Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Ask your electrical related questions here
Post Reply
jeb101
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:13 am
Location: Canada

Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by jeb101 » Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:12 am

So, I am going to install my baseboard heaters, and was recommended by a buddy of mine to not use 14/2 with a 2p15a for the 700w heater, but to just get another 20a breaker and continue with the 12/2 wire as it's red for heating.

I have no problem going that route, just wondering, is there a maximum gauge we can put on the heater if it's of low amperage.

I want to say that it's fine, as long as the circuit is within spec, and would assume, short or whatnot, we'd have the breaker pop anyway?

Considering I already have a 150m spool of 12/2 heating, and 2p20a breakers are like 2$ more, it suits me quite well to use 12/2 romex vs 14/2 with 2p15a.

Thanks!

CosmosisT
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 6:13 am

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by CosmosisT » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:56 am

14 gauge wire is used for lights and switches, it is easily worked with making it suitable for LIGHTS. This wire is limited to 1,800watts, [email protected]!

12 gauge wire is used for outlets/heaters, it is harder to work with but delivers more power
This wire is limited to 2,400watts, [email protected]!

There's every need to use 12 gauge for your heaters, heaters still range in wattage from 300 to 1,000watts+

Best to make for room, whether it's used or not. Outlets within the home are not always used and sometimes everything is thrown at one outlet. Would it be fair to say because I don't use some outlets or I plug in only a TV, that I should go for 14 gauge? What if I one day plugged in a 1,000watt sound system, and all sorts.

Future proofing is all. Do you need 12gauge? I'd say HELL YEAH!

I'm no expert but took a few courses in school, perhaps someone can elaborate if need be? :)

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 3586
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by Aaron » Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:16 pm

I generally agree, although in modern construction 14/2 is adequate for lights, switches, and receptacles (15A circuits) in residential homes. 20A circuits are useful (and in some cases required) in the kitchens, bathrooms, garages, and basements where high-wattage appliance devices get used. Bedrooms, living rooms, dens, family rooms, etc are generally fine with regular 15A receptacles and 14/2 cabling.

For a 240V heater, usually 14 gauge conductors should supply enough ampacity for the most part, but if you're in Canada, go for that red-jacketed NM cable with the black and red insulated conductors inside. Those are specific for 240V appliances that are rated for 15 and 20 amps.

jeb101
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:13 am
Location: Canada

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by jeb101 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:22 am

Good to know Aaron, I'll probably just run a 12/2, it's just for the bathroom heater which is 700w, not a very big circuit, that's why I was checking if 14/2 was adequate, but you never know if I decide to so something else with it, I'll have room to spare, a LOT of room. haha

Thanks guys, appreciate the help.

User avatar
emtnut
Posts: 1964
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:21 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by emtnut » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:42 am

Aaron already answered your question, but I just wanted to clear up possible confusion ??

The red cable (called Heatex) Has a Black and Red conductor , It is available in both 14/2 and 12/2

Technically there is no maximum size cable. ie, you may have to use 10/2 on a really long run.
For baseboard heat, it's OK to upsize (and does give you expansion options for the future)
I gather you already have the 12/2, so go ahead and use it if you want. If you already have the 15A breaker, you can still use that for this circuit too.
*note* - There is absolutely nothing wrong with using regular 14-12/2 for 240V as long as you identify the white conductor (red or black, with tape or marker)

@CosmosisT - Technically your numbers are correct, but code considers BB Heat to be a continuous load, so you are limited to 80% on the circuit, so...
15A is 1,440 Watts @120V, but this is a 240V circuit, so 240 X 15 X 0.8 = 2,880 Watts

20A is 1,920 Watts @120V , and for 240V - 240 X 20 X 0.8 = 3,840 Watts
~~ Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford :mrgreen: ~~

jeb101
Posts: 157
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:13 am
Location: Canada

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by jeb101 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:39 pm

Thanks for your input emnut, really appreciate it. I went and bought 20a breakers, so I may as well use the 12/2 I have (150m for 3 baseboards + eventually 3 more, and it's easy runs). My local shop got me a wicked price for it all.

After taxes, for 3x 2p15, 150m 12/2 heatex, 5 electrical boxes, and a box of 4004 1/2 inch, it came to 310$ after tax, I basically got the wire at a steal, I think it was like 180 after tax I think.

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 3586
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by Aaron » Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:35 pm

150M of 12/2 for $180? That's ridiculously cheap. Are you sure? Wow.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13428
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by Shannon » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:23 pm

150M of 12/2 in my neck of the woods is around 210$ Canadian plus taxes so 180 would be a decent deal.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 3586
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Is there a maximum breaker / wire for a 700W baseboard?

Post by Aaron » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:34 pm

We don't have 150 m, we have 250 ft (73 m) bundles of 12/2 for $70+tax currently. So I guess that price is the going rate... about $1/m. I actually thought it was much higher... I think it used to be!

Post Reply