How to wire baseboard heaters to fuse box?

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Old 11-29-13, 10:33 AM
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How to wire baseboard heaters to fuse box?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone,

It's starting to get cold in the new house and we want to connect our baseboard heaters again. We reached out to the previous owner to see if he knew how to do it but he told us he had paid an electrician to come unplug them during the summer. He said it was $40 so I assume it's just going to be simple plug and play for us to have it working again.

Here are the pictures of the fuse box, the 2 pairs of wires on the left correspond to the 2 heaters we have in the bathrooms but we aren't sure how to properly attach them.

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11 and 12 are labeled "Heat + Bathroom" but I'm not sure if we can put multiple wires together.

The model number for the baseboard heaters is F25426NWC and corresponds to
Fahrenheat 32 in. 500-Watt Baseboard Heater-F25426 at The Home Depot

Full resolution pictures can be found here: Baseboard - Imgur Just click the settings on top right and view full resolution if needed.

Thanks!
 
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Old 11-29-13, 11:26 AM
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You do not have a fuse box and heaters are not normally unplugged in the summer. They normally don't have plugs. This doesn't make sense. Did the previous owner say why? I am not seeing any disconnected wires in the breaker box in your picture. Have you checked the connections at the thermostats?
 
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Old 11-29-13, 11:32 AM
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The link for your heaters says that they draw 240V. The breaker in position #11 appears to be a single-pole 120V 15A breaker. The breaker in position #12 appears to be a twinned pair of half-height 120V 15A breakers.

There does not appear to be a compliant way of supplying your two heaters with 240V of power and protection with this arrangement. You would need to replace those two breakers with a four-terminal set of 240V "saddle" breakers.

What company made your panel and what is the model number?
 
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Old 11-29-13, 11:56 AM
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I suspect that the baseboards were unwired from the breaker to allow another load to be powered since there does not appear to be any open breaker spaces. I just don't see the unused wires.
 
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Old 11-29-13, 01:47 PM
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Do you have any window air conditioners?
 
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Old 11-29-13, 02:40 PM
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@ray2047/pcboss
The disconnected wires are on the bottom left of the picture wrapped in black electrical tape and a plug, they were a mess before but I traced them and hooked them up to a and tested it to see if they were for the heaters (and they were).

I retook a picture with the wires more visible:
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@ray2047
We have window air conditioners but they're just plugged into a wall outlet.

@Nashkat1
I saw that and I was a little confused, the writing of "Baseboard heater" in positions 11 and 12 have been crossed out as well. Could it be their electrician replaced them with lower amperage ones when they had them "unplugged"?

The box itself doesn't have any markings or labels but the door panel says "Murray Type F Panel Board 100A Main Breaker" Catalog # LC120DC.


Thanks
 
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Old 11-29-13, 03:35 PM
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Seems to confirm the breaker has been repurposed.
 
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Old 11-29-13, 05:04 PM
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The disconnected wires are on the bottom left of the picture wrapped in black electrical tape and a plug,
and a plug?

Could it be their electrician replaced them with lower amperage ones when they had them "unplugged"?
The ampacity isn't the problem. At 240V, your two 500W heaters are only drawing a bit more than 2 amps each. The problem is that you have three single-pole breakers in positions 11 and 12. You need two 2-pole 240V breakers. To do that in two full-height spaces, you need
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
a four-terminal set of 240V "saddle" breakers.
Not every company makes those. Murray isn't the easiest brand to search for since it's become a division of Siemens. I know that Siemens makes double 2-pole breakers for their own panels, but that doesn't mean that they make them for their Murray line. I couldn't find out in a couple of minutes of searching.

Correct that! I found a "Quadplex" double 15A 2-pole breaker in the Murray section of the Siemens catalog. It's part number MP215215CT2. (Gotta love the Siemens take on part numbering. What that number translates to is "Multi-pole, 2 15A, 2 15A, Common Trip 2 (both)") That's exactly what you need. You can call your local Siemens distributor and find out if it will work in your panel, or call Siemens and ask them. You can also check in your panel:

The box itself doesn't have any markings or labels but the door panel says "Murray Type F Panel Board 100A Main Breaker" Catalog # LC120DC.
What's listed there for replacement breaker types?

One more question: If the wires for the heaters are disconnected, what are the wires connected to the breakers in positions 11 and 12 feeding?
 
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Old 11-29-13, 08:22 PM
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@Nashkat1

By "plug" I just mean the little cap on the end of the wire, I'm not sure what it's actually called haha.

Ah, I just looked at the layout sheet again..I don't know how I missed it the first time but they have been repurposed. Whoever did it had crossed out what was written before and rewrote: 11 is for Kitchen lights, 12A is for bathlights and 12B is for Living Room Plugs (12 is split into 2)

I can get the MP215215CT2, will it work with the heaters in addition to the currently assigned loads?

There are a lot listed on the sticker for breaker requirements, I attached a picture of it:
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Old 11-29-13, 08:42 PM
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By "plug" I just mean the little cap on the end of the wire, I'm not sure what it's actually called haha.
And made your post very confusing. Wire nut mostly south of the Canadian boarder. Mostly Marrette north of the Canadian boarder. Some places B-caps. The non trade marked name almost never used is twist on connectors.

I can get the MP215215CT2, will it work with the heaters in addition to the currently assigned loads?
Heater load is negligible. The problem is the box seems to be full and there is no place to put it.
 
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Old 11-29-13, 08:47 PM
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@Nashkat1
Thanks, but this is an open forum. Anyone can read and reply to any post. That way we don't drop discussions as often as we otherwise might.

By "plug" I just mean the little cap on the end of the wire,
A wire nut? A plug is the fitting on the end of an appliance cord that has blades that are inserted into a receptacle to connect that appliance to the electrical system.

I just looked at the layout sheet again..I don't know how I missed it the first time but they have been repurposed. Whoever did it had crossed out what was written before and rewrote: 11 is for Kitchen lights, 12A is for bathlights and 12B is for Living Room Plugs (12 is split into 2)
OK

I can get the MP215215CT2, will it work with the heaters in addition to the currently assigned loads?
Can you connect the wires that are presently connected to the breakers in those positions to the new MP breaker? No, not unless you want to use 240V to fry the 120V loads that are now on those circuits.

There are a lot listed on the sticker for breaker requirements, I attached a picture of it:
You can look for whether MP breakers are allowed more easily than we can.

But that line of inquiry is moot anyway, unless and until you can free up two vertically adjacent full-height breaker spaces to install the MP breaker. That's why I asked you what the wires terminated to breakers 11, 12a and 12b are feeding.

You may be able to find some space by installing more half-height 120V breakers for some of your existing loads. Or another MP breaker or two for some of your existing 240V loads.

Why do you want to get these two small, inefficient heaters running anyway? What is your primary heating system? Isn't it capable of keeping your house warm?
 
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Old 11-30-13, 07:59 AM
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You may be able to find some space by installing more half-height 120V breakers for some of your existing loads.
The only other spaces that will accept tandem breakers is spaces 11 & 23.

I don't know how I missed it the first time but they have been repurposed. Whoever did it had crossed out what was written before and rewrote: 11 is for Kitchen lights, 12A is for bathlights and 12B is for Living Room Plugs (12 is split into 2)
I saw that. It appears the baseboard neaters were also connected to a 30 amp 2 pole breaker.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 09:53 AM
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Nash asked:
Why do you want to get these two small, inefficient heaters running anyway?
I was wondering the same thing. 500 watts is only 1700 BTUs. Bare minimum from what the Web says is 30 to 35 BTUs per square feet in a warm climate but Massachusetts is cold so 50-60 BTUs. Therefore a 10 foot by 10 foot room needs at least 5000 BTUs where you are.

Yet from the linked description:
500-Watt Baseboard Heater is ideal for warming your bedroom, bathroom, living room or den.
Seriously doubt only one or two would do much good except raise your electric bill.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 05:30 PM
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I was assuming these heaters were only for supplemental heat and not to heat the entire bathrooms.
 
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Old 11-30-13, 10:32 PM
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Ah, okay. Thanks everybody!

We have heating throughout the house but there are no vents in the bathrooms.

We've never used the heaters before, I have no idea how warm they will be or if they are sufficient to heat. We currently just use a little space heater for the bathroom.

It seems like the option is to replace some of the current breakers with half breakers at positions 11 & 23 and then get 2 additional ones for the heaters?
 
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Old 12-01-13, 08:11 AM
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It seems like the option is to replace some of the current breakers with half breakers at positions 11 & 23 and then get 2 additional ones for the heaters?
You can replace the breakers at 11 & 23 with tandem breakers, but that will not give you a 240 volt circuit for the heaters. Tandem breakers will provide you two additional 1 pole circuits. May be time to install a subpanel.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 08:51 AM
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Or have heating vents extended to the bathrooms.
 
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Old 12-01-13, 01:07 PM
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Thanks for the help everyone, we initially thought it was just going to be a plug and play thing as that's the tone we got from the original owners but it's a little more complicated.

We will look into subpanels and probably have someone come do it as we want to hook up power in our shed as well.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 12-02-13, 07:47 AM
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It seems like the option is to replace some of the current breakers with half breakers at positions 11 & 23 and then get 2 additional ones for the heaters?
Because each row in your panel is on the opposite leg of your 120/240V service, a tandem breaker in any regular breaker space gives you two single-phase 120V circuits on the same leg -- not a 240V circuit.

The only way you can make this work without a new panel or subpanel is to move one of your existing tandem breakers from 12 to 23 (or 24 to 11) and remove the two SP breakers in 11 and 23. You would then need to combine those loads with a couple of existing feeds. That would give you the two vertically adjacent spaces required to install the double 15A 240V breaker I linked to earlier.

A lot of work for not a lot of gain, it would seem.
 
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Old 12-02-13, 01:04 PM
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We have heating throughout the house but there are no vents in the bathrooms.
I find that strange if the bathroom(s) are orginal.
I've seen people cover up the heat supply when a vanity cabinet had been installed when a remodel was done.
 
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