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Toe Kick Hydronic and Mod-Con

BobAlu
BobAlu Member Posts: 18
I'm looking to have a small bathroom overhauled (10 x 5) and one of the things mentioned to me to save a little space and make for a cleaner look was to eliminate the small section of Slant Fin baseboard and instead put in a toe kick hydronic heater. Now I'm not too familiar with the toe kick, but it's my understanding they have an electric fan that's thermostatically controlled to push out the heat. Would this work with my heating system as I have a Viessmann mod-con boiler? Are there adjustments on the toe kick to accommodate the lower water temperatures that the mod con puts out? Another alternative would be to put in radiant. Any comments on whether the toe kick would be a good choice? Thanks!

Bob

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    Any way to add radiant walls ceilings of floors. Or a heated towel bar? It's a nice way to heat a bathroom compared to a blower.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Rich_49
  • BobAlu
    BobAlu Member Posts: 18
    It's going to be a complete gut out of the old so anything could be added. What would be my best way to heat this 10 x 5 bathroom?
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,613
    I would say that you can't go wrong with radiant floor , walls or ceiling . You'll also have all the room available and without the added expense of running a small electric fan . Toe kick heaters are really best applied when there is no alternative . As Bob stated above , a hydronic towel bar is always a nice option , can quite possibly handle the whole load of that space as well . Just put the towels on there only when you are using the shower or bath .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • MikeG
    MikeG Member Posts: 169
    Personally I've had good luck with electric radiant in the floor. I think it works best with tile. Easy to install. I use that as the base heat and have added a small electric wall heater for that quick blast of heat when you need it. Some don't like the looks of a wall heater. I had a daughter in law that wanted a cast iron radiator put in to look like the old syle bathroom. With her decorating it worked.
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,613
    Some quick math while thinking about electric radiant .

    1 therm of NG = 29-30 Kwh electricity .

    If your bathroom requires 1000 BTUh it will cost you 1 therm worth of gas for 100 hours . To heat your bath for the same amount of time with electric you'll use 30 KWh . Look at what your rates are and you make the call .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    A small bathroom like that, unless it has outside walls or a window probably has less than a 500btu/hr load on design day?

    Electric mat or cable in a new tile set is a great option. It can be used in shoulder seasons without firing the boiler.

    The nicer controls have setback function and surface limit temperature. It is a fairly simple DIYer project.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,387
    Towel warmer!
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    njtommyZman
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    Towel warmer is another excellent idea. I have an electric Myson in my shop bath. I would oversize it next time, as with towels on it, not much output. I'd leave some naked section always exposed above and below the towels. So large square footage, low wattage towel bar. You can get them with adjustable, programable setback controls. idea at one temp, kick up in the afternoon to save operating cost. i doubt it adds more than a couple bucks a month during winter months power bills.

    You can buy those small screw in immersion elements and build your own. I think there is just a small quantity mineral oil fluid inside them, like the plug in electric baseboard heaters. Elements usually start at 250W and go up in 50W steps, 120V.

    This copper harp has about a quart of PG inside, electric element and a setpoint controller warms it. Even the chunk of colored concrete below warms up.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    SWEI
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,387
    23 cents/KWh on LI! :D
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    So a 4 hour run on a 250W heater would be 23 cents? That peanuts for you wealthy back easterners :)

    Probably most folks waste more than that by not turning out lights, or leaving the big screen entertainment center running all day long.

    Sell it with a Watt Miser and show the customer where they could offset or even save additional energy. Replace a 1/2 dozen incandescent bulbs with LEDs and cover the KWh. Then they get free towel bar heat.

    Just offering options, your mileage may vary.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,613
    Does anyone remember that this individual has a Veissmann he is wanting to use ? Or that the OP did not even bother responding to talk of electric ?
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    I believe he asked if a toe kick would be a good choice, and also asked a few post later what would be my best way to heat this bathroom

    No harm in offering options. Toe kicks come in electric versions too :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,613
    edited July 2015
    The operative word would be BEST WAY Bob .

    Your best way would be to utilize what you already have , a highly efficient boiler . use radiant walls floor or ceiling , add a towel warmer if you'd like something like that . Forget the toe kick unless you are limited on space .
    If you'd like to take the electric offerings just remember that it takes 29 to 30 Kwh to equal 1 therm of gas . Where I live this would equate to .92 for NG and 4.10 for electric . Does not take an economics major to figure that one out . Good Luck .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    by your definition of "BEST" I suppose. I'll bet the OP can make informed decision based on his energy cost and budget.

    Is there harm in offering all options?

    Your sounding like the old RPA now, when the electric folks first wanted to join.

    Hydronics only, start your own association! was the first response.

    Luckily cooler heads prevailed and electric was welcomed, as were the air side folks formerly referred to as "evil scorched air"
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,613
    edited July 2015
    BobAlu said:

    I'm looking to have a small bathroom overhauled (10 x 5) and one of the things mentioned to me to save a little space and make for a cleaner look was to eliminate the small section of Slant Fin baseboard and instead put in a toe kick hydronic heater. Now I'm not too familiar with the toe kick, but it's my understanding they have an electric fan that's thermostatically controlled to push out the heat. Would this work with my heating system as I have a Viessmann mod-con boiler? Are there adjustments on the toe kick to accommodate the lower water temperatures that the mod con puts out? Another alternative would be to put in radiant. Any comments on whether the toe kick would be a good choice? Thanks!

    Bob

    The Old RPA , that's rich . I embrace electric and air side stuff and am working to improve relations between all Bob . Maybe you should inquire about who I am and my goals with some folks you know well .
    I moved the OP down here to make it easy to see . They want to know if a toekick will work with their Veissmann , or should they put in radiant . As far as electric goes , if there was a toe kick or towel warmer that was other than straight up electric resistance i may have been quiet but that is not the case at present . No , it cannot hurt to mention other things , until it hurts .

    Fuels have different costs in many places , what am trying to point out is that unless Ng costs 1.45 a therm and electric is .05 Kwh they break even , anything else shows a clear BEST .

    Like I said above , I install what is best for a specific customer in a specific area after listening to what he wants . If it is a bad idea I move on and pass on the job . One thing all of the systems I design , install , repair have in common is WATER .

    In case there is any question , water is our business . How we heat it and deliver that heat to where it is needed is just a part of it . Last time I checked we were both in the same business Bob .
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,040
    You said:
    I embrace electric and air side stuff and am working to improve relations between all Bob . Maybe you should inquire about who I am and my goals with some folks you know well .

    Not sure what your goals are, but your methods sure do tweak a lot of folks.
    keep working:0

    That's great that water is your business.

    I have no problem telling a customer when I think a mini split or electric option like an A-A heat pump is another, or sometimes better choice. I have no idea where the OP lives, maybe the land of 10,000 lakes where electric boilers and radiant resistance heat sell like hot cakes :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Robert O'BrienRobG
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,613
    Folks that I tweak have one thing in common or maybe 2 . They are too sensitive or are just plain sissies . All the good old boy stuff and niceties have not worked if you haven't noticed Bob , our industry is in trouble . No need for anyone to comment on my approach or language either , I am who I am and you are who you are . If I am not wanted or should someone want to silence me and the assistance I provide we all know how easily that is done .
    I too suggest and recommend A/A HPs and mini splits where they make sense . One thing you may have missed is these are not electric resistance technology . They have compression cycles and provide more units of heat than one purchased . there is a big difference .
    Many of those places where these things you speak of also have time based usage and require whole alternative schemes for the folks using electric to enjoy those low rates or pay through the nose for the juice .
    Then again , as I said above , this particular poster never asked about anything other than a toekick in his house with his Veissmann and is it the best option .

    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • BobAlu
    BobAlu Member Posts: 18
    Wow, I checked to see if there were any comments and quite a bunch of them! I guess I should rephrase my question and ask what the best way to heat this room would be using my current source of heat...hot water! Like I stated currently there is a 4ft Slant Fin baseboard in there. Since I'm only a consumer, I don't know what type of BTU's that puts out. Should I simply replace it, or go with some sort of hydronic panel or towel warmer? The 5' measurement is an outside wall and there is a small window. Just looking for ideas without going too nuts! And yes, my Viessmann works like a charm and I'd like to use it here. Thanks again...and please, no fighting amongst the professionals! Lol!

    Bob
    Rich_49
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    FineLine 30 puts out around 400 BTU's per active foot with an AWT of 170°F (supply 180°F, return 160°F.) You probably have around 3.5 feet of finned tube in that housing, so perhaps 1,400 BTU/hr at those conditions.

    I would heat the walls (especially the shower walls) along with the floor using either quality extruded aluminum plates or a panel like WarmBoard or SunBoard.
    Rich_49
  • FranklinD
    FranklinD Member Posts: 399
    Fellow homeowner here.

    When we bought our house, there were 2 capped off pipes in the bathroom (it's on the smallish side - 7x8 with a 9' ceiling, cast iron tub, single vanity, and toilet). My friend 150 miles south remodeled his bathroom and replaced a 7 section, 22" tall cast iron radiator with a hot water towel warmer radiator and I drove down and took the old one off his hands.

    The rep who sold him the towel rad intentionally oversized it based on lower supply water temps (and having towels on it). He ended up with a TRV on it just to assure a decent temp. He absolutely loves it.

    I stripped, primed, and painted the old radiator and added it into my bathroom. It works very well.

    Someday we will have a towel rad AND electric radiant under tile with a timer control (for warm early morning tootsies).

    I'd measure the heat loss and go with a towel warmer radiator. If the baseboard heated the room fine, then I'd guess you have ample water temps for the towel warmer application. But make sure first.

    I looked into a toe kick heater and just didn't think I'd like it. I would've had to rewire the fan anyway as my water temps rarely reach 150.

    Best of luck!
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
    BobAlu