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How To Wire a Baseboard Heater Thermostat

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An image of a baseboard heater thermostat.

Baseboard Heater Thermostats

Timothy Thiele
Baseboard heater thermostats are a great way of regulating the temperature of a room. Baseboard heaters can have the thermostats connected directly to the heater or mounted externally on a wall. Either way, they turn the power on and off to the unit, like a switch turns a light on and off.
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 15 - 30 Miuntes

Here's How:

  1. Turn Off the Power

    As with any electrical project, be sure that the power is turned off to the circuit that you'll be working on. Simply go to the breaker or fuse panel and turn off the breaker or unscrew the fuse that feeds that circuit. Use a non-contact voltage tester or multimeter to check for power before beginning.

  2. What is a Baseboard Heater Thermostat?

    To install a baseboard heater thermostat, first remove the thermostat from the package and check the provided instruction manual for a reference. Look at the back of the thermostat and locate the writing that shows the line and load connections. The line connection is connected to the feeder wires coming form the breaker in the electric panel. The load connection is connected to the wires that feed the baseboard heater.

  3. Connecting the Line Connection to a Baseboard Heater Thermostat

    Locate the feeder wires and strip about 3/4" of insulation from the wires. You'll likely have a black, white, and bare/green wire. The black wire is the hot wire, the white wire is the neutral wire and the bare/green wire is the ground wire. The black wire will connect to the line side of the thermostat. The white wire will connect to the load neutral wire and the ground wire will connect to the load ground wire and then pigtail to the heater ground screw.

  4. Connect the Load Connection to a Baseboard Heater Thermostat

    The load connection id the wire that runs from the thermostat to the baseboard heater itself. Connect the black wire to the load side of the thermostat. Since you've already connected the load neutral and ground connection, you've completed the thermostat connection.

  5. Mount the Baseboard Heater Thermostat

    Using the mounting screws provide with the thermostat, install the thermostat to either the baseboard heater or the junction in the wall. Each has its own installation package, but the connections are still the same.

  6. Turn Power On and Test the Baseboard Heater Thermostat

    Now that the connections are made to the baseboard heater thermostat, heater, and breaker, turn the circuit on and test out the thermostat. Turn the thermostat clockwise to trigger the thermostat switch. You'll hear it click when the contacts pull in and there should then be electricity flowing through it. In a few minutes, you should feel heat coming form the baseboard heater and your project should be complete.

Tips:

  1. Be sure to select the appropriate thermostat for your type heater. You will have either a 120-volt heater or a 240-volt heater. You will also need to choose the heater-mount or wall-mount type of thermostat. Each has a different type of cover needed to complete the installation.
  2. Always make sure the connections are secure, whether it is a terminal connection or a couple of wires connected with a wire nut.
  3. Be sure that the circuit that you connect to can handle the amount of circuit load that you are adding. This is especially true if you are adding the heater to an existing circuit.
  4. Always turn off power to a circuit when doing any electrical project. Safety first!

What You Need

  • Baseboard Thermostat
  • Wire Nuts
  • Screw Drivers
  • Wire Strippers
  • Thermostat Mounting Plate

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