Heated Towel Rack - Dry Electric Rails vs Glycol Liquid Filled vs Hydronic - Which is best?

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Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,505
Salem NH
Hello

Just looking for a good heated towel rack. A while ago I really wanted hydronic which seems to be the best and can be controlled very nicely with a T-Stat but I am getting away from oil baseboard heat. Therefore electric seams better these days. They say 150 watt dry element rails heats up quick, but nothing beats the heat output of the 300 watt glycol filled rails. Athough the top rail is not glycol filled for expansion and does not heat.

I am also looking for a modern style heavy guage Brushed Nickel or Satin Nickel which makes finding a good one a little harder.

Answer - What's the difference between a filled electric towel rail and a dry electric towel rail?
http://www.heatandthings.co.uk/customer-service/faqs.aspx

Hydronic 500 BTU/HR Towel Warmer
http://www.thesteamstore.com/mr-steam-h542-hydronic-towel-warmer.html

150 Watt Dry element Towel Warmer
http://www.signaturehardware.com/product14357

300 Watt Glycol filled that Accommodates optional robe hook Towel Warmer
http://www.signaturehardware.com/product17329

What do you prefer and what do you have?

See pic below
Click to Enlarge
 

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gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,615
NNJ
Forget the towel rack, how about a heated toilet seat!
 
ummm I feel like this post should be in Greenwich connecticut ...... heated towels? FML ..... ok ok to each his/her own!!! enjoy it ...
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,703
SW Virginia
Don, we don't have towel warmers but I'd guess that the difference is sort of like that between cast iron and soapstone wood stoves.
The liquid filled ones warm up more slowly, cool down more slowly, and produce a more even heat.
The dry element, heats up faster, cools down faster, and the temp may vary more across the heated region. (towel hot spots?).
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,505
Salem NH
Don, we don't have towel warmers but I'd guess that the difference is sort of like that between cast iron and soapstone wood stoves.
The liquid filled ones warm up more slowly, cool down more slowly, and produce a more even heat.
The dry element, heats up faster, cools down faster, and the temp may vary more across the heated region. (towel hot spots?).
No Towel warmers, gee how about a Jacuzzi tub heater? I am definately getting that. :)

The glycol filled are usually 300 watt opposed to the dry element which is 150 Watt. Therefore they can also be used as a room heater.
Thanks for your info too!
 

semipro

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2009
3,703
SW Virginia
No Towel warmers, gee how about a Jacuzzi tub heater? I am definately getting that. :)

The glycol filled are usually 300 watt opposed to the dry element which is 150 Watt. Therefore they can also be used as a room heater.
Thanks for your info too!
Sorry. Should have taken more time to read.
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,505
Salem NH
Myson is the best Hydronic system but Runtal is way up there with their hydronic and electric systems!

We decided to go with the new modern white powder coated Runtal OmniPanel (Glycol Filled Electric Towel Warmer)
The powder coated radiate better heat than stainless steel or brass!

Click pics to enlarge
 

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Bobbin

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2008
1,096
So. Me.
LOL! following the good man in the morning rotation has its benefits... (still laughing)
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
I have hydronic ones tied to my wood boiler that I also double as bathroom heaters. I love them. I have never tried the electric ones.
 

flyingcow

Minister of Fire
Jun 4, 2008
2,545
northern-half of maine
I have hydronic ones tied to my wood boiler that I also double as bathroom heaters. I love them. I have never tried the electric ones.
just for curiosity. What size are the towel racks and how big is your bathroom? Square footage? what is the temperature of the water going through them?

Thanks.
 

woodsmaster

Minister of Fire
Jan 25, 2010
2,878
N.W. Ohio
just for curiosity. What size are the towel racks and how big is your bathroom? Square footage? what is the temperature of the water going through them?

Thanks.
mine are aprox 30" tall 20"wide. around 2,300 btu / hr at 180F. The temp of water varies from 190 to 130 depending on my water storage. Obviously the towel off the 190 degree rack feals better then when its 130. The bathroom is aprox. 8' x 10 '
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,505
Salem NH
Our bath is small, it does take about 1/2 hr to heat up the towel rack, but we will see how it works.

We just got the Towel Warmer mounted and plugged in today! It took a week to order and was missing the top mounted bracket mounting screws! The sheet rock mounting toggle bolts that came with the rack seemed thin and frail! So before we put the sheetrock in, we put 3/4" plywood between the studs on runners for some heavy duty blocking! Then we used 2" Galvanized Deck screws to mount the towel rack so the kids can sit on it and it will not budge!

The white powder coated Runtel Omnipanel flat panel design has more area for heating the towels and the metal used radiates much better than chrome or steel!

It is Glycol filled, only 250 watts, 2.3 amps and 800 BTUs/HR so it will be inexpensive to run.
This model has the optional AC plug with GFI built in so we could take it with us if we move.

See pics
Click to enlarge
 

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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,351
Nova Scotia
I would be very reluctant to stop using basebaord heat. Can't beat hydronics for heating comfort & power. I would swap oil for another heat source before doing anything that involved not using the baseboard anymore.
 

woodgeek

Minister of Fire
Jan 27, 2008
4,167
SE PA
I disagree. I retired my baseboards and am in the process of ripping them out one room at a time. With proper airsealing and decent insulation and windows, the BTU/sq ft loads are low enough even in my 1960 house that a low velocity forced air system delivers plenty of even, quiet heat. I need forced air for central AC already, why have two distribution systems?

The baseboards are always clicking from expansion and contraction, and make it hard to arrange the furniture since nothing can get placed against exterior walls. And they collect and heat dust in bedrooms, versus delivering HEPA filtered air. And one more system to potentially spring a leak and flood, and if it does I have no heat. Ugh. No thanks.
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,505
Salem NH
Hello

Pelpro pellet stoves do not put out more than 130 Degs but I just got 151 Degs F out of our new glycol filled towel rack! It goes up to 180 Degs F like the water in a hydronic system when fully warmed up. See pic.
Click on pic to enlarge:
 

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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,351
Nova Scotia
I disagree. I retired my baseboards and am in the process of ripping them out one room at a time. With proper airsealing and decent insulation and windows, the BTU/sq ft loads are low enough even in my 1960 house that a low velocity forced air system delivers plenty of even, quiet heat. I need forced air for central AC already, why have two distribution systems?

The baseboards are always clicking from expansion and contraction, and make it hard to arrange the furniture since nothing can get placed against exterior walls. And they collect and heat dust in bedrooms, versus delivering HEPA filtered air. And one more system to potentially spring a leak and flood, and if it does I have no heat. Ugh. No thanks.
Yes, to each their own. We have little call for A/C here - and pretty good call for heat in the winter. I was just not as comfortable with forced air heating in my time with it, as with hydronic. Big difference in heating comfort IMO. If we did get to needing more A/C, I would do it with mini-splits. Our baseboards don't make much noise - and we've got furniture in front of them all over the house. I also don't see dust being eliminated - it's everywhere. IMO the constant air flow of ducted air would keep it in the air more - just my thought.
 

Don2222

Minister of Fire
Feb 1, 2010
8,505
Salem NH
Hello

Just wanted to show the skimpy toggle bolts that the heavy towel rack comes with. Sure they are easy to screw in but how sturdy are they?

I just threw them out and installed 3/4" plywood between the studs before the sheet rock and tiles went in.

Then I used these Galvanized Deck screws! That rack will never get loose or fall now!

See pic, click to enlarge
 

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