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Old 11-18-2008, 04:01 PM   #1
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


What's the safest way of closing off outlets that are less than 2" above baseboard electric heaters? Do I need to remove the outlets themselves and put a cover plate over the box, or can I just put a cover plate over the outlet? Or ...?

All of this - baseboards & outlets - looks like original work on this 40-y.o. cabin!

Thank you.

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Old 11-18-2008, 04:56 PM   #2
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


Depends on why you are trying to cover them. Child safety? There are many child proof covers on the market?

Are you worried they are too close to the baseboard? Ask the mfg about clearance requirements. 2" sounds like enough.

Are you just generally worried since it's 40 years old? Nothing wrong with 1960s electric - it should be fine. Unless of course you have a known defect you are trying to fix.

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Old 11-18-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


There are some code rules that disallow receptacles above electric baseboards. If you are trying to comply with this rule you have another problem. You still must meet the 6-12 rule for receptacles along a wall. You may be required to install receptacles in the floor to meet the requirement.
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Old 11-18-2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


Joed and jogr, thanks. Good points. There's an abundance of outlets - actually if I cover 3 and leave only 1 open above the baseboards I'll be okay as far as code.

I was worried because the baseboards get very hot, and I'm worried about cords overheating. I'm replacing the thermostats, though, which should stabilize baseboard heat somewhat. The wiring is fine, and there hasn't been a fire in 40 years.

Thank you for the reality check.
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Old 11-18-2008, 11:30 PM   #5
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


Some heater company's have a blank that would go directly under the recept.. So you would have say a 3 foot heater then a 3 foot blank then another 3 foot heater which when installed it looks like one long heater. Or you could get the heaters with the option to install a recept. in the heater itself and extend the recept. circuit to reach, as long as the recept. is not part of the heating circuit.
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:15 PM   #6
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


I don't think changing the thermostats is going to change anything. When the thermostat calls for heat, the heater will turn on, and reach it's maximum temp as long as the thermostat isn't satisfied very quickly.
Even if the thermostat were to be stuck on, the heater should not reach such a high temp that it wold ignite clothing stashed onto it. I guess over time it might dry out an electric cord. You might be able to buy some kind of insulated wrapping that would work on the cords.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:45 AM   #7
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closing off outlets above electric baseboard heaters


Read the Manufac. Specs and precautions as far as placement, Also read the Code for electric heaters There's a reason why they don't want outlets above the heaters. Lamp cords will melt and short out on the heater elements Possibly sparking and igniting a curtain or something. I've seen plastic hampers melt like a marshmellow that were to close to the heater, Can you imagine what it would do to a lamp cord. On another note you might want to look into these heaters they are a little pricey and you still have to adhere to the receptical precaution but they are more efficient and will still heat when the thermostat is satisfied due to the oil in the heater. http://www.qmarkmeh.com/develop/prod...0-2083-005.pdf

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