How to Install a Baseboard Heater

  • 01 of 05

    Adding A Baseboard Heater

    Baseboard heater
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    Baseboard heaters are a nice addition to an area of your home that is drafty or colder than the rest of the house. Before purchasing a baseboard heater, plan the size based on the square footage of the room to be heated. Allow approximately 10 watts per square foot. With the proper size heater, baseboard heaters can be quite cost-efficient.

    Baseboard heaters come in two varieties, 120-volt and 240-volt models. Of course, the 240-volt model is more efficient than the 120-volt model. The main...MORE purpose of baseboard heaters is to supply supplemental heat.

    Both mount the same way on the lower portion of an outside wall. These heaters can be placed under windows if the manufacturer's recommendations allow for placement near curtains and furniture. Theses heaters should not be placed below outlets where cords will drape over the baseboard heater.

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  • 02 of 05

    Wiring a Baseboard Heater - The Breaker Connection

    Wiring baseboard heaters is as simple as adding a 20-amp circuit. Simply pull a 12-2 non-metallic sheathed wire from the electrical panel to the area of the wall you want to place the baseboard heater. Since baseboard heaters have a built-in junction box, you won't have to cut in a junction box to feed it.

    In the case of a 240-volt baseboard heater, you'll need to connect the two insulated wires to a two-pole 20-amp breaker. Place a piece of black or red tape around the white wire before...MORE connecting it to the breaker. This will signify that it is a hot wire rather than a neutral wire. Of course, connect the bare copper ground wire to the ground buss.

    In the case of a 120-volt baseboard heater, you'll connect the black wire to a 20-amp breaker. Next, connect the white wire to the neutral buss and the ground wire to the ground buss.

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  • 03 of 05

    Wiring the Baseboard Thermostat Connection

    When connecting to a baseboard heater, you have a couple of options when it comes to the thermostat connection. Some prefer to add the thermostat in a junction box part way up the wall away from the heater. Others prefer the thermostat be placed on the baseboard heater itself. Either way, you'll need to connect the thermostat based on the whether it is a 120-volt or 240-volt connection. The thermostat simply acts like a switch, turning the circuit on and off. In the case of a 240-volt...MORE connection, the two hot leads from the breaker connect to the top two wires of the thermostat. The bottom two wire connect to the heater itself. Then connect the bare ground wire to the ground screw provided. It should be green in color.
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  • 04 of 05

    Mounting Baseboard Heaters

    When mounting baseboard heaters, first you'll need to locate the studs in the wall that you'll be mounting the heater to. hold the heater up on the wall and level it. Drill small pilot holes through the mounting bracket on the heater if the holes provided don't line up with the studs on the wall. Using a battery screw gun or screwdriver, screw in drywall screw to hold the heater in place. Tighten the screws snugly and then back them off just slightly to allow for expansion and contraction.
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  • 05 of 05

    Turn On the Power and Test a Baseboard Heater

    After installing baseboard heaters, you'll need to turn on the power before you can test the baseboard heater for functionality. Simply turn on the circuit breaker and turn the baseboard heater thermostat up to get the baseboard heating. Depending on the size of the heater, you should feel heat within a few minutes if it connected correctly. You can use a non-contact electric tester to see if there is voltage running through the thermostat wiring.