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Okay, I have read a great deal on this forum and others on double pole thermostats and baseboard heaters and understand the principles (current flows through soignée pole stat to 240 V heater, not to code but will work, etc). The heaters are probably 1970-ish, that's when the condo was built. Made by Nelco.

Here's my current arrangement and questions and a bunch of images to match.

All my heaters are baseboard (all marked 208 V, different watts). I have two rooms that are heated: living room and bedroom.

*2 pictures of living room heaters attached

(*Originally there were three rooms (bathroom) but I removed the heater in the bathroom and tied the wires together. This is actually a secondary issue / question, but it may be a red flag. That was two years ago and it's been fine).

The bedroom heater (and what was once the bathroom heater) comes off a dual pole breaker with two 20's on it (40 amps, if I understand it right). The living room heaters come off another 2 pole breaker (same configuration, two 20's).

Two years ago I replaced both my old SINGLE pole wall thermostats with similar ones (one in bedroom and one in living room). (stock picture attached) It looks like it should ideally be a double pole stat as there are two grounds and looks like eight wires in all (there are 4 red connectors). This is where I get a little confused, but it looks as though what I have is half the power passing right through that switch (not doing anything but tied together) and half plugged into the thermostat. To be general, there's tons of wire and only some of it is connected to the stat.) (see two rough pictures of living room stat and wires)

The heaters each (again, there are two in the living room) have two wires (blue and gray) and a ground entering on one side of the unit and a black on the other side of each heating unit. What I can't tell is if somehow each unit is only being fed by half the power coming from the wall. (pic attached of wiring)

There have been no issues in any room with any heater since I made the changes two years ago and I am just attending to things now because I was considering replacing the heaters. But with all the research I have done and better understanding the layout, I have two concerns:

1) is it safe to have all that current passing through the single pole straight into the heaters? (Other than needing to shut it all down at the breakers to work on it)

2) Should I be concerned about removing that bathroom heater and twisting those wires to that the power is passing through to the bedroom? Or is it just one less device on a circuit plan?

3) I will probably need to get an electrician in here to check on things -- being not fully employed (can you tell I have some time on my hands?) and with little to spend, are there usually electricians that will consult for free and then hope to get work out of it?

Lots of questions. Thanks for reading it all. I've learned a lot form the other posts and hope this one is understandable enough to get some feedback that might be helpful as I decide how to / whether to proceed with this heater replacement.

Oh, one more thing -- I understand it is safe to paint heaters. I am planning on getting a galvanized metal etching primer and then spring on top of that. Any tips on what to look out for as far as paint on heaters would be helpful. I may paint them rather than replace.
 

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A single polls T-stat does not kill all the power to the unit and cannot be used as a disconnect. A two pole T-stat is needed to remove all power.

A two pole 20 amp breaker is 20 amps, not 40.
 

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20 amps?

So, the breaker pictured (where it says HEAT) is 20 amps total?

You can't see the pic too clearly but it says "20" on each arm of each of the 2 poles.
 

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You do not add the handle ratings together. It is what it says, not twice what it says.
 

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The two pole double wide breaker labeled "20" can control one 20 ampere 240 volt branch circuit or both sides of a 120/240 volt 20 amp multiwire branch circuit (2 hots, 1 neutral) or (possible but not preferred) two separate 120 volt 20 amp branch circuits.

In a sense the 20 amp double breaker might be controlling 40 amps' worth of 120 volt power but that is in the form of two allotments of up to 20 amps each. If one side is drawing 10 amps, the other side may not draw 30 amps to reach a 40 amp total.

You need to be very careful when replacing these line voltage thermostats. You need to connect the power cable to the two input/line terminals and connect the continuing cable to the two output/load terminals. If you connect the power cable (two hot wires) one wire to a thermostat input and the other wire to a thermostat output by mistake you will create a dead short that can burn out the thermostat. Use the instruction sheet; do not rely on colors (black, red, etc.).
 

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I was going to help until I read this:

3) I will probably need to get an electrician in here to check on things -- being not fully employed (can you tell I have some time on my hands?) and with little to spend, are there usually electricians that will consult for free and then hope to get work out of it?
Welcome to the killfile, freeloader.
 

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1 - A double pole is always a better (safer) option when dealing with 240v

2 - So long as the terminating is done safely (up to min code) and the wires are correct size , then there should be no trouble.

3 - If you have ANY doubt at all ? then having it checked by an electrician is always wise !

Try to learn electrical terminolgy better, as some of your questions are worded in such a way as to alarm electricians, who tend to speak very specifically.

Accurate questions yeald accurate answers.

:thumbsup:
 
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