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I have a "breakfast nook" section of my kitchen with a large hot water convector installed along the baseboards of two walls. Because of other elements in the heating system located close nearby and the fact that I want to install cupboards in the "breakfast nook", I'd like to move the convector to another adjacent room.

The kitchen gets plenty of heat from the attached mechanical room and laundry room as well as cooking, convective air currents, and a forced air heating system, so I'm not worried about keeping the room warm. (It's usually too hot!)

What do I have to do to move the convector to another location? What is the process for disconnecting the water lines, moving the convector to a new location (an office on the other side of the kitchen wall) and reconnecting the water lines?

Is there pressurization I have to deal with? I imagine air being introduced into the boiler system is a concern. Should that just be bled out on the convector unit connector?

I'd also like to change the geometry of the convector from an "L" shape to a straight run. Is that something I can do by changing out the copper fittings?

I realize this is a very broad question (or series of questions actually) but I'm looking for a very high level methodology for moving the convector and especially what are some of the things I'll have to contend with.

I have very little experience with this style of heating system but I'm pretty versed with plumbing and electrical work, etc.

I've tried "googling around" and I'm not really finding very much good information. Everything I can find is either trying to tell me how the system works or why I should call some HVAC company to come work on my system.

This is similar to the unit I want to move:

Convector

...inside there are two copper pipes and heat-exchange fins, a hot water inlet and a hot water return connection from the boiler. The "guts" of it looks essentially like this, specifically the "front" example:

convector interior components

...although, mine has the "in" and "out" connections at the same end and the copper is plumbed in an enlongated U-shape.

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    "Convector". Is that what's commonly known as a "radiator"? Is it a special radiator with a fan? Is it something else entirely? A picture might help.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 11 at 15:44
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    @FreeMan - Yeah, I've always called them "radiators" too, but someone on here corrected me and turned me on to the fact that they're actually "convectors" because they rely on convection currents to heat the room rather than being just a hot thing on the wall that radiates heat. There is no fan in the unit. I'll add a picture when I get the opportunity. Jan 11 at 19:55
  • @DrMoishePippik You've helped me immensely with this system before... any ideas? Jan 11 at 20:13
  • FYI- your ping above won't help. You can only ping someone who has been active in a comment thread on a particular question or answer. You could try finding him in chat, but someone will be along eventually, I'm sure.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 12 at 11:44
  • @FreeMan Thanks. I figured I'd give it a shot... I didn't see anything in "the manual" about it. Jan 12 at 14:14
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If you are not in the Southern hemisphere, wait 4-6 months and do this in the off-season for heating, not in mid-winter.

It's major surgery and requires shutting down and partially (at least) draining your boiler, unless somebody put in WAY more valves than is usual.

  • Shut down the boiler
  • Turn off the water supply to the boiler, if it's not nomally kept closed.
  • Drain system to remove water (or potentially antifreeze) from this portion of the piping (at least.)
  • Cut or unsolder pipe to release convector, and remove it, assuming no convenient unions.
  • cut or unsolder more pipe to undo what leads here.
  • assemble pipe to lead to new location, taking care not to drill holes in things you should not, or set the building on fire while soldering.
  • If you have two sections joined by elbows, yes you can straighten the bend in the plumbing by replacing those with straight couplings. Your outer cover may no longer fit properly, however, since it was configured for the corner.
  • connect the new plumbing to the newly configured convector in the new location.
  • pressurize the system and check carefully for leaks
  • bleed air from the system - may need to repeat several times after the next step, as air dissolved in cold water comes out of solution in heated water.
  • restart the boiler
  • balance the system for heat delivery, using balancing valves, movable flaps on the convector (not that the style you show appears to have those) or system zoning. Installing balancing valves and/or zoning would have to be dealt with at the "replumbing" stage if not already present.
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  • Thanks... this give me a place to start. Feb 9 at 21:10

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