# Thread: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

1. Junior Member
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## Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

I found that there is always a current present in single pole thermostat ...does it mean it always consumes electricity even though its on lowest setting?

We have a base board heater with single pole thermostat with only low and high setting...

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## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

exactly how did you determine that there is always current present? are you confusing current with voltage? They are not the same thing.

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## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

Originally Posted by keith3267
exactly how did you determine that there is always current present? are you confusing current with voltage? They are not the same thing.
well may be voltage but what am concerned is...when we use single pole thermostat (which means we can not totoaly turn it off) in basebaord heater...does it cost us money even when we set it lowest setting?

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## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

You are running two threads at the same time here. I think I gave you a pretty good explanation in your other thread.

I think you might be confused about single pole and double pole thermostats. A thermostat is a switch that turns on and off with changes in temperature. They do not usually have a low and high setting, just a dial with either a scale like 1-10 or temperatures like 60°-90°. When the temperature is above the setting, the switch is off, when the temp is below, it is on.

The number of poles is inside the switch, All 120 volt heaters and most 240 volt heaters use single pole switches in the thermostat. Some 240 volt heaters use a double pole switch inside the thermostat.

If you have a heater with a temperature dial (thermostat) and a switch that says low/high, see my other post in your other thread please.

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## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

Originally Posted by keith3267
You are running two threads at the same time here. I think I gave you a pretty good explanation in your other thread.

I think you might be confused about single pole and double pole thermostats. A thermostat is a switch that turns on and off with changes in temperature. They do not usually have a low and high setting, just a dial with either a scale like 1-10 or temperatures like 60°-90°. When the temperature is above the setting, the switch is off, when the temp is below, it is on.

The number of poles is inside the switch, All 120 volt heaters and most 240 volt heaters use single pole switches in the thermostat. Some 240 volt heaters use a double pole switch inside the thermostat.

If you have a heater with a temperature dial (thermostat) and a switch that says low/high, see my other post in your other thread please.
Yes we have a baseboard heater with temperature dial (thermostat) and switch says low/high and I read your other resposne but did not understand yet...so if u can simplify
my questions are
1. in the lowest setting does it still uses power ..if so should we change it to double pole so we can turn it off?
2. In this single pole thermostat (with low/high dial) it uses the same power if we either keep in mid setting vs highest setting?

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## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

OK, You have two elements inside the heater. You have one switch and one dial. The dial is the thermostat.

The switch will send all power to only one element when it is in the low position. Each element will draw 750 watts when on. In the high position, the switch sends power to both elements for a total of 1500 watts.

There are two types of dials. It could be a thermostat or a rheostat. Most likely it is a thermostat. In almost all heaters that I have seen, turning the dial all the way counterclockwise (left) turns off the heater. That is your off switch.

The low high switch and the thermostat dial are in series, that is the power passes through one, then the other. If the switch is the first one in the series, then you will always find voltage on it, even when the heater is off.

The dial could be a rheostat, which is a variable resistor, but that is very unlikely. If it was, you wouldn't need a high/low switch because the rheostat would be like an infinitely variable low to high selector. Also it has to dissipate a lot of heat itself because of its resistance.

More likely the dial is a thermostat which is a switch with a variable spring on it. The spring expands and contracts with temperature turning the switch on and off. Because it is in the heater itself, it is controlling the temperature inside the heater and not in the room. Because of this, you have to turn it up on colder days so the heater stays on longer. That is also why there isn't a temperature scale on it, just a cool to hot on the dial, like the heater in your car.

If the thermostat doesn't have an off position, then you should put a switch in to turn it off during the summer. But most of these, if you turn them all the way to the left (CCW) you should feel it go over a detent right at the end, that is the off switch. You will feel the voltage on the low/high switch, but with the dial in the off position, the circuit is not complete so no current flows, therefor no power is consumed.

7. ## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

Simple answer if the heater is not heating it is not drawing power.

Jack

8. ## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

Jack that allllmost right and for the most part that is true. When off the heater isn't making heat, drawing power. But the thermostat draws a teensy amount which is measurable, but still teensy and detectable. I think this is what the OP is discovering and causing a red herring.

Without this ultra slight energy draw to operate the thermostat, the heater wouldn't work. If you want it to draw no power at all, then unplug it.

9. ## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

If the contacts are open on a single pole thermostat what is drawing any power. Open circuits do not conduct.

Jack

10. dj1
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## Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

Everything plugged in, even in off position draws some power. So minute, but still a draw.

To the OP: don't sweat this draw. If you are concerned about wasting power, there are dozens of other places around your house where you can find bigger waste.

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