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A Simple Modification For Radiator Enclosures ?

SteamHeat Member Posts: 159
Hi Guys,

Hope everyone is warm wherever you are.
As most of the country is experiencing extreme cold, and my boiler is running almost continously, I was thinking about a modification for my radiator covers that does not involve drilling and hammering.

I have the typical boxes, the covers that have mesh opening with many holes over the front that decrease the efficiency by 30%.

I know I can just remove the boxes, but there is a concern about family members bumping into a hot radiator and getting a burn.

So I was thinking about covering part of the mesh with Nashua Extreme Weather Foil Tape 330X to modify the boxes to create the chimney effect that will remove the impact of the enclosure's presence. It just requires cleaning the dust off the inside of the mesh, and measuring and cutting sections of the adhesive backed tape and applying it in the right places.

My question which refers to the classic illustration that Dan has on the website,

Since I am not changing the dimensions of my existing radiator box, should I use the actual measured dimension "A" (the depth of the box) or should I use the "Ideal Dimension A," the depth of the radiator + 4 inches, to calculate the size of the openings ("B" and "C") I will create by taping off the area of mesh screen in between?

Also, there is an open area in-between the feet of the radiator box at the bottom.
Should I include this area in my measurement for Dimension "B" ?

Thanks for any help or insight you can offer.


  • Mark N
    Mark N Member Posts: 1,115
    About 10 years ago I did some testing. With the lids of my radiator enclosures closed the boiler on average about 10 minutes longer than with the lids open on a call for heat. After that I propped the lids open for the rest of the year. The following year I removed the enclosures. No one has ever been burned.
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,708
    You would basically have to try and get burned. It will hurt and you will move your hand long before an actual burn will occur.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,350
    people learn quickly. take your covers off and ditch them. all they do is collect dust
  • Shalom
    Shalom Member Posts: 165
    I always wanted to buy the display baby cribs that they sell in places like walmart, where they cut out most of the length of the crib and just leave the two ends and about a foot of length in between. I figure this would be perfect for a radiator guard; there's no top, so the heat can rise straight out, and there are bars to prevent someone from walking into the radiator accidentally (although you could still stick your hand between them if you tried).

    Unfortunately they won't sell me them, and nor would Target. Said they belong to the manufacturers of the cribs, not the stores, and when the models are discontinued they have to send them back.
  • SteamHeat
    SteamHeat Member Posts: 159
    Dear Shalom,

    I know what you mean.

    I don't think anyone in the family would intentionally reach out and touch a hot radiator. Here we are more concerned with someone brushing up against it by accident and getting a painful and possibly scarring burn on their legs.

    I was looking for some guidance in a non-tool, non-build, improvement. So I see what you are trying to do with a get it for low/no cost screen.

    I put the foil tape on my bathroom radiator box screen inside. I used the ideal depth measurement for my calculations and included the opening at the bottom of the box as part of my "B" dimension.

    This bathroom radiator is literally within two inches of your leg while you are using the toilet and definitely a hazard if not enclosed or screened off with something like wood. I cannot understand why the builders put the fixtures so close together, and there is no easy way to move either one.

    I think, but I am not sure, that the output now is a little greater from the radiator due to enhancing the chimney effect.

    I will try another radiator box with the mod and see how that one works out also.