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Replace baseboard that use aluminum wiring


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How old is the house? 

What is the wattage and voltage of the existing baseboard heaters? (This will be printed on a little sticker inside the heater at either the far left or far right side. You should be able to see it by putting your head down near the floor.) 

Why do you want to replace the existing heaters? 

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There are stickers on them somewhere. It was a requirement and they had to be visible after the baseboard heaters were installed - although they might have been painted over. 

In general, you'd replace the old heaters with new heaters of the same wattage. If you can't find stickers to tell you the wattage, an electrician can tell you what they are by measuring their amp draw at the service panel. 

In 1969, they're going to be 240-volts so you should replace them with new 240-volt units. 

I don't know why you want to replace the heaters, but if it has to do with efficiency, don't bother. New baseboard heater's aren't even a tiny bit more efficient than 1969 baseboard heaters. They're both 100% efficient - 100% of the electricity that they use is turned to heat. 

 

 

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For a 1000 sq ft house I would ditch the baseboards and install a mini-split heat pump system. This will provide both heating and cooling and will be very energy efficient. Most utility companies have some pretty good rebates on them. Your monthly energy savings will pay for the system.     

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4 hours ago, Trent Tarter said:

For a 1000 sq ft house I would ditch the baseboards and install a mini-split heat pump system. This will provide both heating and cooling and will be very energy efficient. Most utility companies have some pretty good rebates on them. Your monthly energy savings will pay for the system.     

He's adding a cooling load. There won't be any energy savings. Plus mini splits are expensive, not to mention ugly AF.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The general rule for Al wiring is one gauge size larger than the equivalent for Copper. A typical 20 amp heating circuit would need to have #10 gauge wire in Aluminum, #12 which is smaller, for Cu.

The length is directly proportional to the wattage, long baseboard heater, big watts.

I would pull new copper 12 ga wire from the panel to the heater locations for safety and peace of mind. Also fire insurance costs less if you can say the wiring is copper.

The wiring to the thermostat carries the same current as the baseboard heater, also should be replaced. Or get the new models that have built-in programmable thermostats, just one cable from the panel or junction box.

An electrician should do the final work and sign off on it somehow, save the receipt.

Jim is correct about the old vs new, but new heaters like new switches and outlets, help to complete a reno. Al wiring should be inspected and have connections redone every 10 years.

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