Considering Baseboard Heat In Mobile Home

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Old 10-14-14, 03:56 PM
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Considering Baseboard Heat In Mobile Home

I live in a cold climate and I am considering installing electric baseboard heat in a mobile home to replace the existing electric forced air furnace. I think that the baseboard heaters would do a better job of heating the home evenly. There's one thing that concerns me though. The furnace ducts run in the insulated cavity under the floor. This is also where some water and drain pipes are located. The heat from the ducts helps keep the pipes warm in winter. With baseboard heat I would have to depend on enough heat going through the floor from inside my home to keep the pipes from freezing. I am looking for answers from anyone who has converted a mobile home to baseboard heat or has experience with this. Did you have a problem with your pipes freezing? Would enough heat go down through the floor or would there be a problem keeping water pipes from freezing?
 
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Old 10-14-14, 05:00 PM
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Would enough heat go down through the floor or would there be a problem keeping water pipes from freezing?
No way would you get enough heat from the baseboard..IMO the pipes will freeze...

How well is the skirt of the home insulated?

If electric is all you got I would stick with the forced hot air...
 
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Old 10-14-14, 07:20 PM
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Uneven heating is caused by unbalanced ductwork.

Try adjusting the dampers and setting the fan to ON to even out temperatures.

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If you're in a milder part of canada, adding a heatpump to the system might be worth while. (especially on the west coast)
 
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Old 10-15-14, 09:59 AM
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I would suspect the pipes have heat tape on them or some sort of protection.
 
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Old 10-15-14, 06:21 PM
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Thanks for the responses everyone.

The skirting has never been insulated. The sewer pipes in the crawlspace are insulated and the water pipes in the crawlspace have heat tapes and insulation so, they have never frozen. I'm concerned about the pipes in the floor cavity of the home. The floor does have R-20 Fibreglass insulation and the pipes are above the insulation where the furnace ducts are located. So, I don't know if they would freeze or not without the warmth of the ducts.

I was having some issues with the electric furnace. It broke down a couple of times last winter. I ordered some parts and was able to "limp" my furnace through the winter. I thought it might be an idea to install electric baseboards instead. I could order repair parts for my furnace and rebuild it. I'm on a very tight budget and don't really want to buy a whole new furnace if I can avoid it. $$$
 
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Old 10-15-14, 06:34 PM
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cheaper to replace the furnace...

Did you add the cost to run power lines to the electric baseboards and the cost of baseboards?

120v or 240v BB??? Is your panel big enough???
 
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Old 10-15-14, 06:57 PM
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I could run a subpanel from the 125 Amp breaker that feeds power to the furnace. Furnace is 240 Volts and the baseboards would be 240 Volts too. I was already to go ahead but, then I thought about the water pipes. So, now I'm not sure. I have to make a decision soon though, winter is just a few weeks away.
 
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Old 10-16-14, 03:26 AM
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Baseboard heat will not work in a MH in a cold climate.
Water pipes and drains will most definitely freeze in your sub-zero temperatures and the floors will be cold.
Electric supplemental heat in a mobile would be fine in the bathroom or an addition but you do not want to install any heat source that will reduce the run time of the forced air furnace.

Considering that you would have to install a baseboard heater with a thermostat in every room and wire them, replacing a handful of components in your furnace would be by far cheaper and quicker.

We could offer more advice on repairing your furnace if you provide it's make and model and post a clear picture of the electrical compartment.
 
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Old 11-03-14, 11:22 PM
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Thanks again everyone.

Here's the schematic diagram for my furnace. I colored the lines to hopefully make it a bit easier to follow. My furnace is an Intertherm model #FEH-020-HA-C. Name:  Schematic - Electric Furnace - Intertherm - FEH - 020 - HA - C.jpg
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Size:  50.9 KB My furnace does not have the Relay Assy shown in the upper left. The blower motor just plugs into the 12 pin connector.

I have the single speed blower motor shown in the top upper left. I haven't found a replacement single speed motor for sale anywhere, but I am finding a lot of multi speed blower motors listed for these furnaces. The single speed motor in my furnace uses terminal #2 and #6 in the 12 pin connector (as shown). The multi-speed motor has the yellow wire connected to terminal #2 but, the yellow wire is for Medium-Low speed. So, by the looks of things, if I were to just plug in the multi speed motor, it would only be running at Medium-Low speed. Do the Multi-Speed motors run a lot faster than the Single-Speed motors? Would "Med-Lo" on the multi-speed motor be the same rpm that the single speed motor normally runs at? I don't want to reduce the amount of air going over the heating elements.

The orange wire from the motor is connected to terminal #6 and is shown as "COM". Does "COM" mean common? If so, could I substitute one of the other colored wires for the yellow wire? In other words, if I wanted Medium-High speed, would I connect the blue wire from the motor to the # 2 terminal of the connector instead?. Could I connect the black wire to the #2 terminal to get High speed, all while leaving the orange wire connected to terminal #6?
 
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Old 11-05-14, 06:42 PM
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I'm sure single speed motors are available. The only problem may be if the mounting bracket is welded to the motor. If it is, you can get "belly band" mounting brackets. The motor should be labeled with the voltage, speed, horsepower, & frame size. With that information along with the shaft size & rotational direction, you should be able to find a motor.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 01:49 PM
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Thanks Grady

Okay, I checked the label on the motor. This motor is still in my furnace and is still running. I thought that there may be some issues with it, mainly because of it's age and the fact that it has sealed bearings. Sometimes it seemed a little slow when first starting, although lately it seems fine.

The label on the motor says 240 Volts, 2.7Amps. This motor does not use a capacitor.

I put a clamp-on amp meter on the wires to the motor and got a reading of 3.8 Amps when the motor is running. This difference could just be the accuracy of the meter, I suppose.
I get a reading of 4.9 Amps as the motor is starting up. Is that a normal reading? I expected the motor to draw more current than that on start up.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 02:07 PM
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The running amperage does sound high. If you removed the motor & fan and are just bench testing, the amperage could very well be high. It's best to check amperage under "real world" (installed) conditions.

I too would expect a higher starting amp draw but if you are using a digital meter, they often don't respond rapidly enough to actually catch the peak draw.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 02:16 PM
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I checked the running amperage and start up amperage with the motor in the furnace, connected to the sequencer. Heating coils were on too.

Yes, a digital meter.
 
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Old 11-26-14, 07:33 PM
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Try checking the motor with the heating coils off. Also check voltage. Low voltage will cause a motor to draw more amperage.
 
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