Replacing a small kitchen radiator with a hydronic under-cabinet heater

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  #41  
Old 12-27-14, 10:38 AM
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Move them to a corner and box them out would be my choice then.. I would be leary with them on an outside wall. especially in PA
 
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Old 12-27-14, 10:46 AM
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Move them to a corner and box them out would be my choice then.. I would be leary with them on an outside wall. especially in PA
Not a bad idea. I'll see how I could work that.

What is your opinion on me using the 3/4" flexible copper?

Thanks.
 
  #43  
Old 12-27-14, 10:55 AM
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What is your opinion on me using the 3/4" flexible copper?
You could.. It will cost a small fortune though.. I see no benefit as you cannot make sharp bends. May as well go pex then...
 
  #44  
Old 12-27-14, 11:03 AM
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I got 120 ft 3/4 L coil for 40.00. Cheaper than Pex. I could still do Pex, but should I stay with 3/4" or is it safe to drop to 1/2"?

Thanks.
 
  #45  
Old 12-27-14, 03:07 PM
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I got 120 ft 3/4 L coil for 40.00.
You mean $400 right?

If not let me know where I can get it for $40 bucks....
 
  #46  
Old 12-27-14, 06:54 PM
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Yes, 40.00:

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I purchased a couple other items, and used a 10 off 50 coupon, which made my net to 20.00 each. I know, weird, right?

This was from Lowes in Willow Grove and they had that prices for a few days. Their store listed 5 in stock, so I ordered 2 early this morning. The price for that same item already went back up to 165.00 per roll. Either they made a mistake online or wanted to clear out old stock. The sale price originally listed up until 1/5/15 or something close to that.

I've found a lot of good deals at Lowes lately, some, unfortunately, I can't take advantage of like a Ceramic tile they have for .56 per sheet (6x20 wood look ceramic).

I grabbed that copper and 1/2" barrier pex from Home Depot. I decided just to get everything and figure out what I wanted to do when I get to that step.

Right now, plaster dust, wood lath, brick dust and everything else is making for a rough demolition of the kitchen.

I hope to be ready to frame the walls and get the pipes replaced tomorrow night/Monday morning.
 
  #47  
Old 12-29-14, 10:05 PM
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Kitchen demo completed. Got all the plaster and wood lath out and into the trash. Now I can breathe easy.

Attempted to attack the plumbing. The gas is basically done. I took off the short pieces and remove the last elbow before the long straight run back into the basement. I added a new elbow, 3.5" pipe, shutoff valve, then a 12" section and another elbow. I'll add another 12" section, then the 15 or 18" section to put the line back in the kitchen to another shutoff valve tomorrow morning..

Onto the water pipe. I remove the kitchen radiator, separated and removed the pipe for the 2nd floor radiator. I'm now stuck trying to get that 1.5" tee fitting off you mentioned (lawrosa) that would be difficult. I ended up cutting the 3/4" pipe since I did not have a lot of space to get the pipe wrench in, but a small piece was left over. That removed without a problem with the pipe wrench after cutting.

Tomorrow morning I'll go to home depot to get some pb blaster to see if that will loosen the 1.5" fitting. It was a no go with a 24" pipe wrench and an 18" pipe wrench with a leverage bar on it.

That fitting is just seized/rusted.

So far so good, except no heat tonight.

Any other recommendations for getting those two fittings off? I'm stuck on the first one.

Thanks.
 
  #48  
Old 12-29-14, 10:37 PM
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Any other recommendations for getting those two fittings off? I'm stuck on the first one.

Heat them up with a torch....


Dont burn the house down though... Water and fire extinguisher handy....


Or a very heavy hammer you can crack the fitting off if you hit it right many times..


It was a no go with a 24" pipe wrench and an 18" pipe wrench with a leverage bar on it.
Bigger wrench or bar...

This tee?

[ATTACH=CONFIG]44047[/ATTACH]
 
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  #49  
Old 12-29-14, 10:44 PM
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Yes, that's the tee. I could also cut the tee and try not to damage the threads. My reciprocating saw blade wasn't getting through that one. I'll try again tomorrow and let you know my results. Thanks.
 
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Old 12-30-14, 10:56 AM
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I finally got the old tees off. PB blaster did not work. I had to buy a diamond reciprocating blade for cast iron (that also struggled), but I was able to saw somewhat horizontally on an angle about an inch wide, deep near the threads, shallower further away. Once I got a deep enough saw depression, I bang on the opening with a chisel and ball/pein hammer to put stress fractures in the fitting. Then, they unscrewed with ease.

Glad this is done. Next sweating the copper before I screw the joints together and I'll do a water lead test. This will be my first time sweating bushings.

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  #51  
Old 12-30-14, 02:08 PM
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Getting the copper sweated and the pipe threaded onto the old iron pipe was a success.

I sweated all the joints in sequence (1 1/2 to the 1 1/2 x 3/4 bushing; then the short piece of 1/2 pipe to 1/2 x 3/4 bushing; then the tee with the pex barbs and subsequently onto the short piece of 1/2" pipe. After everything cooled, I put the 3/4 bushings together for the last piece). Once everything was cooled, I applied some Teflon tape + dope (as suggested on another thread) to the iron pipe threads, wrenched on the copper and cut the water back on for the heater and thankfully, no leaks.

My last plumbing task will be to run the new pex up to the second floor radiator, and hopefully when everything is put back together the radiator wont leak since I disturbed the near century old radiator.

Here are some pics. I know you pros will say this is a horrible sweat job...and I would agree. But it doesn't leak. I was not used to pipe bigger than 3/4 and never sweated bushings, so I was unsure how much solder was adequate. I also didn't buy the mapp gas because my original plan, I would have went from the 3/4 to a 1/2 pipe (I previously thought it was 1" threaded supply pipe, but it was 3/4) and would have only been sweating 1/2 pipe. Tool me a little while, but it's done.

Thanks.

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  #52  
Old 12-30-14, 03:33 PM
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Hmmm... Sorry it was not mentioned here, dont think we got that far, but your not supposed to put copper right to the steel . Should of been brass, then copper. Like two brass ball valves should have went there first...then to copper.

But in reality I would have used tees or a reducer.

Like this..

1-1/4" x 1" Threaded Lead-Free Brass Reducing Coupling Fitting - PexUniverse


Also is that pex of the oxygen barrier type????
 
  #53  
Old 12-30-14, 05:36 PM
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Hmmm... Sorry it was not mentioned here, dont think we got that far, but your not supposed to put copper right to the steel.
Your fine with the supply and return and the kick heater should work well. But you must un-thread the existing piping and convert to copper would be my choice. And that is the challenge...
I could have misunderstood that statement, but it's not inevitable for me to switch it out if necessary, now since I removed those iron tees.

What is the issue with going from the iron pipe to copper? Corrosion from entrance of continuous oxygen? Or because copper is softer and can leak over time. I scoured the internet and found it is common to use brass between iron and copper pipe, but also read iron to copper was common practice too. I could have used brass, but thought copper would be just as reliable.

Also is that pex of the oxygen barrier type????
Yes, this is oxygen barrier pex.

Thanks.
 
  #54  
Old 12-30-14, 05:46 PM
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Corrosion from entrance of continuous oxygen? Or because copper is softer and can leak over time.
Corrosion.. But will it occur? How long will it take to corrode??/ IDK.


Galvanic corrosion is caused by self-induced current created by electrical potential of two dissimilar metals in contact with an electrolyte. It can occur when two dissimilar metals (such as copper tube and steel pipe) are connected in the presence of an electrolyte.
 
  #55  
Old 12-30-14, 06:03 PM
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So basically it's not recommended, but it's technically safe/okay?

I found a 1 1/2 x 1/2 brass reducer that I'll keep my eye on. If I ever have to change it, I'll go straight from the 1 1/2 to 1/2 and use a 1/2 brass pex barb, so I will completely eliminate copper and soldering, and go from iron to brass to brass (pex barb) to pex.

The good news is that I should easily be able to get the copper off in the future if I run into a problem since I used the teflon/dope combo.

I'll leave plenty of extra pex on the supply/return lines in case I have to modify distance from the main pipes in case of a modification (but this shouldn't be more than a couple inches, though).

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-30-14, 06:06 PM
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I would not worry about it... Its done all the time... Just as a strength point of view usually when copper is attached to steel fittings a male adapter is used. Not a female adapter.

Reason is the steel threads can crack the soft copper adapters you have installed. And the fact that I never seen it done like in your pic..

Just looks odd is all.

I guess there are many ways to do it to get to pex, but that would not of been my choices...

Like this I made up for water jacket pumps.. I could have done it all in copper with sweat valves, tees, etc.... but used all threaded brass after the reducer PRV... Why? It looks better...

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  #57  
Old 12-30-14, 06:30 PM
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I agree that the way I did it was odd too, and part of my issue is that I had a changing target for what I was trying to accomplish. I originally was going to go from the iron to copper thread, then from iron to brass pex barbs (3/4" male x 1/2" pex), but as I kept looking at the pipes in my garage, I thought it was going to be too complicated to remove the pipe in reverse sequence to get to the 3/4" female threads in the tee. Even if I had cut the pipe, I had very little space to get a pipe wrench in the space between the tee and the ceiling.

I cut the pipes to remove them as I then planned to directly connect to the 1 1/2 pipe and as I was looking for adapters, all that was on my mind was copper and I completely forgot about brass.

I really didn't want to sweat the pipe because of the risk of failed solder joints (i'm no pro!), and especially finding out after I filled the radiators back with water.

I'll order those brass coupling reducers and will change out the connections once this kitchen remodel is done and when we get a warmer day.
 
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Old 12-30-14, 06:48 PM
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Those copper to iron connections should be fine. Once the boiler starts running, there will be no oxygen in the water.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 07:14 AM
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I finally got the pex ran for the radiator in the bedroom above the kitchen. I decided to go through the joists and run the pex vertically next to another set of radiator pipes that is in the inner wall of the kitchen (wall separating the kitchen and dining room).

It took me a while because I did not want to have any elbows in the walls or ceilings so I can minimize potentially leaks. It's one continuous pipe from the modified pipe in my garage to the radiator. 1/2" Pex is tougher than I thought, meaning harder to maneuver.

I added loops and have a little extra slack in the garage. Not too much slack that it could sag and not too tight where it cant expand/contract easily.

I used insulated straps (mickey mouse ears) at every other 2nd joist, plus the talon where the loops are. Talons in the garage attaching to the ceiling. Since my garage ceiling is plaster over lath, I use a 3" piece of 3/4" pvc to protect the pipe from the lath where I drilled the holes.

I made successful connections back to the radiator. The new radiator valve and union does not leak.

Next, I'll run the shorter pex for the kick space heater and tackle my electricity, insulation and sheetrock.

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  #60  
Old 01-04-15, 07:23 AM
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Radiator with pex:

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Incidentally, all but one of the cinch clamp connections I made at the modified pipe in the garage were good. One leaked and that is my fault because I failed to check that the clamp was clamped correctly.

Draining the system one more time to fix. Pex with these cinch clamps are very difficult to remove. I can get the clamp off easily, but removing the pex from the barb is difficult. I've only had success by ripping the edge of the pex that made contact with the barb with a screw driver and pliers to get the pex off. Not as easy as the sharkbite videos make it seem!
 
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Old 01-04-15, 08:01 AM
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I would have run black or brass pipe to below the floor and made the pex connections below just for looks. Nice job otherwise.
 
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Old 01-04-15, 08:53 AM
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Yes, I thought about that. In fact, I was going to use copper, but again, I wanted to eliminate any joints/couplings that I could not get access to without cutting the ceiling.

The way I have it now, if I have to do any maintenance at the radiator, I can cut the pex and pull up a little and reconnect. Hopefully, I'll never have to do that.

System drained and leak fixed in garage. Radiators are now getting hot. So far, so good.

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-17-15, 12:04 PM
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I followed your advice, lawrosa, and orderd a pair of brass reducing couplings to replace the copper. Amazon is the only place that I found a 1 1/2 x 1/2 1 1/2 x 3/4 reducer. I went with the 1 1/2 x 1/2. I'll be replacing them this weekend.

I also think my solder job was too bad and will probably fail at some point, so taking necessary precautions.

I did have a leak at the radiator valve, but I think it is due to not tightening the union nut enough. I'll tighten a little more when I drain the system.

Thanks again.
 
  #64  
Old 01-29-15, 07:52 AM
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Wondering if anyone is still reading this...

I hooked up the toe kick heater and it is not getting hot water. Now, I know the instructions say use a monoflow tee, however, I am at the end of piping. With the way I did the pex piping, the radiator that is piped through the same connection is getting hot without a problem. The supply return is hooked up correctly. My system consists of a main supply and return, and each radiator (as well as toe kick) has it's own supply and return. I've looked this up and really don't know if my system is direct return or reverse return. All of the radiators get hot at about the same time.

I did confirm no air is in the piping for the toe kick and have a bleeder on the return side. I even blocked (shut off valve at the toe kick) the water for the return side and bled to confirm the feed is supplying water.

Need some advice on what to do. Doing a home run back to as close to the boiler as possible is going to be very difficult and time consuming for me being that the kitchen is in the rear of the house and the boiler is very close to the front, in the basement.

I used 1 1/2 x 1/2 brass reducer couplings to go from the iron pipe to pex in my garage. If a monoflow tee is 100% necessary, I can try to go from the 1 1/2 x 1/2 back to 3/4 (using a 3/4 x 1/2 x 3/4 monoflow tee) in between the brass and what I would make the end of the piping run for the radiator piping that is for the bedroom above the kitchen (what I relocated--the other set of piping connected in the pic below).

Here are pics of piping in garage. One set is for the toe kick, one set is for the radiator in the bedroom above the kitchen:

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Toe kick with connections:

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I hope I am not doomed!

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 09:08 AM
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Still reading your fascinating project. I'm pretty ignorant so not helpful. Can't wait to see finished pix especially if you repeat the "before" pic too.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 09:24 AM
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I will post before/after pics. Sadly, I did not take too many in-between pics as I was very exhausted throughout the project and just kept my goal on getting stuff completed. My GF took some pictures, albeit, not great angle shots, but they show the story.

I made some mistakes, but none insurmountable. Hopefully, this last piece of the project is easily able to overcome and I'll have most of the work completed.

My granite counter tops should be arriving today.

I made some other posts about the flooring and electrical, but the radiator issue was my most difficult task in planning as I had to plan on the fly!
 
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Old 01-29-15, 02:56 PM
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I might have spoke too soon. Today when I was home preparing for my granite countertops, the boiler started and the Pex pipe for the toe kick got hot. I think I'm good. Maybe when I first hooked it up last night, I never purged all the air out or there was too much pressure in the return side of the pipe causing the piping not to get hot.

Can't wait to fully utilize this new heater!

I'll report back once it is 100% operation and to confirm it is working correctly.

Thanks.
 
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Old 01-29-15, 03:58 PM
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The valves you have off here are for the upstairs rad???

[ATTACH=CONFIG]45748[/ATTACH]


And you raised the psi in the boiler to say 25?

Then closed the turn here and opened that bleeder??


[ATTACH=CONFIG]45749[/ATTACH]


That bleeder needs to open fully.. Bleed until hot water comes out... You may need to increase the psi at the boiler several times...

Last thing to try is do the same as above but run the circulator while bleeding it...

Let us know...
 
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Old 01-29-15, 09:26 PM
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The valves you have off here are for the upstairs rad???
I took that pic as soon as I replaced the copper valves with the Brass, so this was before the piping for the toe kick was connected.

Both the radiator and pex is connected and all ports open.

The toe kick now works correctly and blows warm/hot air. I think I either had an air issue or because of the sequence of when I opened those ball valves in the garage, I might have opened the return side first and that might have made the pressure too great and never circulated through the toe kick correctly (I could be wrong, though).

And you raised the psi in the boiler to say 25?
I am not really sure how to do this, but I assume I can close off the stop valve I have for the expansion tank for a few minutes to get the pressure up? Otherwise, I don't know how to raise the pressure.

Everything is working now, but I'll gauge the success of the toe kick through the next few days.

Please let me know how I would raise the pressure as I may need to know in the future.

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-02-15, 08:57 AM
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I have confirmed that the hydronic toe kick is functioning normally. In fact, with the low temperature aquastat, it turns on relatively fast. The system is running very efficient with all water outlets open and flowing freely. Once the boiler turns on, the water gets to the 110 degrees (low range for the low temp aquastat) in about 7-10 minutes.

Lawrosa, I think I found the correct steps to increase the pressure. I believe I have to put the lever on the pressure regulator in the vertical position. Is this correct? I won't have to do this since everything is functioning, but I just wanted to know how to do it in case I ever had to raise the pressure in the future.

Here are some pics of the kitchen:

Kitchen before remodel:

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Same views, after remodel:

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I still have a lot of finishing work to do, but at least the kitchen is mainly functional. I have to do a lot of touching up. I did not do the best sanding job before I painted, but I have 3/4 of a gallon of paint left, so I will smooth everything out with some additional joint compound, re-sand, then paint.

The hydronic toe kick is under the sink base cabinet. The electric is under the base cabinet next to the refrigerator.

Getting a new range next week. Installing a new exterior door in the spring. Maybe a backsplash, but I don't care too much for a tile, mosiac or other fancy backsplash.

Finishing the window molding/painting, top cabinet trim, bottom cabinet toe kick attachment and recessed trim sometime this week. I installed 9 cans, which replaced one normally functional light in the center before the remodel, with a pull chain light over the stove in the old kitchen as well as a pull chain light/fan over the table in the "breakfast nook."

Installing the flooring and bottom molding after we get the majority of the plaster dust cleaned from the the house, which may not be for a few weeks, but we are okay with that.

Thanks for all the help.

This kitchen is crashed!

I just wanted to say that.
 
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