Troubleshooting a Baseboard Heater That is Overheating

A baseboard heater, as the name suggests, is positioned along the base of exterior walls and helps in warming the room. This heater is generally run with the help of a thermostat that controls the connection and switches the heater on or off. The electric elements heat the air that gets drawn in through the bottom, and this conventionally rises in the air, thereby heating it. Here are a few simple steps to troubleshoot a 220-Volt baseboard heater that is overheating or giving you trouble.

Check the Output from Your Circuit Breaker Panel to Your Heater

With the help of a screwdriver, carefully uncover the circuit breakers panel box. Then, get your volt ohmmeter to the volts position after turning it on. The red lead and the black lead should be placed into the “Volts” connector and the “common connector,” respectively. Once this is done, the breaker should be switched on to the baseboard heater.

The red lead should be touched to a terminal screw that is at the bottom of the circuit breaker. Ensure that the reading on your meter is 220 Volts. If no, it means that your breaker needs to be replaced. If yes, then simply move to the next step.

Check Your Thermostat

The panel cover can be replaced once the breaker is turned off. Uncover the electrical cover of the baseboard heater and check that there are two wires connected to the thermostat switch.

The meter has to be then switched to ohms. Change the position of the red lead back to the “Ohms connecter.” Also ensure that each of the thermostats connectors is touched with the red and black lead. The knob on the thermostat can then be turned on. This means that when you move the knob it goes from a “wide open” to a “direct short.” If this doesn’t happen, your thermostat needs to be replaced. Else you can move to the next step.

Check for Resistance

We need to ensure that the meter is in the ohms position. There is a connector at one end of the heater that needs to touch one lead of the meter. The other end of the heater is where the other lead should be placed. There should be some kind of resistance reading shown on the meter. You will know that the heater element of the baseboard is burnt out if your meter shows open or infinite Ohms. If the heater shows as OK, you can safely move to the next step.

Check the Feed Wires

Replace the red lead in its original position, i.e., in the “Volts connector” and also ensure that the meter is back in the “Volts position.” The circuit breaker should then be switched on. Follow the instructions for checking your thermostat, wherein the leads of the meter are touched to the heater element. Ensure that the meter reading shows as 220 Volts. The feed wires need to be replaced if the meter reading is less than 110 Volts. Check the wires backward to find a break or simply replace them.