120 volt baseboard heater

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  #1  
Old 01-31-07, 08:52 PM
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120 volt baseboard heater

We are installling new baseboard heaters. After hooking up the thermostat, we hooked up 240 volt heater with no effect. Then, we used a voltage tester on the power wires into the heater. It registered 120. We ordered 120 v heaters but the warning label said 120 v would not be hooked up with a double pole in the breaker, which we have. Taking a risk we hooked up the heater anyway and still nothing happened. Wiring is just according to the diagrams included with the heater. Is it not possible to get 120 v out of double pole?
 
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Old 01-31-07, 08:56 PM
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In North America, a double-pole breaker can be wired to provide 120 volts, 240 volts, or both. It depends on how it is wired, and what you connect to what.
 
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Old 01-31-07, 09:58 PM
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maybe we need little more carifay here how you hook up the heater to the wire colour.

do that heater have wall thermosat or built in thermosat on baseboard heater it self ?

what colour wire you got on double pole breaker and how did you test the voltage ???

let us know how you did it

Merci , Marc

P.S. becarefull on 240 volts it can get little more tricker some case you will see white wire actally used for hot side as well so please test the voltage between black and white wire as well to make sure you got true 240 but if you are reading 120 volt then you may have to change the wiring connection at breaker box i will explain more later
 
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Old 02-01-07, 05:44 AM
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I have baseboard heaters in my house <right now>, the 240V type. I know they will accept either 240V or 120V. However, the same is probably not true of your 120V heaters, judging by the info. you provided <i.e., they didn't work>. Do you have a spare 120V breaker in the panel? If not, do you have space for any more breakers? John has pointed out that you can use the 2-pole breaker for 120V <legally>. Are you citing 240.85 here John?....that seems to explain the situation rather well. Just wanted to make darn sure before telling the poster how to re-wire the CKT.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 08:13 AM
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I'm not citing any code. In general, if the code doesn't prohibit it, it's allowed. And I know of no code that prohibits using one pole of a double-pole breaker as if it was a single-pole breaker. It's unusual (except for multiwire circuits), but not prohibited.
 
  #6  
Old 02-01-07, 09:10 AM
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Not an electrician, but were I to take a guess at this: You've either got the wrong breaker installed or it's installed incorrectly. If/When you figure it out and fix the problem, you're probably going to end up with 240V going to a heater that is designed to handle 120V. It's possible to get 120V out of a 2 pole breaker, but it isn't possible to get a neutral connection out of it.

Please forgive my bluntness, but judging by your method of problem resolution so far (supposed to have 240V, but only have 120V so change the heater... taking a risk, we hooked it up anyway...), you're in over your head. Please don't take this personally, but the cost of an electrician is nothing compared to the cost of a life.

Doug M.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 09:53 AM
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I am confused by the original post ans am unsure exactly what the situation is.

Some comments:

Generally speaking, 240 volt electric baseboard heaters are more common that 120 volt ones. They put out more heat per amp, and since the amperage is lower, both the cost of the wire and difficulty of installation is less.

I am guessing here, and this is only a guess, that you don't have the wiring right for 240 volts, which is your problem. I would figure out why you can't get 240 volts.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 03:00 PM
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Thanks for the comments so far. There is a wall thermostat which is hooked up correctly according to the instructions. To test the voltage, we flipped the breaker and used a small tester on the power supply wires into the heater which lights up either 120 or 240. When installing the heater, we matched black wires to white wires, and the green ground with the copper wire. Is there any way to test if the problem is with the breaker or is that assumed by process of elimination?
 
  #9  
Old 02-01-07, 03:05 PM
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Tell us about the circuit breaker and how the wires are connected to the panel/breaker.
 
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Old 02-01-07, 03:13 PM
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Is it possible that you did in fact supply 240 volts to the 120 volt heater and burned it out?
 
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