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Answers to Electrical Questions About Installing Hydronic Heat, T-Stats and Electric Heat in a Bathroom

October 4, 2008

Art asks:
I am considering installing electric hydronic baseboard heaters to replace my 65 year old heating system (oil boiler and radiant (in concrete slab)heat).

Cadet softheat electric baseboard heater

1.) Is the junction box within the heater sufficient to eliminate the need to have an electrical box at each heater?

2.) If I keep the amperage under the load rating of the wire/circuit breaker, can I feed more than one T-stat with the same line running from the breaker box?

3.) I have a very small room (6?x9?). Is it feasible to feed this with a wall T-stat that runs a bigger area and also use the built in t-stat?

4.) I have a room with 2 outside walls with only one with a window. Is it necessary (or highly recommended) to put 2 smaller wattage heaters on both walls versus 1 larger unit on the wall with the window?

5.) In addition, are there any special considerations when installing one of these in a bathroom?

Thanks in advance, Art

Answer:
1.) Yes, the junction box within the heater is sufficient to eliminate the need to have an electrical box at each heater. When you pre-wire for a regular electric baseboard heater, you may install the cable on either end of the heater. However, when pre-wiring for the hydronic/electric baseboard heaters, you may only install the cable on the left side of the heater.

2.) Yes you may feed more than one T-stat with the same line running from the breaker box, providing you keep the amperage under the load rating of the wire/circuit breaker.

3.) Yes it is feasible to feed your small room with a wall T-stat that runs a bigger area and also use the built in t-stat. However, I do not recommend this as it would not work properly. I prefer wall T-stats over the unit mounted T-stats. I recommend placing the heater in your smaller room on it’s own T-stat.

4.) I believe that you should place a larger heater under the window verses 2 smaller units, one on each outside wall. The reason is, the heat rising from the baseboard heater clashes with the cold air from the window creating a natural convection and circulating the heat throughout the room.

5.) Bathrooms are usually tough to install electric baseboard heat in due to the space limitations. When installing your heater in your bathroom you need to maintain 3 feet of clearance from the edge of the bath tub. I try to talk everyone out of installing electric baseboards in their bathrooms. A couple of better alternatives are Cadet’s Com-Pak bath heater or Cadet’s The Perfectoe – toe kick heater.

Cadet's Com-Pak bath heater Cadet's The Perfectoe toe kick heater

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