Need some troubleshooting help

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  #1  
Old 10-18-14, 05:25 PM
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Need some troubleshooting help

I could use a little help troubleshooting a baseboard heater issue in my daughter’s apt upstairs.
I have no clue where to look next to solve this.


Issue:

The display on the digital thermostats goes blank in the two rooms in the front of the apt.


2 rooms are heated on the circuit, feed by a 20 amp 240 volt line. Both rooms suffer the same issue.


Last spring her cousin, a 3rd year apprentice electrician changed her thermostats for digital control units telling her they would save her on the power bill. Shortly afterwards the front half started to go blank. He also changed the back half with the same units and they have never gone blank.

His advice was change the heaters too, "they are old and beat to hell".


Today I changed one of the heaters and the same issue repeats itself. Turn the breaker on, the display lights up for a short while and disappears.
I changed the heater at the end of the stream, which, in retrospect, I suppose I should have started upstream.

The breaker does not trip at any time.

My Klein touch non contact tester says there is current on both sides of the 240 line at the heater. I have not put a multi meter on yet pending advice here.


The new thermostat units are:

AUBE - Non-Programmable Thermostat | Réno-Dépôt

The new heater is:

Dimplex | 1500W Linear Convector - White | Home Depot Canada

The old heater is:

1970s or so version of this

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=images+ele...seboard+heater
 
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  #2  
Old 10-18-14, 05:37 PM
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Electric heaters don't wear out with age. They either work or they don't work.
They don't get more efficient or less efficient.

A non contact tester is all but useless on a 240vac circuit. Those testers were designed to warn you of hazardous voltages in the area. Yours has warned you.... and now it's time for a meter. A basic analog will suffice for testing purposes.
 
  #3  
Old 10-18-14, 06:44 PM
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Thank you PJmax,

I feel like a bad student,
6.3 volts across the red and the black.

I went to the downstream heater and took it apart, one of the two lines was barely touching.
Cleaned the copper up, new marrett in place and we are back in business.

I think he suggested we replace the heaters because the fins inside are all bent and mangled, but I may be putting words in his mouth.

(sorry for the terrible cell phone pix)
 
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Old 10-18-14, 06:49 PM
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Good job.

Ok... now bent fins in an electric heater is a different thing. It will still produce the same amount of heat and use the same amount of energy but it won't heat as fast since the metal to air contact is diminished.
 
  #5  
Old 10-18-14, 07:22 PM
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Last spring her cousin, a 3rd year apprentice electrician changed her thermostats for digital control units telling her they would save her on the power bill.
I doubt she'll see any savings, but the apartment might be more confortable with the heat being more even.
 
  #6  
Old 10-18-14, 08:38 PM
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Thanks guys, I am happy she has heat again.

The fins on the new unit must be three times the size of the old unit, I guess it can't hurt to have changed.

PJmax
Good job.
I won't skip the multi meter next time.


CasualJoe
I doubt she'll see any savings, but the apartment might be more comfortable with the heat being more even.
I think you are spot on, the apt was always too hot or too cold before and does seem to be more even in temperature.
 
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