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Old 12-03-2012, 06:32 AM   #1
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Wiring Question About Elect Heater


Hi again!
I would like to install a baseboard heater in my mothers bathroom. Her place is an old Victorian about 120 y.o with oil heat. The bathroom is always chilly in the am and living in PA it's the norm this time of year.
Was thinking a 27" or 36" heater between 500 to 750 watts.
My questions are, can I get waway with 12-2 on the wiring or should I go with a thicker wire? Also, should I add a GFCI breaker on the dedicated line? I'm thinking 120v unless you think 220v would be better?
Thanks!

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:25 AM   #2
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Wiring Question About Elect Heater


For that low wattage you could get away with 14/2 cable and a 15 amp circuit. 750 watts is only 6.25 amps.

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Old 12-03-2012, 07:29 AM   #3
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Wiring Question About Elect Heater


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Originally Posted by joed
For that low wattage you could get away with 14/2 cable and a 15 amp circuit. 750 watts is only 6.25 amps.
Funny, I realized that after the post. Thanks! Should I throw it on a GFCI breaker?
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:33 AM   #4
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Wiring Question About Elect Heater


You can go up to 2400 watts on a 20 amp 120 volt circuit (#12 cable). GFCI not required by NEC but read manufacturers instructions.

700 watts is pretty small, I would go with 1500 watts. You can always turn it down.
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Wiring Question About Elect Heater


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Originally Posted by rjniles
You can go up to 2400 watts on a 20 amp 120 volt circuit (#12 cable).
That would be incorrect in regard to a heater, because you forgot that by a continuous load you can only fill the circuit to 80%
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Old 12-03-2012, 02:22 PM   #6
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You can go up to 2400 watts on a 20 amp 120 volt circuit (#12 cable).
Not for permanently installed electric heat, since it's defined as a continuous load regardless of how it's actually used. The 80% rule applies, so 1920W max on a 20A circuit. I would install a 1500W heater with a wall mounted thermostat and timer.

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