My Cart Resources
X
baseboard-ebook-banner-2-600

Become an Appliance Expert. Subscribe to our Knowledge Base!

BASEBOARD EBOOK PREVIEW PART 4 - BASEBOARD HEATER SETUP, MAINTENANCE AND TROUBLESHOOTING

  • Determine square footage of space that will need to be heated, calculate wattage and BTU load for the appropriate size (length) heater.
  • Take into consideration the number of windows and exterior walls that will be in the area to be heated.
  • Take into consideration doors leading to other room and special attention to exterior walls.
  • Determine if one 5' unit would be acceptable or if a 3' or 2 - 3' units on separate walls would work more efficiently.
  • Determine number and size of open breakers needed. If you are not comfortable with DIY electrical work, contact an electrical contractor.
  • Determine if the thermostat on the heater will be sufficient or if a wall mounted thermostat would be more appropriate.
  • Trace a switchbox on the wall at least 60" from floor level (may need to cut drywall). Make sure there are no electrical outlets directly above the installation site.
  • Provide wiring for 2 wire circuit from breaker box to thermostat location.
  • Unpack heating unit, remove BOTH front covers from the ends of the heater.
  • Place unit firmly against the wall (some length of baseboard may have to be removed.)
  • These heaters are designed to work from the wiring included run through a small hole in the wall to the breaker box. There should be plenty of room in the wiring compartments on the end of the heater for the wiring and safety wire nuts.
  • Run wiring for the wall thermostat if required or make sure on board thermostat is connected before replacing end covers.
  • Make sure to follow proper color coding when connecting wires, black to black, white to white, bare wire to the green screw of the heater or to the heater case by crimping screw.
  • Connect one of the loose wires to the black wires; connect the remaining loose wire to the white wire.
  • Make sure all connections are properly covered with wire nuts.
  • Secure heater to wall removing any baseboard material prior to installation.
  • Secure wiring covers and standard covers.
  • Follow separate directions with wall thermostat for best results.
  • Make sure all packaging materials are removed and disposed of prior to the first use.
  • Make sure there are no curtains or furniture that will hang over or sit directly in front of the heater.
  • Make sure all dust, dirt, and flammable materials are removed prior to the first use.
  • The outside covers should be kept clean and free of dust and debris.
  • At the end of each heating season, the unit should be cleaned and vacuumed, and the unit should be covered. Matching covers are often available that will fit over the entire unit to keep out dust and debris during the off season.
  • Make sure the unit is firm against to wall to avoid any dirt or debris building up behind the heater.
  • Make sure there are no electrical wires dangling from other appliances in front of the heater. Keep area clean and clear of possible fire hazard materials.
  • If repainting the heater, make sure any rust or debris is removed. Sand the area. Use a proper metal paint primer. Use a proper metal paint that is resistant to heat bubbling. Make sure paint covers ONLY the Metal covers of the grill, not the thermostat, element, or wiring.
  • Most unit casings will be painted metal. Use a non-flammable metal cleaner and make sure all excess is dry before turning the heater on.
  • Vacuum the area around, behind, and inside the opening to remove any dust or debris that can cause a fire hazard.
  • If possible clean at the end of each season to keep out dust and debris. Use appropriate covers if possible, and make sure the breakers are off at the electrical panel at the end of the season.

Most baseboard heaters will be mounted to the wall and will stay permanently affixed during the off season. If the baseboard unit is portable, it should be cleaned and stored in a dust free upright position for the next season's use. If the unit contains oil or water, make sure the unit is stored to keep fluid contained inside the unit.

  • Always keep unit clean and dust free. Remember that dust can impede air flow and can ignite if it is allowed to collect around the elements.
  • Always make sure knobs and thermostat buttons are in good repair and easily readable.
  • Unit is not hot enough on the standard system?
    • Check items below for solid connections and easy air flow.
    • If the on board thermostat is not sensitive enough, installing a wall mounted thermostat will make the settings more accurate and easy to control.
    • Check to make sure the breaker is not tripped. If it trips more than a couple of times, there is an issue such as overheating which could lead to being a fire hazard.
    • Make sure there is no furniture or debris in front of or curtains hanging over the system that is blocking air flow.
    • Spraying lubricant inside the valves will help avoid corrosion that will block proper heat flow.
    • If the DIY tips do not help, contact a licensed electrical (natural gas or propane) contractor to make sure there is no chance of fire due improper wiring or overheating within the unit.
  • Unit is not hot enough on the hydronic system?
    • Sometimes the expansion tank will fill with air. If this happens the oil/water will not heat properly. Turn the heater up to make the fluid expand as much as possible. Press and hold the bleeder valve the release any excess air that has gotten into the tank.
    • Check the boiler to make sure it is working if the unit will not heat at all.
    • Tripped breakers on an electrical system are a warning something is wrong. Check for problems with air flow that could be causing the internal system to overheat.
    • Clogged lines or a faulty pilot light can be a problem with a gas system. You may need to call your natural gas or propane provider to check the lines or replace the pilot system.
    • Periodic draining of the tank will help clear mineral deposits that will collect in the system. Use the drain valve and refill with the recommended fluid for your type of heater.
  • In general, as long as the systems are properly cleaned they should last for years without problems. If problems persist, consider replacing the units with newer more energy efficient systems.

baseboard-ebook-caution-1-500

  • Do not set furniture directly in front of the system.
  • Do not allow curtains or shades to dangle directly over or in front of the unit.
  • Do not allow dust, debris, or any flammable materials to collect around the unit.
  • If you are not comfortable with DIY electrical installations, contact a licensed electrical contractor.
  • Make sure pets are kept away from the unit.
  • Make sure thermostat is clean and easily readable with proper temperature markings.
  • Make sure there is proper air flow at all times to increase efficiency and avoid fire hazards.
  • Make sure wiring is not worn or frayed and replace any broken wire nuts.
  • Make sure baseboard and carpeting for the area of installation are removed and disposed of properly.
  • Make sure there are no electrical outlets directly above the area of installation.
  • Do not use paint on the unit unless it is heat resistant paint specifically for metal surfaces.

Do not allow any paint to adhere to the heating element or any associated wiring.

Like our article? Subscribe for more!