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Thread: Back-up baseboard heaters

  1. #16
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Suppose he had used the word continually rather than continuously-- would that work for everybody?
    Suppose he had used the word continually rather than continuously-- would that work for everybody?

    I suppose that if he used it continually operating under a continuous load it wouldn’t much matter because it wouldn’t last very long but if it could operate non-continuously it would continue to last for a while.

    To be able to do what he is questioning would take a math wizard and the unit would be drawing current continuously.
    Through this statement he shows the understanding that should the heat be sized to low that the heat would never shut off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Commonground View Post
    I read somewhere that installing too much capacity would induce the heaters in more cycling. It seems to make sense to me. If the capacity is small the heaters tend to be always on if it's get really cold.
    The answer to his question if he was living here in NC would be about 10 watts per square foot but where he lives it is possible it could be much more. But he makes this statement;
    Quote Originally Posted by Commonground View Post
    The question is how small can I go to achieve my aim of keeping the plumbing from freezing. It is obviously quite a different approach than trying to achieve 20C (68F) throughout the building with 10W/sqft.
    Is there a rule of thumb to apply with the variable being the ambient temperature to achieve, in my case 5C (41F)? Can someone answer that question?
    Here the only correct answer is to not control the temperature by sizing the heat lower than what would be required but instead use thermostats to control the temperature unless you are just wanting to burn up baseboard heaters one after the other.

    Does this answer your question?

  2. #17
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    The bigger the temperature difference, the bigger the heater required to maintain a temperature if left on continuously. Since most of these things aren't variable, that means turning on and off. Then, throw in wind and air infiltration, and it becomes more variable. As has been said, the things tend to burn out when run continuously, so sizing them so that they can turn on and off as required, is the prudent thing.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #18
    DIY Junior Member dvddiva's Avatar
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    Thank you JW.I haven't laugh so hard in a long time. You are hilarious.
    Just a good ole boy with a rocket scientist brain?
    Here's my question. I removed an old electric baseboard heater that was in my bathroom.
    I wish to replace it with the correct sized heater. The old one says 240volt, 500 watts.
    The heater is in the bathroom which is 8'x7'.Based on what you said earlier that would
    mean the old heater was slightly underpowered. Should the new heater be at least 560 watts?
    Can you reccommend a manufacturer? Any help would be appreciated.

  4. #19
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Cadet makes a 36 inch heater that is 750 watts. Personally I would size it a little large due to the amount of time that it takes one to warm a room.

    Being raised in the foothills of the Brushy and Blue Ridge I would say that wood and coal heat is very hard to beat. Nothing feels better than a stick of soft wood pitched into the heater after milking six cows on a cold and frigid winter morning.

    Just sitting here remembering the smell of a slice of ham frying in a cast iron skillet on that old Warm Morning wood stove while the coffee pot sung its song telling us that coffee is ready, biscuits cooling on the table as the gravy is thickening, and Pops lets loose a wad of tobacco juice to the side of that old heater, oh how I miss the aroma.

    Isn’t it strange the things that a man remembers from his childhood?
    Watching the grandkids in the yard playing with the toys they got for Christmas remembering the bucket lid I got one year. I could roll it across the ground like a truck wheel, sail it through the air like a flying saucer or just hold it in my hands while I drove across the country. Boy things have changed over the years. I entertained myself with my mind but today kids have to have something electronic to entertain their self with. I think that the longer I live the less minds the kids have. I was told by a five year old that I was not politically incorrect when I asked them if they wanted to play cowboy and Indians, “Old man that is cowboy and Native Americans, not cowboy and Indians.”

    Where the hell did I put that old bucket lid?

  5. #20
    DIY Junior Member dvddiva's Avatar
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    Thank you jw. The heater is more a decoration and is not being used
    as the only source of heat. I am remodeling the bathroom and then will
    be selling my home. I have never needed to turn that heater on, but a
    prospective buyer will run far and wide if he doesn't see a heat source
    in that room. My ( teenie weenie) home is well heated by a radiant gas
    stove that is one year older than God, but it does the job.
    Thanks for your help.

  6. #21
    DIY Member Soapm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwelectric View Post
    Where the hell did I put that old bucket lid?
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane, for reference sake, it was a metal bucket? Right?

    I raise that point because it would be considered child abuse these days to let your kid play with a (rusting?) metal bucket lid. But we somehow survived those days and kids knew their place and treated elders with respect.

  7. #22
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
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    Yes it was metal. When I was a kid plastic hadn’t been invented yet. It hadn’t been long that the wheel had been invented. My Pa was working on the doughnut hole along those days but someone else beat him to the draw so he started studying the wind but mostly the wind he studied was what was coming from Ma’s lungs as she was screaming at him to get up off his dead a$$ and get something done.

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