Fixing/Replacing Kitchen Hot Water Wall Unit

Old 04-14-06, 09:10 AM
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Fixing/Replacing Kitchen Hot Water Wall Unit

We recently purchased a home that has hot water baseboard heat and a new oil boiler (we had it installed in November). Every room in the house has regular baseboards, but the kitchen contains two wall units that stick out 6" from the wall and are 2' tall and 2'8" wide. We discovered that the one unit was disconnected from the loop long ago, presumably because of a leak. (There's a lot of rust inside.) We now have a heavy leak in the finned tube (correct term?) of the other unit. We also see a lot of old rust on the unit, so we suspect this has been happening for years. We want to remodel in 5+ years, not now, and we're not sure what to do to heat the kitchen in the meantime. Do we cut the pipe before it reaches the leaking unit, add a pipe to connect the loop, and then find a completely different way to heat the kitchen? Can we replace the units? Or the finned tube section? And if we can replace all or part of it, what terminology should we use to find what we need? I'm finding a lot of information on the baseboards, but very little on this particular type of wall unit.
Old 04-17-06, 09:42 PM
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Kitchen Wall Units

That sounds like a convector; check the beacon/morris site below & click onto "residential products" & "more residential products" for a photo.

There are several ways to skin this cat, but they all should include only solutions that involve re-hooking up your kitchen heat to the existing hot water supply/return piping; it's a gross waste of money to put in, say gas or electric when you already have hot water supply pipes.

First, determine if your present units are repairable; if just parts of the coil are defective, they may be salvageable; also see if there is an identity plate indicating the btu output of the unit.

Hot water baseboard is used in most rooms of the house because it is low-cost & there is usually plenty of room; in the kitchen & bath, however, perimeter room for baseboard is restricted, usually requiring compact units such as kickspace heaters, fan-coil heating units, convectors, & floor vectors.

Kickspace heaters are handy because they are 12" to 16" long & only 4" high & can usually be easily built into the base of kitchen cabinets.

Many of these have a little elec. fan behind the coils to greatly increase the heat output; the existing units can be easily replaced & they are designed to fit between the 16" on center (or 32" double) wall studs of a standard wall.

Since the heating season is about over, this is an excellent time of year to do the job; you would have to shut down the boiler & drain a gallon or two from the boiler drain faucet before you repair/remove the old unit & break open the supply/return piping.

Local Heating supply stores in your area will have the units described on the sites below.

Burnham is known as Duo Rad and Beacon-Morris as Twin Flo; take the dimensions of the kitchen to the store so they can compute the heating btu output you will need.

Last edited by jack horner; 04-17-06 at 10:11 PM.
Old 04-18-06, 05:39 PM
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I concur completely with Jack Horner. Convectors do a good job but so do those kickspace heaters. Everyone I know who has one under the kitchen sink loves it. When working at the sink, that nice warm air on the feet really feels good.

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