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Old 10-01-2010, 02:43 PM   #1
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Baseboard heater wiring question


I have a baseboard heater in an upstairs bathroom. I haven't turned off the power to go inside to look, but I suspect it is a 220v unit. There is a 10/2 wire going to this bathroom, but it is only wired as 110v in the panel. I vaguely remember the electricians questioning why there was a 220v circuit in the old panel when I had my panel switched from 65amp service to 200amp service, but didn't think anything of it at the time as I had just bought the house at the time and it was early spring.

So my question is how do I determine if this should actually be a 110v or a 220v unit? I'm guessing it would operate either way as it does work, but suspect it would be much more efficient as 220v if it is indeed a 220v unit.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:45 PM   #2
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Baseboard heater wiring question


Look on the heater. There should be a name plate with voltage and wattage ratings. Failing that the heating element itself should be stamped with voltage and wattage rating. They can be small and hard to find though.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
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Baseboard heater wiring question


Ok, not sure why I didn't think of looking there before, but I just pulled off the cover over the elements and sure enough tucked under the element is a sticker. It was made by TPI Corporation, model # BC2D10, 240/208v, 1000/750 watts.

So now I guess I need to get my circuit tester out, turn off the breaker and insure that the GFI right next to it isn't connected, get a new 220v breaker and hook this bad boy up correctly. I'm guessing it will work much better this coming winter.

BTW.....Is this a good brand? ....oh and what size breaker? 20a or 30a?
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:13 PM   #4
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Baseboard heater wiring question


Alright did some more checking and one thing which I was concerned about is that when I flip the breaker, 20amp single pole, that goes to the baseboard it also turns off a 110v GFI. Not sure how it's wired since testing the GFI doesn't kill the power to the baseboard. Hmmm....

Curious if they took a leg off the baseboard and fed the GFI or vise versa. No matter what it appears some fresh wiring is instore.

One last thing, it's 12/3, not 10/2.
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Old 10-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #5
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Baseboard heater wiring question


Your 4 foot heater draws just over 4 amps at 240 volts. You could wire this with 14-2.
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Old 10-01-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
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Your 4 foot heater draws just over 4 amps at 240 volts. You could wire this with 14-2.
Is this a 20amp breaker?
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:00 PM   #7
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Baseboard heater wiring question


A 1000 watt BB heater rated for 240 Volts will produce 250 watts of heat when connected to a 120 volt source. It will get "warm" but not very.
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Old 10-01-2010, 08:44 PM   #8
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Baseboard heater wiring question


A 20 amp breaker would need #12 wire, 15 amp would be #14.
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Old 10-01-2010, 09:21 PM   #9
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Baseboard heater wiring question


That heater only requires 14/2 cable and a double pole 15 amp breaker.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:07 PM   #10
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Baseboard heater wiring question


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That heater only requires 14/2 cable and a double pole 15 amp breaker.
That is good to know, but if I keep the 12/3, knowing I only need 2 of the wires, would you go 15amp or 20amp breaker?

At this point, I don't know if I'll just run a new wire or keep the same, it all depends how things are wired. It would be nice to keep the outlet...wonder how in the world this thing is wired!

Guess I'll be tearing into the box sometime this weekend. I have actually thought about using the same circuit to install a 220 plug for a window unit.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:09 PM   #11
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Baseboard heater wiring question


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A 20 amp breaker would need #12 wire, 15 amp would be #14.
I understand that, just curious what is best. My thought is if I keep the #12 wire, go with a 20 amp breaker. Correct??
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:26 PM   #12
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Baseboard heater wiring question


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I understand that, just curious what is best. My thought is if I keep the #12 wire, go with a 20 amp breaker. Correct??
Oui you will need 20 amp breaker with #12 AWG conductor size.

But double check this circuit very carefull as you did found GFCI on this circuit.

If that is true you have to get the GFCI on seperated circuit normally I never let the heater to be with other part of circuits that is typically a no-no move on that.

Merci.
Marc
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:58 PM   #13
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Baseboard heater wiring question


i am about to install the same size baseboard electric in a bathroom and mud room. Having never done that before, I checked several knowledgeable sources (electrician, search on this forum, and a couple others.) In every case I was told that while 14/2 would do the job, 12/2 was the better way to go. Put it on a 2 pole 20amp breaker, wire the neutral hot, and good to go. Just remember to wrap the neutral with black electrical tape at the panel, any junctions, and at the heater.
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Old 10-02-2010, 11:12 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by 1910NE View Post
i am about to install the same size baseboard electric in a bathroom and mud room. Having never done that before, I checked several knowledgeable sources (electrician, search on this forum, and a couple others.) In every case I was told that while 14/2 would do the job, 12/2 was the better way to go. Put it on a 2 pole 20amp breaker, wire the neutral hot, and good to go. Just remember to wrap the neutral with black electrical tape at the panel, any junctions, and at the heater.

It's not a neutral. It's a white wire being used as a hot wire.
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:26 AM   #15
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Baseboard heater wiring question


Ok, I finally found a chance to dig in a little. This is what I found....

They have 12/3 running into a box with a GFI. All White wires are apparently neutral and all tied together. The red wire from the 12/3, is wire nutted to a black wire on a 12/2 cable, which I believe powers several other receptacles on one circuit. The black wire from the 12/3 goes to a wire nut, which goes to a GFI and the baseboard heater and is on another circuit. So basically the 12/3 is powering 2 seperate circuits.

It looks as if I might be able to re-route the 12/3 to the baseboard and hood it up correctly as 220v, yet I realize I would have an extra wire in there. At that point I'd have to run new wire to feed the GFI and turn those two circuits into one. Thus creating 1) 220v circuit and 1) 110v circuit. Or I can leave the 12/3 as is, yet disconnect it from the baseboard and run all new wire to it. Yet another solution is just to rewire both, so I am 100% positive as to what I have. Any recommendations??

One bonus of possibly running new wire to the baseboard is that I could run to a junction box, split it off and use it in the winter to power the baseboard and in the summer a window a/c. But not sure if that is allowed by code, but my 110 window a/c struggles to keep the 2nd floor cool and as of right now it's all I have up there for a/c....
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