How to Replace an Electric Baseboard Heater Thermostat

  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-150
What You'll Need
Replacement Baseboard Thermostat
What You'll Need
Replacement Baseboard Thermostat

The use of an electric baseboard heater thermostat makes it possible to drastically cut down on costs of heating. Normally, these thermostats function at the same level of voltage as is used by the heater though there are also thermostats that operate on low voltage which are made for use with oil, gas and heat pumps.

Remember that these thermostats will not work well on higher voltage heaters and can in fact prove to be very dangerous if used in this way. To replace an electric baseboard heater thermostat, there are a few steps that need to be taken.

The good news is that the replacement work is rather uncomplicated but because it involves handling electricity, every care must be taken to do the work safely.

Step 1: Switch Off Power to Electrical Circuit

Start off by powering off the circuit. Remove the thermostat’s cover and screws that help to attach the thermostat with a junction box. While removing the thermostat, be sure not to touch any wires.

Step 2: Ensure that no Voltage Flows in the Circuit

Make sure that the power is indeed switched off. Use a multimeter or a circuit testing device to check that grounded wires and other wires are dead.

Step 3: Disconnect Wires

While disconnecting the thermostat’s wires, label each one so that it is easy to remember which terminals they were attached to, especially in regard to line wires and those that are load wires.

Step 4: Test the New Thermostat

For this step it is necessary to temporarily reconnect the power. With a tester, check the line wire and also the load wire by turning the tester’s dial from maximum to minimum. A faulty tester will make the tester’s light go off. Only if this happens, should you move on to step 5. Disconnect the power again after this step has been complete.

Step 5: Reconnect Wires

Reconnect the wires that were labeled as load and line to the appropriate wires on the thermostat.

Step 6: Attach Thermostat

Be sure that all wires, once connected are folded up and placed neatly into the box after which the thermostat can be attached to the junction box and then the cover can be repositioned.

Step 7: Test that Everything is Working Fine

Switch on the power but do not switch on the thermostat for a couple of minutes. In case, the baseboard does not heat up, then the replacement was successful. In this case, change the setting of the thermostat to a higher temperature and then switch on the baseboard. If the baseboard begins heating up, the replacement has been done successfully.

The steps described above will work well with conventional style baseboards. Even so, regardless of baseboard type, the replacement will need to be done according to the steps described above. The most important issue is to ensure that the relevant circuit breaker has been switched off as this helps prevent the chance of accidental electrocution. A thermometer can be used to measure temperature and when it shows desired temperature and the baseboard heater switches off, it indicates that everything is in order.