Adding an electric baseboard heater question.

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Old 12-09-09, 08:10 AM
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Adding an electric baseboard heater question.

I have just put a small addition on my home (8 x 15).

I want to install a baseboard heater and tap into the existing circuit (dedicated 15A with 12/2 wiring) that feeds a 2000W heater on the back side of the wall I want to add the new heater to. My only access is through the wall behind the existing heater.

Here is the wiring in the existing heater:

RIGHT SIDE


LEFT SIDE


I'd like to wire an identical heater (2000W) controlled by a new thermostat in the new room.

If someone could walk me through the steps - what connects where - it would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 08:42 AM
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You'll need to pull a new circuit for the heater. Neither 15A nor a 20A circuit can supply 4000W of heaters. At 240V, a 15A circuit can supply a max of 2880W and a 20A circuit can supply a max of 3850W.

The existing circuit should be left as-is and a new 15A 240V circuit installed for the new heater with either #14 or #12 cable.

Another option would be to replace all of the existing #12 cable with #10 cable and put both of the heaters on a 30A circuit.

Finally, if you could verify that all of your current wiring is #12; then you could upsize the breaker to 20A and replace one of the 2000W heaters with a 1800W or less heaters and proceed with a 20A circuit.

PS, in you pictures which wires are which? The picture is zoomed in too far to see where each wire comes from. Please add a description if you know where they go to. Which wires are power, which are thermostat and which are to the heater?
 
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Old 12-09-09, 08:57 AM
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Lovely!

Thanks for this info.

I had told the electrician that completely re-wired my house two years ago that I would be putting the addition on and would be putting in a baseboard heater.

He's the one that told me I could just tap into the heater on the back of the wall.

I just checked the wiring and confirmed it's only #12.

Looks like I've been "mis-informed".

There's lots of room in the panel for a new circuit, but I'll have to go through one concrete and two stone walls (through a crawlspace that has approx. 12" of clearance) to get from the panel to the addition.

It'll have to wait for spring!
 
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Old 12-09-09, 09:02 AM
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It looks like the branch circuit wiring is in the right side wiring compartment. Canada has a 2 conductor cable with black and red conductors just for 240 volt circuits.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 09:03 AM
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Your room is not that big. Maybe you can just install a 6' heater instead? The existing circuit would then be able to carry the two heaters at the same time. (2000+1500= 3500 watts) at 20 amps. An 8' heater sounds like overkill to me anyway.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 09:12 AM
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I agree with Tolyn that a smaller heater is probably the best solution. I also just noticed the poster is from Canada -- does CEC have the 125% branch circuit oversize for heaters.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 09:49 AM
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More info...

I have found a label in the existing heater indicating it is 1750W., not 2000W as I always thought. Sorry for the confusion.

The addition will be super-insulated (R45 in ceiling and R27 in the walls) so a smaller heater, based on the comments here should be a viable option.

I heat my house 90% with wood, so the electric baseboards are used as back-up only.

So - I can install a 1500W heater by replacing the existing 15A breaker with a 20A?

The wiring is 12/2 and goes from the panel to the heater- nothing else on this circuit.

As indicated by pcboss, the branch circuit wiring (black and red) are shown in the right side box.
 

Last edited by TomLusk; 12-09-09 at 10:26 AM. Reason: More info.
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Old 12-09-09, 03:28 PM
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A 1000 watt heater would be ample. Minimum wattage for a space that size is 750.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 03:50 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks for all the input. Looks like I'm good to go.

Now - If someone could walk me through the steps - what connects where - it would be greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 12-09-09, 05:16 PM
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Where is the existing t-stat? Do you plan on using a wall mount or unit mounted t-stat for the new unit?

Unless you can get a cable into the feed with the t-stat the new unit looks like it will be controlled by the t-stat for the unit pictured.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 05:34 AM
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More info...

The existing thermostat is in the room that houses the existing heater, but on the opposite wall.

I was hoping that I could add another 12/2 wire in the right side box, go through the wall to a new wall thermostat, then on to the new heater. Or go through the wall directly to the new heater and have it controlled by a separate thermostat, preferably on the wall, but on the heater itself, if necessary.

Is this not possible?
 
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Old 12-10-09, 06:01 AM
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If you feed the new unit from the one in the pics it will be controlled by the existing t-stat. You would need to get power from ahead of the t-stat if you wanted independant control for the new unit.
 
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Old 12-10-09, 06:48 AM
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That is so painfully obvious now that you've said it that I'm

Back to the drawing board. The room where the existing heater is is well heated by the circulating heat from the wood stove.

The new room, because it is farthest from the stove will receive the least benefit from the wood heat - that's why I wanted to have the new room heat controlled separately...
 
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