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Unread 06-25-2009, 08:21 PM   #1
ijs12fly
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Any one have experiece installing Kohler Steam Generator?

I recently purchased the Kohler K-1733 9KW steam generator. I am struggling with where to locate it. In the instruction manual it says "Allow for 12in air gap on all sides of the generator". This surprised me bacause all other steam generators (non-kohler) seem to be zero clearance and can be mounted in the wall, vanity, closet, etc. The unit is 19"L x6"W x12"H, so this is asking for a 4ft x 3ft x 2ft open space to put this generator. Seems like major overkill.

My desire was to locate it under my whirlpool area, I have some open space available.

Does anyone have any experience with installing a Kohler steam generator and do you know if the 12" clearance on all sides is "code" or just a safe recommendation by Kohler?

If so would you mind sharing how you mounted it and how you did the plumbing to it. Some specifics I would be curious to know are:

1. Where did you locate your steam generator and how much clearance does it have?
2. Did you use a drip pan and is that plumbed to some type of drain?
3. How did you plumb the Pressure Relief Valve -
4. How far from the shower did you locate it?
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Unread 06-25-2009, 08:42 PM   #2
jadnashua
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First, your inspector will (if he's doing his job) verify the device was installed per the manufacturer's instructions, so if you don't have the room, get another one that does work for you.

Second, my personal opinion and limited experience is I'd never buy anything Kohler again. They're a pain to get parts from, their quality is spotty, and they change their designs on a whim, so nobody except the factory (if they do) stocks parts. Their parts book is closer to a phone book size, and they're infected with the I can do it better, and damn what everyone else's experience is...I'll do it my way.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 01:37 AM   #3
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Quit beating around the bush, Jim. If you got something to say, just say it.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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I haven't bought my Steam Generator yet but I've been downlaoding manuals and reading alot in prperation for my steam shower project. Most manufactuers recommend around 12 inches on the sides and 6 inches on top for maintenance/repair reasons. This is so you can get access to repalce parts. Not so much due to heat concerns. For example the Mr Steam unit recommeneds 12 inches on both sides, but says if you use couplings so you can disconnect the piping to remove the unit for repair the minimum clearance around the unit is zero. You should call the manufactuer and ask them.
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Unread 06-26-2009, 12:04 PM   #5
ijs12fly
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So I spoke to Kohler and the 12" is for heat dissipation given its a fast response unit it keeps water at 180 deg all the time in it. I may have to add a switch and make it a slow response unit so I don't spend money heating water that is used once in a while.

When you say couplings - can you provide some examples of what type of coupling to use?
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Unread 06-27-2009, 08:03 AM   #6
ubermike
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Colorado Master Plumber here:
The comment about Kohler having spotty quality is dead-on.
Mr. Steam is the industry standard for steamers, most spas and health clubs use them. By couplings, what you want is a union. Steam produces an acidic condensate that can be destructive, so avoid steel pipe and dielectric unions with rubber gaskets. Make sure you have clearance to remove the unit for servicing, and definitely make sure there is no exposure to combustibles in the cavity where the unit located. I would suggest lining the cavity with Durarock and grouting the joints, just like a tile job.
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Unread 06-27-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
jadnashua
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Whether you add a switch or not, an inspector doing his job will still require the unit to be installed per the manufacturer's specifications. What do you think might happen if someone, maybe after you sell the house, just leaves that switch on and burns the house down? Or, one of the kids forgets, or a guest. If it states it needs x amount of space...give it that space or find one that will fit.
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