Since a long time ago baseboard heaters have been used, it dates back to some 80 years ago approximately, the interesting part here is that in some houses the baseboard heating is still there functioning, however, some of those baseboard heaters are not getting hot like before, if that is the case for you, you should know hot to repair the system and diagnose why the baseboard heater is not working.
Any baseboard heater needs power supply, some of the heaters need a 120 Volts power supply, now if you are having trouble because the baseboard heater is not heating enough the first thing that you need to look at is your power supply. Then we go through the system and in the supply, we have 3 wires, the hot wire, neutral wire and the ground wire. You need to know the integrity of each wire and you need here an electrical voltage equipment so that you can check if those wires are really passing the energy required. Then, at the middle of your heater you have your thermostat which is a wire that goes through the system and the resistance. You can check the integrity of it by giving more level of temperature to your thermostat and see if it is working properly. These are simple steps to checkout, however sometimes the problems can correct easily with simple steps.
If you use your heater properly you are still abusing a lot of this. Normally a heater functions throughout the year in some cases, that’s why the probability of getting some trouble increases dramatically.
One important thing that you can always consider is to looking at the manufacturer of the heater, the model and the serials numbers because with that you can contact technical support of your heater provider and you can also check the most common problems that users have experienced with that model.
When the heater’s circuit trips at the instant moment
If the circuit breaker trips instantly you have a short. This thing leaves some evidence like a wire burnt. You need to turn off the heater and then open up your heater’s cover and check each of the wires that we were discussing at the beginning of this article. Try to look for any type of damage. Then you should use a multimeter to check the integrity of the wires. Then you need to disconnect the thermostat load leads and put it at the hottest section. After doing that you need to check the continuity of it. If it is continuing you will need to replace the thermostat. If the thermostat is not attached to the baseboard heater you should check it wherever it is.
Heater that work for a short period of time
If you recently replace any piece of the baseboard heater you will need to identify any of the connections between the old elements and the new ones in order to check that everything matches properly. As a normal rule baseboard heater that use up to 4000 watts use 12 gauge wire and a 20 amp circuit breaker and others with over 4000 watts need 10 gauge wire and a 30 amp circuit breaker.
If the circuit breaker feels hot you need to calculate the total amperage of the circuit and check that it is in the minimal rating. This circuit breaker needs to get more than total load by 130 percent. The problem with the heaters that need 120 volts usually share the circuit with lightning. The 240 volts one doesn’t have this issue.
If you are having insufficient heat on your baseboard heater you will need to make sure that it uses the sufficient amount of power supply and that you calculate your needs of watts energy by the size of your room. Remember that if the room where it is connected is big you might need a more powerful heater or connect several ones in series. Try to check for the current passage of hot air, that’s how heaters work, it works with a physical mechanism called convection. This convection requires you to give sufficient space to let the hot air pass its energy to cold air and therefore it warms your room. Another thing that you need to check is that you close doors when they are not needed because that allows the adequate passage of hot energy and it is not affected by external sources.
As you can see diagnosing problems in your baseboard heater needs some attention to all the elements involved. For example, not all the problems are caused by the malfunctioning of the heater, some of the problems come after the heater is functioning properly and then we don’t have the best conditions to make an efficient passage of energy through our rooms. In case the problem comes from your heater first you need to think of the easiest problems such as power supply, check the integrity of the wires, check if the passage of energy is the same throughout the system, etc. Sometimes the system works well but the thermostat doesn’t in that case you will need to replace it with a new one. The best part of it is that it is less expensive to replace only the thermostat than the whole heater.