a thermostat in series ( add appropriate fuse for wire used, low amperage 10 amp 14 guage) When you turn off the switch or when the thermostat is satisfied the system will go into a cooldown blower cycle to clear the combustion chamber of any fumes and be properly ready to refire when turned on again.  easy to do, normal instalation.

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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2006, 05:04:01 PM »

Hello all.

This is an excellent thread!

Orion was using baseboard radiant heat in their standard floor Orion V transit bus, along with the overhead air circulation.

Even behind the couch, a baseboard rad will eliminate cold places. 

I have a bunch of this 8'  3/4" twin copper pipe and fins rad stuff and will try to do some experiments this winter, in Southern Ontario conditions.

The goal, as always, is to make heat without making unneccesary noise, or wasting energy, by running the generator when it isn't needed.

I'd be thinking that designing in the ability to cut out parts of the rad system using valves, or the inclusion of fan forced portions, controlable by turning the fans on and off,  depending on whether you are in warmer or colder places, would be a good idea.

Don't forget an independant loop that will keep your tanks and lines from freezing!!!!

Using electric heat-trace cabling on your water lines and a loop under/around the tanks for emergency purposes, maybe to never be used, might be a good design consideration?

You never know when that might be needed when all the local sewer dumps are frozen by a snap freeze and you can't return your coach to anti-freezed empty storage conditions on your return from Florida....
Or you have some emergency in which you have to leave the coach unattended or parked somewhere cold...

You saw what happened to Buffalo in the last few days?

happy coaching!
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2006, 06:14:13 PM »

A hydronic baseboard is solely dependent on convection air flow around a baffle plate in the front of the cabinet. A standard cabinet has a moveable shutter inside the cabinet that is used to control heat output. It is normally used to balance the system to get the desired amount of heat in each area. If a fin is left exposed on the top it quickly becomes coated with dust (and/or junk) and  heat radiation drops. Keep in mind that each baseboard cabinet reduces your floor width by three inches.

If you want to put a baseboard behind a couch, you will not be able to build storage under the couch (stops air circulation) and you will have to leave the couch at least six inches from the wall.

Buswarrior makes a good point about avoiding a frozen bus. If there is any chance of every being in cold weather,you have to have an easy way to drain and blow out your water system and the answer for the sewer tank is a mascerating sewer pump that lets you pump your tanks into the nearest toilet through a garden hose. Any water lines that are run close to the wall can be tied to the hydronic water lines to keep from freezing when going down the road.
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