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Thread: Electric Baseboard Wiring from the other side

  1. #1

    Talking Electric Baseboard Wiring from the other side

    hey fellas,
    I have a quick question about electric baseboard heaters. I have two in different rooms that I swapped for one another because of length and color. I moved the livingroom one to the kitchen and vice versa. That said, the wiring was on the opposite end. Since I couldnt quite figure out the circut, I just ran 14 guage wires from one side, through the back of the unit (there was already a wire run through there) and then hooked that up to the wall on the opposite end.

    Question 1: is that ok or safe to do?
    Question 2: Because the unit is 220, will the 14 guage wire I ran at the back of the unit get too hot and cause a fire?
    Question 3: Do you have to buy a left wired unit or a right wired unit depending on application or are these things truely reversable.

    It's still summer so I havent fired them back up. I put the breakers back on and nothing popped so the wiring is good as of now. any help or suggestions here?

    PS. Long time no talk. Thank you for keeping my account active.

    ~ Bismarck Jack

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Was there a temp rating on the wire you pulled out? Was it a cloth type insulation? Unless its out of the high heat area it probably needs to be high temp wire. If someone added the wire in the past, I wouldn't go on that as a indication of it being safe.

    How old is the heater? old ones or ones designed for new construction are probably not changeable. Newer ones or retrofit/replacements are likely reversable.

    If there is a large difference in wattage of these 2 heaters you may overload a circuit.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bismarck Jack View Post
    hey fellas,
    I have a quick question about electric baseboard heaters. I have two in different rooms that I swapped for one another because of length and color. I moved the livingroom one to the kitchen and vice versa. That said, the wiring was on the opposite end. Since I couldnt quite figure out the circut, I just ran 14 guage wires from one side, through the back of the unit (there was already a wire run through there) and then hooked that up to the wall on the opposite end.

    Question 1: is that ok or safe to do?
    Question 2: Because the unit is 220, will the 14 guage wire I ran at the back of the unit get too hot and cause a fire?
    Question 3: Do you have to buy a left wired unit or a right wired unit depending on application or are these things truely reversable.

    It's still summer so I havent fired them back up. I put the breakers back on and nothing popped so the wiring is good as of now. any help or suggestions here?

    PS. Long time no talk. Thank you for keeping my account active.
    All the baseboard heaters I've seen can be configured either way. If you take the cover off the non-supply end, you'll likely find a wire nut connecting the element to the wire in the back of the unit. Remove the wire nut and separate the wires. Then take the wire nut down to the supply end and connect the element to the wire down the back. Voila, you've reversed the unit.

    The unit might be ok on 14 gauge wire, depending on how many watts it's rated at, what else is on the circuit, and what the circuit breaker is rated at.

  4. #4

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    Mr. T

    No temp rating stamped on the wire, no cloth. I didnt remove wires, I just basically extended the wiring back through the unit to the other side and then hooked up to the source feed, which was shielded wire from the mid 70's. But the source wire is 12 guage and its hooked up to a double breaker so that should be 220 draw. Im worried that the heater will try to pull 220 through that 14 guage wire and cause a fire. there used to be a rule of thumb and I'm not sure how it went. you can go from a 12 g source wire down to a 14 g wire which is OK but not the reverse, or is it that you cant have a 20A outlet trying to draw electricity through 14 guage wire? Ahh it's been too long since I wired. The heaters are new in the past 5 years or so

    Moto

    I didnt see how many watts, my guess is they are 1500 or 2000w. it was hooked up to the 12 g source wire coming out of the wall from a 220 breaker, dedicated to the heater. all I did was hooked up 14 g wire to the 12 g wire source and ran it along the back of the unit and hooked it up there. There is sort of a covered channel at the back of the unit that you can feed wire through. there already was one wire behind there in this channel from one side to the other.

    These units are at my mothers place about 90 miles away so I cant just check real quick. she wanted them swapped because one is almond and one is white. I thought it would be easy and they could be hooked up on either side, but looking at it, turns out it wasnt as simple as I thought and I couldnt wrap my mind around how to hook up on the other side so the solution was to extend the wire. with 14 g because that's all she had available.

    ~ Bismarck Jack

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