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I just fininsh a room in the attic and I want to put a baseboard electric heater. which is the best way to run the wire from the attice to basement? Thanks

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Wow - You're looking at quite the job!! The wire needs to be protected inside the walls or at the least inside conduit along the outside of the house - but that wouldn't be too pretty. I suggest getting yourself an Electricians fishtape ( if you don't already have one ) and choose a point either inside a closet or in a visually hidden location you can drill through the floors and the walls to fish your romex through. If all walls are sheetrock, you may have to literally cut a channel into the wall ( use a good metal detector to find existing electric and plumbing so you can miss those ) , bury the wire, and backfill with plaster or sheetrock mud. Either way, have patience - it is a long road you're going down. The easiest way ( not the prettiest, or necessarily legal in your area ) is to run some conduit vertically along the outside of the building and fish your wire into it. Get some wiresnot to help reduce friction and simplify the pulling of the wire in the conduit.Punch your hole through the basement and attic walls and make sure you seal those holes real good with silicone. Check first with your local city and or county building code enforcement office for the legality of externally mounted conduit / wire.
Hope this helps!

Posted on Nov 10, 2010

Testimonial: "Thanks again, Is it OK if I use the 10/3 outdoor wire so that I can hide along with the siding?"

  • George Hels
    George Hels Nov 10, 2010

    That depends on the current requirement of your baseboard heater and the distance traveled - remember there is an increase of resistance the farther you go, and the more resistance means more heat in the wire. If you can find 8/3 outdoor I think that would not only be safer but last longer.
    Hope this helps!!

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1 Answer

Electric tank water heater is in attic. When outdoor temps are high it doesn't work. Why?


Hi Jan:
Really interesting............
A puzzle I've never encountered before.
I'm a retired Contractor and Building and Plumbing Inspector so can offer an answer based on experience.
- In hot weather, attics get REALLY hot.
- An attic is an unusual location for a hot water tank.
- A thermostat senses the temperature of the water in the tank and determines when it needs to be heated.
- I would be suspicious that in your installation, the temperature in your attic is higher than the "high limit" for your water heater.
To phrase it another way, since the attic temperature is really high, and the tank thermostat is in the attic, it "thinks" that the water is already at the required temperature.
The only real "fix" that I could suggest would be to locate the hot water tank in the moderated temperature area of the dwelling.
Hope this helps.
I would appreciate your letting me know by comment to this post if that is the problem.
Cheers, and thanks for the puzzle.

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How large does the area of the space required to service an HVAC or water heating unit in the attic have to be?


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Had three 50-gal American Standard water heaters installed Dec. 2009 Two upstairs in attic, one downstairs at ground level. Attic location used because heaters being replaced were up there. Upstairs...


Plumber is right.
Problem is not amount of air in attic. Problem is how hot the air is.
Oxygen molecules separate apart in very hot air and pilot light goes out since there is not enough oxygen density to support combustion.
http://waterheatertimer.org/images/Water-heater-in-attic-800.jpg
http://waterheatertimer.org/pdf/Attic-Ventilation-and-Pilot-Outage-in-Gas%20Water-Heaters.pdf

More ventilation is needed.
Plumber is not ventilating expert, and not responsible for attic ventilation that builder failed to install. Plumber should do a survey of location before installation to make sure gasoline vapors are not stored nearby, but summer attic ventilation is gray area until more general-public folks become aware of problem. Hotter summers temperatures will spread that information.

Hire local home center to install roof vents AND soffit vents.
Note: You also need soffit vents.
Remember a vent on the roof is like sucking air out of a coke bottle. The roof vent is no good unless air can also enter the attic from another vent located in the soffit.

Another solution is electric water heater for very hot locations.
Or install solar-assisted water heater.
http://www.hotwater.com/products/residential/cirrex_solar.html

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a water heaters life is 7 to 10 years. if maintained, lifespan can be a lot longer.

would need to know what brand, and model number to help repair, but most likely the thermocouple needs to be replaced.

I would actually relocate out of your attic. the only water heaters I install in attics are electric.

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Microwaves draw 1/3 the energy of a range and run for 1/10 of the time. Microwave as many things as you can. In our house we have started microwaving canned veggies and boxed side dishes and such.

These are the big ones I've done at my house. A lot of the other things seemed to be more work than they are worth. Some actually end up costing you more if you don't own the house for decades.

There are many sites you can visit such as your local power company and possibly your local government pages.

Good luck. I'm in the same boat with the high power bill.

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