electric baseboard or hydronic baseboard

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by hids2000, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. hids2000

    hids2000 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Belleville NJ
    We are about to install the electric baseboard into the living room and family room. We are going with 240v but I am not 100% sure about the benefits of paying 4 times more for the Hydronic version vs the baseboard version.

    I already made sure no electrical outlets are over the baseboard so that is not an issue. I have also heard that the basic electric baseboard makes a "noise" when tuning on/off. I have never heard of it my self, and since these two rooms will be for watching TV and playing games and such. I don't think a little noise will even be heard from our guest.

    I assume both units have the same Efficiency? Since we are installing total of four units rated at 2000W each the cost is $200 vs $952

    Any suggestions?
  2. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If the "hydronic" that you are being offered is electrically powered, then forget it. It is just a game that they try to play to extract more money from you.

    Electric heat of any kind converts 100% of the power/energy to heat.

    Substitute nex tag (without the space) for the asterisks in the link below to find out how much you are getting taken for.

    http://www.******.com/baseboard-electric-heater/search-html
  3. Herk

    Herk Plumber

    Messages:
    547
    Location:
    S.E. Idaho
    In my opinion, the fan-forced heaters are far superior to a baseboard. They need some clear space, but do not use up an entire wall. And they move the heat around rather than depending on convection. The oil-filled heaters are slow to heat and quite a nuisance if they begin to leak.
  4. hids2000

    hids2000 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Belleville NJ
    Bob,
    you are correct, the "Hydronic" is still electrically powered. It is rated the same 2000W for 8ft unit. Only thing that I found is the the non-hydronic version has to be at least 1' from furniture or other objects. Keep at least 12" minimum from objects hanging above (i.e., drapes). But i guess for $50 per unit vs over $200 for a hydronic verison i will keep the furniture away. thanks!
    ed
  5. hids2000

    hids2000 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Belleville NJ
    I am not sure if it is OIL inside of these units. the ones I am looking at is from Lowes item #225987 $238 each.

    Thanks for the suggestion as the walls are already all closed up and the electrical all done, so I can't go back now and chang it to fan forced heaters. I can only pick one type of baseboard.
  6. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    I have used both, but prefer the Hydronic in my own home. Smooths out the on off cycles.

    A fan unit sure will move the heat a lot faster, but that comes with noise.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    The hydronic units will have more mass, so when they turn off, they will continue to provide a little more heat; more like a radiator than a simple heating element. Think a pan of boiling water...it stays hotter longer than just a hot pan that is empty. The plain electric will make more noise since their ultimate temperature is likely to be higher, and that leads to expansion/contraction noises. the hydronic will likely have a lower surface temperature. The spec sheets should discuss this.
  8. Nate R

    Nate R New Member

    Messages:
    472
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    But in a large room, do they move enough air to prevent cold spots?
  9. hids2000

    hids2000 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Belleville NJ
    SOB! After installing the baseboard heaters my local inspector failed my final!
    He said my baseboard is too close to an outlet. I had always read no outlets can be installed above a heater not to the side of a heater.

    He said the outlets have to be 1 feet away from the left and right side of the heater. I have never heard of that before. The right side of one of my heater is maybe 6" away from an outlet. Not a big deal I will just run back to HD and get a 6' long version and replace the 8' version i installed that should make the guy happy.
  10. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    What paragraph of what code did he cite? Or was he just pulling something out of his rectum?

    NEC 424; Part II covers installation of fixed electric space heating equipment.

    NEC 424.9 General. All fixed electric space-heating equipment shall be installed in an approved manner.

    "An approved manner" includes installing it both per code and manufacturers instructions.

    There is a "Fine Print Note" with 424.9 that says: "Listed baseboard heaters include instructions that may not permit their installation below receptacle outlets." You should find the instructions and see what they say about location relative to receptacle outlets.

    If he can't cite the code, and it's not prohibited by the instructions with a UL listed heater, then he is basing his rejection on information from some other source (see above).
  11. Bill Arden

    Bill Arden Computer Programmer

    Messages:
    584
    Location:
    MN, USA
    Let me get this straight.
    1. We have to have an outlet every x feet on any wall that is more than 3 feet long.
    2. We can't have outlets near base board heaters.

    I hope this does not apply to water based wall mount units that run the entire length of the walls.
  12. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    It could be a local code requirement.

    Local code ALWAYS trumps national code.
  13. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    If it is a local code then the local "Authority Having Jurisdiction" (AHJ) should be able to cite and furnish a copy of the "code". The AHJ is usually NOT the person doing the inspection, and the "code" should not be what happens to be the latest idea of the inspector.
  14. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    I completely agree.
  15. hids2000

    hids2000 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Belleville NJ

    Bob,
    He is coming back on tuesday, I already replaced the 8' with the 6', once he leave and i got my final i will change it back and return the 6' back to HD.
    I am doing it more for the look of things. I have 2 windows and under each window is the baseboard heater, and it just looks uneven when one is 8' and the other at 6'.
    After I get the final I will ask him if this is a local or national code? than I will ask him to give me the code so I can share with other people.
    Will update on Tuesday.
    Ed
  16. hids2000

    hids2000 New Member

    Messages:
    63
    Location:
    Belleville NJ
    so the inspector came back today after a no show on tuesday.
    he saw the 6' in place and said ok you are good.
    after i got my sticker i asked him if this was a local or national code and he said national. I didn't want to argue with him at this point I am just happy I got my sticker. Is it common for inspector to misread the code? and for you pros out there I assume you guys pulls out the NEC book and show the inspector right there, but I hope the inspector than does not look over your job and give you a hard time on other things. So is sometime better off just doing things to make the inspector happy even if you know he is wrong?
  17. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    The inspector is obligated to cite the code to which you are non-compliant.

    If I pull out the code I hand it to the inspector and ask him to show me the paragraph that prohibits what I am doing.
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