DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Electrical and Wiring > Baseboard Electric Not Working

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Old 10-21-2009, 06:15 PM  
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Default Baseboard Electric Not Working

I have a house with baseboard electric. LR, Kitchen and Bathroom working. Dining room wasn't until I removed thermostat and jumped wires. Now it works so I guess the problem is Thermostat. Now, upstairs 3 bdrms and bath not working. I took off thermostats and I don't seem to have power. When I took off the thermostat (directly on the little baseboard in bathroom) I had a couple sparks like a short but I didn't see any breaks and I have no power. One of the bedrooms thermostat had some fried wires (melted together and black) but as far as power I get no volt reading but when I touch the wire there is a little tingle and some tiny sparking going on.

My 1st test of the problem was at the box and all the lines used were reading 110.

However, about a year ago there seemed to be a problem in the panel and wires were doubled up on breakers to get lights and outlets working. No problem in the years time but I'm wondering if my panel has only one leg? b/c the breakers utilized are staggered or every other.

Can someone give me some insight to my possible problems and how to diagnose?

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Old 10-23-2009, 05:42 AM  
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djosephs: Start from scratch. Separate the problems. Establish that there is 120v at each heater before connecting. When wire insulation melts there's an unsafe overheating problem. Are the circuit breakers sized correctly and can you read the current draw into the heaters? You'll need a clamp-on ammeter for that.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:28 AM  
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djosephs: are you sure these baseboard heater are 110. They make them both 110 and 220. If you are not getting a voltage reading at the baseboard heater but you feel a tingle you need a different type of voltage meter,one that will read a low voltage situation. And that is what it sound like. A all your base board on the same circuit breaker? They should be on separate breakers but you need to verify that. Are you sure you have 110 coming out of each breaker? If you have a circuit problem you may be getting feed back from another circuit. the best way to check this is to take voltage reading between the 2 phases. In most panels every other breaker is on the same phase. There is normally 2 phases in the panel and if you test voltage between the 2 phases you should read 220. Phase is just a term used for the hot wires coming in to feed the panel. It sound like you are having problems with more than 1 circuit you may have as you stated one bad leg or phase. I hope this helped
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Old 10-23-2009, 06:52 AM  
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I retested box and I get 110 from each circuit so I guess nothing is wrong with the panel. I have to go back (rental property) and figure out if these heaters are on more than one circuit. I think they must be since half the house is working. I also need to double check if 220. I also need to identify the breakers for the heaters. I thought I knew b/c I saw 30 amp double poles but for some reason I discovered 2 other and separate circuits on a double pole (the on/off breaker switch connected). Additionally, I removed an unused double pole 30 that is burned up and broken.
I'm going to isolate and identify the circuits for the heaters. I will also test for lower voltage at the thermostats b/c I don't show any power (no 110) from the wires at either the thermostats.
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