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contractor put radiator in wrong place--is this a problem??

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Ken_40
Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
The difference will depend on so many variables (nature of windows, insulation, sizing of rad, couch proximity, room air patterns, etc.) it is impossible to predict the outcome. Assuming good construction in general, the fact that the rad is a recessed job will have little impact on the sofa. The fact that radiators provide a considerable amount of radiant vs. convective output will impede output some, but if sized and installed properly, may have minimal impact.

The sofa should be at least 4" from the wall at the top for openers. Move it closer to the wall as winter hits and see what you can "get away with" rad output wise. One cannot predict any otcomes with any certainty. The only thing we know for sure is this: If the pipes going to the rad are NOT insulated with fiberglass pipe insulation, meant for that purpose only, everything else is suspect. I assume the wall the rad's buried in has at LEAST 1/2" of aluminum faced foam between it and the sheathing?

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  • Nick_31
    Nick_31 Member Posts: 4
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    Contractor installed radiator in wrong place--is this a problem?

    Hi all:

    I am in the midst of doing a remodel and recently extended my existing steam heat system into a family room. Despite being directed to put the radiator in the corner, the contractor installed the recessed radiator under some windows but right where our couch was supposed to go flush against the wall. I am concerned that the couch will prevent the room from being properly heated by acting as an insulating barrier and/or wil become uncomfortably hot. Does anyone think this will be a problem, or should I make him move it? I can probably run the coach a couple of inches off the wall, but I think that will look pretty stupid. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Nick
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    Believe it or not...

    Rads should ALWAYS be put under windows; except when the owner specifically trumps that design fundamental.

    Make sure you check the weather, find the coolest day/evening forecast in the near term and TEST the install! Try and do this BEFORE making final payment.

    Make sure the new rad: gets hot about the same time as the rest; does not bang or hammer (make noise); has the pipes going to it from the place he tapped into the steam-main INSULATED; and that the steam valve going to the rad works properly (on or off, never mid-way)

    Let us know what you find

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  • Nick_31
    Nick_31 Member Posts: 4
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    Ken:

    Thanks for the quick response. Where the radiator was supposed to go was by the side of the windows--under it by about 6" to a foot as opposed to directly centered under the windows. The placement is off by about 2.5 ft. Is there a major efficiency difference with just being slightly offset rather than directly under? Do you have any thoughts with respect to having a couch sitting in front of a radiator?

    Thanks,

    Nick
  • Big Ed
    Big Ed Member Posts: 1,117
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    Radiator

    The radiator works best under the window.The rising heat forms a heat curtain in front of the window as so you don't feel a chill.

    Depends on how much is blocked and its designed. You may only have to pull the couch out a little just during the coldest part of the winter or not at all. Since its designed to heat on the few coldest days of the year which is only a couple of days anyway..
  • Nick_31
    Nick_31 Member Posts: 4
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    Ed:

    I live in New Jersey where the heat is on pretty much the entire winter. I understand the concept of placement under a window but was wondering if being offset by a bit would make much of a difference.
  • brucewo1b
    brucewo1b Member Posts: 638
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    That would depend

    on which end of the couch the lady of the house sits.
  • Don \"Grumpy\" Walsh
    Don \"Grumpy\" Walsh Member Posts: 184
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    Fabric Problem?

    There is a possibility that the heat from the radiator will have an adverse effect on the fabric of the sofa. If it is leather, it is less likely to be as big a deal, but cloth fabrics will degrade under constant exposure to high heat. Placing the sofa 4-5 inches from the wall should have minimal aesthetic impact on the room appearance unless it is a very narrow space to start with.
  • Nick_31
    Nick_31 Member Posts: 4
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    Thanks to all for the info. I was thinking I could have the couch 4-6 inches from the radiator with an aluminum reflector against the back of the couch to both protect the fabric and prevent the couch from becoming uncomfortably warm--no one should see it or possibly build a ledge with a grill on it for the heat to rise.
  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611
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    outdoor reset

    Nick, you should consider (if it is not in place already)a continuous circulation variable temperature outdoor reset control on your system. this would eliminate the fabric scorching radiator temperatures for all but the coldest days of the year. And save fuel by increasing the operating efficiency of your boiler.

    While placing radiators below windows is standard practice for comfort reasons, it may not be the best location in terms of efficiency. Drafts from modern high quality fenestration are not nearly the issue that they were when this convention of placing radiation below windows was established. It may not be necessary to create this air curtain in a well glazed modern structure. Placing radiators opposite exterior walls where the convective currents that they create are not accelerating heat loss through windows may be more efficient in structures of this type. Also the coatings on high quality glass are very effective in reflecting the radiant energy that would be directed toward them from radiators placed on opposite walls.
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