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removing baseboard heat

Let me apologize first for my lack of proper terminology, that being said...
I am a first time home owner,ranch house, 1 thermostat, i have an area in my kitchen in which i'd like to install a sliding glass door. My issue is that there is a hot water baseboard section under the window. The baseboard is roughly 14 feet long ( 7ft - bend in pipe , then another ft)
Exactly how would/should i go about removing the section under the window? I have replace valves and know how to solder. THANK YOU VERY MUCH in advance!

Re: removing baseboard heat

in simple terms, first drain the system. then in the basement, cut the pipe before the elbow that turns up into the radiator, do that on both ends. then run a straight pipe between the two cuts ends. essentially you're just eliminating the baseboard and letting the water run straight past that area. is there room enough to add a smaller piece of baseboard next to the sliding glass door? maybe a 4' or 6' piece?

Re: removing baseboard heat


This project is not that difficult, given your soldering skills---but you would have to deal with the cold spot in the kitchen that would be created by installing a sliding glass door.

To determine the heat output the kitchen needs, assign 580 btu/hour to each foot of baseboard: 580 X 14' = 8120 btu/hr needed to heat the kitchen---add approx. another 880 btu/hr for the added heat loss from a large glass door = 9000 btu/hr approx. to heat the kitchen with the new glass door in.

If the present baseboard section has 7' blocking the new glass door, goes into a corner then has 7 additional feet, I would recommend removing all the baseboard & installing a 5' floor vector (photo below at beacon-morris site @ 3410 btu/hr output where the glass door will be installed & a 7' section of high output baseboard @ 850 btu/ft X 7' = 5950 btu/hr: 5950 btu/hr + 3410 btu/hr = 9360 btu/hr.

Some plumbing supply houses sell the baseboard in 8' sections so you might have to use a metal cutting blade on a circular saw (wear safety glasses) to easily cut a foot off this baseboard section.

The high output baseboard might go for $70 & the floor vector for $200-$300
The 5' floor vector has to be put in if you hope to offset the cold air coming off the glass door in the winter--no matter how well you insulate things or how much the door mfgr claims otherwise, glass that size allows a certain amount of heat right thru the glass---so the purpose of a floor vector is to offset this cold spot.

If you have room in other parts of the kitchen for additional baseboard, you can use the baseboard you removed from the corner in another part of the kitchen to save $$$---often a hydronic kickspace heater (see beacon-morris) is installed since they're very small (16" X 4"), put out a lot of btu/hr (4,000-8,000 btu/hr) & can be put under a kitchen cabinet & cost only $100 or less.

Kitchens are almost always cramped for available floor space due to the need for ranges, the fridge, cabinets, etc., thus baseboard is substituted in favor of small convectors like kickspace heaters that have only a 16" footprint.

I would recommend connecting the new floor vector & the new baseboard or kickspace heater to the existing leads (riser piping) that serviced the supply/return for the existing 14' of baseboard---they all can be put in series to save time & materials.

If the floor joists run perpendicular to the wall that contains the new glass door, you would have to notch 6" X 8" out of 3 of the floor joists with a circular saw from above & reinforce them with additional framing members or steel (assuming 16" on center joists) to get the vector to fit snug & flush with the floor surface---existing floor covering would have to also be removed to accomodate installing the floor vector.

Make sure to re-route any existing electrical wires, piping, etc. before you begin cutting the flooring & framing---when doing any soldering, use a piece of metal sheeting, asbestos or folded aluminum foil to protect the wood sections from burning---have a portable fire extinguisher handy.

The sliding glass door, floor vector, baseboard and/or kickspace heater would all be installed & soldered in dry (without turning off the heat)---one or two bleeder valves must be installed at the higher points of the new piping to remove any trapped air.

Proceedurally, the 1st stage of the project might be to shut down the boiler, drain a gallon or 2, then cut & remove the 14' of existing baseboard & put some of it in another part of the kitchen ( or install a kickspace heater in one of the cabinets---then restart the boiler---this would give you heat & enable you to work on installing the glass door, the vector & hi-heat baseboard/kickspace heater.

Beacon-Morris has a good site with good pictures of all these components--click onto "products", then onto "residential", then onto "other residential products" to see the various convectors available---however, be aware that BM products are expensive & you can get a much better price if you Google "hydronic floor vector", or "hydronic kickspace heater", or "high output hydronic baseboard", (with & without the quotes), etc.---there are scores of mfgrs that make these prducts at low cost.

Then you can go to your local plumbing supply house to compare local prices, or order via the internet.


Re: removing baseboard heat

Alternatively you could just leave the old heaters in place and slip-on these modern looking covers: www.BaseboardHeaterCovers.com

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