Electric baseboard heaters are gaining popularity yearly. In many homes and offices, you’ll never lack a baseboard heater during winter. These devices help heat our rooms to cope with the harsh weather.
Because of the increasing installation cost, this article will guide you on how to install electric baseboard heater yourself.
Note; how to install electric baseboard heaters is an advanced wiring project that requires electrical knowledge. As such, you need specific skills before attempting this task.
How to Install Electric Baseboard Heaters
Why do Many Homeowners Choose Electric Baseboard Heaters?
Electric baseboard heaters are simple and compact, unlike their ‘sister model’ hydronic baseboard heaters. Many homeowners choose electric baseboard heaters due to;
- Low profile design that takes a little space.
- Small and compact, therefore easy to assemble and install.
- Simple components, therefore easy to maintain.
- Easy to operate.
- Enhanced safety
How an Electric Baseboard Heater Works
Electric baseboard heaters, also known as convection baseboard heaters, use a convection mechanism to heat a room. The unit has an element that converts electric current to heat energy.
The element is made of conductors, good electric current carriers, and insulators that are poor in transporting current. Once the electrical current passes through insulators, it faces resistance, and as a result, it’s converted to heat energy.
The electric baseboard heater cover has air vents that allow dense air in. When air comes into contact with the heated element, it gains heat to become less dense. Afterward, it’s able to rise and circulate the room.
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Steps to Install Electric Baseboard Heaters
Step 1: Determine your heater size
First, you should learn that electric baseboard heaters are manufactured in different sizes. There are various lengths ranging from 24 inches to 96 inches. On the other hand, these devices come with two options; 120 volts and 240 volts heaters.
When it comes to determining the size, you need to understand your house and rooms in square feet.
The average heating wattage is 10 watts per square foot. However, you should also consider the room’s height when measuring the size.
When choosing the devices, a 240 volts heater is believed to use low amperage, therefore, more energy-efficient. As such, this article will focus on installing a 240 volts electric baseboard heater.
However, the procedure may be applied on both devices despite the circuit breakers.
Step 2: Determine the installation location
You should install an electric baseboard heater beneath the window to receive dense air quickly as it gets into the room. Dense air settles around the floor or the lower part compared to less dense air. As such, install the device around the floor surface for efficiency.
Secondly, determine the wall-mounted thermostat installation location. A wall-mounted automatic thermostat helps control the house temperature compared to the inbuilt thermostat. This is essential if you need to heat several rooms.
Third, locate the main panel circuit breaker box to install the electric heater circuit breaker.
Afterward, use an erasable marker to mark from the main panel circuit breaker box to the thermostat and then down to the heater.
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Step 3: Cut the wall for electrical wiring
Use a concrete saw to cut through the concrete wall for the electrical wiring as marked. Ensure you cut from the main panel circuit breaker box down to the determined thermostat installation location and later down to the baseboard heater.
Step 4: Install the circuit breaker
Find the large switch on the main panel circuit breaker box and turn it off. Remove the covering using a screwdriver and install the circuit breaker on an empty slot according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Step 5: Install the thermostat wall box
Place the wall thermostat box on the wall and fasten the screws to attach it to at least one wall stud.
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Step 6: Install the wiring
Install an NM cable from the main service panel to the wall thermostat box. Secondly, install another cable from the thermostat box to the marked baseboard heater location.
Step 7: Mount the electric baseboard heater
Remove the knockout on the back of the connector box on the back cover. Afterward, install a cable clamp to the box. Insert the cable through the baseboard heater cover and secure it with the cable clamp. Ensure there is at least 7 inches length extended from the clamp.
Fasten the heater’s back cover to at least two wall studs with 1.5 inches screws.
Step 8: Connect the wires
Connect the nm cable in the connector box to the heating element. Connect one factory wire to one hot power wire and the other to the second hot wire cable. Note in a standard 240 V baseboard heater, both white and black cables serve as hot wires.
Secure the wires on the grounding screw on the heater box.
Secondly, connect the wires to the thermostat. First, strip ¾ inch insulation from the two cables in the thermostat box.
Connect the wire running from the service panel to the wire lead labelled ‘line.’ Then, connect the wire running from the thermostat box to the baseboard heater to the wire lead labelled ‘load.’ Afterward, attach the cover plate.
Connect the nm cable to the circuit breaker to complete the circuit. Close the service panel and turn on the main circuit breaker switch.
Step 9: Fill the Wall with Concrete Patch
Use red devil pre-mixed concrete patch to fill the wall and cover the wiring. Smear it on the wall and ensure it gives a smooth look.
Step 10: Test the Heater
Turn on the circuit breaker and set the thermostat to a higher temperature. Wait for the heater to achieve the maximum heat and check if it responds to your thermostat settings.
FAQs Baseboard Heaters Installation
Do You Need an Electrician to Install a Baseboard Heater?
Installing baseboard heaters is an advanced task that requires electrical wiring knowledge. If you don’t know electrical wiring, you need to hire a licensed electrician.
How Many 240V Baseboard Heaters Can I Put on One Circuit?
You can connect up to three 1500 W baseboard heaters on one 240 Volts circuit. However, you should ensure a licensed electrician properly does your wiring.
Can I Wire a Baseboard Heater to an Electrical Outlet?
Wiring baseboard heaters to general-purpose branch circuits is not recommended. When you choose to install electric baseboard heaters, ensure you follow the recommended procedure to avoid risks.