110 volt vs 220 volt for Electric heat


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Old 10-29-03, 11:56 AM
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110 volt vs 220 volt for Electric heat

I am installing electric heat. The electrician says it is easier to install the 110 volt. My friend says the 220 volt is much cheaper to operate. Which is recommended?
 
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Old 10-29-03, 11:59 AM
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The wattage I am installing is 1500 or 2000.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 12:00 PM
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They cost the same to operate. Watts are watts and the voltage only matters in computing the watts. The problem with 120 V is that you will need a larger conductor for the same heat output as a 240 V heater. If you do not need the heat output that a 240 V heater provides, a 120 V might be OK.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 01:14 PM
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I read this

Most homes in the US and Canada use electrical systems with both '110' and '220' volts ('110' volts is technically 117 volts plus or minus 10%). The 110 volt part of the system is used for most of the lighting, computers, small appliances and most electric tools. The 220 volt part of the system is usually used for electric stoves, water heaters, dryers, air-conditioners, heating and some larger tools. It is possible to use 110 volts for cooking, drying clothes etc., but the use of 220 volts appliances for such purposes is less expensive and faster.

DO you disagree??
 
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Old 10-29-03, 01:34 PM
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The wire is less expensive and faster to install because it is smaller.

But for your situation, installing one lenght of baseboard as supplemental heat, 110 is prolly good enough.

Have you considered a white noise generater in the bedroom to mask the baseboard noise?
 
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Old 10-29-03, 01:56 PM
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But for your situation, installing one lenght of baseboard as supplemental heat, 110 is prolly good enough.

i AM INSTALLING 8 FEET AND PLANNING ON RUNNING THEM 7-12 HOURS A day. iT WILL NOT BE SUPPLEMENTAL HEAT AT NIGHT. IT WILL BE THE ONLY SOURCE OF HEAT.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 02:14 PM
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"It is possible to use 110 volts for cooking, drying clothes etc., but the use of 220 volts appliances for such purposes is less expensive and faster. "

The only difference is the loss in the wiring due to the higher current at 120 V, and it will take a long time to notice that. 240 V is less expensive to install since smaller gage wiring is used compared to the same load at 120 V. Faster is only because more power is available.
That sounds like a rather old reference since the nominal value of US power has been 120/240V for many years now.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 02:51 PM
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Use 220V. That way you'll only use 12 gauge wire.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 05:54 PM
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The only advantage of 240 volts is that it allows the use of smaller wire than an equivalent 120-volt circuit. If designed for it, everything in a house could run just fine on 120 volts. Wire cost is the only reason we use 240 volts at all. The difference in wire cost is significant.
 
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Old 10-29-03, 07:40 PM
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Just to clarify DODGE621s earlier post in the US and Canada most homes are supplied with two 110V rails that have anti-phase voltage. To get 220V normally both rails are used so that the potential difference is 220V ac. In this case there is no neutral. There is actually no separate system to supply 220V. This is somewhat different to countries that have only 220/240V available like Europe where the hot wire is actually 220V (single phase) and there is a neutral and ground just like using a single 110V supply in the US.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 06:05 AM
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The problem with 120 V is that you will need a larger conductor for the same heat output as a 240 V heater. If you do not need the heat output that a 240 V heater provides, a 120 V might be OK.
Sorry, I am still confused. Can someone explain the difference in output. I am heating a 200 square foot bedroom.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 06:49 AM
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A 1900-watt heater will put out exactly the same amount of heat whether it is a 120-volt 1900-watt heater or a 240-volt 1900-watt heater. If you use the former, you will need to run 12-gauge wire. If you use the latter, you only need to run 14-gauge wire.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 06:59 AM
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To get 2000 watts from a 120 V circuit the current will be 16.7 amps. You will need a 20 amp circuit with #12 wires.
To get 2000 watts from a 240 circuit, the current is only 8.3 amps. This circuit can use #14 wire and a 15 amp two pole breaker.
Depending on what panel you have, some 2 pole breakers are twice a one pole, sometimes they are more than twice as expensive.
Choose the unit you need and run the circuit the manufacturer calls for.
The output of the pole transformer is 240 V with a center tap. By grounding the center tap and using it as the nuetral, there is 120 V from each end of the winding tio the center, and 240 V across the entire winding. The basic system is thus a 240 V system, and the 120 V is derived by tapping the transformer winding at the midpoint and calling that nuetral.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 07:47 AM
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Will the 240V sytstem heat up quicker?
 
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Old 10-30-03, 08:03 AM
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If the heaters are bigger it will, if they are both 2000 watts they heat the same.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 08:40 AM
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A 2000-watt heater will put out exactly the same amount of heat whether it is a 120-volt 2000-watt heater or a 240-volt 2000-watt heater.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 09:20 AM
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As John said, a Watt is a Watt, regardless of the voltage applied. The current will just increase as the voltage decreases (Power = Voltage x current).
 
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Old 10-30-03, 10:57 AM
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Is this correct or am I wrong

Wattage=VoltageXAmps

Wattage/Voltage=Amp

One pays for wattage so volts only determine the wiring needed. The electric heater will work at the same price to operate and speed to heat regardless of voltage.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 01:50 PM
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Yes, if the two heaters being compared are the same wattage.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 06:52 PM
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Electrician Insists To Try 1500 watts first

The room is around 195 square feet. He is insisting that I first try 6 feet to see if it will be warm enough. I think he is saying this will save a lot of money b/c then he can fit it on the current circuit .

I asked him about 8 feet of electric baseboard (it would need to be divided into 6 and 2.) He is saying that do 6 first and then he can always add 2. (He says by doing it this way I will potentially save a lot of money on the installation). He charges by the hour and seems like an honest guy.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 07:07 PM
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Fit it on the existing circuit?? If you put a 1500-watt heater on the existing circuit, it will pretty much consume all of that circuit. Perhaps not too practical if the occupant of that room would like to do something as simple as watch television.

At any rate, if you want to see if a 1500-watt heater will do, you could simply buy a $20 portable one at Home Depot and use it for the winter. If it works okay, then you could have the electrician install a permanent one (which would be safer than the portable one).
 
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Old 10-30-03, 07:22 PM
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Another problem is that the electric baseboard heater would have to be divided between 2 walls. One wall would have 6 feet of baseboardand another 2 feet of baseboard. Does this make the job much more expensive?
 
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Old 10-30-03, 07:28 PM
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Fit it on the existing circuit??
I think he meant that the 1500 watt could fit on the existing circuit breaker box(hope this makes sense).

Does this not make sense. The circuit breaker box looked almost full.

Perhaps he meant by going with the 1500 watt heater I would be able to fit it on the existing circuit breaker box.

Does it sound like I should have a new circuit breaker box installed?
 
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Old 10-31-03, 07:09 AM
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Have you been in a quiet room with electic baseboard heat? I think you will find that it DOES make some clicking noise. Strongly suggest that you listen to the noise it makes BEFORE you purchase it and have an electrician install it in your house.

What you SHOULD do is fix the noise that your hot water baseboard heat makes, and forget about the electric heat idea. The hydronic pros over on Heatinghelp.com have given you EXCELLENT recommendations for correcting the problem. One of the pros that lives near you even offered to come by and evaluate your system FOR FREE. Why not take him up on that offer?
 
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Old 10-31-03, 08:06 AM
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musicfield -

Thanks again. I understand electric baseboard makes noise but I am dealing with 24X7 noise. I will do what I feel is best for me.

I did speak at length with one of the people who contacted me from heatinghelp.com and he said there is a very good chance there is likely nothing that he could assure would work and likely I will have have to learn to live with the constant 24X7 ticking and loud banging. I will meet with this person or another from heating help.com when they are able to meet me.

In the meantime, I will take the actions I feel I will be happiest with.
 
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Old 10-31-03, 08:12 AM
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strongly suggest

Strongly suggest that you listen to the noise it makes BEFORE you purchase it and have an electrician install it in your house.

Yes, I had the electrician come to my house last week. He brought it over and connected it to the circuit breaker box and it seemed ok.

Thank you for your suggestions.
 
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Old 10-31-03, 11:34 AM
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One of the pros that lives near you even offered to come by and evaluate your system FOR FREE.
I DO not recall reading THAT. if it was said I am awaiting their response.
 
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Old 11-02-03, 12:06 PM
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This is an interesting discussion. Just wanted to add the following point.

The rate at which a heater will heat up and generate heat is a function of the physical properties of the heating element. It is quite possible to dissipate the same wattage in two different heaters and get different levels of heat out of it. So to undertake an exact comparison you also need to know the type of heating element (i.e. the type of metal used and its temperature coefficient) of the 120V and 240V heaters.
 
 

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