How to Find Wattage on Baseboard Heaters

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Old 08-31-20, 12:03 AM
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How to Find Wattage on Baseboard Heaters

I bought a new condo on the 9th floor of a 20 years old 25 floors building and currently have contractors painting the walls, new wood floors etc. I will also replace the 7 existing baseboard electric heaters (210-220 VAC) but these heaters have been painted over including the tag which states the heaters specs.

I placed an order for new heaters based on their length but the new heater will all be sorter by 2-3 inches (the lengths I want are not available any more). Is there a way to find out the wattage of the existing heaters so I don’t overload the circuit?

Perhaps based on the length of the element? (these heaters are std North American heaters).

Thank you
 
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Old 08-31-20, 03:23 AM
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Are we to assume that an electrician will be installing the new heaters that you are purchasing?
If so the electrician should be able to ascertain what wattage/amp capacity the present circuits/conductors and breakers can handle.

What I mean by this is it is hard for us to know for sure what the wattage ratings are of the heaters just by the length. We could guess at it but it all boils down to the present set up you have of the present conductors feeding the old heaters and the breakers protecting the conductors. If the installation will not involve replacing any of that then the new heaters can not exceed those ratings.

If new circuits will be run then the new circuits should be installed according to the new heaters ratings.

I realize this is not the answer you want to hear but that is about the best I can give you. Again, it all boils down to what you presently have in the way of conductors already and the breakers for those conductors.
 
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Old 08-31-20, 06:00 AM
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You could remove them and measure their resistance then calculate the watts.
 
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Old 08-31-20, 06:05 AM
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Length doesn't tell you the power of a electric baseboard heater. Older heaters had almost twice the wattage for their size but they got hot enough to melt plastics and possible cause a fire if there was not enough airflow. The modern electric baseboards I've run into are about half the wattage of older models for their size but don't get as hot so they are safer for Barbie dolls and curtains that may touch the heater.
 
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Old 08-31-20, 09:55 AM
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Pilot Dane I understand and I will make sure my “Barbie dolls” will be safe with my new heaters. I was planning to install the new heaters myself but to avoid any doubts most likely I will get an electrician to do the job to be on the safe side.

I know it’s hard to know the wattage of a heater but I thought there may be an easy way to establish that and and that was the purpose of my post.

My thanks to all
 
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Old 08-31-20, 10:00 AM
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What is the amperage of the circuit the heaters are on?
 
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Old 08-31-20, 12:19 PM
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I only had a brief look at the panel before purchasing and it’s a mess, writings on top of writings and basically nothing is clear. Being a 2 bedroom condo the panel is small and perhaps there are about 12-14 breakers on it.

When the painters are gone I plan to identify properly each breaker but at the moment I have no idea which breaker(s) are for the heaters.

The heaters are presently removed from the walls for the painters to do their job but the wires are not disconnected.
 
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Old 08-31-20, 01:19 PM
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If the heaters are 240 volts they will be double pole breakers.
Common double pole breakers in a panel will be
40 amp - stove
30 amp water heater and dryer.
Anything else is probably the heaters.

What double pole breakers do you have in the panel?
 
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Old 08-31-20, 02:44 PM
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I’m not at the condo right now but I remember a few double pole breakers at the panel but not how many. Your estimation about the stove, water neater and dryer is correct and I would say there should be 2 or 3 more doubles for the heaters.

I received the order for my heaters and I will go tomorrow to pick them up.

1x1000W, 2x500W, 1x1250W, 1x750W, 1x2000W
 
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Old 08-31-20, 05:37 PM
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250 watts per foot was a common size. For example a 6 foot heater would be 1500 watts.
 
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Old 08-31-20, 07:35 PM
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That’s very good to know, thanks pcboss.

I was able to get an electrician I know to come tomorrow at noon to install the heaters. I will also ask him to give me the number of the breakers controlling which heaters
 
 

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