How to Wire a 220-Volt Baseboard Heater

Electric baseboard heaters provide heat off of a 220V circuit.
In this type of circuit, the neutral lead from the breaker box is replaced by a second hot lead, creating a circuit that carries twice the voltage of a typical 110V circuit at the same current. This results in a greater power output without raising energy costs. The extra power is useful for baseboard heaters as well as other home appliances such as ovens and water heaters. Though the circuit carries a different voltage, the wiring still consists of three leads including a ground; it is no more difficult than wiring any standard household appliance.

Step 1

Disable power at the breaker box, and run a 12/2 three-strand NM cable from an available two-pole, 30 amp breaker to the location of the baseboard heater. If you do not have an available breaker that meets these requirements, you will need to install one in order to create a 220V circuit. If you are unsure of how to install a circuit or run the proper cabling, consult an electrician or have them run the circuit for you.

Step 2

Strip the outer covering from the NM cable to access the three inner wires. There will be two black leads and a bare copper ground.

Step 3

Remove the cover from one of the junction boxes on either side of the baseboard heater. Thread the three wires from the NM cable through a knockout in the junction box and secure with a cable clamp.

Step 4

Use a wire nut to connect the bare ground pigtail inside the junction box to the bare wire from the cable.

Step 5

Connect each hot lead pigtail from the junction box to one of the two hot leads coming from the cable. It will not matter which lead is connected to which wire in the junction box because both carry a "hot" signal.

Step 6

Replace the junction box cover and restore power to the heater circuit. Check that everything is in proper working order. If not, double check all wiring and make sure connections are secure.

Things You Will Need

  • 2-pole 30 amp breaker
  • 12/2 three-strand NM cable
  • Wire nuts
  • Wire cutters
  • Screwdriver
  • Cable clamp

Tip

  • You can chain several heaters together on the same circuit to help heat colder rooms in your home.

Warning

  • Make sure power is disabled before conducting any electrical work in your home. Failure to disable the circuit could result in electric shock or other injury.

About the Author

Hailed as one of his native Baltimore's emerging writers in Urbanite Magazine, for the past five years Kevin Krause has been writing everything from advertising copy to prose and poetry. A recent grad holding a degree in English and creative writing from University of Maryland, Baltimore County, his most recent work can be found in The Urbanite.