Adding a baseboard heater with Z-wave thermostat

Today is a great day. I am adding the first connected object to the house.

The in-floor heating system of the living room is broken and although the house has centralized heating and air conditioning, the living room needs its own supplemental heating. The in-floor heating system is cut. The only way to fix it is to destroy the floor and rebuild it, so I though it was a little bit too much, and decided to replace it with a simple baseboard heater. And of course, this heater has to be connected.

Selecting the heater

The power lines coming to the thermostat have 240 volt and 20 amps, that a total of 4,800 watt, a lot for this 220 sqft room (220 sqft = 20 sq meter). Looking at this chart from Cadet, a 220 sqft room like this with large windows requires a 2,000 wattage. I’ve selected this model 8K2420BW from the manufacturer King Electric.

Interestingly enough it was much cheaper at Lowe’s ($67 with pick up at store) than on Amazon ($188 with delivery). I thought it was worth driving up to the next Lowe’s store in Lynnwwod.

Price on Amazon.com:

Price at Lowe’s:

Selecting the thermostat

For a simple “line voltage” heater like that, I would rather install a dual pole thermostat. With a dual pole thermostat, the thermostat can really turn the heater OFF, by disconnecting its two wires (the hot and the neutral). With a single pole thermostat, the thermostat has a temperature setting, and whenever the local temperature goes below the setting, it turns the heater on. There’s no way to really turn it off. Usually, the minimum temperature you can set is around 41°F (5°C).

Unfortunately, I haven’t found a single Z-wave thermostat that would be dual pole. So I’ve taken a single pole that matches my needs: the Stelpro KI STZW402WB+ . Purchase from Amazon.com for $85.

Installing the heater and the thermostat

I’ve found these YouTube videos interesting on how to install a baseboard heater:

For the wires, I’ll use a 2 conductor + ground electric wire. The hot conductor is black or color, the neutral is white, and the ground is green. For my 2000W power, I need a gauge 12 copper wire.

The most difficult part of the installation was fishing the wire from the thermostat to the heater, without damaging the wall. The solution is in removing the baseboards and fishing behind them.

Here is an interesting video on how to remove baseboards without damaging the drywall behind it:

 

And my installation:

Adding the thermostat to Wink

I open the Wink app on my Android phone, press the menu “Add To Wink”, select “Utilities and Climate”, then “Thermostats, then “Generic Z-Wave Thermostat”, then “Next” and “Connect Now”.

On the thermostat, the user manual tells me to enter the menu (3 second click on UP and DOWN together), then navigate to the Z-Wave network menu, and click UP and DOWN together shortly to set the thermostat in inclusion mode. After a few seconds, the thermostat is available in the Wink app on the phone. You can also see the network icon turned on on the thermostat itself.

Conclusion

For a cost of approx. $150, I now have a baseboard heater in the living-room that has its own programmable thermostat, and can also be programmed from the Wink Hub 🙂

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