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Boiler HELP!!

Emcfadde
Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
Hello all! I am back with another question as you guys were so helpful the last time :)

We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel and we have a boiler vent that is directly under the sink cabinet. Obviously that will not work as it completely ruined the previous cabinet. Is there a way we can keep the vent and make this work?? Had a company come out and said we had to either remove it completely or create a connection to our water heater and then get a thermostat just for this one vent and create a toe kick. That seems a bit much for just one vent.

My question is can we create a makeshift vent cover/platform and redirect the steam to the toe kick area and put a vent there? Any help would be appreciated as we would like to keep it. If so, how do we create the cover??



Comments

  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    Well... I'm not sure what that bit of fintube is doing to help your kitchen. Buried in a cabinet... they are dependent on free air circulation to provide heat.

    But yes, there is no reason you can't put a pipe arrangement on the vent opening, and place the vent itself somewhere in free air, provided that the pipe arrangement slopes back to the fintube.

    Now that said -- a vent shouldn't be releasing steam, or at most only a tiny puff. I'm thinking that the vent isn't operating properly, and that it's likely that the boiler is operating at too high a pressure.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    bburdLong Beach Ed
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    Yes the guy who was just here said it likely wasn't doing much at all for the kitchen in the cabinet even with us leaving the doors open.

    Unfortunately our kitchen is very small and there is no where else the vent can go. Every other wall is covered with either other cabinets or appliances.

    Excuse my language, steam may have been the wrong word choice. Is there a way to make a makeshift cover/platform to redirect the heat to the toe kick area?
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 117
    edited March 5
    could you move the fintube to the left or to the right of that cabinet or move your sink cabinet to the left or right of that one?
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    Sylvain said:
    could you move the fintube to the left or to the right of that cabinet or move your sink cabinet to the left or right of that one?
    We can’t on one side is the dishwasher and the other side is a small cabinet before the stove. It’s a really small kitchen so our options are limited. The guy said remove it and put a radiator somewhere else but there is literally no open wall to move it to
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,832
    You'll have to make room for it somewhere.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 912
    edited March 5
    That should work fairly well if you allow air circulation from the room through the fin tube and back. Put a grille with a large free area on the toe kick under that cabinet; make sure there is an inch or two of free space under the fin tube to allow air to enter; and put open mesh or louvers with a large free area in the center of the cabinet doors, keeping only the frames.

    Basically you will turn your sink base into a cabinet convector. You may want to put some wood blocking in front of the convector so items stored under the cabinet don't end up on top of it, subject to steam temperature. Make sure this is easily removable so the vent can be checked and serviced when necessary.

    I have seen this arrangement work well in several older homes with steam or hot water heat.

    Also, this from @Jamie Hall:

    "Now that said -- a vent shouldn't be releasing steam, or at most only a tiny puff. I'm thinking that the vent isn't operating properly, and that it's likely that the boiler is operating at too high a pressure."



    Bburd
    Long Beach Ed
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 117
    edited March 5
    could you do some kind of chimney passage between the wall and the sink cabinet.
    fresh air would enter by a grid in the toe kick and escape by a grid under the window.
    By the way, the sink probaly doesn't need the full depth of the cabinet; so you would only have to make the chimney in the wall for a few inches, the rest of the chimney being at the back of the cabinet.


    And as stated above, you could bring the vent behind the upper grid under the window for easier access; and avoiding steam/spitting in the cabinet.
    CLambLong Beach Ed
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    bburd said:
    That should work fairly well if you allow air circulation from the room through the fin tube and back. Put a grille with a large free area on the toe kick under that cabinet; make sure there is an inch or two of free space under the fin tube to allow air to enter; and put open mesh or louvers with a large free area in the center of the cabinet doors, keeping only the frames.

    Basically you will turn your sink base into a cabinet convector. You may want to put some wood blocking in front of the convector so items stored under the cabinet don't end up on top of it, subject to steam temperature. Make sure this is easily removable so the vent can be checked and serviced when necessary.

    I have seen this arrangement work well in several older homes with steam or hot water heat.

    Also, this from @Jamie Hall:

    "Now that said -- a vent shouldn't be releasing steam, or at most only a tiny puff. I'm thinking that the vent isn't operating properly, and that it's likely that the boiler is operating at too high a pressure."


    Thank you! I didn’t even think of this idea. We basically have cabinet convectors for all the other vents. Now my question is how do I put the wood blocking there to make sure stuff there doesn’t get messed up? Also how do we make sure the heat doesn’t ruin the cabinet? 

    Do you have a photo or a mock up I could see based on what you have seen in older homes?? 

    Thank you! 
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 912
    I'm afraid I have nothing to show you, but your cabinet installer should be able to rig a piece of wood perhaps 6 to 10 inches high in front of the convector to prevent stored items from landing on top of it, perhaps screwed rather than nailed in place to allow servicing.

    There is no need to worry about ruining the cabinet, residential steam heat only gets up to 215°F or so. Do be careful not to store things under there that require a cool, dry location.

    Bburd
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    You could make it work but you would essentially have to build a custom convector cabinet within that cabinet. Add slots or a grill to the toekick to pull air in and an enclosure around the element that either comes out behind the counter or add slots to the front of the cabinet under the counter to let air flow out. You need a chimney type enclosure around that convector element to make it produce its rated output, maybe a foot or 2 tall enclosing the 3 sides of the convector along with the back of the cabinet enclosing the 4th side.
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    Sylvain said:
    could you do some kind of chimney passage between the wall and the sink cabinet. fresh air would enter by a grid in the toe kick and escape by a grid under the window. By the way, the sink probaly doesn't need the full depth of the cabinet; so you would only have to make the chimney in the wall for a few inches, the rest of the chimney being at the back of the cabinet. And as stated above, you could bring the vent behind the upper grid under the window for easier access; and avoiding steam/spitting in the cabinet.
    I like this idea. How would we create the flow for the air to come out above the sink? Because normally it’s counter top and wall? 

    One of the workers just came out now and basically said the same idea but cutting out a hole on the side where the dishwasher is and allowing the air to escape between the dishwasher and cabinet. However I guess same question where would the air actually escape because there would be a filler piece between the dishwasher and cabinet right? 
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,276
    For the convector cabinet to work -- and it can, remarkably well -- the air passage up from the heating coil needs to be nearly the same dimension as the foil, and you need an open grille in the top of the same dimension with as much free opening as you can manage -- certainly nothing less than 50% open. I would be inclined to extend the vent passage up a few inches above the countertop -- especially behind a sink! -- and place the grille on that extension.

    Cutting a hole on the side to go into the dishwasher space... ah, not. As noted above, you need the free open cross section, and as you note, there is a filler piece there.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 117
    edited March 6
    As I wrote, you would have to dig a passage in the wall behind the countertop under the window.
    The air escapement should be a few inches above the countertop to avoid water splash from the sink to enter in the passage. Put a grid like a louvre such that any water splash would come back on the countertop. You would need to cut a passage in the top of the back of the cabinet.
    The chimney effect will create a draft which will ensure the air is circulating.
    Make the cross section of the passage as big as you can.

    But before anything, ensure the fin tube is pitched correctly.

    As for the panel preventing things to land on the fin tube; that is easy:
    screw to each cabinet side a vertical batten (and maybe also on the bottom) and screw the panel to those battens.
  • Long Beach Ed
    Long Beach Ed Member Posts: 1,202
    Some great ideas here. If you really want heat, replace it with a kick-space heater and blower. Then put the vent up a foot or two on a pipe.
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 117
    edited March 7
    If the op wants to pay the electricity for the blower there are indeed other possibilities/ a better air circulation.
    But those heater are not solely blowers but electric heaters
    Now, it is under a sink where there could be water leaks in the future.

    edit
    I have found this but it is for hydronics
    https://www.myson.co.uk/products/Kickspace_low_voltage.htm

    Somebody versed in DIY could use a battery of low voltage PC fan blowers with the transformer in a safe place (in another cabinet?).
    Neild5
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    Thanks all! I don’t think there is an easy solution. Given it was this way before, it’s likely we were not getting a lot of heat from the previous radiator to begin with. We have decided short term to remove the radiator and then revisit a toe kick heater later. Maybe we can put it under a different cabinet that’s not under the sink! We are just ready for this project to be over. 
  • TwoTones
    TwoTones Member Posts: 52
    Such a small amount of fin tube on an outside wall under a sink….  Did it occur to anyone that maybe it is there to prevent the pipes from freezing in cold temp and not provide heat to the room.  Not sure what climate this is in, but that’s why it would possibly be designed like that….
    mattmia2GGross
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,832
    Emcfadde said:

    Thanks all! I don’t think there is an easy solution. Given it was this way before, it’s likely we were not getting a lot of heat from the previous radiator to begin with. We have decided short term to remove the radiator and then revisit a toe kick heater later. Maybe we can put it under a different cabinet that’s not under the sink! We are just ready for this project to be over. 

    That kitchen is going to be cold with no heat. Where are you located? There are plenty of Steam Guys around who could look at this and possible come up with something.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,631
    That is a convector. In a proper cabinet to draw air through it, it can heat a fair sized room. It has a lot more output than fin tube baseboard.
    GGross
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    TwoTones said:
    Such a small amount of fin tube on an outside wall under a sink….  Did it occur to anyone that maybe it is there to prevent the pipes from freezing in cold temp and not provide heat to the room.  Not sure what climate this is in, but that’s why it would possibly be designed like that….
    We are in Michigan so definitely gets cold here! 
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    Steamhead said:
    Thanks all! I don’t think there is an easy solution. Given it was this way before, it’s likely we were not getting a lot of heat from the previous radiator to begin with. We have decided short term to remove the radiator and then revisit a toe kick heater later. Maybe we can put it under a different cabinet that’s not under the sink! We are just ready for this project to be over. 
    That kitchen is going to be cold with no heat. Where are you located? There are plenty of Steam Guys around who could look at this and possible come up with something.
    We do have heat on both sides of this gallery kitchen. We have a breakfast nook that has heat and then the dining room that has heat. We have another boiler person coming tomorrow but I think the toe kick heater might provide enough supplemental heat. We shall see 
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,843
    Emcfadde said:
    Hello all! I am back with another question as you guys were so helpful the last time :) We are in the middle of a kitchen remodel and we have a boiler vent that is directly under the sink cabinet. Obviously that will not work as it completely ruined the previous cabinet. Is there a way we can keep the vent and make this work?? Had a company come out and said we had to either remove it completely or create a connection to our water heater and then get a thermostat just for this one vent and create a toe kick. That seems a bit much for just one vent. My question is can we create a makeshift vent cover/platform and redirect the steam to the toe kick area and put a vent there? Any help would be appreciated as we would like to keep it. If so, how do we create the cover??
    I wonder if it was set up like that to prevents freeze up’s?
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,158
    edited March 7
    Have you considered having the unit moved forward and lower to the toe kick of the cabinet?

    you could replace with smaller one if it’s too big for toe kick. 
  • Sylvain
    Sylvain Member Posts: 117
    edited March 8
    If the OP doesn't want to make a passage behind the counter top under the window,
    the simpler solution proposed by BBURD in the 6th comment would work.
    The upper grid could be where the false drawer would be, leaving the doors intact.
    (maybe there isn't a false drawer and the sink is slightly protruding; then a grid in the doors would apply).

    And if not enough, it could be enhanced by a (low voltage) blower in the toe kick.
    Although, when using the sink, one will feel the hot air draft in one's belly (it might be nice or not).

    Anyway, any toe-kick heater would send hot air on one's foot when in front of it.

    But I am afraid the OP is under pressure to complete this kitchen remodel ;-) ... and the kitchen installation crew also.
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,945
    @Emcfadde .

    STOP!
    You are going through what so many have gone through. You are using up wall space for new cabinets in a remodel and losing the heat element(s).

    Thats fine. But what you should also do is remove that small amount of heat element and replace it with a quality ToeKick heater or similar element that has a low profile.
    This should help with your heating issue. You're under construction. Now is the time to do it as right as possible.
    PC7060
  • Emcfadde
    Emcfadde Member Posts: 16
    Intplm. said:
    @Emcfadde . STOP! You are going through what so many have gone through. You are using up wall space for new cabinets in a remodel and losing the heat element(s). Thats fine. But what you should also do is remove that small amount of heat element and replace it with a quality ToeKick heater or similar element that has a low profile. This should help with your heating issue. You're under construction. Now is the time to do it as right as possible.
    I’m hoping to remove the convector today and possibly have a toe kick heater installed. That’s the fastest and easiest solution than trying to figure out how to salvage it. As you said we just want it to be over. 

    I will keep you all posted on what happens today!
    GGrossIntplm.PC7060