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-   -   Determining if I have enough room (http://www.diychatroom.com/f18/determining-if-i-have-enough-room-6265/)

cibula11 02-02-2007 09:15 AM

Determining if I have enough room
 
I am installing 1 or possibly 2 baseboard heaters in my finished attic. If I got one it would be 1500w. If I went with 2 I would go with 2 1000W heaters. They would both run on 220v/240v. How do I know if I have enough space on my panel to do this? 10/3 wire enough? Or could I use something smaller. I was thinking a 30 amp 2 pole breaker????

Christopher 02-02-2007 09:46 AM

cibula11,

Either configuration will require one 15 Amp. 2-pole circuit breaker.

14-2/with ground
cable is sufficient.

A quick look at your circuit breaker panel will reveal if an open 2-pole space is available. If you cannot make this determination, hire an electrician.

...Christopher

cibula11 02-02-2007 09:48 AM

Thanks. Are there alternative options if no space is available?

cibula11 02-02-2007 10:11 AM

So, if there are open spaces on the panel, does that automatically mean there is space for 15 amp two pole breaker?

Christopher 02-02-2007 10:21 AM

cibula11,

If you don't have space in your existing circuit breaker panel a sub-panel would be an option but this is a major project.

I have found in many applications that a single 1000W baseboard heater provides great comfort. It may run continuously but this provides stable temperatrure and uniform heating.

A 120V 1000W heater will draw 8.4 amps and thus can be run on any existing 120V circuit.

Do the following to determine your real heating requirement.

Buy a portable 120V baseboard heater with 500W/1000W/1500W settings.

On a very cold day run continuously on the 1000W setting. Determine if more or less heating is required.

The most common mistake in HVAC is oversizing equipment.

...Christopher

cibula11 02-02-2007 10:23 AM

Do you think, in your estimation one 1000w heater would do the trick? The space is about 250 sq. ft total. Its not very wide by long.

Christopher 02-02-2007 10:26 AM

Quote:

So, if there are open spaces on the panel, does that automatically mean there is space for 15 amp two pole breaker?
There must be two adjacent spaces to pick up both poles (L1 & L2) in the panel.

15 Amp. breakers fit everywhere.

...Christopher

cibula11 02-02-2007 10:30 AM

Do you know of any baseboard heaters that run on 120v? I guess I am asking for a place ot look for them or a brand that you have used in the past.

Christopher 02-02-2007 10:35 AM

Quote:

Do you think, in your estimation one 1000w heater would do the trick? The space is about 250 sq. ft total. Its not very wide by long.
A 1000W heater will provide significant heat in this space but perhaps not enough.

This will cost ~$0.10 per hour to operate. 1500W will cost ~$0.15 per hour to operate, 2000W will cost ~$0.20 per hour to operate.

The operational cost may influence what temperature is most comfortable.

I would spend $50 on the portable heater to make the final determination.

...Christopher

cibula11 02-02-2007 10:40 AM

Good call. I will test it out and see which heater will work best. Just out of curiosity. If I have never worked much with electrical (adding circuit) would you say that I should just get an electrician. I've read things that say its not all that hard, and others that scare the crap out of me. I get the basics, and I've also considered having someone come in an make all the necessary connections for me. Do many electricians allow for this?

Christopher 02-02-2007 11:03 AM

Quote:

Do you know of any baseboard heaters that run on 120v? I guess I am asking for a place ot look for them or a brand that you have used in the past.
http://www.markel-products.com/onlin...roductpage.htm

QMark brand is also acceptable and is available for 120V.

When selecting a model, inquire if the wattage you need is available in low watt density. These heaters are superior - they operate at a lower temperature and provide the same heat but are longer requiring a little more space.

Quote:

Just out of curiosity. If I have never worked much with electrical (adding circuit) would you say that I should just get an electrician. I've read things that say its not all that hard, and others that scare the crap out of me. I get the basics, and I've also considered having someone come in an make all the necessary connections for me. Do many electricians allow for this?
Three options:

1. Buy a book on home wiring, read thoroughly to determine your comfort level. Do the entire job yourself.

2. Reduce the cost of an electrician by running the cable yourself leaving an extra 4-feet of cable at the panel and at the heater location. When hiring the electrician, play dumb, say that the contractor ran the extra cable when finishing the attic space. In this case, run 12-2 cable to avoid any b.s. from the electrician. You must be able to fish the cable from one location to the other injury free (to the cable). This is the most difficult task.

3. Contract out the entire job.

P.S. Temperature regulation will be vastly superior by installing a wall thermostat. The thermostats that are available to be located inside the baseboard unit work poorly.

...Christopher

cibula11 02-02-2007 11:15 AM

The attic space was coded as finished, but upon further inspections they had just screwed vent covers over the carpet. So, I am in the process of redoing it all. I have electric outlets up there, and I have insulated everything, so right now it is all accessible. So, I was thining before I sheetrock the knee walls, I should figure this out to make it easier. I don't think I will have to fish any wires. I'm going to try and run them through a closet and then over the ceiling joists in the attic to the heater location.

Christopher 02-02-2007 11:26 AM

cibula11,

First, install a 1-gang box on the wall 5 feet off the floor for the thermostat. The location of the thermostat should be far from any heat or cold source, also away from direct sunlight. Use a deep box if the wall permits. Fully insulate around the box with loose fiberglass.

...Christopher

cibula11 02-02-2007 11:31 AM

I was just ready to ask this question. I have vaulted ceiling in this space due to it being an attic. I have heard that I need to place the heater under a window. I have two windows, one on each gable end. Like I said earlier, the room is about 28 feet long and roughly 9 feet wide. If I go with 2 heaters I would place one under each window. If i just had one where should it go. And also, where would I want to mount the thermostat. I could do it in the middle of the space where a closet seperates in, but that would be 10-15 feet away from either windw.

Christopher 02-02-2007 11:43 AM

cibula11,

Quote:

the room is about 28 feet long and roughly 9 feet wide
Regardless of total wattage, a heater at each end will provide the best performance.

Quote:

And also, where would I want to mount the thermostat. I could do it in the middle of the space where a closet seperates in, but that would be 10-15 feet away from either windw.
This sounds ideal. Note: an inside wall is vastly superior to an outside wall for thermostat location.

...Christopher


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