I have an electric baseboard heater built in to the wall (that needs
to be replaced) that is 120 volts and 1500 watts (built in by the
builder of the house abour 15 years ago). The hardware store only
sells built-in electric baseboard heaters that are 240 volts. Can a
240 volt heater replace my 120 volt heater easily. The sign on my fuse
box states that my house has "120/240 volts". Thank you very much for
your response. Al Brown
Go to an electrical supply house for the replacement
120 volt heater. 6' 1500 watt 120 volt baseboard heaters
are a standard item. They'll eiher have it in stock, or
be able to get it.
You most likely cannot replace the 120 heater with a
240 "easily". On the other hand, if you are comfortable
working in the circuit breaker panel, and can easily
determine which wires go to the heater, and can also
easily verify that it is on a dedicated circuit of
the correct wire gauge for the new heater, and have the
room in your panel for a double pole breaker, then
converting to it to 240 is easy. You remove the existing
white (neutral) wire from the neutral bus, tape it with
red tape to cover most of the white insulation, and
install it, together with the black it is paired with
into the new double pole breaker, with the (now) red
wire connecting to one pole and the black wire connecting
to the other polse. At the heater end, remove the old
heater, tape the white wire to make it red, and install
the new 240 volt heater.
But with the added expense of the two pole breaker and the
various things mentioned above that may not be familiar
to you, easiest and cheapest is to just replace the 120 V
heater with another 120 volt unit.
I agree with you - I wouldn't do it either.
He can get a 120 volt heater easily - they are
a standard item at electrical supply houses.
It renders the 240 volt conversion idea as a
poor second choice, as did my long list of why
it would not be easy to convert. Putting a
240 volt heater on his 120 volt circuit is a
non-starter, unless the 1500 watt heater was
grossly oversized in the first place.
At 375 watts, he won't get enough heat.
It can be done fairly easily, but if you don't know any more than to ask
this question, chances are you will make at least one or more mistakes
attempting it. If you can get it to where all that has to be done is
connections, then a competent sparky should be able to handle it in about 15
minutes. What size is the wire? Start there, and you should be able to
figure a breaker size and max wattage for your replacement.
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