How to Retrofit Baseboards for Electric Heater Safety

Knowing how to properly install your baseboard heater will ensure electric heater safety. A baseboard heater is one of the most efficient devices designed to help warm up a place or a room. It produces enough heat to maintain the temperature at comfortable level. There are 2 types of baseboard heater: the electrical baseboard and the hot water baseboard. Older houses with outdated or inefficient heaters usually install the electric baseboard heater because the main furnaces do not always have heat vents. Follow the steps below to install an electric heater and ensure safety at the same time.

Tools and Materials
  • Level
  • Screws
  • Pencil
  • 30-amp breakers for each heater
  • ½-inch wood bit for drill
  • Drill
  • Tape measure
  • 220 wire
  • Thermostat for each heater
  • Wire snips
  • Screwdriver
  • Electric baseboard heater covers
  • Electric baseboard heater
Step 1 – Turn off the Main Switch and Measure

Make sure that the main switch is off to prevent electrical shock. Next, measure the wall to find the center where your heater will be installed. Mark down your measurement and make sure that it is accurate. When selecting the right spot, you should consider the location of the outlet where you plan to plug the unit.

Step 2 – Install the Heater

When purchasing a heater, consider the size of the room and the capability of heater to warm up a space. Choose the ideal size before you buy.

Follow the instructions in the manual to fit the heater. Once you have installed it, attach it to the thermostat by matching the wires. Remember: black is hot, white is negative and copper is the ground wire.

Step 3 – Drill and Measure

Drill ½-inch wood bits into the ground near the thermostat, and then measure the length of wire you will need to connect the heater to the breaker box. Run the wire and connect it to the breaker box using the color coding system.

Step 4 - Measure the Heater

Measure the length of the heater from the floor and the depth from the wall. Then add ½-inch to your measurement.

Step 5 – Purchasing

Purchase the heater cover according to your size measurement. If your preferred cover is not available, you may go online to order.

Step 6 – Install the Cover

To install the cover, follow the instructions in your owner's manual. The procedure varies from cover to another.