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  • Baseboard electric heat problem

    I have a 220 baseboard electric heat problem that I am trying to figure out how to trace. I am pretty sure that a small 220 baseboard heater was working properly in Jan. We returned in July and noticed that the heater was on with the thermostat set very low. I turned up the thermostat which obviously caused a dead short which smelled and tripped the breaker. I took apart the baseboard heater and did not see any evidence of where it shorted out. However, I did notice in the middle of the heater a metal plate above the heating element did look burnt but no wire was near the burnt area. The thermostat is SPST and 110 does exist between the unswitched wire and ground. It seems to me that I had to have 220 at the heater for it to be heating but turning up the thermostat caused a dead short. This does not make sense. How would it be best to trouble shoot this problem? I have an BSEE but not much practical background in 220 wiring.

  • #2
    Re: Baseboard electric heat problem

    You should have 120V to ground from each hot leg. Each hot leg is 120V, thus 240V heat strip. With the breaker off and everything disconnected, use an ohm meter. There are 3 possibilities, the baseboard heater (probably) the t/stat, or the wiring itself. With the wiring disconnected at the baseboard heater you should not have continuity between either hot leg of the heater wiring to ground.

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    • #3
      Re: Baseboard electric heat problem

      It was the heater itself. The wire going from one end to the other behind a protected cover was the cause.

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