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Old 05-17-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
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Electric baseboard heating


I am a resident of Ontario, Canada and presently in early stages of finishing my basement which will include 2 bedrooms/dens. I have forced air (N-gas) heating but would like to add supplementary 240V baseboard heating in each above rooms. I'm thinking about 1000W baseboard per room. I've been reviewing the Ontario Electrical Code Simplified handbook. I'm aware that under old rules any such heating needed to be supplied by #12 copper cable (red sheathing) on a 25 amp breaker which was good for 4800W total. Way more than I need. I see that under the new rules #14 Copper cable fed by a 20 amp breaker is allowed; giving maximum load of 3600W. Reviewing the Code, my understanding is that for heating purposes, the Code now permits a 20 amp breaker on #14, whereas in past, a 15 amp was max. (for fixed heating loads). Am I O.K. going with #14/2 wire cable and 2 pole (tie-barred) 20 amp breaker to feed my 2 baseboards? Total run length would be under 80 feet.

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Old 05-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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$24.73 for 50' of 14-2 vs. $28.17 for 50' of 12-2 when I look up for comparison at HD... Can't say on the code question, but if it was me I'd feel more comfortable spending the relatively small incremental cost on the 12-2.

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Old 05-17-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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$24.73 for 50' of 14-2 vs. $28.17 for 50' of 12-2 when I look up for comparison at HD... Can't say on the code question, but if it was me I'd feel more comfortable spending the relatively small incremental cost on the 12-2.

It is not really the cost which is main factor. #14 is simply much easier to work with and then there's the idea of using a 3 inch firehose to water a rose bush. No intentions of upgrading later. Only have 2000W to feed which is overkill on #12 wire and 25amp breaker. I just want to confirm that using #14 in my situation is legal .. anyone know the code?
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Old 05-17-2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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Everyone 'upgrades' at some point. When, in the history of electricity have we ever wanted less power capacity.

Be a menche, cowboy up and use the 12.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:01 PM   #5
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Everyone 'upgrades' at some point. When, in the history of electricity have we ever wanted less power capacity.

Be a menche, cowboy up and use the 12.

If I can't get the code answer I guess I might end up using the #12 just to cover my bases but future upgrades are "no-joy" Once the 1000W baseboards which I've already purchased are installed, I have no intention of ripping them out in 6 months to install 1500W units.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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If I can't get the code answer I guess I might end up using the #12 just to cover my bases but future upgrades are "no-joy" Once the 1000W baseboards which I've already purchased are installed, I have no intention of ripping them out in 6 months to install 1500W units.
No, you probably won't. But remember, someone (maybe even you) will own your house in 10 years when needs may have changed.

12 isn't that much of a PITA ..... It puts hair on your chest, as my dad used to say
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:38 PM   #7
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This is from the CEC and your Ontario rules may override it.

You can load your wire up to 100% but your breaker can not be loaded past 80%. So 13A of electric heat needs to go on a 20A breaker but is allowed on #14 wire. 16A of heat needs to be on #12 and can go on a 20A breaker.

#12 wire is not that much harder to work with then #14. I would use a 20A breaker and #12 wire if it was me.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:24 PM   #8
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This is from the CEC and your Ontario rules may override it.

You can load your wire up to 100% but your breaker can not be loaded past 80%. So 13A of electric heat needs to go on a 20A breaker but is allowed on #14 wire. 16A of heat needs to be on #12 and can go on a 20A breaker.

#12 wire is not that much harder to work with then #14. I would use a 20A breaker and #12 wire if it was me.
Thank you very much for your input. I guess I'll "bite the bullet" and go with the 20A breaker on #12 wire. That way I'll have no problems with the Inspector and as others have said, may have room for upgrading in future. Take care!
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:36 PM   #9
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Thank you very much for your input. I guess I'll "bite the bullet" and go with the 20A breaker on #12 wire. That way I'll have no problems with the Inspector and as others have said, may have room for upgrading in future. Take care!
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