Maximum Safe Power Draw - 240v Heat


Old 02-27-06, 08:27 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Maximum Safe Power Draw - 240v Heat

Hi Folks,

Yes, another question from Petey305 on Electric Baseboard heat.

This one isn't too specific...just wondering.

I have 240v heat, hooked to a double 20amp breaker, wiring is 12/2 (white hooked to 1 breaker, black hooked to the other). I'm replacing existing heat (no new runs), but just so I'm clear...what is the max amout of watts that I can safely draw from this? The existing setup had an 8ft heater, and 2 3 ft heaters. I plan to replace with the same I'm not too worried about overloading it, but just for my own knowledge, I'd like to know.

Is there also an easy calculation for this? I know the limits for 120v single 15a or single 20a...but not sure what the max is when dealing with a double 20amp breaker.

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Old 02-27-06, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
A 20-amp 240-volt circuit provides 20 times 240, or 4800 watts of power. For baseboard heat, you may use up to 80% of that. So you can put up to 3840 watts on that circuit.
Old 02-27-06, 08:43 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 27
Thanks John,

Great information to have on hand. Looks like I'm all set. The new 8' draws 2000 watts, and the 2 3ft draw 750 each. Puts me at 3500 watts total, so it sounds like I'm all set.



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