Adding a toekick to a baseboard hydronic system

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Old 08-22-16, 01:45 PM
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Adding a toekick to a baseboard hydronic system

Hi all. I need a little help with adding a kickspace radiator to a simple baseboard hydronic system in an apartment that has it's own tankless water heater.

The kickspace unit will be located right below the wall-mounted water heater, and we'd like to put it on it's own loop, and be able to choose the baseboards, the kick heater, or both, by just turning manual valves. (The WH is in a very accessible location.)

Do we just need one valve on each return? Do we we need monoflo T's for when both loops are on?

Thanks!!!

Jon
 
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Old 08-23-16, 07:29 AM
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I'm having trouble visualizing your proposed setup. Can you sketch the system, and upload to the forum? If the kicker is on its own loop and zone, how do the baseboards become involved? My Beacon-Morris kickers have a fan with a 3-position switch - hi, lo, off. With the fan off, there won't be much heat emitted even with warm water circulating through the coil.
 

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Old 08-23-16, 09:40 AM
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The idea is to use manual valves to select either the fin baseboards or the kickspace or both in parallel.

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Old 08-23-16, 01:05 PM
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What I don't like is that if both valves are shut, the pump can run at shut-off head - not a good idea. How is the zone controlled now? Personally, I would prefer to delete both valves or at least delete one.

If you intend to use a valve for throttling, best to use a globe valve.
 
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Old 08-25-16, 04:01 PM
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You said that the kickspace heater would be on its own zone. Normally, I think of a zone as having its own thermostat and control, either a separate electrically controlled zone valve or a separate circulating pump. Based on your diagram, it looks like the kicker is on the same loop/zone as the existing baseboards. Will the kicker be separately controlled in some way, other than the manual valves shown?

It would be helpful to know what problem you are trying to solve here?

You mention that this is in an apartment, which in my area, means a rental unit. If so, and you are the renter, not the owner, beware of making such changes.
 
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Old 08-25-16, 10:05 PM
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I'm not a fan of that valving method either.

I would just put the kicker in the main loop and a thermostat on the blower.
 
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Old 08-26-16, 10:27 AM
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Thanks to both you guys for the input.

The problem I'm trying to solve: Most of the baseboard is in the very sunny bedrooms where we don't often even need heat. The kickspace is to supplement the output in the living room/kitchen. So I'm trying to get the ability to use the kickspace alone. I didn't want to get involved with thermostat-controlled zone valves. I'm trying to keep it super-simple.

BTW, we own the apartment.

Thanks again,

Jon
 
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Old 08-30-16, 02:19 PM
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Put the baseboard loop and the kickspace heater in series and install a 3-way thermostatically controlled valve to "short-circuit" the baseboard when it is not needed. (I.e. creating a parallel system but blocking all flow to the baseboards.) The valve will be located on the supply between the kicker and the baseboard loop. A simple tee on the return will suffice.

System would operate like this:

Main thermostat calls for heat, system fires and circulates water through both baseboard loop and kickspace heater (in series).

When secondary thermostat for sunny rooms is satisfied, the 3-way valve shuts off the baseboard loop and sends all flow through the kicker. (As if parallel but with flow to baseboard blocked.)

Referring to your diagram, the 3-way valve would be located where you show the manual valves.

I have used this arrangement in a zone that serves my master bedroom and bathroom (originally in series.) The bathroom has the main thermostat for the baseboard and in-floor heat there. The bedroom thermostat is secondary for the baseboard loop. When the bathroom calls for heat all flow is sent through the bathroom loop and then returns to the boiler. If the bedroom is calling for heat all flow goes through the bathroom and then into the bedroom loop before returning to the boiler. I used programmable thermostats and the timing and demand of the bathroom always wants/needs heat before the bedroom so running them together when the bedroom calls for heat works for me.

Your situation sounds similar: the living space will always want heat if the usually-sunny rooms are calling for heat. The usually-sunny rooms can be shut off (or set back) even if the main room is still calling for heat.
 
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Old 08-31-16, 06:40 AM
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After thinking about this for a while I realize there are a couple items that are not clear.

The kicker is not in series with the baseboard. (Ignore my references to "in series" in my first post.) It is in parallel as shown in your diagram with its return teed into the return. (You may need a Monoflo tee in the supply to get proper flow through the kicker when water is flowing through both it and the baseboard, but if the existing baseboard already provides enough heat to the space where you are adding the kicker, that may not be an issue.) When the baseboard is blocked all the flow will be forced through the kicker when that space alone is calling for heat.

The valve for the baseboard is only a 1-way valve on the supply where you show the manual valve. The end switch on the valve should be connected to the TT terminals on the boiler along with the existing connection from the main thermostat.
 
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