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There are four main areas that required plumbing work be done:

  • Hot and Cold water to the Bar Sink
  • Hot and Cold Water to the Fish Tank
  • Drainage for the Bar Sink
  • Heat for the whole basement area

Sink Hookup and drain hole for the bar sink

The Bar Sink

The Bar Sink required hot and cold water be brought over and a drain be installed.  The hot and cold water were tapped from where they go to the Clothes Washer and were run along the ceiling and then along the wall and finally over to the sink area.  The total run was about 40 feet.  The run was done using 3/4 inch copper pipe and non lead based sweat solder meant for water piping.  At the sink, shutoff valves were installed and flexible hose was run from the shutoff valves to the faucet connections.

The drainage for the bar sink was a little more complicated.  A hole was made in the bottom of the basement floor and lined with concrete.  A sump pump was installed to pump the water up and into the regular drain pipe.  The pump is automatic and is on a separate circuit.  An  access plate was placed over the sump hole with a hole for the drain and a hole for the vent pipe.

The Fish Tank

We decided to give the 135 gallon fish tank it's own hot and cold water valves to make filling and refilling the tank easier.  Once again 3/4 inch copper water pipe as used, this time with two standard water valves (as you would have outside a house for a hose) at the ends.  Two short hoses were attached to the valves and come together in a "Y" to fill the tank.  Draining the tank is accomplished with a fish tank vacuum and the water is pumped out the office window.


Using 3/4 inch copper pipe and Slant-Fin brand heating elements, an additional zone was added to the existing oil burner.  The water takes a roughly 125 foot loop through the main room, the office, the laundry room and the dart area.  There is a total of 40 feet of heating element.  The exposed piping in the storage / furnace room area is insulated with foam sheathing.

Where the loop hooks up to the furnace, a check valve, a drain valve and pipe, and two shutoff valves were installed.  The shutoff valves allow the basement water loop to be drained without affecting the rest of the house. 

The pump for the loop is a Taco water pump and a digital thermostat was installed with a solid state relay to directly control the pump.

Calculating the Amount of Baseboard Heat required

To calculate the number of feet of baseboard required in each room, it was necessary to first calculate the heat loss in BTU.  The Slant/Fin baseboard is rated at 550 - 750 BTU / hr / ft depending on the water temp.  I used a conservative value of 600.  The RSI value for an exterior below grade wall is 3.5 (I looked it up in a table).  The outside temp was assumed to be 55 because it's below grade, and the target inside temp was 68.  

To find the heat loss in watts for a room:  Take the surface area of outside walls and floor and multiply by the difference between the outside and inside temp.  Take the result and divide it by the RSI value.

For example:  

  1. The main room, including the bar has a total exterior wall perimeter of 78ft.  Multiply by the height of the ceiling (7.5ft) to get a surface area of 585 sq. ft. 

  2. The floor has a surface area of 507 sq. ft. 

  3. Take the total surface area of walls and floor - 585 + 507 = 1092 and multiply by the outside and inside temp difference (68 - 55 = 13).  1092 x 13 = 14196.

  4. Take the result (14196) and divide it by the RSI value of 3.5 which gives 4056 watts.

  5. 1 watt = 3.4144248 BTU/hour giving 13850 BTU / hr. 

  6. Divide the number of BTU / hr by the 600 BTU / hr / ft of the baseboard and you get 24 feet of baseboard.

  7. So the final result is that you need 24 feet of baseboard heat for the room.