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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to remove one of two rarely used baseboard heaters in my basement man cave and now that I have, the one remaining doesn't work.

Pretty sure they were ran parallel and not in a series. The one I removed had only the two wires along with the ground that I needed to remove from the heater to pull it from the wall.

The remaining heater has the same wiring. I pulled the cover and checked the opposite end and found no extra wiring.

Both heaters were run from a single wall mounted thermostat ( which is also preceded in line with a timer ) and functioned correctly before pulling the one heater. This is all fed by a two pole 15 amp breaker.

In my elementary knowledge of electricity, I would think that removing the one heater and capping the two wires apart separately should still leave me with one working heater. Yes/No?

Also......

When pulling the heater, I assumed that having both the timer and thermostat off would leave me with powerless wires but I did get sparks when the wire touched. Why?

If I'm correct in assuming that I should still have a functioning heater remaining, I guess maybe I could check the timer and thermostat for damage when I shorted the wires together and Yes, I did check the breakers and although they weren't tripped, I did reset them just to be sure.

Thanks in advance for your time and advice.
 

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Do you see a voltage rating on the heaters? Every clue is pointing to two 120 volt heaters in series fed with 240 volts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I've looked everywhere on these old heaters and can't find a marking or stamp anywhere. What you're saying wouldn't surprise me though. I heard from neighbors that one of the former owners of my house was an "electrical hobbyist". Took me nearly 5 years to figure out what all the switches in my house do. I have outlets where the top and bottom receptacles are different lines, three way and four way switches galore, I even have electrical boxes with plastic plates that have Christmas tree size bulbs in them that glow to let you know you left a switch on somewhere in the house. Can you say "Nightmare"!

DISCOVERY: at the very end of the heating element where the wire enters it....it is stamped 240V
 

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I'm at a loss. If they are parallel, removing one should leave the other heater working according to your wiring description.

Did both heaters get nice and hot? I suppose he could have still ran them in series but at reduced heat. A 15 amp breaker seems a bit small for two heaters. Check the wattage listing and see if the breaker could support both in parallel.
 

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Remove wire nuts. Turn stat up and turn timer on, check if you are getting 240 volts on the wires you capped.
 

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It can be confusing trying to troubleshoot this with the one heater missing because of backfed voltage through the other heater or an open circuit.

If you have a meter here is what I would do next. Temporarily wire the heater back up. If it still doesn't work then look at the controls like Ben 25 mentioned.

If they work, measure voltage across both ends of the heater. If you read 240 volts that would mean they are parallel. If you read 120 volts (assuming both heaters are the same wattage) that would mean series.



Edit: beenthere's idea would be a good first check and will test the controls. If you are measuring 240 volts then add the removed heater and check for the voltages that I mentioned.
 

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If they work, measure voltage across both ends of the heater. If you read 240 volts that would mean they are parallel. If you read 120 volts (assuming both heaters are the same wattage) that would mean series.
Might want to recheck OHMs law.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
If stupidity is a reason to be kicked out of this forum, I voluntarily agree to leave now. :(

I wanted to put the removed heater back in line to see if that gave me back my heat but remembered the "shocking" experience of it being "live" even with the timer and thermostat set to off. So, I go to the breaker box and turn off the breakers that are marked for the basement heaters. Then I notice an unmarked double 20 A pole, so, I flip that one off too, not really paying attention to if it was tripped or not.
I re-installed the removed heater, flip on both sets of breakers and was rewarded with a once again working heating system. Hmmmmmm? Now I'm thinking! So,...yes, I flip off the unmarked 20 A pole and lose my heat. Now, removing the single heater and capping the wires off leaves me with a "working" remaining heater. The question now being.....what is the 15A double pole feeding? There is a set of never used baseboard heaters in a first floor room that I don't see having any breakers marked.
Thanks for every bodies time and input. Just goes to prove that you shouldn't rely on everything being properly marked or even installed without checking first. I was giving myself a problem that wasn't existing.
 

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If stupidity is a reason to be kicked out of this forum, I voluntarily agree to leave now. :(

I wanted to put the removed heater back in line to see if that gave me back my heat but remembered the "shocking" experience of it being "live" even with the timer and thermostat set to off. So, I go to the breaker box and turn off the breakers that are marked for the basement heaters. Then I notice an unmarked double 20 A pole, so, I flip that one off too, not really paying attention to if it was tripped or not.
I re-installed the removed heater, flip on both sets of breakers and was rewarded with a once again working heating system. Hmmmmmm? Now I'm thinking! So,...yes, I flip off the unmarked 20 A pole and lose my heat. Now, removing the single heater and capping the wires off leaves me with a "working" remaining heater. The question now being.....what is the 15A double pole feeding? There is a set of never used baseboard heaters in a first floor room that I don't see having any breakers marked.
Thanks for every bodies time and input. Just goes to prove that you shouldn't rely on everything being properly marked or even installed without checking first. I was giving myself a problem that wasn't existing.

LOL, we can only wish that was the worse thing anyone has ever done. Glad you got it figured out.
 

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LOL. I once paid a Sparky a service call to flip on a breaker. So don't feel too bad about this.
 
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