I have two baseboard heaters on either side of my living room. They are both on the same breaker and connected to the same thermostat. The breaker looks like it takes up two spots and has a 20 on the handle (I'm in the USA.)

I'm sick of being unable to push my couch against the wall and would like to remove one of them. Can I simply shut off the breaker, cut the wires, cap them, and use the remaining heater? Will this cause any electrical stress on the 2nd heater that needs to be accounted for?

  • There is probably a reason it was installed. Feb 24, 2013 at 16:32
  • 3
    Well if I had to guess, I'd say it was probably installed to heat the house.
    – rtf
    Feb 24, 2013 at 17:25
  • Which means it could get cold in that area if you remove it. Feb 24, 2013 at 23:19
  • I have another source of heat. May even remove both.
    – rtf
    Feb 25, 2013 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


If you remove one, the other may not be able to handle the heating demand. This could lead to a cold room, and/or a shortened life of the heater.

If you still want to proceed. Shut off the breaker, and disconnect the second heater as close to the breaker as you can. Don't just cut the wires, disconnect them at a splice point inside a junction box. Cap all the wires with twist on connectors, and label them so future owners know what they are.

If you have another source of heat, and would like to remove both heaters. Simply shut off the breaker, and remove the circuit wires from the panel. Coil the extra wire up and wrap it with tape, then label it so future owners know what it is. Remove the breaker from the panel, and fill the hole in the cover with a proper filler plate.

As usual, if you are not comfortable with electrical work. Please contact a licensed Electrician.

  • My first reaction was the side effects if the circuit is run in series, is that even a reasonable concern? I mean in terms of likelihood.
    – Jason
    Feb 25, 2013 at 22:11
  • @Monso I'm not sure what you mean by "series". There is a 50/50 chance the feeders run to the heater to be disconnected first, in which case that heater basically becomes a fancy junction box.
    – Tester101
    Feb 26, 2013 at 12:05
  • I mean like not in parallel. 220v Series would be (110v Load Phase1)-Heater-Heater-(110v Load Phase2). It sounds like its on a 220v cicruit, is it possible each heater is a 110v and the wire is daisy chained between the two.
    – Jason
    Feb 27, 2013 at 2:50
  • @Monso Are you talking about feeding the heaters with a multiwire branch circuit? If that was the case, disabling the heater would be easy. All the work to disable the heater could be done in the panel, instead of in the heaters.
    – Tester101
    Feb 27, 2013 at 12:46
  • Particularly one with an open neutral. I know it's physically possible just a bad idea (open neutral scenario) but I'm wondering the plausibility of it. This type of setup with two guessing identical heaters seems like the most likely were it could occur.
    – Jason
    Feb 27, 2013 at 20:02

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