Baseboard Heating Questions


Old 08-11-04, 12:57 PM
Jeff Smallwood
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Baseboard Heating Questions

(Let me mention that I have searched the net fairly extensivly and have either found conflicting results or nothing)

Let me preface this with some background. I'm remodeling a rental house at the moment, and have normally hired electircians for other houses, but since I've done everything else my self on the house, I figure that I might as well do the small amount of wiring myself, also.

I'll be going all new 200A breaker box and new breakers and such. Where my question comes in is I am putting baseboard heaters in and have some questions about wire choice. These heaters are of course 220v, and since this house is rather small, this was the wiring plan I was going on.

Circuit/Thermostat 1:

Living room: 8” 2500w (10.1A)
Bedroom1: 6” 1500w (6.3A)
Bedroom2: 6” 1500w (6.3A)

Circuit/Thermostat 2:

Kitchen: 8” 2500w (10.1A)
Porch: 6” 1500w (6.3A)
Bathroom: 3” (not sure on wattage, I assume ~750) (~3A)

Yell at me if that is completly stupid or something to that effect. I realize it might be easier to simply have 3 circuits, if it comes to that Ill cover the extra cost.

Back to wire choice, which is my problem. If I remember my physics class lessons, a 30A wire/breaker can run up to 6600w, which is more than I would be putting on each circuit. Does the voltage work out? I figure I will be using 10-3 wire between the breaker and the thermostat, but can I use less powerful (as in possibly 12-2) wire between the heaters and the thermostat? The thing is I have a large roll of 12-2 wire already, would that do since it would only be carrying 1 heater each? Or would I need to use 12-3? Thank you very, very much for anyone who could shed even a small amount of light on this matter.
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Old 08-11-04, 01:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Central New York State
Posts: 13,973
You want to put each room on it's own thermostat. With electric heat you want to zone it as much as possible.

Do not mix wire sizes on a circuit. The breaker needs to be sized for the smallest size wire (largest wire gauge) anywhere on the circuit. In the example you gave the breaker would need to be 20 amp, as you have 12 gauge wire.

Baseboard heaters are straight 240 volt devices. You only need 2 conductor wire, plus ground, everywhere on the circuit. No need for 10-3 or 12-3 anywhere.

I recommend not overcrowding the circuits, so you can add later if you need to. I would go three circuits, not two.

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