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Old 02-02-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


hello everybody , my name is Glennbo , let me explain my dilema , i recently removed a wall between my kitchen and living room , but in order to do that , i had to remove the thermostat on that wall and relocate it -it has 4 sets of 12 ga wires leading into it ,the 3 heaters are 240volts and total 2100 watts , the thermostat is a single pole 240v , the line "wires" are 2 - 20 amp leads - now i should have taken a pic or drawn a schematic before taking this apart , aw wellll , so i hook the wires the way i think it should be hooked up , suddenly i have all wires leading into the box are hot , so i go online to see just what it was i'm doin wrong , followed some instructions i found online , i hooked up both "line " wires together and fried the breakers - so here i am sittin an thinkin what is it i'm doin wrong - i thought i'd ask before i waste anymore breakers - thanx Glennbo

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


If you didn't document the original connections and you are now "frying" breakers, it's time to bring in an electrician. With their work experience they should be able to fix the problem quickly. It's hard to troubleshoot a problem like this by 'trial and error'.

If you want help from this forum start by posting a picture of the problem. A picture will help people to start commenting.

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:22 PM   #3
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


A typical arrangement would be one cable that is hot and the others are either to the heaters or off the T-stat.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:26 PM   #4
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


So what you are saying you hooked the thermostat so that one line and one one load wire to the supply wire and and one load wire and one supply wire to the heater so when the thermostat turned on it basically shorted everything out.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


It's usually two sets of wires that are next to each other. One set goes to your line from your breaker and one set goes to the load to the heaters.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:15 PM   #6
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let me be a lil more specific - i have 240 volts - 2 line wires from the panel @ 120 volts each , and stupidly , i hooked them up together and fried the breakers , personally , i thought all it would do is give me 240 v , when i jumped the wires with a volt tester , they gave me 240 - but the real problem is , i have a single pole thermostat , how do i hook up the two 120v line voltage to the thermostat - the thermostat has one red ( line) and one black wire (load)
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:20 PM   #7
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


Can you give some pictures of what you have there?
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:23 PM   #8
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


One leg of the 120 goes to the line. The other 120 from the incoming power splices straight through to the outgoing leg to the heaters.
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:53 AM   #9
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


Quote:
Originally Posted by glennbo
let me be a lil more specific - i have 240 volts - 2 line wires from the panel @ 120 volts each , and stupidly , i hooked them up together and fried the breakers , personally , i thought all it would do is give me 240 v , when i jumped the wires with a volt tester , they gave me 240 - but the real problem is , i have a single pole thermostat , how do i hook up the two 120v line voltage to the thermostat - the thermostat has one red ( line) and one black wire (load)
This might be a stupid question but can you define "fried the breakers" does that mean they smoked and they are no longer functional or did they trip
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:16 AM   #10
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


You turned the molehill into a mountain when you took wires apart without labeling them. Many do-it-yourself electrical projects turned into professional projects as a result.

You need to find out which wires came from the panel and which wires go to the heaters.

Many line voltage thermostats for electric baseboard heaters have two poles intended for switching both hot wires of a 240 volt circuit. But in practice both don't make or break exactly at the same time (temperature). You can if you wish to control one of the hot wires on each of two circuits using one double pole thermostat. It may be desirable to swap the wires on the two poles if the heater in the colder part of the room doesn't come on first.

You need to stay within the watts or amperes rating of each of the poles.

You stated that the 3 heaters draw a combined 2100 watts. For heating (considered continuous use), one 20 amp circuit can supply at most 1900 watts. You can take you chances and just put it back together the way it was if there was just one 20 amp circuit for the 3 heaters,

Two branch circuits may not be combined at an outlet box or junction box to be controlled by the same single pole switch or thermostat even if the switch can take the combined number of amperes.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-03-2012 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #11
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


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Originally Posted by rrolleston View Post
So what you are saying you hooked the thermostat so that one line and one one load wire to the supply wire and and one load wire and one supply wire to the heater so when the thermostat turned on it basically shorted everything out.
actually , i haven't hooked the thermostat up yet , what i did was hooked the 2 load wires together and thats what blew the breakers , i mean cooked them both , almost like there was a direct ground
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:01 AM   #12
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


from AllanJ --You need to find out which wires came from the panel and which wires go to the heaters.------------------already know this one wire has 2 hots ( a white and a black) and a ground

You stated that the 3 heaters draw a combined 2100 watts. For heating (considered continuous use), one 20 amp circuit can supply at most 1900 watts. You can take you chances and just put it back together the way it was if there was just one 20 amp circuit for the 3 heaters, --------------there was 2 hots ( 120 each) thats the problem , i 'm not sure how to hook the two up to the heater wires - all heaters have black and white wires hooked to 2 black wires within the heaters themselves , and grounded of coarse

Two branch circuits may not be combined at an outlet box or junction box to be controlled by the same single pole switch or thermostat even if the switch can take the combined number of amperes.[/quote]
---------------------not sure what you mean here , when i took it apart thats the way it came apart with both line wires inside the one box

Last edited by glennbo; 02-03-2012 at 11:03 AM. Reason: add words
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:31 AM   #13
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


Since the thermostat is a single pole you the wires going into the box could just be a white and black wire that goes to one of the baseboard heaters and the thermostat completes the circuit to turn on all heaters.

You are going to have to take apart everything and test the wires to find out where everything goes and maybe with with some pictures and knowing where the wires go we can help you.

If you don't have a meter you will have to get one to figure out where everything goes.

Any one wanting to do DIY really should have a meter preferably a clamp meter.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #14
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


Forget calling it a 120v line.
What you have is a 240 heating system with a single pole thermostat.

the incoming 240 v should connect to one leg of the thermostat, and the other leg should connect to one side of all the heaters.
The other side of the thermostat should connect to the other leg of the heaters.

How many wires are inside the thermostat box?

240v @20 amps gives you 4800 watts.
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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hooking up 3 baseboard heaters to one wall thermostat


Correction: For the 20 amp 240 volt circuit (both feed wires are hot) the maximum continuous load is 3800 watts for 16 amps.

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