Recalled Baseboard Heaters and Heater Obstructions

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID


Topics:  Electrical

At Idaho National Laboratory's TREAT Facility, an assessment discovered that some older Square D electric baseboard heaters, which were still in service in MFC-721, had been recalled. On April 11, 1996, per Release #96-098, Square D announced a voluntary recall of electric baseboard heaters manufactured between 1970 and 1986, for model numbers beginning with 18, 25, or 30. All of the heater model numbers began with 25 in MFC-721. The issue with the installed heaters is the insulation of a wire, running along the inside of the heater, may deteriorate over time. This deterioration may cause sparking and lead to a potential fire hazard.
It was determined after assessing the heaters in MFC-721, that the other TREAT building heaters should be assessed for issues also. Research on other brands of baseboard heaters concluded that for Marley and Berko style baseboards, the heaters are required to be at least six inches away from all combustible materials. Many rooms with baseboard heaters in other TREAT building do not currently meet this six inch minimum spacing requirement. Square D and Erincraft are so old, the minimum spacing requirements could not be located.

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