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Walden Ponderer

Electrical Wiring for Baseboard Heaters

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So, I'm installing a couple of baseboard heaters, and I am 100% convinced I'm going to want to have an electrician handle both ends of the install (the breaker box, and the actual heater connection), but the wiring in the middle? Yeah, I'm not gonna pay a trained professional his full price for crawling around under my house running wire, when a half-trained monkey (like, say, me) could do that for free.

Only catch is, I know the heaters I'm installing, and the install guide tells me what size breaker to install (I'm assuming it's a separate breaker for each heater, right?) -- "no more than 30 amperes". Okay, that seems pretty straightforward.

240 volt connection, a 2500 watt heater, a 30 amp breaker. All good, and all in the installation guide.

But what kind of wire am I supposed to be running? I don't want to go through all the dust and spiders only to have to rip it all out again and do it all over when the electrician arrives.

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30 amp... #10. So either 10-2 or 10-3 depending on if you need a neutral or not. I would say just run 10-3 just in case.

Should be an easy install 

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1 minute ago, Laxtonto said:

30 amp... #10. So either 10-2 or 10-3 depending on if you need a neutral or not. I would say just run 10-3 just in case.

Should be an easy install 

agree.

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4 minutes ago, Laxtonto said:

30 amp... #10. So either 10-2 or 10-3 depending on if you need a neutral or not. I would say just run 10-3 just in case.

Should be an easy install 

Thanks! Of course, "easy" would be if I could just staple the wire to the floorboard instead of sliding all the way under the crawl space, but hey, at least it's winter, so the snakes should be asleep.

Any idea how much an electrician is going to cost me just to confirm that it's all good?

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5 minutes ago, Jkwellborn said:

You can do it.

Yeah I have no idea on costs because these types of projects I can do on my own or just pay a bud in bbq and beer. Then again years ago I was a licensed electrician  and grew up with this shit, so I’m past the fear of fucking something up.

Truth be told there are probably videos on YouTube walking you through both the hooking up the heater and breaker install and wiring.

Just remember black electrical type is your friend and use it to insulate the end of the 10-3 when dropping it into your panel.

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Yeah I have no idea on costs because these types of projects I can do on my own or just pay a bud in bbq and beer. Then again years ago I was a licensed electrician  and grew up with this shit, so I’m past the fear of fucking something up.
Truth be told there are probably videos on YouTube walking you through both the hooking up the heater and breaker install and wiring.
Just remember black electrical type is your friend and use it to insulate the end of the 10-3 when dropping it into your panel.

That last part is 100% true. Op, if the wire is ran, it shouldn’t take long to hook it up.

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Well, shit. One line is done, so that's good, but the crawl space, it turns out, doesn't go under the whole house, just the kitchen.

I could take out part of the floor, I suppose, or run it through the wall and take out part of the ceiling... or maybe conduit piping along the floor/door/ceiling trim? I'd have to talk the wife into the aesthetics of doing it that way, but it would probably be cheaper and easier than tearing up the floor.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Appropriate curse words I can use?

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Do you have an attic, if so run it overhead in the attic and drop it down inside the wall and come out behind where the baseboard heater is. 
 

If no attic, I would look into getting a 2nd under floor access if it is pier and beam. More than likely if it is old enough you are doing this type of additions you will eventually need to do some plumbing repair anyways.

If it is slab and no attic then you either can do exposed emt (probably 3/4 for 5 #10 ) or use some of the wiremold products. 

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So, I ended up using the funky metal conduit 10/3, and it actually kinda adds to the aesthetic of the place, so that was all well and good.

I also decided to do the install myself, not just the wiring. I ended up kinda confused, though, when I opened the heater and read through the instructions -- Google let me know that red = "primary hot", black = "secondary hot", white = "neutral" and green = "ground". The heater, though, says "attach L1 here, and attach L2 there." Doesn't say anything about the neutral. The ground, even though it didn't mention, was pretty obvious from the diagram -- there was a pretty obvious grounding screw to attach it to.

But is it okay to just cap the neutral line? And I'm guessing I don't attach it on the breaker end, either? Seems silly to have four wires, and only use three of them, but that seems to be what the instructions say.

Thoughts? (And don't say, "Make sure your fire extinguisher works." I already figured that part out.)

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Does it wire like a plug or light? If so, it might be L1 is black and L2 is white. Ground goes to the green screw.

 

I’m not a licensed electrician and I can’t see the directions. Just guessing off of what you would do normally. When the house burns down, tell everyone there was a spider in it that you were trying to kill.

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9 hours ago, Jkwellborn said:

Does it wire like a plug or light? If so, it might be L1 is black and L2 is white. Ground goes to the green screw.

 

I’m not a licensed electrician and I can’t see the directions. Just guessing off of what you would do normally. When the house burns down, tell everyone there was a spider in it that you were trying to kill.

if it's 220/240 V, there are two hots.   

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if it's 220/240 V, there are two hots.   

Went back and read the op again. It’s 220/221. Disregard my last post.

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Yeah, should be OK as long as you are not foolish enough to be installing in a bathroom.

GFCI ain't just a crime scene police drama on tv...

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21 hours ago, Gil Bang said:

So, you used both hots and the ground, and no common, correct?

So, county engineers just reviewed my work; recommended I get a better pair of wire cutters, but otherwise, thought I did okay for an amateur.

Now, to figure out how the hell a septic system works...

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For electrical, get Klein tools. Fluke for meters. Fluke makes an apprentice set that is a set of 9” linesman pliers, 8” diagonal cutters and a set of strippers. Like $60.

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Klein?   How many jewish electricians do you know?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

j/k those are great tools and I own a lot of them.

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No neutral on 240 circuit. You did fine leaving the white in there capped off. Coulda saved a little and bought 10/2 and used the white as the L2. To pass inspection you just have to relabel each end of the white wire with a couple wraps of red electrical tape.

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