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Kitchen Steam Radiator Conundrum

Owner has gutted his kitchen and is working with a semi-custom cabinet shop for the re-do. In the original kitchen the radiator was behind a cabinet door, just to the left of the sink. You see it pictured now with all the original cabinetry removed:
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Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
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Comments

  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    Attached are the cabinet makers plans
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    The cabinet shop is not at all happy with that radiator and wants it to just go away. Others are throwing out the idea of replacing it with electric heat, or a hot water loop, or beefing up the Arco seen in the last picture way across the way in the Breakfast Nook.

    My thought: A kitchen corner cabinet, even with a Lazy Susan or it's many imitators, still has a ton of wasted space. Lose the corner cabinet. On one side place a 12" bank of drawers, on the other an open cabinet with a cane door, and move the radiator in to the corner. Best use of a corner cabinet ever.

    But, my idea doesn't seem to be flying, which is where all of you come in. Ideas, suggestions, inspiration, -all welcome and needed.

    Thanks ahead of time.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,065
    What are the countertops? (May I humbly suggest New York or Vermont -- not imported -- slate? Very hard (doesn't scratch) and absolutely impervious to stains or heat! Comes in a variety of colours).

    I would do as you are suggesting. I have yet to see a kitchen corner cabinet which was of any real use, except to store things which you don't need and will never see again.

    I like your basic concept. The only thing I'd add is for the open cabinet with a cane door, I'd have slide out shelves. They are a real convenience, and not a problem to put in. I'd also have a corner sort of post thingy -- perhaps an inch or so out on the face side, so that both the drawers and the cane door would come up to that, rather than to each other.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    Is there a basement under that kitchen? Any chance of using a floor radiator some where in that room, maybe under a cabinet with a grill in a toe kick? Will there be an island in the kitchen? Maybe move that radiator into one end of the island cabinet.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,974
    I'd either relocate it to another area in the kitchen or do kickspace heater(s).

    Charles Garrity was trying to talk me into making a custom steam kickspace heater. As he planned, it's been stuck in my mind for some time now and may happen, who knows. :)

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    Fred, the boiler room itself is largely adjacent and under the kitchen, so there is good access. I suggested the ceiling radiator with a grate, but that seemed less well received than my corner idea. The kitchen does have an island (it's in the drawing), but they'd have to give up seating. Don't know about that.

    One problem is, once it gets warm, people wonder how important a radiator is. I bet if it was 20 degrees out everyone would be thinking how, not if.

    Jamie, -I haven't a clue about the countertops!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    ChrisJ said:

    Charles Garrity was trying to talk me into making a custom steam kickspace heater. As he planned, it's been stuck in my mind for some time now and may happen, who knows. :)

    Speaking only for myself of course, It would seem now would be an ideal time to bring your concept to fruition...
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,974

    ChrisJ said:

    Charles Garrity was trying to talk me into making a custom steam kickspace heater. As he planned, it's been stuck in my mind for some time now and may happen, who knows. :)

    Speaking only for myself of course, It would seem now would be an ideal time to bring your concept to fruition...
    I don't know.
    You'd need to find a way to make a standard hot water one drain.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,838
    Find a different kitchen designer.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    KC_JonesHap_Hazzard
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,829
    Steamhead said:

    Find a different kitchen designer.

    I know it doesn't help you, but for anyone that may come across this later, the kitchen designer should have figured this out. I have worked with a couple and a very close friend does it for a living, "how will the space be heated?" is on his list of initial question asked of a client. It's a designers job to think of these things and work with you and the client on the most desirable solution. I am a designer (not kitchen) and it bugs me anytime I hear of designers that are (IMHO) slackers.
    That being said, what about a slender rad on the end of the island where there is no seating? Hard to tell from that drawing and the pics what kind of space might be available there. They could put an enclosure there (gasp) and extend the counter over it perhaps? It won't work perfectly, but it will be heat. I agree though your corner idea probably is a good location to distribute the heat based on what I can see.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    There is NO WAY a toe-kick electric heater (or even two) will be sufficient to heat any kitchen of standard size. Ask me how I know. It was the biggest mistake in my kitchen redo many years ago. I've been looking for years for a sufficiently sized wall-hung and have recently decided to perhaps put the original windowseat rad back into the sink cabinet and just leave the doors open. I'll probably raise the toe kick and leave the pull down sponge holder thingy open to get good air circulation. I will still be able to put a pull-out base for my mixer. I would be interested in a kick-space steamer, however.

    @Jamie Hall , they now make a corner cabinet insert that fully extends so no lost space. I'd give up a corner unit for a rad if I had to, but I use mine multiple times a day. I guess it just depends how one's kitchen is set up.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,974
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    vaporvac
  • george_42
    george_42 Member Posts: 98
    I would think a hot water loop off the steam boiler with radiant heat in a tile floor would work perfect
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 4,829
    george said:

    I would think a hot water loop off the steam boiler with radiant heat in a tile floor would work perfect

    RI will correct me if I am wrong, but I would guess since heat seems to have been the last thing they thought of....there isn't money for all that. They probably want heat and they probably want it cheap.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    ChrisJ
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    What about tucking a steam fan coil behind the corner cabinet and ducting in/out of that? Service access would require some creativity, but it would seriously outperform a toe kick.

    Small tankless coil in the boiler with an iSeries-R mixing valve feeding RFH?
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    Is there a link to such a creature, @SWEI ? Might be better than a rad in a cabinet.
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Too many links, actually. They're made by at least a dozen of the big names in forced air.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    KC_Jones said:

    george said:

    I would think a hot water loop off the steam boiler with radiant heat in a tile floor would work perfect

    RI will correct me if I am wrong, but I would guess since heat seems to have been the last thing they thought of....there isn't money for all that. They probably want heat and they probably want it cheap.
    KC is quite right, and needs no correcting.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • sreja
    sreja Member Posts: 175
    Just something to consider:

    I live in a 1929 condo that had small steam radiators in each of the kitchens, and in various common areas.

    These radiators may have been useful at one point in the past, but even with most units still having their original single-pane windows, the radiators are complete unnecessary overkill and have been turned off for decades.

    So I'm just throwing out the possibility that you may no longer need a heat source in your kitchen.
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 14,838
    I've been in a LOT of cold kitchens- and bathrooms too- where incompetent remodelers took radiators out. This is a disease and it's getting worse.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    ChrisJCharlie from wmass
  • Fred
    Fred Member Posts: 8,518
    I live in a house that had the kitchen radiator removed when I moved here, 25 years ago. It only took a month, in the dead of winter, for me to put one back in.
  • GregWeiss
    GregWeiss Member Posts: 22
    With a combination of a slightly smaller fridge/corner cab and/or sink base you will have room for an additional 12"-15" base cabinet to house the radiator. It would be a bummer to have a burst frozen pipe in the brand new kitchen!
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 314
    A flat wall radiator in a cabinet, back in the corner, "duct" with grill in toe space, slight build up in counter to back splash height, grill on top and it's a convector. However, access would be a pain.

    My parents have a 20's kitchen in a high rise and most radiators were removed. Hence icy cold kitchens with required fire windows. They have a 6" or so deep cabinet under the window with open mesh doors and a thin cast iron radiator in it and the countertop runs over it. It's a corridor kitchen, so the layout makes it look a bit more polished than a blank wall or exposed radiator would. No problems with temperature in the kitchen and everybody is copying them.

    Doing that on the end of one of the cabinet runs would work well - I think Runtal shows one of their modern steam radiators mounted sculpturally on the end of a tall cabinet - might that work?
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    I'd stop the designer, right there. On top of the other things that have been said........On top of losing a heat source, there ain't no CABINET SPACE. Find a real designer.
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    edited July 2016
    Happy Ending


    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    GregWeiss
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,974
    edited July 2016
    Yeah, that grate at the back may put out all of what, 200 btu/h?

    @Steamhead

    Perhaps I'm underestimating the chimney effect?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    Hard to see, but the radiator is visible in the cabinet door, which will have cane or other some other such grate on it. My calcs say this will be perfectly adequate, and is exactly what was there when the house was built. I am well pleased.
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
    Canucker
  • PinkTavo
    PinkTavo Member Posts: 64
    My kitchen is heated by a radiant floor provided by being directly over the boiler room and a lateral (insulated) steam supply that passes under the floor right along the base of the sink cabinets. I get radiant floor heat wherever my supplies run...event tho they are insulated (original asbestos!, carefully encapsulated). There used to be a small radiator in the kitchen, that was removed long before I bought the place. It isn't needed. I think the radiator in the cabinet will work great....and you will never have frozen sink plumbing! I get radiant floor heat wherever my supplies run. One line is right next to my side of the bed, one is in the master bath right along the sink. I couldn't have planned it better.
  • ChicagoCooperator
    ChicagoCooperator Member Posts: 314
    Nicely done (and sounds rather like, ahem, my solution)!
    New England SteamWorks