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Electric Baseboard - Connecting to existing wiring? or new breaker?

Electric Baseboard - Connecting to existing wiring? or new breaker?


Old 06-22-04, 06:20 AM
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Question Electric Baseboard - Connecting to existing wiring? or new breaker?

Please help! My husband and I are purchasing a duplex in which we are using FHA financing. FHA requires that we install an electric baseboard heater in the bathroom of one of the units. We did not know this until this past Friday, and cannot get an electrician to install it on time for our closing in one week.

We have already purchased the small 30" baseboard, a thermostat (which I have already wired to the heater), 100 feet of 12/2 cable, wire nuts, etc. I just don't know how to wire this thing to the existing wiring, or straight to the breaker box. I did buy an oversized breaker (30amp), but think wiring it to existing cable would be the best bet. I know in order to do this I will need a junction box...but really have no idea how to find the existing cable in the walls. I hate to put a bunch of holes in the walls, but will do it if I have to.

Can anyone please, please help me?

Thank you for your response in advance
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Old 06-22-04, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
You cannot connect 12-gauge wire to a 30-amp breaker. Furthermore, you probably cannot use a 30-amp breaker for this heater. Assuming that this is indeed a 20-amp 240-volt heater (please verify), you'll need a 20-amp double-pole breaker. It is unlikely that you will be able to use any existing wiring.

You may need to put a few holes in the wall. It's difficult to tell without seeing it. More experienced electricians put fewer holes in the wall because they know more tricks to avoid the holes.

Be careful. Don't do anything you're not comfortable with. It's better to delay the closing than burn it down. Did the FHA really say that the heater had to be in place prior to closing? Ask if you can have an extension.
Old 06-22-04, 06:46 AM
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hello John,

Yes, FHA requires we have this installed before closing. I have already called the lender, and they will not bend on this issue.

I can certainly buy a smaller breaker. The heater is 240 volt 22 amp rated...but while reading instructions, etc....it is 2.1 amps? Does that sound right?

That whole side of the house has electric baseboard heaters, that is why I thought I could use the existing wiring....when I looked at the breaker box, all of the baseboard heaters on that side of the house are on one double pole breaker.
Old 06-23-04, 08:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: port chester n y
Posts: 2,117
Apparantly this is a 500-watt B-H, 500W/220 volts = 2.3 anps.

You could connect a 500 watt, 120-volt B-H to an existing 120 volt circuit without over-loading the circuit, and there MAY be a 20-amp receptacle circuit in the Bath-Room.

This is an expedient to comply with the insane demands of the bureaucratic pencil-pushers , completly devoid of "common sense",you are a victim of. I would not hesistate to make the 120-volt connection, considering the difficult circumstance.

Good Luck and "All the Best" with you'r investment.
Old 06-23-04, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 80
One last thing to throw into the mess. In most places that I know of, certainly where I live, you cannot legally perform *any* electrical work on a multi-family dwelling (including a duplex) unless you are a licensed electrician. Period.

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