How to Remove an Electric Baseboard Heater

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.

Things You'll Need

  • Voltmeter

  • Phillips screwdriver

  • Putty knife

Baseboard heaters are installed next to the floor because heat rises.

Electric baseboard heaters are also called radiant heaters. These devices work by passing electricity to a heating element, which warms the surrounding air. Because hot air rises, these heaters are located at the baseboards in your house, next to the floor, which makes for better heat circulation. Removing electric baseboard heaters isn't particularly difficult, but you must ensure that the power is shut off to the heaters before you begin work. Otherwise you would wind up with a nasty shock that could harm or even kill you.

Step 1

Go to the main circuit breaker to locate the circuit where your electric heater is installed. The circuit containing the heater should be labeled. Flip the switch to the "off" position to turn off the heater.

Step 2

Find the junction box for the baseboard heater. This is where the electric wires are connected. It will either be to the right or left of the heater. The cover should be secured with a screw. Remove this and lift off the cover.

Step 3

Test the terminals inside the junction box with the voltmeter to ensure that the power is off to the baseboard heater circuit. The needle should stay at the "0" indicator when you touch the terminals. If it doesn't, you cut the wrong circuit in Step 1. Try another circuit. Do not touch the terminals with your bare hands until you are sure that the power is cut off.

Step 4

Unscrew the terminal screws with a Phillips screwdriver. Pull the wires off the screws.

Step 5

Examine the bottom of the baseboard heater for the screws holding it in place to the wall. Remove all of these screws.

Step 6

Insert the edge of a putty knife between the wall and the baseboard heater, starting at one end. Work your way down the heater to the other side. This will help break up any paint or caulk that might be holding it in place.


Nathan McGinty

Nathan McGinty started writing in 1995. He has a Bachelor of Science in communications from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts in international journalism from City University, London. He has worked in the technology industry for more than 20 years, in positions ranging from tech support to marketing.