Over time, the baseboard heaters in your home can burn out, operate with less efficiency and simply become an unstylish eyesore. If you're interested in upgrading one or more baseboards to a high-efficiency model, it's possible that you can handle the job on your own. Swapping an old baseboard heater for a new one requires little in the way of tools and you can typically get the job done with minimal time invested. Here's the way to accomplish this task — and remember, if you get overwhelmed at any point, it's a good idea to step away and call a licensed electrician to finish the job correctly.
Prepare For The Job
As with any electrical job, the first step is to cut off the power for the area. If the baseboard heater you're working on is specifically listed on the circuit breaker panel, flip the appropriate switch. When in doubt, shut off the power to the entire house to eliminate the risk of getting electrocuted. When the power is turned off, grab the tool that you'll need for the job. In most cases, a multi-tip screwdriver is all you'll need.
Remove The Old Baseboard Heater
The process of removing your old baseboard heater can differ according to its model. However, this task is typically simple. Many baseboard heaters have removable covers; you can usually remove the cover by taking out a screw at each end of the unit. This will expose the heating element and the main structure of the heater, which is attached to the wall. Use the screwdriver to loosen the mounting screws and carefully pull the unit away from the wall. All that is left to do is disconnect the wiring. In most cases, you can complete this step by loosening the two screws (and occasionally a grounding screw) so that you can slip the wires off.
Mount The New Heater
If you did your research carefully when you bought your new baseboard heater, you'll have purchased a unit of the same size, which will make the installation job easier. The first step is to connect the wires coming from the wall with the mounting screws on the new unit. This is simply a matter of slipping the wires under the screws and then tightening them down; you should carefully follow the installation manual if you have any confusion about this step. Then, you mount the unit to the wall with the mounting screws, tighten them into place and then affix the cover onto the unit with its screws. Turn the power back on and you'll have heat as soon as you switch on the unit.
For professional help, contact a company like Etheridge Electric Company Inc.