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Old 01-18-2011, 11:40 AM   #1
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Baseboard heater problem


We are new home owners and have limited experience in everything

I started the heat in the basement through the thermostat (we have electric baseboards) because it is freezing here but iI noticed last night that is just not warming the place up.

The thermostat shows that it is on and pumping out heat (on the display screen) but the baseboard heater is barely pumping out any heat.

How do I determine where the problem is? The baseboard heater is 25 years old, could it just be on its last leg?


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Old 01-18-2011, 12:45 PM   #2
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Are there other baseboard units in the house? Do you know if this unit is wired for 120 or 240 volts? If it were 240 there would be a double breaker in panel. How long is the unit and is there a brand name on it?


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Old 01-18-2011, 01:26 PM   #3
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It is possible for a baseboard heater element to outright burn out.

Sometimes it is not worth repairing but you could disconnect one of the two terminals of the element, turn off the power, and do a continuity check. The element when cold would measure somewhere around five ohms, although the most important distinction is that nearly infinite ohms means it is burned out.

You can also measure the continuity (or resistance) of the element to ground but you must disconnect both terminals. Less than a hundred thousand ohms means a fault significant enough to cause electrocution and the heater should remain disconnected until repaired. An element that works slightly has a high chance of having a fault to ground.
The good conscientious technician or serviceperson will carry extra oils and lubricants in case the new pump did not come with oil or the oil was accidentally spilled, so the service call can be completed without an extra visit.
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