Frequently asked questions

Are 120- and 240-volt heaters compatible with both 120- and 240-volt circuits?

120-volt heater
Do not wire a 120-volt heater to a 240-volt circuit. The heater will try to deliver three times its rated wattage, causing it to overheat. This will permanently damage the heating element and also void the product warranty.

240-volt heater
We do not recommend wiring a 240-volt heater to a 120-volt circuit. The heater will be underpowered and will only receive 25% of the wattage it was designed to deliver.

How much heat do I need for my room?

Use this handy chart to estimate the wattage of the heater(s) you will need to comfortably warm your area.

Lots of windows?
Increase wattage by 50%

Exact square footage not listed?
Colder Climate?
Higher altitude?
Choose next highest wattage.

What should I do with the extra wire in the 12/3 or 10/3 wiring?

12/2 or 10/2 wiring is used in residential circuits. If you have a three conductor supply with ground (total of four conductors), be aware that all of Cadet’s residential heaters require single-phase power to be supplied by two conductors (two wires plus a ground). A voltmeter will be required to determine which two wires will supply the correct voltage for the heater. All “extra” wires should be capped off and unused. Always use the green ground screw (or wire if included in your heater) provided in the heater connection box or wall can for connecting to the supply ground wire.

What is the difference between a double pole and a single pole thermostat?
  • Double pole thermostats break both sides of the heater’s power line and have an “off” setting.
  • A single pole thermostat breaks only one side of the heater’s power line and only has a “low” setting and no true “off” setting.

For heaters with a single pole thermostat, if room temperatures dip, the heater will turn on even if the thermostat is at its lowest setting. Remember, the best way to ensure your heater is off is to disconnect power to the heater circuit at the main disconnect panel.

How do I choose the right heater or thermostat?

Heaters: Our Product Selection Guide is an easy way to find the right Cadet heater to fit your needs.

Thermostats: Check out our How to Choose a Thermostat guide, or the Product Selection Guide can help as well.

Is it safe to let my drapes cover my heaters (fan or baseboard) or put furniture in front of my heater?

No, that’s not safe. In fact, please keep furniture, paper, bedding, as well as drapes and curtains away from the heater. Keep safe clearances around your heater so nothing is blocking the flow of air. A good guideline to follow—allow a three-foot clearance in front of the heater, and allow six inches to the sides and above the heater. Your product owner's guide contains safety requirements and recommendations.

Are Cadet heaters safe?

Cadet heaters are perfectly safe when they’re used correctly.

If a Cadet wall heater is ever dirty, blocked, or malfunctions, it will turn off, thanks to a manual limit switch. The heater will stay off until you press the reset button (the “manual” in manual limit switch) or until you turn the thermostat to the “off” or “low” position. Many Cadet wall heaters include a back-up thermal limit switch (also referred to as a “one-shot.”). If a heater experiences extreme heating temperatures, this limit will trip. In this case the heater must be repaired or replaced—you will not be able to simply reset the heater.

Cadet baseboard heaters have an automatic limit switch that temporarily shuts the heater off when excessive operating temperatures are detected. All Cadet heaters bear a mark signifying they have been evaluated and tested to Underwriters Laboratories’ (UL) safety standards.

Are children safe around Cadet heaters?

As with any other electric appliance, children should be supervised when playing around electric heaters, as grill temperatures will increase during operation. Make sure toys aren’t pushed inside the unit or stuck in the grill. This can block air flow and impede the fan’s movement. Consider the Cadet Energy Plus heater if you have children—it has maximum and minimum set-point lock features and is a great option for families with young children.

How often should I clean my heater?

Try to clean out your wall heater at least every six months. It’s easy to do!

  1. Disconnect the power to the heater at the electric panel board (make sure you lock or tag the panel board so the power isn’t inadvertently turned on).
  2. Remove the grill (and wash, if necessary).
  3. Blow debris down through the top element using a blow-dryer or vacuum on blow cycle.
  4. Vacuum the dirt and dust, replace the grill, and turn the power back on.

Baseboard heaters also need periodic cleaning. For these heaters, disconnect the power, and vacuum inside the heater—be careful when working around the aluminum fins.

Can I wire a 240 volt heater to a 120 volt circuit?

That’s not a good idea. By wiring a 240 volt heater to a 120 volt circuit, you’ll only receive 25% of the wattage the heater was designed to deliver.

Can I wire a 120 volt heater to a 240 volt circuit?

Please don’t. The heater will overheat and be destroyed, which means you won’t be able to return it for a refund. In this configuration, the heater will try to deliver three times its rated wattage, which will cause permanent damage to the element.

I have more than three wires—which ones should I use to install my heater?

If you have more than three wires, you should use a voltmeter to determine the correct supply wires to use. Once you do that, cap the others at both ends and don’t use them. For your reference, Cadet 120 volt wall fan heaters and baseboards need one hot wire, one neutral wire, and one ground wire. Cadet 240 volt wall fan heaters and baseboards need two hot wires and one ground wire.

Why should I wire in parallel instead of wiring in series?

Parallel wiring allows all heaters to operate on the full supply voltage. With this type of wiring, if one of your heaters malfunctions, the rest will continue to run. Series wiring runs one long string of heaters one after the other. In this case, if one heater up the chain fails, the heaters down the line will not work.

What do the colors mean on the heater wires?

Cadet uses colored wires to designate a heater’s voltage.

  • 240 or 208 volt heaters will have either two black wires or one red wire and one black wire.
  • 120 volt heaters have one black and one white wire. The white wire is the neutral conductor—be sure to use a separate ground for safety.
  • 208 volt only baseboard heaters have one black and one orange wire. Be sure to use a separate ground wire.

If you’re unsure of the heater or supply voltage, use a voltmeter or speak to a qualified electrician.

What should I do with the extra wire in the 12/3 or 10/3 wiring?

12/2 or 10/2 wiring is used in residential circuits. If you have a three conductor supply with ground (total of four conductors), be aware that all of Cadet’s residential heaters require single-phase power to be supplied by two conductors (two wires plus a ground). A voltmeter will be required to determine which two wires will supply the correct voltage for the heater. All “extra” wires should be capped off and unused. Always use the green ground screw (or wire if included in your heater) provided in the heater connection box or wall can for connecting to the supply ground wire.

Can I install my fan heater in an insulated wall?

Yes. It’s fine to install the heater in an insulated or a non-insulated wall. We recommend that insulation does not touch the wall can.

Why does Cadet recommend installing heaters on an inside wall?

Installing heaters on outside walls—which are insulated—would require breaking the insulation seal. This could allow cold air into the room and also compromise the accuracy of a built-in thermostat.

Should I install 120 volt or 240 volt heaters?

If you have pre-existing wiring, check the voltage of your electrical circuit and install a heater with the same voltage. Both 120 and 240 volt heaters operate with the same output and use the same amount of electricity for any amount of time. 240 volt heaters require double pole breakers, and 120 volt heaters require single pole breakers.

See chart below:

Volts AC

Size of Breaker
or Fuse

Wire Size

Maximum Watts
on Circuit

120

20 Amp Single Pole

12/2 with Ground

1500

240

20 Amp Double Pole

12/2 with Ground

3840

240

30 Amp Double Pole

10/2 with Ground

5760

How do I determine my supply voltage?

You must use a voltmeter. Please note! Testing with a voltmeter requires the circuit panel or fuse box to remain on. If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with electrical wiring, please contact a qualified technician or licensed electrician.

Should a professional install my heater?

That really depends on your comfort level and experience with electrical work. To help you decide whether you can tackle a project like this, read through the owner’s guide for your product. Simply visit the product page on our website and download the guide. If you need to install a new circuit or need additional wiring information, our recommendation is to consult a qualified electrician.

If you want to install a heater yourself, make sure you’re complying with the National Electric Code (NEC), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and all state and local codes.

How do I install my Cadet Electric Baseboard or Cadet Wall Heater?

Use the step-by-step instructions in the product owner’s guide or view the How-to Videos.

You’ll need to follow these basic steps:

  1. Cut a hole in the wall (for existing walls).
  2. Route the supply wires.
  3. Mount the wall can.
  4. Install the heater assembly and grill.

For more information, watch this video about installing wall heaters.

Follow these steps to install a Cadet baseboard heater.

  1. Prepare the wall location.
  2. Mount the heater to the wall.
  3. Wire the baseboard.

For more information, watch this video about installing baseboard heaters.

Does it matter which heater wire I connect to the black supply wire?

Yes, but only if you have a 120-volt heater with a built-in thermostat. This combination requires the black (hot) supply wire be connected to the thermostat wire. (Also, the white heater wire should be connected to the white (common) supply wire.)

When I replace my old heater, can I replace it with a different size (wattage)?

For help selecting the right wattage for a room, please see our Heat Selection Guide below. Installing a lower wattage heater will not cause a problem on the circuit, but if it does not supply enough wattage to heat the room, the heater may run continuously in an effort to bring the room temperature to the temperature set on the thermostat. However, increasing the wattage may cause a problem if your electrical panel board (circuit breaker or fuse box) and supply wiring is not equipped to handle a higher load. All electrical work and materials must comply with the National Electric Code (NEC), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and all state and local codes.

 

Lots of windows?
Increase wattage by 50%

Exact square footage not listed?
Colder Climate?
Higher altitude?
Choose next highest wattage.

 

How many supply wires do I need to install my Com-Pak Plus heater?

240 volt heaters: two hot wires and one ground wire 120 volt heaters: one hot wire, one common wire and one ground.

I’m replacing a baseboard heater. How do I choose the size of a wall heater to replace it?

First, find the wattage and voltage of the baseboard heater you’re replacing. You can find this information on the identification label of the heater. If the label is missing, you can determine watt by measuring the length of the baseboard (most baseboards are approximately 200 – 250 watts per foot), then use the information on the electrical panel board to determine the voltage of the heater.

Which is more energy efficient—a 120 volt or a 240 volt heater?

Electricity is calculated using kilowatt hours, not voltage. For example: it costs the same amount to run a 1500-watt / 120 volt heater and a 1500 watt / 240 volt heater for the same amount of time. The difference is in the amperage. A 120 volt heater needs to draw twice as many amps as a 240 volt heater, so fewer 120 volt heaters can be run on the same circuit. Higher wattage models are only available in 240 volt.

How do I figure out my supply voltage?

You need to use a voltmeter to figure out your supply voltage. Please note! Performing this test requires the circuit panel or fuse box to remain on. If you’re unfamiliar or uncomfortable with this type of wiring, please contact a qualified technician or licensed electrician.

How do I figure out the number of amps a heater will draw?

Use this handy equation: Amps = watts divided by volts. For example: 2000 watts / 240 volts = 8.33 amps.

How can I calculate watts if I know the required BTUs?

We know that 3.41 BTUs equals one watt. So, use this equation: watts = BTUs/3.412

Should I use a wall heater or a baseboard heater?

Each type of heater has its own advantages. Review this chart to see which choice is best for you!

TIME TO HEAT Wall heaters: use fans to push heat into the room very quickly
Baseboard heaters: generally require 30 to 60 minutes to heat a room
WALL SPACE REQUIRED Wall heaters use less wall space
Baseboard heaters use much more wall space
NOISE Wall heaters: are generally quieter than a regular refrigerator
Baseboard heaters: virtually noise-free; good choice for bedrooms
TEMPERATURES Wall heaters operate at higher temperatures than baseboard heaters
Baseboard heaters operate at lower temperatures, which means their surfaces are cooler to the touch than the surface of wall heaters.
Lifespan Wall heater: 8 to 12 years
Baseboard heater: often more than 20 years
Can I use a wall-mount thermostat to control my heater if it already has a built-in thermostat?

Sure. To bypass the built-in thermostat, turn the heater’s thermostat to the highest setting, then use the wall thermostat to regulate the room temperature. A wall thermostat is not necessary and should not be used for the CB, Energy Plus or RCP Series heaters.

Which is better—a built-in or wall-mount thermostat?

Well, it depends. A built-in control is convenient to install when the walls are already finished. However, a wall thermostat controls the room temperature more accurately, is more convenient to use, and offers a broader selection of models. Electronic thermostats provide more accuracy and can help you save money on your electric bill.

Where should I install my wall-mount thermostat?

Always mount a thermostat on an inside wall away from drafts, direct sunlight, or any appliances that could affect its temperature reading. Make sure the airflow around the thermostat isn’t blocked by shelves, pictures or other wall décor.

Mount wall thermostats used with a baseboard heater across the room from the heater. It’s easiest to mount a thermostat used with a wall heater in the same stud cavity, on the opposite side of the stud, about five feet above the floor. If you have two or more heaters in a large room, place the thermostat in a central location.

Can I control all the heaters in my house with one thermostat?

Nope, but that’s okay. Cadet heaters allow you to quickly warm up the rooms you’re in, instead of the ones you’re not. You can use individual thermostats to easily control the areas you need to heat.

What is the difference between a double pole and a single pole thermostat?
  • Double pole thermostats break both sides of the heater’s power line and have an “off” setting.
  • A single pole thermostat breaks only one side of the heater’s power line and only has a “low” setting and no true “off” setting.

For heaters with a single pole thermostat, if room temperatures dip, the heater will turn on even if the thermostat is at its lowest setting. Remember, the best way to ensure your heater is off is to disconnect power to the heater circuit at the main disconnect panel.

Can I use a double pole thermostat with a 120 volt heater?

Yes.

My wall thermostat is hot to the touch. What should I do?

We recommend replacing the thermostat. If it feels hot, it may not be working efficiently, which actually decreases its accuracy. Or, it could indicate an overloaded capacity. However, keep in mind that a normal operating thermostat will feel slightly warmer than the room temperature by about three to five degrees.

Why does my heater’s grill look discolored?

Dirt or lint build-up in the heating element is a likely suspect. The build-up of dirt/lint gets hotter than other areas, which can cause this discoloration. Clean the grill and heater often.

What causes sooting?

The appearance of soot, or black discoloration on the walls around electric wall heaters, is not caused by the heater itself. Sooting is caused by other things in the environment such as burning candles, cooking, cleaning supplies, manufactured fireplace logs, pets, and even plants. Airborne particles from these items get into the heater and partially burn to a carbon material, which adheres to walls, under pictures, and on carpets or drapes.

Why is one of my heaters not as quiet as the others?

Check to see if your heater is mounted securely. Then, make sure the supply voltage is the same as the heater’s voltage. Are all the external screws tight (bottom, top, grill)? For the Pefectoe under counter unit (UC model) you can apply the provided small adhesive foam pads to the bottom corners of the heater, which will raise it slightly off the floor and minimize sound.

The motor of my wall heater is running slowly. What should I do?

Make sure the voltage supply matches the heater rating, the supply wires are sized properly, and the heater is clean. If it continues to run slowly, the motor and/or heater may need to be serviced or replac

Why does my heater run then stop?

Try these solutions. First, check the set point on the thermostat. If the room temperature has reached the set point, the heater will turn off. To test the set point, turn the thermostat up. If the heater still does not turn on, the heater may have reached abnormal temperatures. If the manual reset trips (which turns the heater off), the heater probably needs to be cleaned or it’s blocked. You should also confirm that the motor fan is turning normally and is not defective or jammed. If your heater is clean, the fan is turning normally, and there aren’t any obstructions, it may be wired to the wrong voltage. Check the voltage of your heater and your supply wires.

Why does my heater continue to heat after I turn the thermostat down?

Most likely, the air temperature around the thermostat is lower than the thermostat setting. If you continue to turn the thermostat down and the heater still runs, the heater may be undersized for your room (low wattage) or the thermostat may not be functioning properly.

Why does my heater get hot enough to trip the limit switch?

Is your heater clean and free from all obstructions? If everything looks normal—clean and free from obstructions—it may be wired to the wrong voltage. Verify that heater has the correct voltage. Be sure that your heater is mounted correctly as per arrows on the mounting wall can. Last… be sure motor and fan blade are operating properly – good air flow is important.

Is my heater supposed to glow?

No, a glowing heater may signal that you need to clean the heater, the airflow is blocked, the heater is wired to the wrong voltage, or it simply needs a repair. If your heater is clean and free from all obstructions, check the voltage of the heater and the supply wires. If the voltage of the heater matches the circuit voltage, have the heater repaired or replaced.

Why won’t my heater operate?

Adjust your thermostat to a higher temperature setting. If your heater still doesn’t operate, check your circuit panel or fuse box to verify power. If there is power to the unit, try these tips:

  • Remove any objects (curtains, furniture, etc.) that may be impeding the airflow of your heater.
  • Be sure your heater is clean.
  • Reset the heater’s manual reset limit (if it has one)—refer to your owner’s guide for instructions.
How do I replace a broken knob on a Com-Pak C, CS, CST, CT, or CM?

Check out this handy knob replacement instruction sheet.

To find replacement knobs, visit Where to Buy

Can I paint my heater surface?

Please don’t! Cadet uses a powder coat paint system that is electrostatically applied and baked on the surface. All Cadet heaters and accessories are listed by UL as manufactured, and shouldn’t be altered in any manner

How can I heat my garage or shop?

Cadet provides different options for heating a garage or shop. Visit the garage heaters product page for more information.

What does dual rated mean?

A dual rated heater can be wired to either of the two voltage ratings listed on the product identification label. However, the wattage output will decrease with the lower voltage. For example: A 240/208 dual rated heater can be wired to either a 240-volt or a 208-volt supply. A 1500-watt fan heater will draw 1500 watts wired to 240 volt and 1125 watts (75% of 240 volt rating) wired to 208 volt.

If I know the BTU’s required, how do I calculate the watts required?

Watts = BTU/3.412 (1 watt = 3.41 BTU)

Why are Cadet electric heaters considered an “energy-efficient solution”?

Electric heat is an energy-saving alternative to heating an entire home or office when only one or two rooms are in use. By heating only the areas you’re using, you can reduce your heating bill AND conserve energy while enjoying ultimate comfort. Click here for more information on Cadet’s green initiatives.

What causes grill discoloration?

Grill discoloration can be caused by dirt or lint build-up in the heating element. Extra heat will occur in the area where the build-up is concentrated, resulting in grill discoloration. To avoid discoloration, clean the grill often and be sure your heater is clean

Which rooms benefit the most from electric heating?

Any room can be equipped with Cadet electric heaters to provide the best in warmth and comfort. However, high-use areas, such as a family or play room where you spend most of your time, are a great place to start. Bathrooms usually have a noticeable chill in the morning and may be the only area that requires heating most days of the week. Finally, consider the garage. It’s typically a difficult area to heat, however our garage and shop heaters provide rugged construction and can heat large areas.