Tips & Tricks

Removing Baseboard Heaters

Removing baseboard heaters is usually tricky, especially depending on the type of heater you have and some other circumstances around its installation. It is something that lots of us need to do, however, as older homes and buildings usually have either hot water or electric baseboard heating systems that might be outdated if they are too old.

So, how to remove baseboard heaters? Here’s our quick guide.

How to remove electric baseboard heaters?

Also referred to as radiant heaters, these devices pass electricity through a heating element which then warms the surrounding air. To remove them you’ll want to follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the circuit breaker that powers the baseboard heater.
  2. Find the junction box of the heater where all the wires are connected. This will be on either side of each individual wall unit.
  3. Use a voltmeter to make sure the terminals inside the junction box are void of power.
  4. Use a Philips screwdriver to unscrew the terminal screws and pull the wires off the screws.
  5. Check the bottom of the heater for screws and remove them as well.
  6. Using a putty knife, separate the heater from the wall it’s wedged in.
  7. Start meticulously removing all wires and piping from the walls if there are any. Sometimes you’ll be able to do this by pulling them through the holes of the heaters, other times you might be forced to create extra openings in your walls – it varies depending on your situation.

How to remove hot water baseboard heaters?

Knowing how to remove hot water baseboard heater from walls is a tad more complicated than removing electric heaters as it requires some plumbing skills. Unless you’re 100% certain that you know what you’re doing we’d recommend contacting a professional for help. Still, here are the basic steps to follow:

  1. Identify whether the heater is circulating hot water, steam or oil. Steam requires more competence at pipe fitting.
  2. Determine what the sequence that the radiators are connected in is.
  3. Drain the boiler system that supplies the radiator heaters and cut out the return and supply pipes from the baseboard units to avoid spillage. Plumb the supply pipes to the return pipes and cap the supply pipes.
  4. Inspect the entire system and decide which baseboard units you want to remove and which you’ll use for your future installation.
  5. Unscrew the baseboard units you want to remove both at the front and from below.
  6. Remove the baseboard units and the capped pipes carefully. How you do this will depend on your home’s installation and you might have to compromise some of your home’s walls for the time being.
  7. Again, consider getting professional help before you start. Hot water heaters require more effort to remove and they are much riskier to remove in terms of leaks and flooding.

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