How to Install Baseboard Heaters


Electric baseboard heaters provide an excellent heating choice. Whether you're installing them throughout your house as the only source of heat, or in one room to offset another heating source, baseboard heaters are energy-efficient and heat very well. One great advantage to electric baseboard heaters is the ability to control the temperature in individual rooms. This means, for instance, you can keep the bathroom a cozy 75 degrees and the kitchen a comfortable 68 degrees.

Things You'll Need

  • Electric baseboard heater
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit
  • Philips-head drill bit
  • 1-1/2" screws
  • Level
  • Purchase the correct wattage heater for the room. As a guide, figure 10 watts for each square foot of floor space. Therefore, a 10 foot-by-10 foot room would require a 1000-watt heater. For a room with a high ceiling, figure 15 watts per square foot to allow for the larger overall space.

  • Place the heater on the floor in front of the wall where you will mount it. Make sure to place the heater right-side-up.

  • Remove the junction box cover from the front of the baseboard heater at the end closest to the wires coming out of the wall to which you will connect the heater. Baseboard heaters can be wired from either end.

  • Remove the perforated metal circle from the back of the heater in the junction box that you uncovered in Step 3, using a screwdriver and pliers.

  • Turn off the breaker for the wires to which the heater will connect.

  • Pull the power supply wires from the wall through the hole in the back of the heater into the junction box.

  • Find the wall studs with a stud finder, and mark them with a pencil. Draw an "X" on the wall where you find the studs, low enough to be covered by the heater after it's mounted on the wall.

  • Hold the heater up against the wall where you want it to go. The bottom of the heater should be 2 inches above the floor.

  • Determine which of the small, perforated "X's" along the back of the heater will line up with wall studs. You will need at least three of these X-scores, one at either end and in the center. Set the heater back on the floor.

  • Drill a small hole in the center of the "X" perforations that line up with wall studs.

  • Fasten the heater to the wall, using the drill with the Phillips-head drill bit to drive screws through the holes you just drilled. Place one screw at the middle of the heater first. Use a level to make sure the heater is level on the wall. Finish fastening the heater to the wall using at least one additional screw at each end.

  • Connect the wires according to the diagram supplied with the heater.

  • Turn the thermostat off or as low as it will go, then turn on the breaker.

  • Turn up the thermostat and allow the heater to stay on for 30 minutes to burn off any residue from the factory. Set the thermostat to a comfortable temperature.

Tips & Warnings

  • Have a licensed electrician run the wiring to the heater location. Carefully follow all instructions provided with the heater.

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