Electric Heat for Basement

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  #1  
Old 12-09-10, 11:26 AM
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Electric Heat for Basement

I have a basement that is approx 605 square feet. The walls are insulated as well as the ceiling. I was thinking of putting in a fan forced heater as it would be easier than baseboard. Is it safe to put in a a commercial fan forced heater (6000 watts) such as this:

Electric Wall heaters, Fan-Forced Wall Heaters, Fan- Forced Electric Wall Heaters | Berko

Or a wall furnace such as this:
Berko CFWF920 - Free Shipping!

Also I just installed a 100amp subpanel. Currently the only load on this panel is:
1 circuit =outdoor post light
1 circuit = security system; radon fan; sump pump that has never turned on (never had water problem but is there to protect basement in case foot drain failed)

I know you normally want heavier loads on the main, but would adding the 30 or 50 watt DP breaker to the subpanel be unsafe?

I would move over two other loads from the main to the sub, but the cable are not long enough to reach the subpanel. i could put a junction box up in the ceiling to make them long enough, but I thought it was code that the first run off of the panel should end at a receptical and not a junction box?

Thanks for the help.
 
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  #2  
Old 12-09-10, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hammerdown22 View Post
Is it safe to put in a a commercial fan forced heater (6000 watts) such as this:
As long as it is installed to code and mfr specs it should be safe. Look for the "UL US" (Underwriters Labs, United States) seal on the product or sales literature to see that it is approved for use in the US. These models all seem to be good.

I know you normally want heavier loads on the main, but would adding the 30 or 50 watt DP breaker to the subpanel be unsafe?
This is really just a design issue to reduce the lights dimming effect when a large load kicks on. The safety is just as good as the main panel as long as the breakers and conductors are all the correct sizes. Large loads also eat up subpanel capacity more than main panel capacity so your sub becomes less flexible in the future, but that shouldn't be an issue with a 100A sub.

I thought it was code that the first run off of the panel should end at a receptical and not a junction box?
Any j-box in the circuit is okay as long as it is accessible.
 
  #3  
Old 12-09-10, 01:41 PM
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I am not worried about taking up all the spaces on the sub, as the main reason I added the panel was for the heat and the main was all used up. I used #2 wire (Not 2/0) for the hots and neutral and #6 for the ground so it should be good to go.

During the winter months I always flip the breakers in the main to off that control the central AC system, one is a DP 40 and another is a DP 15. During the summer the lights never dim when these kick on. Do you think that a 50 amp DP in the subpanel would cause dimming when the heat kicks on, there are no lighting circuits in the sub, and the other two loads in there are very light.

I would rather leave the main panel loads were they are instead of adding two jboxes up in the ceiling if that is ok but if you think that lights might start dimming then I would move them over.
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-10, 02:05 PM
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It sounds like the electric heater should be no problem on this subpanel.
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-10, 02:15 PM
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You might be better off cost wise installing 2 - 3000 watt heaters rather then 1 large heater. Might also give you a more even heat as well.

Maybe two of these?: Cadet Com-Pak Plus 16-1/4 in. x 12 in. 3,000-Watt Fan-Forced Wall Heater - CTC302TW at The Home Depot
 
  #6  
Old 12-09-10, 02:26 PM
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I found a link to the instructions for this heater. Take a look at the link. One of the listing is C UL US and another is C ETL Listed US. I think it should be safe.

http://www.shophmac.com/product-cata...wf-catalog.pdf

The specs say the heater is 240 volts 9200 watts so I planned on using a 50amp breaker (40 amps plus 20% since it is a heating device) with 6/3 romex. The directions for the heater said to run conduit into the knockout. Is it ok to run romex in conduit?

I also noticed the directions ( http://www.marleymep.com/en/multimed...0-2484-004.pdf )said:
Electric Power Supply
Your Counterflow Wall Furnace requires a 240-volt, 60
cycle, 40-ampere circuit from a separate circuit breaker or
fuse in your service panel. Do not run supply wires inside
the furnace cabinet, except from the top of the cabinet
down to the junction box.

Isnt this incorrect and I should use a 50 amp? Would using a 50amp damage the heater? What does 60 cycle mean?

Thanks again
 
  #7  
Old 12-09-10, 02:35 PM
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Tolyn,

I thought about that route also and would be more around the wattage I need. I have a question on those: They are both 3000 a piece so 6000 in total. Would I be better off running each one on a seperate circuit or both on one? If i ran them on one pig tails at one and then on to the other? If I were to run them off of one I would need a 30 amp breaker, is it ok to run 30 amps to one of these or would that be too much for it? (Just like running 30 amps to a 15 amp recepticle?) Or am I getting mixed up here on amps?

Also do you think that one might run more than the other as they have those built in thermos. You can get a line wattage thermostat from cadet to run them both off of but the thermos only go up to 25 amps so I think running 30 to it would burn it up. Is that correct?

Thanks
 
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Old 12-09-10, 02:58 PM
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I would run them each on their own circuit. The wire would be easier to run and likely cost less then running the #6 feeder for the one you posted. 3000 watts/240v=12.5 amps so 2 - 20 amp circuits would have you covered. Also, if you want you could bump them up to 4000 watt heaters for only $13 more each. Cadet Com-Pak Twin, In-Wall Fan Forced Electric Heater, 4000 Watt, 240 Volt, White - CTC402TW at The Home Depot You may find that one may run more then the other but this will actually save you money because you are only using 1/2 the wattage. It appears they do have thermostats on the units, which I have always have had good luck with, but if you want to could install a wall stat. You would need a stat for each heater.
 
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Old 12-09-10, 03:36 PM
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Thanks Tolyn,

I think that I will go with the two 4000 watt heaters each on their own circuit. Is 20 amps each still enough for this? 4000/240=16.67 plus 20% gives 20.04. (Am i correct that heating circuits have be bumped by 20%?)

Also 12/2 romex good enough or should I bump it to 10/2?
 
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Old 12-09-10, 05:34 PM
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It is actually 125% of a continuous load (which heaters are) so the amps would be 16.67 x 1.25 = 20.84. Bumping up to #10/2 is in order.

Unless there is something I am forgetting? Anyone?
 
  #11  
Old 12-09-10, 05:50 PM
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Tolyn you nail it .,

Hammerdown.,

Just use the 6.0mm˛ { #10 AWG } conductors simuair to 10-2 NM that will handle pretty well and keep both heaters on it own circuits.

Just install the heaters at the oppiste end so that way you will have even heat distubation.

Merci.
Marc
 
  #12  
Old 12-10-10, 11:48 AM
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Since the amps is 20.84 is it still ok to use 20 amp DP breakers or do I need to go up to the next size?

Thanks for all the help with this.
 
  #13  
Old 12-10-10, 11:58 AM
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Go with 30 amp DP breakers. You could use 25 amp but since #10 is good for 30 amps you might as well. There will be almost no cost difference and 25's might be a little more due to limited use.

Just an FYI - Your amps is really 16.67 but the issue is you must size the circuit and over-current device to handle 125% of the continuous load which is where you get the 20.84 amps.
 
  #14  
Old 12-10-10, 09:10 PM
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Since the heaters are only 16.67 amps will 30 amps running to them damage them? Wont the wires in the heater only be good to handle the 16 amps they are made for? Kind of like running a 30 amp current through a 20 amp thermostat would burn it up?
 
  #15  
Old 12-10-10, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by hammerdown22 View Post
Since the heaters are only 16.67 amps will 30 amps running to them damage them?
No. They will only draw the current they were designed to draw. Think of it this way a 100 watt light bulb uses less then 1 amp but is used on a 15a or 20a circuit. The breaker simply determines max amps available not what will be used.
Wont the wires in the heater only be good to handle the 16 amps they are made for?
Unless there is a component failure such as a short the heater only draws the amps it is designed to draw.

The purpose of breakers is to protect house wiring not the device. The amps drawn by a device is determined by the device's designed resistance/impedance.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 12-10-10 at 10:02 PM.
  #16  
Old 12-11-10, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by hammerdown22 View Post
Kind of like running a 30 amp current through a 20 amp thermostat would burn it up?
You size the stat to the load it will be carrying. A thermostat is a little different because it is basically a switch designed to carry the current through it. It has no resistance of its own. So if you have one heater drawing 20 amps or less through the stat your fine. If you have heaters drawing more than 20 amps through it you will burn up the stat as the components are not built to carry that much current.
 
  #17  
Old 12-14-10, 07:34 PM
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Is it OK if I use 10/2 NMB like this SIMpull 50 ft. 10/2 NM-B Wire - 28829022 at The Home Depot and just run it with cable staples like any 120 recepticle circuit (no conduit).

Thanks
 
  #18  
Old 12-14-10, 07:39 PM
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Correct. Make sure you use a connector at the panel and the heater can.
 
  #19  
Old 12-15-10, 03:41 PM
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I usually use 10/3g and cap the neutral. it is good if someone removes the heater and wants a receptical, or if a new one needs a neutral.
 
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