Better controller for Baseboard electric heater with knob on heater

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sandyut

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Feb 18, 2015
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Our house has electric baseboard heaters. All but one are on digital thermostats. The one exception is a PITA. The controler is on the baseboard and it sucks. nearly impossible to control. Anyone ever seen some option besides retiring this to a real thermostat? It’s a small heater in a bathroom and I feel like wiring it to a real thermostat will be costly.
IMG_0689.jpeg
 
There are replacements tstats but will take some digging to ensure it fits yours. Have not done one but looks a pretty straightforward one beer project to me. Worst case is having to swap module from new to your existing mount so it fits.

https://www.menards.com/main/heatin...-thermostat/08734/p-1444426131705-c-12864.htm
Thanks, Im pretty sure it’s swappable. May go this route eventually, I was hoping for something more high tech. But I think that is a dream that I would see come to fruition…but figured it was worth asking. This type is around a lot.
 
Got ya. Somehow I read that as if it were broke... I would call an handyman or electrician not a heating guy. Can you get under or in the ceiling to run wires?
 
Got ya. Somehow I read that as if it were broke... I would call an handyman or electrician not a heating guy. Can you get under or in the ceiling to run wires?
It’s got a vaulted ceiling. I think all the wiring come from above, but big PITA. the hope for an inexpensive fix is dwindling.

its not totally broke, its just finicky. Sometimes it works OK, other times its always on or always off.
 
What brand of baseboard?
Some have the option to add a transformer control module and run low voltage wiring to a wall mounted thermostat.
All baseboard makers use a different enclosure style. Replacement parts are not a universal fit.
Do you have access from below?
 
Not ideal, but curious how well a tstat would work mounted directly above. Should be rather easy/cheap to do. Bet it works more like you expect than it works now. Short length of wire, box, and tstat. There are digital models too.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honeywe...UELdvJFN08GJ_j-NXRRoCqmgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Dial itself could be wonky, the plastic could be stripped and not turning the metal pot (rheostat/dimmer) Take it off and inspect. Trying turning pot with fingers or a tool.
 
What brand of baseboard?
Some have the option to add a transformer control module and run low voltage wiring to a wall mounted thermostat.
All baseboard makers use a different enclosure style. Replacement parts are not a universal fit.
Do you have access from below?
Hmm I will need to get inside again and see if i can find any labels or branding. Not hopeful as I have seen anything like that on others I opened up. But this could be a possibility to explore!

as for replacing -they dont have interchangeable parts based on fit, but not on function - right.
 
Thinking just upgrade to an up to date heater.... should have better control
I may just see about a new controller. But this is a smaller unit so it may not be to much $$ to just replace the entire deal. Many thanks!
 
Hmm I will need to get inside again and see if i can find any labels or branding. Not hopeful as I have seen anything like that on others I opened up. But this could be a possibility to explore!

as for replacing -they dont have interchangeable parts based on fit, but not on function - right.
Part assemblies are generally not interchangeable between brands, but the functional part such as a new thermostat will function universally.
Your baseboard appears to be Cadet brand. The ID label can either be in the compartment with the thermostat or below the heating element behind the front cover.

Here is the unit I mentioned for low voltage wiring.
cadet-thermostat-accessories-r841c1227-64_1000.jpg

Just need bottom access to route the bell wire down across the floor and get into a wall cavity and lots of colorful language to fish the wire up to the thermostat.
 
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Not ideal, but curious how well a tstat would work mounted directly above. Should be rather easy/cheap to do. Bet it works more like you expect than it works now. Short length of wire, box, and tstat. There are digital models too.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honeywe...UELdvJFN08GJ_j-NXRRoCqmgQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Dial itself could be wonky, the plastic could be stripped and not turning the metal pot (rheostat/dimmer) Take it off and inspect. Trying turning pot with fingers or a tool.
This will work too.
Just need some wiremold surface raceway to route the wires up the wall to a line voltage thermostat. Getting the thermostat away from the baseboard is a must to get better room temperature control.

edit: Wiremold is not attractive to some people. Need to run that concept past the other half for approval before proceeding. Is the bathroom baseboard on an exterior wall? If not, you can cut holes in the wall and snake wiring up to an old work box.
 
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Our house has electric baseboard heaters.
...
Our Minnesota house is 100% electric heat with the bulk in baseboard (I hate it) but fortunately all the rooms have line voltage thermostats. I replaced all the thermostats a couple years ago which helped greatly.
Basement has electric heat under the slab. That part I love as it is on off peak heating so the electricity is less than half rate.
Love the zone to zone control, but electricity is a lot more expensive than natural or even propane (LPG) gas. I should convert to hot water baseboard to make the resale more attractive as we will be eventually moving.
 
Go with a PID controller if ya want higher tech... LOL

Honestly, this is not a bad idea... If 1) You already have a PID that can handle the current draw, and 2) You and/or your spouse would not object to the "temporary wiring" that would be involved. Run the PID, likely with alternate PID coefficients, with the heater cranked all the way up, and run the existing control at your normal setting while your PID is doing it's primary duty of running your smoker. Your bathroom would never be more comfortable.

(A newer baseboard heater or a remote thermostat is probably a better idea. ;) )
 
Check the amp draw and look for line voltage stats or use a transformer and go low voltage with a relay or contactor
 
Thanks all! Lots to process, and my better half needs to approve as well so there could be a speed bump in some of the ideas. But this discussion is very helpful!

Fueling Around Fueling Around we are 100% Electic heat here. Almost everyone is do to the being in the mountains. functionally its pretty great, cost wise it just hurts ALOT. I bought 8 Mysa thermostats and put them in a few months after we settled and that was a huge help. Cut usage costs by at least 25% instantly. the one lone bathroom is the last thing I want to make more right. Wife is not as motivated on this as me. So we’ll see what I can get done.
 
If you're looking to boost the heat while using the bathroom , what about a heated exhaust fan ?
Just thinking out loud . Maybe an option if the therm doesn't pan out .
 
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Push the EASY BUTTON ... and just replace the whole thing... You'll have an updated modern heater that in turn should save money...
 
edit: Wiremold is not attractive to some people. Need to run that concept past the other half for approval before proceeding. Is the bathroom baseboard on an exterior wall? If not, you can cut holes in the wall and snake wiring up to an old work box.
+1 Raceway is a hard pass here. Unless insulated with foam, a short vertical run to another box for the tstat should be easy peasy. Ideally, you want the tstat on an interior wall but think this is a great compromise. Now that I know all but this are Mysa it's a no brainer. Have a dude run the wiring and install so you have a full system. This is very basic work for a pro, apprentice level.
https://www.amazon.com/Mysa-Thermostats-Electric-Baseboard-Heaters/dp/B09FQ9L3Q6?th=1
 
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