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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

    Quote Originally Posted by dj1 View Post
    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.
    Wrong, current flow requires a complete circuit no complete circuit no current flow.

    Jack
    Last edited by JLMCDANIEL; 02-05-2013 at 11:45 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

    Jack,

    My answer came directly from our department of water and power, when they explained ways to cut power waste.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

    My head is spinning from all the previous replies, so I'll just ignore all of them and give my own explanation:
    1. All line-voltage thermostats either make a circuit or break it -- there is no "sort of on" setting. They operate by sensing the temperature; if the temperature drops too low they turn the heater full on; if the temperature gets too high they turn the heater completely off. The "low" setting only means that the thermostat will come on when it gets very cold.
    2. Single-pole thermostats usually have a "low" setting but don't turn "off." When set at low, the heat may come on if it gets cold enough.
    3. Most double-pole thermostats DO have an "off" setting. When set to "off" they will never turn on, no matter how cold it gets.
    4. If a single-pole thermostat is connected to a 240V heater, when it is set to "low" and not conducting electricity, you WILL measure a voltage between either terminal and ground. This does not mean that electricity is being consumed; it occurs because the other pole is not disconnected so there is a voltage potential in series with the heater element.
    5. For safety, 240V heaters should be equipped with double-pole, not single-pole, thermostats. If you stick a fork into a 240V heater that's equipped with a single-pole thermostat, you may get a nasty shock.
    6. A few line-voltage thermostats contain an "anticipator:" this is a tiny heating element that preheats the thermostat so it shuts off before reaching the set temperature. This is for high-mass heaters that continue radiating heat after the energy source is removed. These thermostats may consume an infinitesimal bit of energy, even when off, though they are rare and usually are a special-order item.


    Clear as mud, right?

    EDIT: As Keith points out, below, electronic thermostats do use electricity. My post was ONLY about mechanical thermostats.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 02-06-2013 at 01:30 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

    dj1, those electronic (digital) thermostats do use a tiny amount of energy when off, several watts in fact. Most of the energy is consumed in the required step down transformer which are often air core and very inefficient. The rest is in the display.

    I have never seen a digital thermostat on a portable or hardwired baseboard heater. They are mechanical and use a bimetallic spring to make or break the contacts in a switch. When the contacts are in the break position, no energy is being consumed.

    vikasintl, think of the heater like a toilet tank. There is a float attached to a valve. The float is like the thermostat, when the water level drops, the valve opens and water flows into the tank. When the tank is full, the valve is shut off by the float and water stops flowing.

    The thermostat is the float that detects temperature. The valve is the switch and the tank is the heater. There is always water pressure at the valve even when water is not flowing just as there is voltage at the thermostat even with the heater is not heating. When the water level drops, the valve opens and water flows just the same as when the temperature drops, the thermostat makes contacts in the switch and current flows.

    Water pressure is like voltage and water flow is like current.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

    fencepost the anticipatory only draws current when there is a call for heat.

    dj1, I did not however, even consider a digital thermostat in the above posts, they do draw power all the time. The reason I didn't is because if this was a fairly new set up I believe a double pole unit would have been installed to meet code.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Single pole thermostat in baseboard heater constantly use electricity?

    There are digital thermostats for line-voltage (like baseboard) heaters. I have installed one. Yes, they do use a small amount of electricity, even when the heater is off.

    Here's one: http://yourhome.honeywell.com/home/P...ble/TL8230.htm -- I haven't been able to determine just how much power it consumes by itself, but it's likely to be insignificant.
    Last edited by Fencepost; 02-06-2013 at 01:36 PM.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

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