Rewiring Baseboard Heaters

In the living room of my '70 vintage (prefab?) house, I have two 1500W electric
baseboard heaters side-by-side along the outside wall. The heaters are
powered by a 240V line at one end coming into a transformer/relay
controlled by a low voltage wall thermostat. The nimrod that installed
these heaters, simply connected them in series, effectively turning two
1500W heaters into a single 750W heater. (Ah, duhhhh.) Anyway, I'm trying
to rewire these so that I get the intended 3000W out of them. The
transformer/relay is rated at 25A resistive load (i.e., 6000W) so it
should handle it OK. I've bought a length of heatex 12/2 cable (from Home
Despot) and intend to take the output from the transformer/relay and
branch it to each heater separately. The simplest way to run the line to
the second heater is in the channel along the bottom of the first heater,
between the sheet metal of the heater and the carpeted floor. Is there
anything really stupid about doing this? Is the heatex cable capable of
withstanding the heat safely? I'm guessing that since the carpet hasn't
caught fire, the cable should be okay. This location will be completely
inaccessable without removing the heater from the wall so I'm assuming
that meets code (but what do I know). The alternative of running the cable
back out through the wall,
through the footplate, into the basement, back up through the footplate,
back out through the wall, is doable, but obviously turns this into a much
bigger project (i.e., PITA)--which I'd just as soon avoid. On the other
hand, I would rather not burn my house down, either. TIA for any
Reply to
Dennis M. Straussfogel
The baseboard heater chould have a built-in channel for doing exactly what you describe. Sometimes it's in the rear bottom and sometimes in the rear top. It's accessable by removing each side plate of the BB heater.
Reply to
HA HA Budys Here
In article ,
Right, the "return" line from the far end of the heating element runs through a channel at the top rear, but that line looks like it has a mesh heat shield jacket on it. Is the insulation on the heatex 12/2 cable more than robust enough for that location? (I'm probably overestimating how hot that area gets.) Thanks again.
Reply to
Dennis M. Straussfogel
Yes you probably are, however, look to see if there's another channel on the bottom. I've seen about 4 brands of electric BB (It's not popular here, KWH rate is .14 and used to be .16) and all have a channel on the bottom. That's where you run the heater wires.
Reply to
HA HA Budys Here
Denny: Your original wirer apparently didn't understand series and parallel wiring? We have the same situation; two 1500 watt heaters abut. I wired the second heater 'through" the first one using the same route as the wire that went to the far end of the first heater. Some years later there was a 'bang'. A circuit breaker tripped IIRC, but couldn't find any problem. Some years later again, I moved both heaters sideways in order to make space for an item of furniture. At that time I found one of the wires to the second heater had burnt off; inside the first heater; one could see the burn mark on the metal and in fact the second heater wasn't working at all and we hadn't noticed! (maybe we didn't really need it?) Otherwise the wire wasn't heat damaged, so maybe I had nipped it while installing it originally. Any way I rewired using a high temperature wire even though the wire was in a routing that as far as I could see was not at high temperature. Each of our heaters have the usual 'over-heat' switches in series with their heating elements and are controlled by a wall mounted line voltage (230v AC thermostat). I think you're OK wiring 'through'. Hope this helps. Good luck
Reply to
Do you really need 3000w? If not, take the second heater out of the circuit and increase your 750w to 1500w. It is the simplest way. I have a similar setup, but all the wiring is below the floor.
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