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Old 03-14-2010, 07:11 PM   #1
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


I am having ceramic tile installed and will have underfloor heating under the tile. I am going to need either 2-3 independent 15 amp circuits. For each 150 sq feet of heating, I will need 1 circuit. The room is 350 sq feet. At current if I run 3 circuits, I will need 3 thermostats. I would like to find out if using a relay will allow me to have the 3 circuits on one thermostat. If so, what type of relay should I use, a product recommendation would be great. Also, what capacity would the relay have to be?

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Old 03-14-2010, 07:27 PM   #2
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


Yes it would be possible. The relay would have to be accessible-not buried in a wall or ceiling.

Knowing the brand and/or wattages of your floor heat system would help.

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Old 03-14-2010, 07:49 PM   #3
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


Nuheat 120v. Here is the link to the FAQ page http://www.nuheat.com/customer-care/faq.html. I was thinking of putting the relay next to the breaker panel as the room is right above where the breaker panel is.
Thank you.
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


The first issue to address is the fact that all of these mats will require GFCI protection. The Nu Heat thermostats have built in GFCI protection as well as connections for the heat sensing probes on the mats. I would suggest installing two mats on one TS @ 240 volts and the other on another TS @ 120 volts.
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Old 03-14-2010, 11:54 PM   #5
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


Relays and contactors are the same thing. But relays are typically designed to be soldered to an electronic circuit board. Contactors are designed to be mounted in an electrical box and wires attached.

So search for the word contactor.

Then the part of the relay/contactor which makes it turn on/off is called the coil. Different voltages AC or DC can operate these. You would want 120 volts AC or 120 VAC if you are using a 120 volt thermostat.

Or you could also use a transformer like a 120 vac to 24 vac transformer, then use a low voltage thermostat and would then use a 24 vac coil relay/contactor.

And relay/contactors have switches on them. These are called poles. And can switch when on or off. You would just want switching when on. So triple pole single throw for 3 circuits.

Put it all together and you get the terms to search for...

24 vac contactor tpst...
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=...3b11f867dbecea

120 vac contactor tpst...
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&q=120+v...3b11f867dbecea

Also these could be on all the time, so look for "continuous duty" rated.

And of course be sure the contacts on the relay/contactor are rated to carry the amperage of each circuit.
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Old 03-15-2010, 09:19 AM   #6
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


in addition (not correcting billy bob) You could use 3 single pole contactor or a single pole and a 2 pole contactor. They can all be controlled by the same t-stat so they will work as 1 unit basically.

while 3 pole contactors are not difficult to find, I often don't have a 3 pole laying around and will use a combination of multiple contactors to end up with the same number of poles required and sometimes cost (if it is of concern) will be cheaper one way or the other.


the rest of what billy bob said is good stuff.
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Old 03-15-2010, 11:42 AM   #7
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Wiring a relay - 3 independent 15 amp circuits


Useful terminology in the context of this discussion:

Normally open switch contacts -- Power is turned on to the switched circuit(s) when the coil is energized.

Normally closed switched contacts -- Power is turned on for the switched circuit(s) "all the time" and turned off when the coil is energized. Less desirable for heating circuits since the coil will be consuming electricity all the time heat is not being called for.

A double throw contactor has one set of contacts normally open and another set of contactrs normally closed.

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