(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Wall Heater

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default Wall Heater

    I am contemplating installing an electric wall heater in my lower bathroom. It shares a wall with my garage, and there happens to be a breaker box on the garage side of the wall, which services the garage and shop lights, etc. The specs for the heating unit is 120 volts and 1000 watts. Thus, it is pulling a little over 8 amps. My question is whether to run 14/2 with a 15 amp breaker or 12/2 with a 20 amp breaker. The 15 amp breaker makes sense, since there would be nothing else on this circuit, but for an electric heater, it seems the 12/2 and 20 amp should be used??

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,410

    Default

    Normally, the installation instructions would specify the required breaker. But, given the 1000W, a 15A circuit sure seems like it should be more than sufficient.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Thanks.
    I downloaded the instructions, but it just refers to "supply wires" without specifying what gauge they should be. And it doesn't mention a breaker size at all.

  4. #4
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiko View Post
    Thus, it is pulling a little over 8 amps. My question is whether to run 14/2 with a 15 amp breaker or 12/2 with a 20 amp breaker. The 15 amp breaker makes sense, since there would be nothing else on this circuit, but for an electric heater, it seems the 12/2 and 20 amp should be used??
    Don't forget that it is to be figured as a continuous load per 424.3(B)

    14 @ 15 amp breaker sounds good to me

  5. #5
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    9,001

    Default

    Since the extra expense for this one small circuit would be minimal, you could gain a little "peace of mind" running 12 gauge. That would allow you to upgrade to a 1500 watt heater sometime if desired. But for a 1000 watt device, staying with a 15 amp breaker also give you the extra peace of mind in case of a fault inside the unit sometime....breaker will pop sooner!

  6. #6
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Thanks all!!
    Jimbo makes a compelling argument, which I was wrestling with myself. But this 1/2 bath is so small that upgrading to a 1500 or 2000 watt heater won't be necessary. I also think it would be better to have the breaker pop at 15 amps than 20 in case of internal fault.

    Speaking of "faults", I read somewhere that these heater circuits in a bathroom must be GFI protected. Is that really a code?

  7. #7
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    If it cord and plug connects yes but otherwise no
    Good idea? It would be up to you but I wouldn’t

  8. #8
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default

    I started this project today and ran into a little unexpected glitch.
    The sub-panel I was working in is a Siemens, and the breakers are type QP.
    I was expecting to find separate neutral and ground busses, but instead there was a neutral bus and a single ground screw for all the circuits to share. There were already two ground wires under it (one of them was for a double-pole 30 amp breaker and one for a single-pole 15 amp breaker.) I had difficulty getting the third ground wire under this screw, but succeeded in the end.

    Why is there no long ground bus? And what are you supposed to do if you want to add additional circuits here? Do you just start pig-tailing the grounds together, so there is just one wire to go under that screw?
    Last edited by Kiko; 10-21-2011 at 08:41 PM.

  9. #9
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,523

    Default

    Buy a grounding terminal bus at the supply house and install it in the panel.

    Where does the equipment grounding conductor that was installed with the feeders land?

  10. #10
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo View Post
    Since the extra expense for this one small circuit would be minimal, you could gain a little "peace of mind" running 12 gauge. That would allow you to upgrade to a 1500 watt heater sometime if desired. But for a 1000 watt device, staying with a 15 amp breaker also give you the extra peace of mind in case of a fault inside the unit sometime....breaker will pop sooner!
    I have used that kind of logic of my own in the past, like when suggesting an electrician install only 15A breakers on *all* circuits in an old house, and he did ... but then someone here offered some kind of reason for saying the desired effect of "extra protection" might not actually happen there (but now I forget what that reasoning actually was). And then related to all of that, I am sometimes surprised to see old 12ga wire that looks to me like 10ga, and then to see new 12ga today that looks to me like 14ga. So, I now just typically use a breaker that matches whatever it written on a given wire's insulation and hope all will be well as long as both are properly rated for the actual load.
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. #11
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Posts
    25,655

    Default

    Circuit breakers are sized to protect the wires, NOT the appliance, so if it has #12 wire, it would be safe with a 20 amp breaker. In any case, the actual wire to, or inside, the heater will be MUCH smaller than the #14 you use with a 15 amp breaker, which means it COULD burn up before the circuit breaker tripped.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  12. #12
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    northfork, california
    Posts
    3,261

    Default

    A $39 oil fin heater sounds like the answer to me. Various heat settings, 1/4 the cost of a wall heater, and mine last about 6 years.Keeps your coffee cup warm too. Wall heaters die and usually the parts cost more than a new one that does not fit the hole.

  13. #13
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Buy a grounding terminal bus at the supply house and install it in the panel.

    Where does the equipment grounding conductor that was installed with the feeders land?
    I suppose I'll have to buy that grounding bus if I install additional circuits.
    If you mean the large aluminum grounding wire, it is screwed to the panel under a similar grounding screw, just below the grounding screw for the circuits.

  14. #14
    DIY Senior Member Kiko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    Posts
    175

    Default

    Update:
    I installed the new circuit and the new heater with no further hitches.
    Unfortunately, the heater made a loud buzzing sound, which was unacceptable.
    I replaced the heater unit with a new one of the same make and model, and no buzzing.
    The manufacturer said the first unit must have been "dropped" during shipping.

Similar Threads

  1. Noma fan forced wall heater 240v
    By Stevec1234 in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-13-2011, 03:37 PM
  2. No flex to wall mount heater...
    By thinkly in forum HVAC Heating & Cooling
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-20-2010, 10:02 AM
  3. Wall Heater Wiring
    By toolguy504 in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-12-2009, 04:24 AM
  4. water heater distance from wall ?
    By mikeyvon in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-22-2008, 10:47 PM
  5. venting a water heater through a wall???
    By mikeyvon in forum Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & Tricks
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-06-2008, 08:16 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •