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  • Baseboard heaters

    I'm stumped. I just wired in some 220 V baseboard heaters with a new FP 30 A double pole breaker. Could not get them to work. Thought I had a bad breaker. Bought a new one same result. Checked and have 110 V off each side of breaker. Checked wire for a break between panel and first heater. Moved wired to existing 30 A DP breaker for dryer and everything works fine. Put wires back to new breaker and moved it to new slot in panel, still does not work. What have I missed

  • #2
    Re: Baseboard heaters

    Have you put a meter to the two-pole breaker to see if you get 240 volts across each terminal?

    EDIT:

    FP? As in Federal Pacific? That particular panel may have split busbars in there. Meaning, one row of breakers may all be on the same phase. Hence, you may be trying to get two phases off of one busbar (Even though unintended), thus place both legs on the same phase. But, as I stated earlier, rather than go phase to ground, on that two-pole breaker, go terminal to terminal and see if you get 240 volts.
    Last edited by tailgunner; 01-01-2010, 03:33 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Baseboard heaters

      FP for Federal Pioneer (Stablok) only a couple years old. The dryer breaker was on same side of panel and it worked. I've wired other baseboard heaters in a different house (same type of panel) with two single pole breakers with a tie bar and they worked fine. Not sure how the busbar thing works but in the panel you can see the incoming lines split off and one go down each side but like I mentioned dryer and A/C breakers are on this same side and work ok. I was afraid to test voltage terminal to terminal, thought it might fry my little meter

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      • #4
        Re: Baseboard heaters

        Originally posted by rickmey View Post
        FP for Federal Pioneer (Stablok) only a couple years old. The dryer breaker was on same side of panel and it worked. I've wired other baseboard heaters in a different house (same type of panel) with two single pole breakers with a tie bar and they worked fine. Not sure how the busbar thing works but in the panel you can see the incoming lines split off and one go down each side but like I mentioned dryer and A/C breakers are on this same side and work ok. I was afraid to test voltage terminal to terminal, thought it might fry my little meter
        Sir, out of sheer curiousity, just what the hell kind of meter are you using where the threat of testing for 240 volts might fry it?

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        • #5
          Re: Baseboard heaters

          Originally posted by tailgunner View Post
          Have you put a meter to the two-pole breaker to see if you get 240 volts across each terminal?

          EDIT:

          FP? As in Federal Pacific? That particular panel may have split busbars in there. Meaning, one row of breakers may all be on the same phase. Hence, you may be trying to get two phases off of one busbar (Even though unintended), thus place both legs on the same phase. But, as I stated earlier, rather than go phase to ground, on that two-pole breaker, go terminal to terminal and see if you get 240 volts.
          Must be using a piggyback breaker. A quick check of line to line voltage will tell the tale.

          Is FPE still in business? I run into a lot of FPE around here that was installed in the 70's.

          James
          Last edited by James P; 01-01-2010, 05:47 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Baseboard heaters

            "Sir, out of sheer curiousity, just what the hell kind of meter are you using where the threat of testing for 240 volts might fry it?"

            Easy there. A lot of folks do not understand how the two legs work together in a 240 v application and feel that placing the two test leads of a Volt/Ohm meter across the two legs will fry it. It is a very natural instinct for a guy to have. They look at a 120 v application and see one hot side with the neutral return and they "get" it. With the 240 volt, they don't quite get it until it is explained to them.
            Cheers, and Happy New Year's to all,
            Jim Don

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            • #7
              Re: Baseboard heaters

              I'm sorry. I'm not angry at him, but it is the fact that there are in fact cheap meters out there sold to the general public that get fried from going phase to phase brings me to a boil, thus placing a risk to those who are trying to troubleshoot.

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              • #8
                Re: Baseboard heaters

                Unless your dealing with three phase system, it is not phase to phase as it is all on the same phase, it is hot to hot, I know it is not really that important but I hear the term 2 phase used, and except in a few unique situations it is not normally a reality,
                even when your dealing with open delta or where a phased leg has been droped, it is still considered three phase, even if only two of the three phases are there.

                on 220 there is a winding in the transformer, and on the house side there are three wires that are coming off the transformer, but what happens is there are the two ends of the winding, and there considered the hots or will read 220 to each other, there is a third wire that comes off the center of the winding, and it is attached to the ground, making it in common to the ground, thus with a meter it appears as if it is dead, and with power, (in reality it is carrying electric the same as the other wires, but like the bird on the wire, there in the same potential thus not apparent power observable), but because it is in the middle if you take a voltage tester and go from hot to ground you will or should get a reading of about 110 volts,(110 to 120) but if one goes from hot to hot, you will get 220 volts, (220 to 240),


                Our normal house hold wiring mostly consists of 110 volt circuits, but loads that take more power many times use 220 volt (which allows smaller wire to carry the same amount of power, as the voltage is higher),
                here is a reasonable simple explanation of the 110 /220 volt system,
                http://bluesea.com/viewresource/86

                what was being said above some breaker boxes are made in such a way that if the 220 breaker is not placed in the correct slot you will try to pull both wires off of the same feed buss, thus you will not get a flow of electricity, (it will work on 110 or show 110 as your going to a different wire where it will flow to, the neutral or ground),
                and the breaker will fit "in-between" and look right but may not energize it correctly,it may need to be moved up or down one slot, may need to move a 110 breaker to get it to fit,
                Last edited by BHD; 01-01-2010, 11:20 PM.
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