Kick heater

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by donald73d, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Nov 12, 2011 #1

    donald73d

    donald73d

    donald73d

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    I have a hot water kick heater under my kitchen cabinets. It seems the heater comes on for 15 seconds and then stops, latter it will do the same thing. Its next to last on the heating loop. Its over an unheated crawl space. I know the kick heater has a thermostat to start the fan and when HOT water is flowing and is hot enough. If the fan was dead or dying I assume it would not start up. Or would only start up if you spun the blades by hand. Did I mention I hate working on kick heaters? I had several at my last house and the fans only lasted 3-4 years or so it seemed.

    Ideas? I will use an IR sensor to see what the temp is on the return loop. I assume the temp is borderline, the thermostat turns on the fan, but the fan cools it down enough to shut off the fan. I cannot remember if the thermostat is before the fan area, or in the middle of it.

    I have just started to insulate the piping for that loop in the basement. At least all the piping before the kick heater. In the past I was not too worried about heat lost to the basement as it warmed it up a bit, so I would not be too cold in basement workshop. I will get into that crawl space and see if everything is insulated there also.
     
  2. Nov 12, 2011 #2

    Redwood

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    It sounds like you are headed in the right direction...
     
  3. Nov 15, 2011 #3

    donald73d

    donald73d

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    I think its a case of the water being a borderline temp when its going through the kick heater. When the rooms get closer to 70 then it works fine. I am still going about insulating that entire run with pipe insulation.
     
  4. Nov 15, 2011 #4

    Redwood

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    What temp is your boiler running at?

    The outdoor sensor may be a factor here which will go away in colder weather...
     
  5. Nov 16, 2011 #5

    joecaption

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    If that waters not 140 deg. then the blower will, or at least should not run. Most can have the thermastat changed to 120 or 105 deg. as a last ditch effort.
     
  6. Nov 17, 2011 #6

    paul52446m

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    Sounds like you have too much radiation on one loop or its just not piped right. Normally if the temp leaving the boiler is 180 then the return would be about 15 degrees to 20 degrees less. or maybe you are not pumping the right amount of water so its cooling down too much.
    You could add a relay that would turn the kick blower on when your stat calls for heat. Paul
     
  7. Dec 6, 2011 #7

    donald73d

    donald73d

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    I have been in my crawl space insulating the copper pipe in that loop. I see a pair of tees in the 3/4" heat loop, dropping to 1/2" and going to and returning from (using rubber hose) the kick heater. I need to insulate the 1/2" rubber hose lines. All the 3/4" copper pipe is done. Is there something special about the first tee to divert a portion of the flow through the kick heater. Otherwise why wouldn;t the hot water just continue along the 3/4" pipe without some of it taking a detour through the kick heater.

    I believe the kick heater does work OK. Once the house gets to 65F, the water seems hot enough that the kick heater stays on. I am hoping the pipe insulation will help.

    Another minor problem is I have an IRobot Scooba to clean the kitchen floor and as its going around it typically hits the HI-OFF-NORMAL switch on the kick heater and turn it off. Bad robot.
     
  8. Dec 6, 2011 #8

    Redwood

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  9. Dec 6, 2011 #9

    donald73d

    donald73d

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    Thanks, I was pretty sure there was something special about at least one of the tees that supplied the kick heater.

    The current construction in this 3'-4' crawl space is: one 16" area between floor joists is used as a race for all the water pipe to the kitchen sink. That race is covered at the bottom with 2" foam. Then the heating pipes are under that foam (so not insulated by the foam), but tight against it. I have the pipes in the crawl space all insulated except the small section where the kick heater tees/valves are and the hoses going to the kick heater.

    Two thoughts:

    1) Add 2x6 vertical boards to the existing joists (making them more like 12") and notch out where the pipes come through. Now the race will be deep enough to cover the heat pipes also. Stuff with fiberglass and cover the bottom with the foam pieces.

    2) Do the best I can using pipe insulation to insulate all the pipes in that area.
     

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