Why is there no power to the Cadet heaters?

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Old 08-29-08, 08:56 PM
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Why is there no power to the Cadet heaters?

We are selling a condo and the inspection showed that the Cadet heaters in the two bedrooms and in the master bath were not working.

I went over and verified the power at the double breaker.

I then checked for power at one of the heaters and there was none.

Then I checked for power at the thermosat and there was none.

What could the possible issues be? I would think this would be a dedicated circuit as there is a separate double breaker for the living room heaters and they work fine.

I am puzzled.
 
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Old 08-29-08, 09:55 PM
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Assuming you are in the US, possible issues could be:

1st check: Turn on all thermostats, and check heaters. If one or more of your suspect heaters comes on, there is a miswire. See # 4 below.

1. Heater circuits disconnected at the breaker, and the breaker used for something else instead.

2. Breaker still in use, but the cable was disconnected at or before the first heater and now goes to something else - like an AC or some other 240V equipment.

3. Since the heaters serve different rooms, isn't there a t-stat in each room? Verify power at each of them.

4. Miswire at the thermostat(s). I assume you are not the one living at the condo, since you would propbably already have known that the heaters don't work. Maybe someone changed the original t-stat(s) to a programmable one and miswired it. All it takes is one miswire at the 1st box in the circuit.

5. Measure the actual voltage on each wire at the thermostats.

You should have ~120VAC between each of the hot legs and the ground wire.

You should have ~240VAC between the two hot wires.

If the circuits are miswired so that the two power conductors are on the same leg or phase of power, they will show 0 volts on your meter when connected between the two wires, but show 120VAC when checked from each wire to ground. That is because yours and any meter measures the difference in voltage between what is touching the two probes.

willis
 
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Old 08-29-08, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by williswires View Post
Assuming you are in the US, possible issues could be:

1st check: Turn on all thermostats, and check heaters. If one or more of your suspect heaters comes on, there is a miswire. See # 4 below.

1. Heater circuits disconnected at the breaker, and the breaker used for something else instead.

2. Breaker still in use, but the cable was disconnected at or before the first heater and now goes to something else - like an AC or some other 240V equipment.

3. Since the heaters serve different rooms, isn't there a t-stat in each room? Verify power at each of them.

4. Miswire at the thermostat(s). I assume you are not the one living at the condo, since you would propbably already have known that the heaters don't work. Maybe someone changed the original t-stat(s) to a programmable one and miswired it. All it takes is one miswire at the 1st box in the circuit.

5. Measure the actual voltage on each wire at the thermostats.

You should have ~120VAC between each of the hot legs and the ground wire.

You should have ~240VAC between the two hot wires.

If the circuits are miswired so that the two power conductors are on the same leg or phase of power, they will show 0 volts on your meter when connected between the two wires, but show 120VAC when checked from each wire to ground. That is because yours and any meter measures the difference in voltage between what is touching the two probes.

willis
I am in the US. The condo is an estate sale (her late mothers) and my wife is selling it. As far as we know, all heaters were working a year ago.

I only pulled out one heater and t-stat to verify no power (at the t-stat or heater). I assumed the other two did not have power since they did not work when I turned up their t-stats to test them. I will test each t-stat for power.

Regarding t-stats, the living room had a programable t-stat added but those heaters are on a separate circuit ad work fine.

The circuit that has the three inoperable heaters have their original non-programmable t-stats.

The one t-stat I checked showed 0 between each hot leg and ground. With that reading, I did not try from one hot leg to the other hot leg.
 
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Old 08-29-08, 10:36 PM
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Sounds good. Keep looking...I know you'll find it. What is the closest room to the panel? Problem is probably there.

...another long shot - maybe a whirlpool tub was installed in the master bath, and they disconnected the heater circuit to supply the tub?

...my crystal ball doesn't offer me anything else at the moment

willis
 
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Old 08-29-08, 11:01 PM
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Now in talking to my wife, she only remembers using one of the three heaters so I really can't say I know the other two worked.
The panel is on the other side of the wall from the t-stat I checked. So what you are saying is that even though none of the three heaters are working, pull all three heaters and t-stats to check for power?
It is safe to say that most likely nothing else is on the circuit since it is a 220 circuit?

Ther have been no mods to this condo (such as tub, etc.).
 
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Old 08-29-08, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by modelsforu View Post
The panel is on the other side of the wall from the t-stat I checked. So what you are saying is that even though none of the three heaters are working, pull all three heaters and t-stats to check for power?
It would be a start. If you can't find the power, then you do not have the right breaker, there is another piece of this puzzle missing, or lastly (yikes!) that the cable is broken or damaged in the wall. BE CAREFUL! I would assume that the t-stat you checked should have had power on it.

Is there another 2-pole breaker in the panel that might be supplying these heaters and it might be mislabeled? Or maybe two single-pole breakers next to each other, one with a black wire and one with a white wire from the same cable attached (maybe the electrician ran out of 2-pole breakers), maybe with something tying the breakers together?

Can you check the cables going to your t-stat and compare it to the cable in your panel (wire size, any color differences like a black/white in your panel but a blk, white, red at your t-stat) that comes from the breaker you believe is the correct one? How many cables are in the box with your t-stat, and how are they wired?

Is it possible the heater cable is not connected in your panel, maybe wire-nutted instead?

I would say your answers begin at the panel.

It is safe to say that most likely nothing else is on the circuit since it is a 220 circuit?
It would be safe to say nothing else should be on the circuit...

Is it possible the power once came from the circuit that had the living room heaters on it and it was decided to be too much for the one circuit so the wires going to the other rooms were disconnected? (crystal ball acting up again...)

Just thinking out load ... let us know what you find. And as always, pictures are always helpful!!

willis
 
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Old 08-30-08, 09:02 AM
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Hey, just wondering....no kind of expert.

Is it possible the heaters in the bed and bath areas are not 220? Could they be 110? Maybe that other double breaker that was mentioned is for a stove or dryer?

I know we used to sell both, depending on size and wattage.

I know that doesn't help with why they aren't working, but have you checked and reset all the breakers?
 
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Old 08-30-08, 10:04 AM
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Excellent point!

please verify by the nameplates...
 
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Old 08-30-08, 11:10 AM
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Thank you both for the ideas. I would like to go to the condo today for more investigation and picture taking but will have to do it on Sunday as today is our eldests 13th birthday.
I have printed out the thread and will take it with me (along with my camera) tomorrow and continue.

Sorry for repeating myself but to keep things straight for me:

The living room heater circuit works fine and has Cadets in both living and dining areas that are controlled by a single digital t-stat. That t-stat was the only electrical modification done in the condo.

The bedroom/bathroom heater circuit (double 20A breakers, I believe) has four Cadets on them, all controlled by separate knob-style t-stats. I may have failed to mention that one of the heaters on that circuit does work:

Master BR - not working
Master Bath - not wokring
Main Bath - not working
Bedroom #2 - operates fine

(I will triple check that the working heater is indeed on that circuit).

There WAS a double pole hot water tank circuit and a double pole range circuit that were turned off. Thinking a bout it now, I did not turn them back on.

More comes to mind now - a few weeks back the real estate agent called to say that there was no power in the condo. After investgating it, she said that a main breaker (from some type of main panel for this building of six condos) had tripped. Once that was reset, power was restore.
Could this be of any significance?

In any event, I will check back in this evening (night to folks on the east coast) and will report back once I have been back to the condo tomorrow.

Thanks much,
Larry
 
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Old 08-30-08, 11:30 AM
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If it is a sub panel you are looking at there is an outside possibility they are on the main but if the main serves all the condos very unlikely. Even if they are on a 2pole breaker they could be 120v but served by a multiwire circuit. Four heaters on one circuit sounds like a lot. If they were 120v on a multiwire circuit that would only be two per pole and seem a bit more likely but only a guess.

Are the wires on the two poles of the breaker red and black or black and white. If black and white (perhaps with the white re-designated black or red then more likely just a 240v circuit.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 12:08 PM
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Well, glad to see I wasn't completely off tangent.


Ummm on a different tack, if this is an estate thing, maybe you could just get an electrician in and pay for it out of any estate funds? I would think that would be considered a reasonable expense by whoever is handling the estate.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
If it is a sub panel you are looking at there is an outside possibility they are on the main but if the main serves all the condos very unlikely. Even if they are on a 2pole breaker they could be 120v but served by a multiwire circuit. Four heaters on one circuit sounds like a lot. If they were 120v on a multiwire circuit that would only be two per pole and seem a bit more likely but only a guess.

Are the wires on the two poles of the breaker red and black or black and white. If black and white (perhaps with the white re-designated black or red then more likely just a 240v circuit.
If I remember right, the two ploes were white and black.
Since every unit has their own power meter outside, I would think that the heaters would not be on a circuit outside of the unit.
I will check to see it the heaters are 120 or 240v.
 
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Old 08-30-08, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Well, glad to see I wasn't completely off tangent.


Ummm on a different tack, if this is an estate thing, maybe you could just get an electrician in and pay for it out of any estate funds? I would think that would be considered a reasonable expense by whoever is handling the estate.
My wife is handling the estate but since the condo (with a reverse mortgage to boot) is the estate and I have been paying all the carrying cost and the price has drop 30% from list because of a bad market, I am trying to keep costs down. I will have to call in an electrician if I can't solve it... trying to do the good husband thing .
 
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Old 08-30-08, 05:41 PM
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Ok,....understood. Just checkin...
 
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Old 08-31-08, 11:14 PM
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Okay, here is what I found.
The circuit is a double pole 20A (x2) and appears to be a single black/white/ground with the white and black wire each going to 20A breaker.
Main Bath - no power at t-stat. Room has Cadet C122 1000W heater.
Master Bedroom - no power at t-stat. Room has Cadet C152 1500/1125W heater.
Master Bath - no power at t-stat. Room has Cadet C102 1000/750W heater.
2nd Bedroom - power at t-stat, heater works normally. 120V AC between each hot leg and ground. 240V AC between the two hot wires. Room has Cadet C122 1250 watt heater.


Since each unit has a separate power meter, I didn't think that a breaker could be elsewhere but I am going to explore the possibility that they could be on a circuit elsewhere in the building.

Can all four of these heaters be on a double 20A circuit?
 
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Old 08-31-08, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by modelsforu View Post
Can all four of these heaters be on a double 20A circuit?
You have 4125 watts / 240V = 17.2A. I would have used a 30A circuit.

While you were in the panel, did you see any cables disconnected?

Are the t-stats double pole (do they break both legs of the power or just one of them?)

If these are all on the same circuit, you just have to figure out how the circuit was designed to be wired, and find where the wires are disconnected or miswired. Start by opening the boxes at each t-stat and heater and carefully examine the cables in each one. You might be able to tell where the miswire is.

Post a diagram or closeup pics of what you found.
 
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Old 09-01-08, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by williswires View Post
You have 4125 watts / 240V = 17.2A. I would have used a 30A circuit.

While you were in the panel, did you see any cables disconnected?.
No. All cables are connected to breakers. I listed the sizes of the heater to see if you would say that that is too much for a 20x2 circuit.


Originally Posted by williswires View Post
Are the t-stats double pole (do they break both legs of the power or just one of them?).
I am not quite sure what you mean by "break both legs". There are two wires (both hot on the heater that works) plus the ground wire attached to the t-stat.


Originally Posted by williswires View Post
If these are all on the same circuit, you just have to figure out how the circuit was designed to be wired, and find where the wires are disconnected or miswired. Start by opening the boxes at each t-stat and heater and carefully examine the cables in each one. You might be able to tell where the miswire is..
I don't think there is a miswiring because my wife knows for sure that two of these heaters worked at one point and there has been no mods made to anything on this circuit.
That leads me to wonder if there is a phantom breaker elsewhere in the complex. My wife says there is a main panel so I will be taking her there today to find it. It would just seems odd thought that these heaters would be on a circuit outside of the condo since the condo has it's own breaker box in the unit.
[/QUOTE]
 
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Old 09-01-08, 10:18 AM
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Ok, I'm still watching with interest! lol

Another no-Pro thought...

Are you sure (and it may have been mentioned) that the 2nd bedroom (working) is on the same breakers as the non-working? I just didn't see any mention of checking power at the breaker itself? I know you may have verified by turning it off and checking the second bedroom.

Just brought it up because of the post about the load on the bed and bath circuit being a little high. How many heaters in the living room? Could the second bedroom be on that circuit so the load is more in line with the capacity?


Wait......Ahhh I see you said you were going to triple check that it was on the bedroom circuit. So I presume you have?

Still have my fingers crossed for your "I FOUND THE PROBLEM!" post.
 
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Old 09-01-08, 10:58 AM
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Glad you are still here. Yes, I verified that the working heater in bedroom #2 is on the same circuit marked on the panel "bedroom heaters".
I guess I can only assume that the three non-working heaters are on the "bedroom heaters" circuit.
All breakers are on and there is power to all breakers.
 
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Old 09-01-08, 11:20 AM
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Well, it's just very odd to me....

I could see the heaters not working because of a loose connection, but no power at all? That would require both legs of the 220 to be lost, if I'm understanding correctly. I'm not professing any great knowledge of wiring though! And certainly not how the thermostats and heaters are wired in.
Straight runs from box to dryer or stove are something I can understand pretty easily...lol.

Maybe its time to power down, disconnect and start some continuity checks?

Appears most of the plumbers and electricians are at their annual "Lets compare the size of our yachts convention". j/k guys!
 
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Old 09-01-08, 01:46 PM
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This is a double pole thermosat wired look like




This is a single pole thermosat look like



There is big diffrence between the two the double pole will have off marking while single pole useally don't have off marking on it

Merci,Marc
 

Last edited by french277V; 09-01-08 at 01:47 PM. Reason: corrected grammer
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Old 09-02-08, 03:09 PM
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The t-stats are single pole 240v. I looked for any other breakers no on at the main building panel and they were all on.

My wife finally called an electrician as I could go no further with my limited knowledge. He will be there to on Thursday. I will be sure to let you folks know what the secret is to one works/three don't.
 
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Old 09-02-08, 03:17 PM
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Awww crud..thats no fun! But yer probably in more of a time crunch than most people.
Be sure to post back...
 
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Old 09-04-08, 11:28 AM
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My wife just called and the electrician arrived (apparently having allowed little time for the appt) and was stumped.

One circuit

Four heaters

only one works.

He is thinking there may be a disconnect or break in the wiring at a j-box.

Where IS the j-box? You can't just willy-nilly cut into sheetrock to trace wiring to find a j-box.

The heaters are in four separate rooms. I thought you couldn't cover up a j-box with sheetrock?

Is it possibe to find a job in the wall behind the cadet heater box enclosure?? That is all I can think of.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 11:47 AM
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Jeez...you already knew that stuff! Hope he didn't charge much.

Boxes are supposed to be accessable. Doesn't mean they always are.

Well, my Navy electronics tells me, it would be time to disconnect things and try to find where the juice isn't going through. Turn it off and use some jumpers to get continuity across the wires. I always broke it in 1/2 when checking. Good here....bad at the end...then jump to the 1/2 way point. If good, then move 1/2 way down again. Course that works better when you know the path.

I think it's like tracing a string of bad outlets though. It's either the last good one, or the first bad one.

Still think it's very odd that you have no voltage on both legs. 1 nut coming loose is forseeable...but 2? and the wires losing the connection? Esp if they were twisted beforehand.

Maybe some of the Pro's have tricks to finding these kind of things...

Man, I was so hoping this was the "I/He Found It" post....
 
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Old 09-04-08, 11:53 AM
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So was I. I have a room layout drawn up and injpeg format. How do I insrt it into a post?
 
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Old 09-04-08, 12:01 PM
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Post it on most any photo hosting site like photobucket. Copy the url in yer post (I think you can copy the img info also).

Just don't use a site that requires people to join up to view. And keep the images small enuf that folks don't have to wait 5 min for them to load...lol.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 12:24 PM
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And I will add what I have added in some other posts. If time is of any importance abandoning the wiring that doesn't work and running new may be a good choice. Of course that must be balanced against cost of materials and ease of running new wires. But then cost of new materials must be balanced against time troubleshooting original problem and what you feel your time is worth.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Post it on most any photo hosting site like photobucket. Copy the url in yer post (I think you can copy the img info also).

Just don't use a site that requires people to join up to view. And keep the images small enuf that folks don't have to wait 5 min for them to load...lol.
I am at work and was hoping that DIY had upload ability.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
And I will add what I have added in some other posts. If time is of any importance abandoning the wiring that doesn't work and running new may be a good choice. Of course that must be balanced against cost of materials and ease of running new wires. But then cost of new materials must be balanced against time troubleshooting original problem and what you feel your time is worth.
That scary though has crossed my mind but considering that each of the three no-working heaters are in three separate room....

One of the non working heater is actually on the opposite side of the same wall as the main panel.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 12:34 PM
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Unhappy

Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
And I will add what I have added in some other posts. If time is of any importance abandoning the wiring that doesn't work and running new may be a good choice. Of course that must be balanced against cost of materials and ease of running new wires. But then cost of new materials must be balanced against time troubleshooting original problem and what you feel your time is worth.
We are especially stressed since this offer is the only one and the condo has been on the market for a year.
 
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Old 09-04-08, 12:42 PM
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THINKING AGAIN....
I was checking power by tesing the pig tail leading to each thermostat.

But in each 2x4 box that holds the thermostats, there are a minimum of two cables each. The pigtails are wire nutted to these cables

I guess I need to one of these cables a take a wirenut off and see it there is power there, starting with the 2x4 t-stat box closest to the panel.

Am I making sense?
 
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Old 09-04-08, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45 View Post
Man, I was so hoping this was the "I/He Found It" post....
...that's what I've been waiting for! Awww, man!

My vote is still on an intentionally disconnected or unintentionally miswired circuit.

willis
 
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Old 09-04-08, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by modelsforu View Post
I guess I need to one of these cables a take a wirenut off and see it there is power there, starting with the 2x4 t-stat box closest to the panel.

Am I making sense?
As mentioned before several times, you or the electrician needs to do this at every box, t-stat, & heater on your circuit to figure this out.

BE CAREFUL! The circuits may or may not be on the breaker you think they are!


Keep us posted - there's gotta be an answer in that condo somewhere!

willis
 
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Old 09-04-08, 02:16 PM
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It just seemed like a daunting task...so may wires in such a little box.
If all the cables go into each t-stat box, there may not be an unexposed j-box.
I will be careful and tackle this on Saturday morning.

But the no-power-on-either-leg really bugs me sincs there is power at the breaker, going into the cable.

Why does one heater work and not the other three? Sorry for repeating myself... just thinking out loud... with a wife nearly in tears that the condo won't sell (before the reverse mortgage comes due). <Sigh>
 
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Old 09-04-08, 02:26 PM
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Take a camera, man!

Pics of the panel, breaker, and j-boxes with the wires shown would be da bomb!
 
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Old 09-04-08, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by modelsforu View Post
That scary though has crossed my mind but considering that each of the three no-working heaters are in three separate room....

One of the non working heater is actually on the opposite side of the same wall as the main panel.
Can't say if my way is best but if they are all on the same circuit and you can determine which is first you would only need to run power to the first assuming only one circuit is needed.

But back to fixing it if you don't want to run new wire then after making pictures, labeling the wires and making a sketch I would disconnect all the wires in all the boxes including the one live one and using a continuity checker (ohms on multimeter) and a long test wire determine where each wire goes. I'd bet there will be one set of wires (or cable) in a non-functioning heater Jbox that goes to the functioning heater Jbox. That will be your problem connection.

(If you can identify individual cables you can just temporally tie black to white in each cable and check other pairs in other boxes for the one that is tied together instead of using a long wire to check for continuity.)
 
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Old 09-06-08, 12:49 PM
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In advance of posting pictures, here is a further description of what I saw. I am no more optimistic today.

Two comments first.

The electrician is coming back on Tuesday with additional "tools and meters" from what my wife said. He also wants to remove the heaterboxes... presumedly to check for a j-box... that doesn't make sense to me.

At the breaker box, the cable marked "bedroom heaters" has a black and white wire (both hot) going to the tandem breakers. With both wires hot, should both a white and black wire go to each t-stat? With that said here goes...


Breaker panel in Bedroom #2 has one cable with one black and one white, both hot.

Bedroom #2, functioning heater
Bedroom #2 is in the same room as the breaker panel.
T-stat box has 3 cables entering box.
Two black wires pigtailed to black wire on t-stat (power, yes)
One black wire pigtailed to red wire on t-stat (power, yes)
All 3 white wires twist nutted together (power at all 3).

Main Bath, non-functioning heater
T-stat box has 3 cables entering box.
Two black wires pigtailed to black wire on t-stat (power, no)
One black wire pigtailed to red wire on t-stat (power, no)
All 3 white wires twist nutted together (power, no, at all 3).

Master Bedroom, non-functioning heater
T-stat box has 3 cables entering box.
Two black wires pigtailed to black wire on t-stat (power, no)
One black wire pigtailed to red wire on t-stat (power, no)
All 3 white wires twist nutted together (power, no, at all 3).



Master Bath, non-functioning heater
T-stat box has 2 cables entering box.
Two white wire pigtailed together (power, no)
One black wire pigtailed to black wire on t-stat (power, no)
One black wire pigtailed to red wire on t-stat (power, no).
 
  #39  
Old 09-06-08, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
But back to fixing it if you don't want to run new wire then after making pictures, labeling the wires and making a sketch I would disconnect all the wires in all the boxes including the one live one and using a continuity checker (ohms on multimeter) and a long test wire determine where each wire goes. I'd bet there will be one set of wires (or cable) in a non-functioning heater Jbox that goes to the functioning heater Jbox. That will be your problem connection.

(If you can identify individual cables you can just temporally tie black to white in each cable and check other pairs in other boxes for the one that is tied together instead of using a long wire to check for continuity.)
Pardon my lack of grasp, but if all wire in the t-stat box have power - all three cables - there should be power somewhere in the other t-stat boxes.

I would assume in the t-stat box that has power,
one cable is the source
one cable goes to the next t-stat in the circuit
one cable goes to the heater.

That would make the heater in the master bath the end of the circuit as it only had two cables in the t-stat box, presumably, one from the source and one to the heater.
 
  #40  
Old 09-06-08, 01:14 PM
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Well, from my non electrician view that wiring makes perfect sense. Each box with 3 cables has a supply, a feed to the heater and a feed going downstream. The box with 2 cables is the last on the line, so it has just a supply and a feed to the heater. You have single pole thermostats, so only one hot side is broken in normal operation.

The functional heater has to be the first on the line, and either the master bed or main bath is the next. Either you have a junction box with both black and white disconnected, theres another breaker/disconnect somewhere or the line has been cut.

Just wondering...when you said power at all 3 white wires on the functional heater, did you cut power and untwist them? I mean so each wire was completely seperate from all the others? I might be missing something, I didn't draw it out.
 
 

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