I have a project to build and I want to use finned tubing (like in baseboard radiators) but I am unable to find the tubing without buying the enclosure as well.

(This is for a hobby project - I want to make a heat exchanger to take latent heat out of steam and heat fluid in the copper tubes.)

Can anyone suggest a source to buy these without the baseboard enclosure?

EDIT - the project is a "preheater" for maple syrup evaporator.

The evaporator is a firebox with pans of maple sap sitting on top. The water evaporates from the sap and leaves behind the concentrated syrup.

To improve efficiency the goal is to use the heat in the steam to preheat sap before it hits the pan - thus using wasted heat energy.

http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmaple/sappreheaters.pdf http://www.leaderevaporator.com/p-286-parallel-flow-sap-pre-heater.aspx

Sap flows from a holding tank (cold sap) through the copper tubes that are positioned over the pan and inside a hood. Then from there it goes through a float valve into the syrup pan. (hopefully at a higher temperature than when it entered the copper tubing)


You might try a scrapyard. There are probably old radiators kicking around from people who scavenge worksites. Maybe not, though--they may have been sold off when the price of copper jumped.

  • Thanks, but not interested in scrap. Food will be made using these. can't have had any boiler water running through it and prefer not used.
    – Tim
    Apr 15 '11 at 23:05

You can buy replacement parts for those baseboard heaters, although anything designed for heating isn't going to be certified food safe. Copper in general is usually clad with stainless when used for cooking, plus the solder used with copper isn't going to be food safe.

  • All my plumbing pipes (copper) are soldered - but I drink water from them. I am not trying to be argumentative - but what about the solder is unsafe? It is all lead-free now.
    – Tim
    Aug 18 '11 at 5:55
  • I assumed that your project would be using more heat than what would normally be in house pipes. Without you being a little more specific about what you are doing it, its hard to say. If you just need cooling, you could try zigzagging some pipes back and forth instead of worrying about adding fins.
    – Zach
    Aug 19 '11 at 0:24
  • Oh - it is a "preheater" for a maple syrup evaporator. See links in my edit for details
    – Tim
    Aug 19 '11 at 3:31
  • How would the pipes get any hotter than 212F?
    – Tim
    Aug 19 '11 at 3:39

I just found a website from Delta T, a company that sells finned aluminum piping. Hope this helps. ( I found it by typing in "finned water pipes") in Google search.

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