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Old 09-09-2011, 09:02 PM   #1
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


I'm working on a basement remodel and am putting baseboard heaters in each room. Each room will also have a thermostat.

I had an electrician over to do an estimate on our service upgrade.

When I told him I plan to just run them all on a single 30Amp circuit (they come to 22 Amps total), he said that was bad wiring practice, and probably against code, and that I should have each room's baseboard heaters on their own 20A circuit with 12 gauge wire. But that's 3 240V breakers! That's a lot of space in a panel.

Is what I want to do really such a bad idea? I was just going to do a 30Amp breaker, 10 gauge wire, and have all the baseboard heaters on the same circuit.

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Old 09-09-2011, 09:10 PM   #2
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


The heaters themselves and the thermostat switches are rated for a maximum ampere circuit for a feed regardless of how many other heaters are sharing the circuit.

Example (added later) You could not put two 30 amp heaters on one 60 amp circuit if the heaters themselves are rated for just 30 or 40 amp circuits.

You can install a subpanel (can be next to the main panel) where the breaker pairs for the various heaters are put. THis way you will need only one pair of slots in the main panel.

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Old 09-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #3
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


daniel,
I have seen a resi baseboard heat on a 30 amp breaker. 110.3(B) manufactures instructions must be followed.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:37 PM   #4
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


Are they 1500, 3000 or 4000 watt heaters?
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post

I had an electrician over to do an estimate on our service upgrade.

When I told him I plan to just run them all on a single 30Amp circuit (they come to 22 Amps total), he said that was bad wiring practice, and probably against code, and that I should have each room's baseboard heaters on their own 20A circuit with 12 gauge wire.
He's not much of an electrician if he said this. What is his justification for having EACH ROOM on a dedicated heating circuit??? Talk about poor wiring practice.


And it's nice that he says it is "probably" against code. I can tell you for a fact that it is most certainly NOT against code.
Sure, it would be a P-I-A to wire with all #10, but it is quite compliant.
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:56 PM   #6
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


ARTICLE 424 Fixed Electric Space-Heating Equipment
424.3 (A) Branch-Circuit Requirements.
Individual branch circuits shall be permitted to supply any volt-ampere or wattage rating of fixed electric space-heating equipment for which they are rated.
Branch circuits supplying two or more outlets for fixed electric space-heating equipment shall be rated 15, 20, 25, or 30 amperes. In other than a dwelling unit, fixed infrared heating equipment shall be permitted to be supplied from branch circuits rated not over 50 amperes.
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


A 20 amp circuit can support 3840 watts so you could do it with two 20 amp circuits. Put the largest on its own breaker and the two smaller ones on their own breaker. If you go with #10, will the thermostats be mounted in the baseboard or will you have wall mounted units? If baseboard mounted, two units will have 4 #10s + 2 grounds, the thermostat, the unit wires, and wire nuts.
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Old 09-10-2011, 02:34 AM   #8
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


I have wired few baseboard heater on 30 amp ciruit once a while.

The only quirk is 6.0mm˛ { #10 awg } can take up a bit of room in the junction box if not heeded on sizeing them. { that is why If I use the wall thermosat I use the 4X4 J box with single gang mudring that useally take care of it. }

The other thing you will have to pay attetion to them is the contionous rating so you have to watch the sizing of the conductors so if you have 20 amp circuit you can not go over 16 amp ditto on 30 amp circuit which it will be 24 amps max.

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Old 09-11-2011, 06:38 PM   #9
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


There are five heaters total and 4 thermostats.

1) Family room with one thermostat, and two heaters(750 watt & 1500 watt)
2) Hallway with thermostat and 750 watt heater
3) Bedroom with thermostat and 1000 watt heater
4) Bedroom with thermostat and 1250 watt heater

Thermostats are all wall mounted on wall opposite heaters.

I could easily do two 20A circuits. One for Large room/hallway. One for the bedrooms.

If I did the 30A circuit, I'd run 10 gauge between the thermostats, but 12 gauge from the thermostats to the heaters. It would be a pretty short 10 gauge run.

Benefit of two circuits I see is easier wiring, easier diagnosis if something goes wrong. Down side is more wire, more slots in panel.

Looks like I can go either way though. Thanks for all your comments!
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:42 PM   #10
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


Quote:
Originally Posted by danielrg View Post
There are five heaters total and 4 thermostats.

1) Family room with one thermostat, and two heaters(750 watt & 1500 watt)
2) Hallway with thermostat and 750 watt heater
3) Bedroom with thermostat and 1000 watt heater
4) Bedroom with thermostat and 1250 watt heater

Thermostats are all wall mounted on wall opposite heaters.

I could easily do two 20A circuits. One for Large room/hallway. One for the bedrooms.

If I did the 30A circuit, I'd run 10 gauge between the thermostats, but 12 gauge from the thermostats to the heaters. It would be a pretty short 10 gauge run.

Benefit of two circuits I see is easier wiring, easier diagnosis if something goes wrong. Down side is more wire, more slots in panel.

Looks like I can go either way though. Thanks for all your comments!
All #10 from breaker to t-stat to heater. No #12 on this 30 amp circuit.
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:56 PM   #11
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


With 4 T-stat and 5 heaters, you should really do this with #12 on two circuits if you have room in your panel. I don't recall if you said what brand of panel you have but I bought all my 20 amp doubles for my GE panel at less than $9.00 each. You only need two and the cost of #10 compared to #12 will cover it.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:22 PM   #12
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


Sheesh! With loads like that, I'd opt for (2) circuits: A 15 Amp, and a 20 Amp.

Put the family room and hallway on the 20 Amp circuit for a total connected load of 3000 watts.

Put the 2 bedrooms on the 15 Amp circuit for a total connected load of 2250 watts.

It would be a whole lot easier for your wiring and connections that way.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:27 PM   #13
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


Thanks everyone so much for your insight. I am adding a new 20/30 panel and should have plenty of space to do two circuits, and it's a pretty good consensus from all of you that it will be much easier to work with #12 and 2 circuits.

Code05, I was thinking last week about my idea to run #10 to t-stats and #12 to heaters and realized I can't do that - if ever a heater goes haywire and tries to draw 29 amps, it wouldn't trip breaker but would overload the #12 wires. As I thought about it, it seems the WHOLE circuit has to have wire rated for the breaker, for degenerate cases like that.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:32 PM   #14
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


Actually I would put each room on it's own breaker. And I would install a sub panel just for the baseboard heat. I'm sure it's not code that you have to do it that way, but I would prefer to have each room on it's own circuit. A dedicated disconnect is how I would like it to be. Just my opinion.
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:37 PM   #15
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Can a baseboard heater circuit be 30 AMP?


That is a pretty hot and heavy duty baseboard heater. Only type that I could see being 30 amp, would be a garage Infra red, or hanging furnace/salamander for a garage.

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