Question about Electric Wall Heaters

Help Support House Repair Talk:

missjae

New Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Hi,

I am new to the East Coast and I recently bought a house. The house had electric wall heaters and when I turn them on, they don't seem to get very hot. People told me not to put furniture too close to them as they got it and it poses a fire hazard but the heaters don't really get hot at all. I practically have to stick my hand inside the heater to feel some heat.

Would I call an electrician to look at this? Does it sound like a serious problem?

Thank you,

Jae
 

inspectorD

Housebroken
Joined
Dec 17, 2005
Messages
4,529
Reaction score
276
You may want to contact an electician to find out the problem.:) But before you fix or replace the electric heat,Consider other options for heating your home as this is expensive .Some utilities will actually help with the costs.Solar panels are a big help also,contact your utility to find out.
 

zander

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
I wander if electricians know how to trouble shoot a heater. I know its electric but by ur description it sounds like a sequencer is bad--this is a part a havac tech would be familiar with. Could be an element too.
Silly question but, does it keep the house warm?
As inspectorD said there are cheeper ways to heat a house, infact almost any other way is cheeper as far as energy use goes-not equiptment.
If you live in a warm climate and ur house is small then energy used could be negligble.
 

missjae

New Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Thank you for the replies. I ended up calling a heating specialist who I feel cheated me. I told him I had electric heat but I didn't know what kind. He sent out a heating specialist and charged me for that. The heating specialist told me I needed an electritian. They wanted to charge me another fee for that so I said forget it.

The house is empty right now so I am wondering if that contributes to how cold it feels too. There isn't any carpeting either. The windows aren't insulated and the heating guy said something about the house not being insulated enough since it is old.

As far as heating goes, what other inexpensive options to I have? I have small children so I need it to be a bnit warmer. The electric baseboard heaters work somewhat. I just feel they could work better.
 

zander

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
The HVAC guy should at least have been able to tell you why you need and electrician fairly quick.
There is a little terminalogy mess up here i suppose.
A wall furnace is 4-6 feet tall and has a fan in it.
A baseboard heater is, well you know down by the base board.
Have you lived in this house yet? Sounds like you are having a learning experience the hard way.
In an ideal world someone would make sure the baseboard heaters are drawing the rated amperage and do a maunal J load calculation on the house to find out how much heat exactly the house needs to be warm and how much it does have.
The HVAC tech may be on to something though in that if the house is poorly insulated it will feel cold untill you have the heat cranked up fairly high.
Someone needs to look at the whole situation, heaters and insulation, then come up with a solution.
Nothing is cheep about this, sorry.
I could be talking out of my *** though, so beware.
 

rabadger

Active Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
The amount of electric heat output is directly related to the voltage delivered to it. Small electric heaters are not for heating large spaces. They are for small rooms and spot heating. If the home has not been kept up to temperature you could have problems getting it up to temperature.

The heating guy should have taken the supply voltage readings at the heaters, made sure all the elements were working, and taken a temperature rise across the heaters.

How old are the heaters? If you can find a temperature rise spec for them, and know the temperature in and out, you can pretty much determine how they are working. Like Zander stated, it would also help knowing what the home requires in BTU/HR to heat it.
 

Sparky

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Do you have a fuse panel? If so it sounds to me that one of the cartridge fuse is blown and you're only getting 1/2 of the needed voltage.
 

glennjanie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
2,990
Reaction score
6
Hi Jae:
I agree with several of the past points made except the efficency of base board heat. Utilities recommend them because you can turn the heat off in unused rooms; that's zero cost for that room. Another point about basebaord heat is they draw dust bunnies and enough of them will cut off the air flow through them. Use your vacum cleaner with a crevas tool expecially at the bottom or if you can take the front panel off (turn off the power first) it would be easy to clean.
Glenn
 

hgpickett

New Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I removed a baseboard heater for painting reinstalled heater now it dose not work i have power going to it but it will not heat is there a rest or leavel switch to rest how do i get information on this
 
Last edited:

glennjanie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2006
Messages
2,990
Reaction score
6
Welcome HGPickett:
If you used wire nuts to connect the heater to the line, you may need to check to be sure one of the wires didn't slip out of the nut. Pull on each wire to make sure it is solidly connected.
If it is on a wall thermostat, make sure the t-stat is calling for heat.
Glenn
 

pinkhammer21

New Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
I have baseboard heat with individual wall controls. I can only turn some on as even at lowest setting walls get hot. Most times have no heat turned on still says over 80. Leave for night with all turned off to find them on and walls hot. Now I turn off breaker so I stop overheating.there was a breaking with a note for a thermostat femtocell,what can I do, my usage is higher than apartments around me and shouldn't be.
 

Wuzzat?

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
2,471
Reaction score
175
With a wristwatch and help from your PoCo you can use your electric meter as an ammeter/wattmeter and thereby check if these heaters are drawing the correct amps/watts (which are shown on the heater nameplate or you can ask the heater maker).
 

CallMeVilla

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2010
Messages
1,657
Reaction score
597
The OP is just trying to get the house stabilized ... larger, more comprehensive solutions will have to wait.

MissJAE, here is a site which has a pretty comprehensive checklist for troubleshooting your unit. Go through this (find a friend to help?) and maybe you can get some heat so you can start working on a more permanent solution:

http://homerepair.about.com/od/heatingcoolingrepair/ss/elec_htr_repair.htm
 

Wuzzat?

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2010
Messages
2,471
Reaction score
175
That seems to be a common tradeoff: an expensive lump sum paid up front for a permanent solution or incremental solutions that nickel and dime you.

Looking farther into the future usually results in better decisions today. You can still choose the nickel and dime solution but at least you will be aware of the upsides and downsides of that choice.
 
Top