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Old 10-20-2009, 09:49 AM   #1
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


contractor trying to help a client of mine out of a jam. Im thhinking bad thermostat, I havent' visited yet but doing research first. possibly bad install of therm.

Our house is all central air/heating with the exception of one room. In this one room we have baseboard heating that is not attached the the rest of the house. It is controlled by a dial thermometer on the wall. We were having problems with the room getting too hot last year so we had someone come and replace the thermometer. We turned it on this year and the problem is worse. If we turn the thermometer to 40 degrees the room within 20 minutes is well over 80 degrees. Also once we turn it on it the heating simply won't turn back off. We finally had to kill the circuit breakers and remove the thermometer from the wall to make the heating turn off. By this time the baseboards were burning hot to the touch and the wires in the wall were so hot they started to melt one of the plastic caps and you could smell the wiring.

If it helps there are 4 wires that were attached which is 2 black and 2 white to the thermometer.

I am not sure if this is a problem with the heaters or the electrical

Thanks for any input on troubleshooting

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Old 10-20-2009, 11:46 AM   #2
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


Sounds like one of a few possibilities: a defective baseboard, bad thermostat, or wired wrong. The only way to know is break out your voltmeter and see what is getting power when you shut off the thermostat.

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Old 10-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


Is it possible to get a crash course in hvac voltmeter troubleshooting?? willing to.throw few bucks ur way for help. email krazeconstruction at yahoo , im writing on mobile phone but if u got links to such info that can possibly work. most times web doesnt include specifics and leave out tips/secrets. but i can read hopefully figure out.
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Old 10-20-2009, 03:38 PM   #4
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


How comfortable are you with doing electrical work? If not, call an electrician.

Do you have a voltmeter? Do you know how to use it? What brand thermostat is it?
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


electrical is nothing to me, ran 220, 110(additions/new homes), stoves/dishwashers and list goes on and have voltmeter-know basics of it but never use it,(last time was on my truck as a continuity tester) but have all types of electrical tools. Its just hvac is of my least of my skills. I worked on furnaces/troubleshooting minor things, I had issue with a radiator trying to figure out bleeding issues and though i got it to work I just havne't had much field work on them but when it comes to diagnosing electrical problems is what gets me. I know voltage/ohms and such but what wires to test and what voltage they should read I do not know. I'm willing to research and figure it out though, hoping anyone here can just start me in right direction as I consider myself very much a newbie at Hvac. Im not even charging her for it, just looking at it as field experience. I am not sure the brand, but she stated that it has aux/emergency heat settings. Thats a thermostat for heat pump correct?

Last edited by Krazecon; 10-20-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:59 PM   #6
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


Quote:
Originally Posted by Krazecon View Post
electrical is nothing to me, ran 220, 110(additions/new homes), stoves/dishwashers and list goes on and have voltmeter-know basics of it but never use it.
If you do all that electrical, you might want to learn to use a meter. An electric baseboard heater is not HVAC
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #7
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


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If you do all that electrical, you might want to learn to use a meter. An electric baseboard heater is not HVAC
lol, well I figured same but when I talked to several of my electrician friends in past and present more than not said electric baseboard heater is part of hvac trade. So went to my hvac people and well same thing.. its on both sides of track. about 90% said that the electrician only roughs the electrical and hvac guy does the rest.... hey I dont' know-I have never needed a voltmeter on anything crutial to what I was working on so never gained the skills. In the home I can only think of minimal that would need it-networking cable? working on motors? tvs/vcr diagnosing? hottub/spa/furnace(which I don't do) I mean I built homes, additions, roofs, siding, installed electrical throughout/plumbing but just didnt' mess with hvac. I tried in past diagnosing electrical relays and such but don't know well enough, hmmm maybe need to take a night class or something on it anyone know of any good resources on multimeter testing
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:29 AM   #8
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


You need to talk to more electricians because around here they all handle electric resistive baseboards, not the HVAC guys. But I digress...

We need some details to proceed. Sounds like a double throw single pull thermostat. Correct? Or what type is it? Also, give us some idea of how this is all wired up.

I would start by cutting the power removing the thermostat and checking continuity on it. I would also check for any shorts on the baseboard.

You may also want to cross post to the Electrical forum.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:13 AM   #9
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


I agree that this is an electrical issue vice HVAC. The baseboard heater might as well be a light bulb and the thermostat is just the switch. I get the feeling that there is more than one issue at work here. Burnt wires makes me think that the circuit is either overloaded or the heater has a short. How many amps does the heater draw? What size is the wire? What size is the breaker? Did someone by chance put in a bigger breaker to keep it from tripping? Heaters tend to draw a lot of juice.

Once you look at the heater end, you can address the thermostat. Is it a line voltage stat or do you have a relay? Either way, it should shut down the heater once the desired temp is reached. If it's not doing that, I'd suspect it's bad.
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Old 10-22-2009, 03:06 AM   #10
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


Thanks guys..i'll get those answers found out, cross reference in electrical and let you guys know the updates.
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:21 AM   #11
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


i vote for wrong tstat or wrong subbase. keep us posted

on second thought im going to go with improperly wired

if you know how to read continuity on the meter than you should be able to figure out which terminals on the stat do what. id think it would be pretty basic, 2 power wires in (hot all the time) likely black and 2 back to the heater likely white remove the stat after killing the power of course and put the meter on the terminals and figure out which ones have continuity when the stat is turned up above room temp and than open when turned down below room temp. the ones that make and break on temp are going to be your line in and load out terminals

Last edited by kennzz05; 10-23-2009 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 10-23-2009, 04:50 AM   #12
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baseboard heat, new therm burning wires?? wont' shut off


Is the stat installed on an inside or outside wall?

How many watts do the heaters the stat controls draw?

What wattage is the stat rated for?

What size wire is ran to the stat?

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