How to Replace a Baseboard Heater

Baseboard heaters are often found in older homes because installing them is often simpler than installing the extensive ductwork that other systems require. If one of your baseboard heaters goes out, you may want to consider replacing it yourself. If you have some experience working with electricity this should be an easy job.

Start by shutting off the circuit that services the unit and check for power using a voltage meter. When you are sure that the power is in the off position, begin by locating the wires that come out of the wall and enter the unit. Most of the time they are joined to the heater chassis with wire nuts, although sometimes you must cut the wire. If you need to cut the wire, cut it as close to the old chassis as possible so you have as much wire as possible to work with.

Now you should disconnect the ground wire, which is often attached to the heater chassis. Next, remove the screws from baseboard heater that attach it to the wall. Pull the baseboard heater away from the wall slowly.

Keep in mind that sometimes the baseboard heater will have bounded to the wall because of the heat. In this case, you want to remove it as gently as possible so you do not damage the wall underneath.

Now you can install the new baseboard heater. It is important to install a model that has the wattage and size as the older unit. You may also want to take this time to repaint or wallpaper the room, as baseboard heaters can be difficult to work around.

Begin by placing the new baseboard heater up against the wall and screwing into place, being sure to hit studs, not just wallboard. Make sure to feed the wires into the main cavity. Then attach the wires to the chassis, following the manufacturer’s instructions as to the placement of the grounding wire and other wires that connect to the unit.

Install the cover of the baseboard heater when the wires are in place. Turn on the circuit to the part of the house in which the baseboard heater is located and turn on the heater to make sure it works properly.

Replacing the exact same baseboard heater where an existing unit exists is an easy task. However, if you want a model that is larger or smaller, or want to install a unit in a room without one, you’ll want to contact an electrician. An electrician will not only install one for you, but will be able to determine what unit will best meet your needs while meeting specific code requirements.

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