Danger if electric outlet is behind radiator cover?

kittysmamaFebruary 5, 2009

The radiator cover we just had custom-made arrived and I didn't know the finished size would be a full 4 inches longer than the measurements I gave them! I already added 2 inches to the length of the radiator per their instructions. Seems excessively long. This was from Fichman radiator covers. The cover will now cover up an electric outlet that's located next to the radiator under the window. The radiator cover is vented in front and on the sides but will it get too hot under there for this electric outlet? Is that a danger at all? I'd love to move this outlet to the wall but it won't be something we can get done right away. It comes in from the outside through an exterior brick wall of our 100 yr old house. Our house presents a big challenge for installing and moving electric outlets. Until someday we have the outlet moved it will be under this radiator cover and I'd love to know from the experts here if that's a problem or danger. Thank you so much in advance.

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Ron Natalie

I don't think there is any direct danger in having the receptacle behind the cover. However as a practical matter, old houses don't typically have sufficient receptacles anyway and I'd be loathe to give one up. Extension cords are always problematic and this is why the modern codes mandate placements.

If they screwed up the covers I'd demand they fix it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 8:43AM
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Thanks, Ronnatalie for your response. If I can even get these people at Fichman on the phone (they seem overwhelmed) I'm definitely going to ask them if making the radiator cover 4" longer than the measurements I provided is their normal practice or if somebody messed up and if so they'll have to re-do the order. If they'd at least provided information about the finished sizes of their covers on their website I could have made sure the cover would not block the electric outlet.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 11:52AM
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We also have a similar aged house with steam radiators, and were amazed at the difference in the heat output when we removed the radiator covers.

We started by leaving the tops propped open a bit, and a lot more heat flowed out. But we were amazed at how much more came out with out a cover blocking any of the airflow.

Be careful if you're adding covers. You may be blocking a lot of the convective air flow they were designed to create.

It took awhile to get used to these frankly ugly radiators, but not having the covers sure makes the rooms more comfortable and we're also saving on oil.

To get the best of both worlds, we're storing them in the attic and place them seasonally.

It's not on topic, but something I thought you should be aware of.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2009 at 9:08AM
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Turn the radiator cover up-side-down and measure the distance between the inside edge of the cover. If this measurement matches the measurement + 2" you gave to Fichman, then the covers have been built to your measurements and Fichman has committed no error.

I checked their ordering web page at http://www.fichman.com/radiatorcovers/ordering.html and it plainly states "The measurements you provide us are the interior of the cabinet!!".

You don't want the cover touching the radiator, so the reason they tell you to add 2" is to give you a minimum of a 1" gap between the radiator and the cover on all sides.

Since the cabinet can not be made from wood that is 0" thick, you have to expect the OUTSIDE dimensions to be larger than the INSIDE dimensions you provided them.

So if the interiour dimensions match what you gave them, then I'm afraid the fault of this oversight is yours for not asking Fichman what you could expect between the inside dimensions and the finished outside dimensions.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 11:36AM
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I don't understand radiator covers,
1) If they are not part of the hot water loop, just a cover, I don't see any problem with heat an the electrical outlet
2) If the cover is wood, why not just cut it yourself to the length that works?
3) I don't understand what the exterior (brick) of your house has to do with moving the outlet. What is the inside wall, lath and plaster? I'd guess that's it. Or, is is it clock with brick on the outside and direct plaster on the inside?

This is off topic, sorry, just got me wondering. I have owned one house about 35 years ago that had lath and plaster interior, but it was frame and siding, so there were air spaces between the wall studs in which one could install an outlet, I assume, never did it.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 1:17PM
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Hey Kittysmamma

I'm guessing the rad cover from fichman was fine- you never followed up. Ours are perfect! We love fichman radiator covers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fichman Furniture and Radiator Covers

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:24PM
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Gee, I wonder how Angela dug up this old thread, unless of course she searched the name of the company.

Why is it I have the strong feeling Angela is somehow connected to this radiator cover company and is trying to save face.........?
The link is SO convenient, isn't it?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 7:32PM
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Plus she registered the same time as she posted.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:30PM
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Hi Guys - thanks for your messages ... I actually googled electric outlets radiator covers because I wasn't sure about another radiator that I wanted to cover with Fichman Rad Covers, and then thought I'd post my two cents about my experience with Fichman Radiator Covers .... yes, I did sign up just before I posted ... I can't believe how distrusting people are... and yes, I'm still waiting from Kittysmama to find out about the sizing ...

Take care

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 12:17AM
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"I can't believe how distrusting people are..."

You don't go to many message boards, do you?
If you are saying your post was legitimate then I believe you. It's just the format and situation is very consistent with someone trying to advertise for their company.

"and yes, I'm still waiting from Kittysmama to find out about the sizing ..."

Considering it's been over a year I doubt you will hear.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 3:04PM
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