Radiator fins on hotwater pipes in unfinished basement

UpNorthHeyFebruary 3, 2013

I am looking at a ranch house for sale that was built in 1958. The main floor rooms all have long radiators along the walls with fins in them. The unfinished basement has hot water pipes with some sections with fins attached to the floor joists overhead along the outerwalls. Is this to heat the unfinished basement and/or protect the plumbing from freezing? We are in southern Wisconsin. It seemed kind of wasteful, since the basement probably doesn't get below freezing where the pipes would freeze. Is this layout typical? Why not run them along the floor too? Or are they really necessary?

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The 1959 rancher in NY that I grew up in had the same. It was a great play area for kids. Be careful about decommissioning them. You might end up with a moisture problem.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 10:11PM
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Warmer air rises.

Cooler air sinks.

The basement may be VERY cool with no source of heat in the room.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 12:01PM
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In my childhood home, these basement loops were arranged between the upstairs radiators. If this is the case with this house, because of easy access, it would be a simple thing to install simple pipe in their place or install a separate loop. If you want to see what it will be like down there with no heat, you can wrap them up with something, but make sure what ever you use is not too heavy for the pipes or their support mechanisms.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2013 at 1:23PM
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