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heating pipes under cabinets

I am remodeling my kitchen and all cabinets are moving to the opposite wall. I have hot water baseboard and the only way I can think of to run the pipes is under the new kitchen cabinets(merrilat)in that 4"space and behind the electric range. This portion of the kitchen has an unheated crawlspace so I want to avoid running them through there and keep them in the heated area of the house.
My questions are: 1. Can this be done this way,code/safety, if so how. 2. Is there any clearance issues for insulated 3/4" copper heat pipe. I can pad the wall out 3/4" to create a "horizontal gap" at the floor level behind the cabinets as I have enough sq.ftage. any ideas or tricks for this or running them in crawlspace safely so I won't worry about freezing?

thanks for any advice.

Re: heating pipes under cabinets

This is a common issue that comes up when those with hw baseboard remodel a kitchen.

Baseboard is very rarely, if ever, placed in front of kitchen cabinets (or in back of them, for that matter)----foot traffic & use of the cabinet tops for food preparation, etc, would make a mess of the baseboard units, even if you could fit them in there comfortably.

The application calls for the installation of KICKSPACE HEATERS (see sites/description below) where a small electric motor with a small fan would fill the kitchen with heated air obtained by the heated water fed to them; only the small front of the steel grill, which measures approx 14" X 4" is visible---the rest of the kickspace heater is hidden behind the new cabinets; also Google "hydronic kickspace heaters" for more manufacturers and internet prices.

Because of the very cramped conditions present in nearly all kitchens, with so many cabinets, and appliances, baseboard elements are almost never used in kitchens, due to their need to take up an excessive amount of footage in order to meet the btu heat output required of most kitchens.

You will have to consult the btu calculator below to determine how much heat in BTUs/hour you need to adequately heat your kitchen; baseboard typically puts out approx 550 BTUs/hour per sq ft, which would require 10 to 15 ft of baseboard---the kickspace heater(s) put out twice that and have only a footprint of 14" x 4"; if your kitchen is now being adequately heated with the available baseboard, get a rough estimate of the needed BTUs for the kitchen by measuring the number of feet of baseboard you have and multiplying by 550---thus, if you have 15' of baseboard: 15 X 550= 8250 BTUs/hour needed for the kitchen to adequately heat it---you would then install one or two kickspace heaters totaling 8250 btu to complete the installation---completing the heat loss calcs below should give you a more accurate figure.

Always stick with the HW piping as the way to heat your kitchen---it's always much more economical to do so---aside from kickspace heaters, there ae other types of convectors designed for the kitchen at the Beacon-Morris site; kickspace heaters are avaialble at HD/Lowe's, but I would recommend buying one from a wholesale heating supply house in your area; many supply houses these days will give a DIYr a discount, will give you assistance on calculating how many kickspacers you need, calculate the heating needs of your kitchen, & sell you a quality product that will last for years and HAS A QUIET FAN that won't make any noise when it's heating.


Re: heating pipes under cabinets

Thanks for the reply Nashua, What I am doing is relocating the base board feed and return from one side of the room to the other(the actual piece of baseboard will remain in place) but due to the relocation of a 36" entry door I have to "flip" the feed to the opposite end of the heater element but in order to get the piping to the baseboard I want to run the piping with the black foam insulation under the 3 cabinets and behind the range.


Re: heating pipes under cabinets

Finding it very hard to visualize what you're trying to do there, simply by reading your word description----if you can post some type of diagram or photo it would be a lot easier.

Generally speaking, hot water piping (plastic PEX or copper) can be run just about anywhere in any configuration, in order to make the supply/return connections if you want to leave the present baseboard where it is; if the new door is a problem, the piping can even be run under that; you should check your town plumbing/heating codes before running the piping along the front bottom base of the cabinets.

Running the piping along the front base of the new cabinet bases can invite damage, & running the piping thru the back of the cabinets seems like a better idea; I would avoid running the supply/return pipes thru the unheated crawlspace if you live in an area that experiences freezing weather.

How many feet of basebord do you now have in the kitchen???---if it's over 5' or so, you may want to consider a kickspace, or even a cast iron radiator, which will take up much less room---you may well need the kitchen footage the baseboard is now taking up to install another kitchen appliance in the future.

Photos please.

Diagram please.

Re: heating pipes under cabinets

Running the line under the cabinets with the insulation should be no problem. I don't think I would use the insulation behind the range as it will melt from the heat of the range. I don't think it would burn but it may smell.


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