Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: single pole and humming questions - baseboard heat

  1. #1

    Default single pole and humming questions - baseboard heat

    I have a couple questions.

    We moved into our house last April (2300 sq ft colonial-built in the 70's) and its ALL electric baseboard heat. This is our first winter and our electric bills are very high. Within the last couple of months I started replacing all of the thermostats because the old ones (ra=stat) would cause the room to get too hot then get too cold until it kicked back on and some would just stay on (I tried vacuuming dust out-nothing helped). Anyway, the only Honeywell thermostats I could find where double pole and all of mine were single pole (Honeywell techs told me how to hook them up for single pole use and they work great (very comfortable).

    So here's some of my questions:

    What is single pole exactly compared to double pole? Is it bad to have it that way (since it's not done anymore)?

    Also, I get a slight humming (or buzzing) sound coming from my baseboards. It usually (but not always happens when the thermostats are off. If I tap them, I can sometimes make it stop. When the thermostat kicks on it usually stops, too.

    Is this just some frequency hum? Does this have anything to do with single pole?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2


    Double pole usually means 220V. Single pole usually means 110V.

  3. #3


    Baseboard heat is normally 220 volts. Look in your panel and see if these heaters are served by double pole 220 volt breakers. If so then the NEC requires all hot conductors to be disconnected by the thermostat. This calls for a double pole thermostat on 220 volt heaters.

    Hums are often found in heaters due to frequency hum when current is flowing through the heaters. YOu may have leakage causing the current to flow because you always have a hot wire in that heater unless you use 220 volt double pole thermostats so that all hot conductors are disconnected from the heater when the thermostat is satisfied of ambient temperature.

    The hum often can be stopped by tightening the mounting screws a turn or two. The change in mounting pressure often changes the hum charicteristics.

    High heat bills may have been caused by faulty thermostats causing execessive running of the heaters.

    May be caused by leakage inside the heater.

    Most often is caused by a building not being properly sealed [insulation and closing of cracks or bad window seals or door seals]
    or may be caused by blockage of the heaters by drapes, furniture or other obstructions causing trapping of hte heat output.

    The manufacturer instructions require a minimum of 6" to 10" clearance from blocking the heaters or causing fire due to flammable materials too close to the heaters.

    Hope this helps


  4. #4

    Default looked things over ....

    All my baseboards are 220v. I have Square D double pole breakers to supply them. When I look at the wiring of my old thermostats, the white wires are all nutted together and the black wires are wired to the thermostats (which are stamped single pole on the inside).

    The new thermostats I am installing are all double pole thermostats. Two black wires on one side and two red wires on the other. Honeywell told me to use the black wires on the thermostat to wire my baseboards because I told them my old thermostats stated single pole on them (and just to put wire nuts on the red wires and not use them).

    After reading your response, should I split the white wires in the wall and attach them to the red wires on the new thermostat? Will that be the proper way my baseboards should have been wired?

    Thanks for your help.

  5. #5


    Yes The NEC requires all hot conductors to be disconnected by that thermostat. The white wire of your 12/2wGrnd cable is the same as the red wire in this case.

    Hope this helps


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts