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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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[HVAC] No heat

Went downstairs this morning and it was was cold down there as we only run the kitchen baseboard (dog crate is in front of living room baseboard) and I discovered there was no heat coming from the kitchen baseboard.

There is power going to the heater but no heat. Should I just replace the heater or is there something else causing this.

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3

7 recommendations

You rent = call landlord.


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
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said by HarryH3:

You rent = call landlord.

The landlord has me do most repairs and reimburses me for parts.

A baseboard heater should not be that difficult to replace.

That on top of the loose toilet in the bathroom that is about five feet away.

I can do the heater right now as that involves power tools. As for the toilet, I'm battling carpal tunnel syndrome in my right hand.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Call Landlord.

The landlord has me do most repairs and reimburses me for parts

I guess he/she does. Free labor and doesn't have to pay a licensed craftsperson to do the work.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
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reply to IowaCowboy
Most baseboard heaters are 240 volt. When you say you have power at the heater I assume it is 240v. Where is the thermostat that controls the heater, on the wall or in the heater?

Easiest way to check the heater itself is to disconnect it and measure continuity between each device: heating element, thermostat and possibly an over temp protector.

/tom


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
There is a wall thermostat. I turned it on and I checked the heater wiring with a non-contact voltage detector and I had voltage. Turned the thermostat off and no voltage.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

1 recommendation

reply to tschmidt
Over the years I've found the majority of failures with a baseboard heater is the overtemp limit. It's a capillary device and will fail open cutting power to the element.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to IowaCowboy
Have you tried cycling the breaker?


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Yes


tschmidt
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Milford, NH
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reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

I checked the heater wiring with a non-contact voltage detector and I had voltage.

If the heater is 240v that is not going to be accurate, since both legs are live if either one has power the non-contact probe will alert. Need to measure actual voltage with a multimeter.

/tom


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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Springfield, MA
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Reviews:
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said by tschmidt:

said by IowaCowboy:

I checked the heater wiring with a non-contact voltage detector and I had voltage.

If the heater is 240v that is not going to be accurate, since both legs are live if either one has power the non-contact probe will alert. Need to measure actual voltage with a multimeter.

/tom

I was using the non contact voltage detector to rule out the thermostat as the culprit. I turned the thermostat on, the detector lit up and off the voltage detector did not light up.

I just wanted to see if power was getting to the heater or if the t-stat was faulty.
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

1 edit

1 recommendation

reply to IowaCowboy
First off - tell your LL to get off their wallet, and get a licensed pro in there...

---------

Now that the obvious is out of the way... Depending on how the stat is wired, your test may or may not tell you anything.

Some electric stats only open one leg; so you SHOULD detect voltage with your non-contact tester at all times. Some stats open both legs. Unless you know how your stat is wired, you don't know what to expect.

The definitive test is voltage at the baseboard. 120 each side, hot to ground, 240 hot to hot... That means you have good power to the baseboard... Then can replace or troubleshoot further from there.

---------

Get an electrician - it's an MDU, there's more then just you and your family at stake here...


djrobx
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join:2000-05-31
Valencia, CA
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reply to IowaCowboy

The landlord has me do most repairs and reimburses me for parts.

Your landlord has a legal obligation to provide you with heat. It's one thing to be nice and try to take care of maintenance tasks or upgrades you want, but when basic things like toilets and heat stop working, make your landlord fix it!

I'm speaking as a landlord, by the way!

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

The landlord has me do most repairs and reimburses me for parts.

And saves himself $100/hour for labor, plus parts markup.

What an awesome deal! For your landlord...


tschmidt
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join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
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reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

I was using the non contact voltage detector to rule out the thermostat as the culprit.

As has been posted, assuming the heater is 240v, if either leg is hot the voltage detector will indicate a voltage. The other leg may be dead.

said by IowaCowboy:

I turned the thermostat on, the detector lit up and off the voltage detector did not light up.

I have no idea what this sentence means.

/tom


kontos
xyzzy

join:2001-10-04
West Henrietta, NY
reply to HarryH3
said by HarryH3:

What an awesome deal! For your landlord...

Is it really that difficult to conceive of a good tenant/landlord relationship? It isn't everybody out there that is trying to screw you.

HarryH3
Premium
join:2005-02-21
kudos:3

2 recommendations

said by kontos:

said by HarryH3:

What an awesome deal! For your landlord...

Is it really that difficult to conceive of a good tenant/landlord relationship? It isn't everybody out there that is trying to screw you.

Have you paid attention to the stuff that IowaCowboy has done FREE for his landlord in the last few months? He's probably saved the LL a grand or more in service calls just in the last 90 days. That kind of "relationship" deserves far more than just paying for the parts.


kontos
xyzzy

join:2001-10-04
West Henrietta, NY
said by HarryH3:

deserves far more than just paying for the parts

IowaCowboy could be paying $100/mo. below market on rent for all we know. Could be that the LL cooks a nice meal on Sunday for Iowa. Who knows. OP may just be happy with gaining some valuable knowledge and experience with the home maintenance work.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

3 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy
The 2nd most common cause of structure fires is heating equipment; the 4th most common is electrical.

I'll pose this question to the OP, and those advocating his continuing to do work around the rental in question:

If or when there is a fire in the multi-tenant building he lives in, and the property owner's insurance denies the claim, as illegal (un-inspected work done by an unlicensed 3rd party) electrical work was done;

Will his landlord:

a) Take personal responsibility, paying for the damages, and settling lawsuits out of pocket, while thanking IowaCowboy for being a good, and helpful tenant over the years?

or

b) Lawyer up, sue IowaCowboy and his family into the stone ages, and throw him under the bus as it relates to lawsuits from other involved tenants and insurance companies?

I'm all for homeowner's doing work themselves, on buildings they own and inhabit... This isn't the case here.

There's protections and exemptions in insurance and code for homeowner's that work on their own residence. None of that applies to a tenant doing work on a rental property... And that it's a multi-tenant setup, just amplifies how bad it could get, if it got bad.


Tex
Dave's not here
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

2 recommendations

reply to IowaCowboy
If the OP doesn't know that the baseboard heater has an overload and/or high limit control, he's got no business trying to troubleshoot and repair it, I don't care how much he pays for rent or what the landlord feeds him on Sunday.

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
reply to LazMan
said by LazMan:

b) Lawyer up, sue IowaCowboy and his family into the stone ages, and throw him under the bus as it relates to lawsuits from other involved tenants and insurance companies?

Not happening »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unclean_ha ··· an_hands Once the LL pays money, it establishes knowledge of the LL of the situation. Also the insurance company will have a tall order since the fire marshall report usually wont mention if the work was done licensed or unlicensed or unpermited but legal as "replace in kind" maintenance.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

1 recommendation

Insurance companies routinely hire PI's and physical investigators to go over fire scenes, permit history, maintenance records, etc, etc.

There have been times we haven't even been finished packing up, and the PI's are already arriving to start the private investigation.

You're right that the marshall or department investigator typically won't dive into permits, etc; unless there's a criminal act or fatality involved... Once cause is determined, that's generally the end of it, for a routine fire.

Insurance companies, however, are trying to shift the cost of a claim - they'll spend all kinds of money trying to avoid paying out.

As for the success of a lawsuit - you're right, it would be an uphill battle; but by no means impossible. The right lawyer, infront of the right judge, on the right day, and anything can happen. Even if the LL loses, you're talking 20-25k minimum in legal fees, I'm guessing...


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
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join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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And I do take Fire Safety seriously, I have a Fire Extinguisher (commercial grade with metal handle, not the cheap "toy" extinguishers you find at Walmart) on every level, in the garage and in the car.

Landlords are technically supposed to provide them but they don't.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
said by IowaCowboy:

Landlords are technically supposed to provide them but they don't.

And if they do it will be the minimum as required by code.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
That's just insulting to all of the Landlords on this forum.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

And I do take Fire Safety seriously, I have a Fire Extinguisher (commercial grade with metal handle, not the cheap "toy" extinguishers you find at Walmart) on every level, in the garage and in the car.

Landlords are technically supposed to provide them but they don't.

The fine is upto 50k for a landlord not providing proper fire extinguishers and smoke detectors up here; I'm sure it's not much different where you are.

It's good you have extinguishers... Doesn't change my basic complaint.

Fix the toilet, replace the drafty door, put down laminate floor... If your LL is cool, so am I. None of those things catch fire if you do them wrong... Just stop doing electrical.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 recommendation

reply to robbin
said by robbin:

That's just insulting to all of the Landlords on this forum.

No it's not, it's reality, all I have installed in my properties is what the code requires, why do more than that, heck when I have the annuals a majority of the extinguishers we installed have been discharged, stolen or shall I say missing from the cabinets.

I do the minimum to meet the cities code, why should I pay a premium so a tenant can have an extinguisher for his boat or car or for their larvae to just set off for the fun of dusting up the hallways???



mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI
reply to IowaCowboy
You guys seriously can't see from the 100 posts on this forum from IowaCowboy that he enjoys doing repairs and maintenance for free for his landlord?


IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to 54067323
said by 54067323:

said by robbin:

That's just insulting to all of the Landlords on this forum.

No it's not, it's reality, all I have installed in my properties is what the code requires, why do more than that, heck when I have the annuals a majority of the extinguishers we installed have been discharged, stolen or shall I say missing from the cabinets.

I do the minimum to meet the cities code, why should I pay a premium so a tenant can have an extinguisher for his boat or car or for their larvae to just set off for the fun of dusting up the hallways???

Or used in a domestic disturbance. My mother moved out of a rental (former single family converted to duplex) when I was four years old because the neighbor in the other unit was always beating on the mother of his kids (that he lived with).
--
I've experienced ImOn (when they were McLeod USA), Mediacom, Comcast, and Time Warner and I currently have DirecTV. They are much better than broadcast TV.

I have not and will not cut the cord.

iknow_t

join:2012-05-03
reply to IowaCowboy
said by IowaCowboy:

Went downstairs this morning and it was was cold down there as we only run the kitchen baseboard (dog crate is in front of living room baseboard) and I discovered there was no heat coming from the kitchen baseboard.

There is power going to the heater but no heat. Should I just replace the heater or is there something else causing this.

since you live in Massachusetts, and you didn't mention which, you must be using a hydronic baseboard. an electric baseboard is crazy expensive to run. very few areas have cheap enough electricity to operate those. so, do you have oil or gas heat?? the circulator or zone valve for that baseboard may not be operating.