I've had to cover my baseboard heater with painter's tape and duct tape because I keep getting click beetles strolling into my apartment after 6pm (I live in Michigan, and the temps are dropping).

I want to make sure that when I am sleeping, the heat doesn't kick on and melt the tape.

When I set the dial all the way to the left, does it act like a switch (ie, turn off the heat)? Or, will it kick on anyway once the temp falls under a certain temp, even though I set the dial as far to the left as possible?

I am waiting for the landlord to come up resolve the issue but it won't be till the weekend, and am just bundling up nice and warm.

Any help would be astronomically appreciated!

3 Answers 3


Look for an on/off switch or a heat/cool switch on the thermostat. If you can't turn it off, turn it to cool. If your thermostat doesn't have a switch like that, turn off the circuit breaker for the heater.

  • Mrog, I know that it doesn't have a switch, at least not on the exterior of the unit. Just trying to figure out of moving it all the way to the left turns it off. The number scale ends at like 40 degrees, so I think it does. Even if it did turn on, I am guessing it's not enough to cause the tape to melt. Just being cautious. And as far as the circuit, I believe that would cause other things to turn off, but I could be wrong. Thanks for your input!
    – Intoohot
    Oct 15, 2018 at 16:59
  • 1
    @Intoohot I've never seen a dial thermostat that turns the heater completely off when the dial is rotated all the way to the left. It will result in a cold apartment, but I bet it won't prevent the heat from turning on when it gets cold enough. However, you probably don't want your apartment to get much colder than 40 F anyway, or you risk freezing your water pipes.
    – mrog
    Oct 15, 2018 at 18:41

With base board heat depending on the size each room may have there own breaker at worst there may be 2 rooms that are controlled by 1 breaker . If 2 rooms , you could turn the breaker off remove 1 hot leg and wire nut. Even if the other side is hot the heater won't be able to turn on if 120v or 240v many older installed 240v line voltage thermostats only break 1 leg then the heater can't heat and the power can be turned back on to run the second heater.


Turn the thermostat very carefully to the left and pay attention. It operates smoothy through most of its range, but when it gets to the left, can you feel and hear a slight "click" like it's hopping over a detent?

If you don't feel that, then the thermostat does not have a hard "off" position.

This is typical in 1-pole thermostats.

In 2-pole thermostats like Honeywell, one pole is switched thermally only and the "off" position has no effect on it. And the other pole is switched by the on/off switch only and disregards temperature. They are meant to be wired in series. A 1-pole thermostat omits the on/off switch.

Any of these thermostats are about $12; you could ask the landlord to swap your 1-pole for a 2-pole.

  • 1
    In case you didn't see the related question diy.stackexchange.com/questions/148763/… the problem here started with a landlord that won't send in pest control for several days - so asking the landlord to swap a functioning thermostat in order to prevent the heat from turning on in order to avoid possibly starting a fire because the baseboard heater is taped up to keep the bugs out...probably isn't going to get very far. Oct 16, 2018 at 3:26

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