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Old 01-15-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
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Electric baseboard not working


Brand new Dimplex LC series 2500W 240v baseboard in my garage. I just installed it 2 days ago, and it was running great. We had a nice 5-degree day, so I thought i'd see how it holds up. I went out, turned it on, and came back 2 hours later to a cold baseboard. It's on a DP 20A breaker in my new sub panel 15 feet away. No breakers were tripped. I turned them off and on to be sure.

The thermostat is 2-pole unit mounted and was operating properly yesterday. I checked for voltage with a non-contact meter on the side of the heater without the thermostat (the side with the two leads just wirenutted together). With the thermostat on, it beeps, with the thermostat off, it doesn't.

The baseboard doesn't get hot. Not sure what could have changed since yesterday other than the temperature. The breaker is off till I figure it out.

Thoughts? Thanks.

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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Electric baseboard not working


Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I just installed it 2 days ago, and it was running great.
The thermostat was operating properly yesterday. Maybe...
...2 hours later to a cold baseboard. Or, maybe not.

It's on a DP 20A breaker in my new sub panel 15 feet away.
No breakers were tripped.

I checked for voltage with a VOM at...
1) the load side of the breaker. and it read, what ?
2) the line side of the thermostat. and it read, what ?
3) the load side of the thermostat. and it read, what ?
4) the connection point at the heater. and it read, what ?
inquiring minds...

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Old 01-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #3
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Electric baseboard not working


Failed elements?
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:37 PM   #4
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Electric baseboard not working


I didn;t check with a real multimeter, too damn cold out there! I just checked with a non-contact tester. I'll check again tomorrow when it isn't 5 out.
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:02 PM   #5
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Electric baseboard not working


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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I didn;t check with a real multimeter...
That's OK. A good non contact w/should tell most of this too.
I was being picky cause I just don't trust them much.

If you have (controlled) 240V all the way to the heater you'll then need to check continuity (the element itself and limit device).
For that you *will* need a VOM (or other).
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Old 01-15-2012, 01:04 PM   #6
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Electric baseboard not working


Yeah, I'll look into it tomorrow with my tester. I can't be bothered to go out there for more than 5 minutes in this temperature. I should just turn the heat on. Oh, wait...
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #7
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Electric baseboard not working


OK I am baffled, I must be missing something obvious. I sure hope so.

I did a bunch of testing. I have 2 brand new baseboards. Both are brand new. Both read at 23 ohms across the element, so that seems about right for a 2500 watt heater.

I tested the two leads that wire into the heater, I get 241v between the black and white. I tried hooking those 2 leads to both heaters, neither one gets hot. I did so with no thermostat to rule that out. I let it run for about 60 seconds and felt absolutely no heat. I also put my amp meter (fluke jaw-type) and didn't show any current while the unit was supposedly running.

What am I missing here? It's just an electric baseboard, it shouldn't be tricky!

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Old 01-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #8
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Electric baseboard not working


Loose connection? Enough contact to read voltage, not enough to carry current.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:33 PM   #9
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Electric baseboard not working


Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
Both read at 23 ohms across the element... What am I missing here?
Off hand I'd say continuity vs resistance.
When you put the leads on the element it should peg that meter to ZERO.

Oh yeah, and the advantage of analog meters.

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-16-2012 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #10
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Electric baseboard not working


Loose connection in the panel maybe? I guess I can check that. I'd be shocked, since I just put the breaker in and I tightened the connections myself. But, I'll check it tomorrow. The breaker is off for now.

Tarheel, can you explain your last comment? I dont really understand the resistance thing. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Electric baseboard not working


Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
I don't really understand the resistance thing. Thanks.
I was being a bit facetious.

Last edited by TarheelTerp; 01-16-2012 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:50 PM   #12
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Electric baseboard not working


Shouldn't a resistance heater show resistance when you test either end of it?

I have to be missing something...such a small chance that both heaters are broken. They are both brand new...I was thinking it could be the high-limit device that has gone bad and blocking the flow, but on both heaters?

Yes I have 240v at the ends of the romex that wire-nut to the heater leads. The power is right there!
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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Electric baseboard not working


Connect one conductor to one element connection, then measure voltage at the other (empty) element connection.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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Electric baseboard not working


Quote:
Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
Shouldn't a resistance heater show resistance when you test either end of it?
It should show some... but not much at all.
I have no basis (here) to know if your "23" reading is high or not but it seems higher than it should be... implying lack of continuity.

Does the heater manual indicate that 23 is "normal"?
If a calrod element fails.... it's easy to see.

Quote:
I have to be missing something...such a small chance that both heaters are broken. They are both brand new...
Well, they *were* both brand new.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:28 PM   #15
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Electric baseboard not working


Quote:
Originally Posted by TarheelTerp View Post
It should show some... but not much at all.
I have no basis (here) to know if your "23" reading is high or not but it seems higher than it should be... implying lack of continuity.

Does the heater manual indicate that 23 is "normal"?
If a calrod element fails.... it's easy to see.

Well, they *were* both brand new.
I took the second one out of the box 30 minutes ago, it's still new in my opinion!

Figuring out resistance with Volts (240)/Amps (10.4) gives you 23.....is that the correct calculation?

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