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channingg 10-01-2009 11:26 AM

Baseboard Heater / Power Cord Problem

I have a new baseboard heater that was just installed. Unfortunately a power outlet is right above it, and I have two power cords in it that have to be plugged in there. The problem is that the new baseboard heater is MUCH hotter than the previous one, so the cords are getting VERY hot.

Is there a way I can rig up some kind of DIY insulation around the cords to protect them, perhaps even part of the power outlet?

Thanks in advance for advice, opinions, etc.

Ron6519 10-01-2009 11:38 AM

You need to determine the total draw, in amps, of these two units. You may be drawing too much power from this outlet. You shouldn't be drawing more then 75% of capacity of the breaker.
The cords should not be getting as hot as you describe. There may be other issues at hand. Try plugging them in one at a time and see how hot the cord gets. You can also plug them into two different circuits and compare the cord temps between them.

Code05 10-01-2009 11:44 AM

Receptacles above baseboard heat is illegal. Who installed it? Is 240v or 120v? Can anew wire be ran to the unit and these installed?

channingg 10-01-2009 12:03 PM

Hmm ... I'm not surprised. My condo is an apartment conversion, and pretty much everything I've replaced has been against code. They are pretty old (built in 1970).

So, should I just use extension cords for now from other outlets?

Code05 10-01-2009 03:43 PM

I do not like to use extension whenever possible; however, I have no solution for you right now. It sounds like you replaced an existing unit. Most units are 240v, so the receptacle I linked to will not work. If it was 120v, it would have had to be a really low wattage heater . Since it is a condo, the odds of running a new circuit easily are probably slim. The last idea I have is to remove the receptacle ,fish a wire down from the existing box to the baseboard heater, and then install the receptacle I linked to. Are you doing the work or someone else. Any electrician can do this ,but it will cost. My price would be around 150.00$, just to give you an idea. If you are doing this and DIY skills are half decent you could do it. I would happy to provide more details if it would help.

channingg 10-01-2009 04:16 PM

I don't know if I'm being clear. The baseboard itself was replaced (by a licensed electrician thank goodness) ... it is already wired into the walls. There were issues with that too which were not to code and he fixed them.

But right above the baseboard heater is a regular wall outlet that I have some extension cords plugged into that power some electronic equipment in the room. There are no other wall outlets available in the room. So somehow I need to protect those cords from overheating because the new unit is HOT!

Thurman 10-01-2009 06:33 PM

You had a new baseboard heater (electric) put in by a licensed electrician, and the new heater is hotter than the old heater in which the heater is heating up your extension cords--is that correct? "Code 05" is more than likely correct in that "receptacles above baseboard heaters are illegal", BUT--you already had this situation before the heater replacement, right again? I don't like extension cords slung all over the place either, but you have them. Go to an auto parts store and ask for the "thermal tape" which is used on auto motor headers to prevent heat from burning up the spark plug wires. This is not the solution, it is a "get by" until you have the problem resolved. You need to have another duplex outlet installed to replace the one above the heater. This may be a discussion point between who owns the unit and yourself. Good Luck, David

channingg 10-01-2009 06:39 PM

I'd pretty much figured by this point it was going to be a tape job of some kind.:( But make do is ok for a while.

So how far from the baseboard heater should receptacles be? Perhaps I need to look around at the other baseboard heaters in my home to see if this problem is elsewhere too. :mad:

KAdams4458 10-01-2009 11:35 PM

I know the heater is new, but I can't help mentioning that moving from a baseboard heater to an in-wall fan heater or register heater, as they are sometimes called, might solve your problem. They're smaller, so your chances of getting it mounted to one side of the existing outlet instead of being beneath it would be better.

I've popped a few of the Cadet version of these heaters in place over the years where baseboard heaters had been in use. It's pretty easy to do most of the time, and it generally doesn't involve tearing the walls open.

These are the kind I have experience with.

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