Installing electric heaters

4 min read

Steve from Cadet's Tech Support team helps walk a customer through an installation. While installing an electric baseboard heater or wall heater isn't exactly rocket science, it requires a bit of know-how. Whether or not you're up to the task just depends on how comfortable you are working with electricity. The first thing to think about is what all is involved with your install process.

If you're installing a new heater, you'll need to install a dedicated circuit in your panel and run wire from the circuit to the place where you're installing your heater. If you're replacing an old heater, you'll just need to turn off the circuit powering your heater, disconnect the old heater and put the new one in it's place. Replacing a heater is something that almost anyone can do if they take their time and follow our instructions. Installing a new heater is a bit more complicated.

Just remember, whenever you deal with electricity there's a chance that you could get seriously hurt, shocked or electrocuted. In general, if you've worked with electricity before (like installed a wall outlet or a new overhead light), installing a Cadet heater shouldn't be too big of a deal. If you haven't, be sure to read the owners guide (are available online) and install guide from start to finish before even starting to attempt an install. Trust your gut. If you think it's something you can handle, go for it.

If you're unsure or have any doubts whatsoever, it's probably best to stop there and call a licensed electrician. If you're interested in the general idea of what it's like to work with electricity, check out this video from This Old House, which shows how to install an outdoor outlet.

Here are a few tips for a successful install or replacement:

  • Always make sure that the circuit powering the heater is switched to the off position when you're working on a heater.
  • Make sure you know what voltage heater you need. Voltage is determined by your breaker. Believe it or not, most homes have both 120- and 240-volt circuits. Your wall outlets are 120 and electric dryers, ranges and dryers are often 240.
  • Know how many watts you need to heat your room. More isn't always better. In general, we recommend somewhere between 6 and 10 watts per square foot depending on your home's construction, if the heater is your only source of heat and what part of the country you live in.
  • If you're replacing a heater, check the product label on the old one to find out what wattage and voltage it is. You'll need that info to buy the right replacement heater.
  • Make sure that your new heater meets all the clearance requirements, which are outlined in your owner's guide.

Just because anyone can install one of our heaters doesn't mean anyone should. Make sure you're comfortable working with electricity before you begin or call a professional to help you get the job done.