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Cooktop next to Fridge


VivreManger
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I am planning to install a high BTU gas cook top between an existing electric glass top range and a fridge. The specs call for 12" between the cook top and the side walls. Most of the interfaces of the cook top cause no problem. On the left side, it would be next to the range top and would have more than three feet of open counter, beyond that. The rear wall has enough open space. The space above the top will have a vented hood around 30" or more above the cook top.

The problem is on the right side, which would be about 4" from the fridge. Furthermore the right burners are stronger than the left burners. Rear right has a maximum of 9,000 BTU. Rear front has 12,000 BTU. Incidentally the center burner gets up to 18,000 BTU. The left side has 9,000 and 6,000, rear and front respectively.

The hood will remove some of the heat, but 4" still is not 12". I have spoken to one house inspector and one contractor who have both assured me that it would be possible to install a heat resistant insulated barrier between the fridge and the burners, but I would like to know if anyone else has dealt with a similar problem and what are the pitfalls to avoid.

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Well, violating the manufactures recommendations means if it goes wrong, it is your baby.

That said, I do not think the combined 9K btu/hr + the 6k btu/hr will hurt your reefer or the range top unless you find a way to use them full blast 24/7; then maybe. It would add a heat load that your reefer is not built/designed for but unless you are nutso and use it all the time, it should only mean the reefer does more work and possibly has a shorter life.

If you had a way to add like a quarter inch of asbestos shingles [or the like] between the two, I don't think there would ever be a problem under normal foodie use.

Now that I have said all this will work, the real questions should be whether your insurance could have something to say if I, your building inspector and your contractor friend are right but they [insurance] have different notions. I would go for it.

Edit 1. spelling 2. I think a piece of the concrete board they put in showers [ I'm not sure of myself but I think they call it Wonder Board] wouldn't work as the insulator.

Edited by RobertCollins (log)

Robert

Seattle

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You might also look at the specs for the fridge. I was surprised to find one (SubZero, I think) that had a minimum distance to heat generating equipment. In that case, it was too close to a washer/dryer closet. I think the compressor(s) will be the big problem. And expensive to replace.

The range is mainly a flammability issue, so any non-combustible surface will meet the manufacturer's requirements - like sheet metal. I suppose if the fridge is metal cased rather than plastic, and has no wood surround, it isn't an issue from that stand point.

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Another potential problem could be the sidewall insulation of the refrigerator. Many modern refrigerators use a foam insulation in many varieties of this will melt when subject to high heat would fill significantly hurt the refrigerators performance. As suggested by others you need to review the refrigerator manufacturers installation instructions.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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I spoke to an old friend who is an engineer who has a lot of personal kitchen design experience. He supervised the installation of two different kitchens in his own homes, though he has not had to deal with the specific heat problem of this thread.

Along the lines of what has been recommended, he suggested the following solution: Take a 3" thick fiberglass matt, cover it with sheets of cement board and paint it with heat resistant paint to match the decor. Place that between the fridge and the cooking area.

My own thinking has evolved a bit as well. Rather than placing the cook top between the electric range and the fridge, I think I would flip the two cooking units and place the range between the fridge and cook top. As far as heat goes, the oven of the range will generate less heat than the cook top, though it would be for more extended time. Balancing those two elements, it strikes me that the heat from the oven would be less of a problem than the heat from the cook top.

The other consideration is that the existing hood ventilation duct work is now directly over the less heat and smell producing electric range. After swapping the range and the top, and instead placing the cook top directly at that spot the new hood and fan will work more efficiently than by adding an elbow and moving the intake over by a few feet.

The proposed new more powerful (at least 600 cfm) exhaust system would still be able to remove and reduce the external ambient heat from the range, even though it would no longer be positioned directly over it. I am thinking of getting a 36" hood which would completely cover the 30" cooktop and have a 6" overhang for the range. The range cooktop will not normally be used except for benign simmering and hot tray purposes.

ADDITION:

It just struck me that in an ideal kitchen the exhaust fan would be even further away from the oven than I am proposing since one wants to maintain oven heat as consistently and efficiently as possible. Heating the internal oven space and than removing the external heat it generates with an exhaust fan does not make a lot of sense. Unfortunately I do not have the space or the money to wall mount an oven in a completely separate spot distant from the hood and the fridge.

All of which is to suuggest that moving the oven a little further away from the hood is probably not a bad thing, though its beneficial effect in this case would probably be minimal.

Edited by VivreManger (log)
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