Baseboard heaters are not only efficient but also economical, and that’s why most homeowners choose them. However, just like other electronic devices, they are prone to failing. Some issues are easy to fix, while others require professional assistance.

white baseboard heater
Baseboard heaters are efficient and economical for homeowners, but can have their issues.

Are you having trouble turning off your baseboard heaters? Is the problem in one room or all rooms? In most cases, the problem is usually with the thermostat or a check valve. We have prepared this article to give you a step guide on how you can implement it to turn off the baseboard heater safely. Learn these and other possible issues you might experience when dealing with a baseboard heater.

Before diving into how to turn the baseboard heaters off, let’s first examine the reasons why they are not turned off in the first place.

Reasons Why Your Baseboard Heaters Won’t Turn Off

Broken thermostat

Usually, baseboard heaters are supposed to turn off automatically. However, if they are continuously running even after attempting to turn off, the possibilities are that your thermostat is malfunctioning.

How do you tell if the thermostat is stuck? If you notice your electricity bills escalating or detect an inaccurate reading of the thermostat, it should be your first sign. Also, consider checking for low battery notification.

Other tips indicating you are experiencing a thermostat problem

  • A/C running at all times.
  • The temperature of your room is not the same as what the thermostat is set to produce.
  • Receiving a low battery notification.
  • High electric bills.
  • It has been a long time since you changed your thermostat, probably 8 to 12 years.

N/B: Whether your thermostat is stuck or has malfunctioned, resolve the issue by replacing it.

Damaged check valve

While a malfunction in a thermostat is the primary cause of failed baseboard, a damaged check valve can also cause your baseboard heater not to turn off. Check valves are one-way ports integrated into hot water systems. If the valve is damaged or old, it might keep your baseboard heater from turning off.

Let’s Now Examine the Step By Step Process Of How To Fix These Two Issues.

How Do You Replace A Thermostat?

Consider replacing the old or broken thermostat. Since problems with a thermostat are the primary cause of your baseboard heater not turning off, the issue will resolve completely if you replace it. The following are some tips on how to successfully replace your thermostat.

Turn off the power

Before removing the old thermostat, it is safe to shut off the power. There should be no electric current passing through at the time of removing the thermostat. If you fail to turn it off, you are at risk of being shocked.

Remove the old thermostat.

The thermostat is held by a cover plate and screws. Use a screwdriver and unscrew the screws connecting the cover plates to the wall. After removing it, set it on the side. Proceed to unscrew the mounting screws connecting the thermostat to the wall. Pull it off and keep it aside; you will be left with exposed wires.

Prepare the wires

After successfully removing the old thermostat, it is essential to prepare the wire ready for new installation. How do you prepare the wires? It simply means labeling the wires to ensure safe and successful installation. Assign a letter to each sticker and stick them on the respective wires.

After successfully arranging the wires, remove the thermostat base, which is still attached to the wall by this time.

Read the manual carefully.

Despite having arranged the wires carefully, it is essential to read the instruction manual of the new thermostat, as each comes with varying installation processes. This will provide you with clear guidelines for how to do the installation successfully.

Install the new thermostat

The first step is installing the new base and running a low voltage wire that you prepared through the new base plate. While all bases are different, there will be an opening for clear wires. Besides, most of them have their base labeled with wire color, ensuring ease of connectivity. Afterward, screw in the thermostat on the wall. Ensure they are firmly screwed appropriately to avoid being loose.

Cover the thermostat

After firmly attaching the thermostat in place, attaching the faceplate to cover the thermostat is time. You should be able to get them in a place where the old ones were attached. Are you experiencing any trouble attaching the cover? You do not need a professional for that. Instead, try using drywall anchors. The purpose of covering the thermostat is to ensure it is not exposed to things like water which can cause short-circuiting.

Wrap up

Are there some terminals that you did not utilize? Avoid leaving them hanging and openly exposed. Instead, try to tack in back all the remaining wires back into the wall. Program the thermostat as required and test if your baseboard heater can now go off.

How To Fix A Damaged Check Valve

What is a check valve? It is a tiny brass fitting coming out of your water heater. If a damaged check valve is causing your baseboard heater not to go off, the issue can easily be fixed, allowing it to work as intended. Below are steps that you can use to replace the check valve successfully.

  • Turn off the water and, using the drain plug, drain the water heater
  • Ensure that the hose attached to the check valve ensures it does not have water
  • Remove the old check valve
  • Install the new check valve by screwing in a place where the old one was located
  • Reattach the hose pipe, turn on the water, and test if the baseboard heater will turn off

Other Common Problems With Baseboard Heaters

Apart from the baseboard failure to turn off, are there other issues that one might encounter? The following are some additional issues that your heater might exhibit.

Circuit breaker of a baseboard heater’s trips

Short-circuiting is another problem that you might encounter when dealing with baseboard heaters. If the circuit breaker of the baseboard heater trips abruptly, the possibilities are that you are experiencing short-circuiting in the system. The best thing to resolve the issue easily is to replace the fuse.

Also, you might be required to do wiring replacement or update the circuit breaker. Handling electrically related matters is not easy, as such, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional. However, if you opt to address the issue yourself, consider turning off the electricity.

How do you inspect your electrical system?

First, inspect the electrical constituents and the wire connections in the baseboard heater. Check the wire that connects the electrical panel to the circuit breaker and the thermostat and if the wires are crushed, the insulation might be compromised, resulting in overheating.

How do you prolong the electrical system life span? Ensure the wires are unbroken and connect with the thermostat. The inspection should be done every year, preventing wear and tear.

The circuit breaker of the baseboard heater operates for a few minutes and then trips.

Have you realized that your baseboard heater working for few minutes, then the circuit breaker trips? Consider calling for a professional to inspect the thermostat and the circuit breaker.

How do you examine a circuit breaker? Does the circuit breaker feel hot? Please determine the total amperage load of the circuit breaker by checking its label. Most of them are usually 20amp or 30amp, based on the heater wattage. Usually, the circuit breaker has a high electricity rating necessary to deal with the electric level of the heater and other electricity-consuming loads.

man checking circuit breaker
Check your circuit breaker for any problems.

What happens if the load rating is great? If the load ratings are excellent, examine the system for possible disconnect.

How do you fix a circuit breaker? Please switch off the electricity supplied to the circuit breaker and allow cooling. Then, replace it with a quality and a size recommended by a manufacturer.

If the problem continues, possibilities are that your thermostat has malfunctioned.

Failure of a baseboard heater to turn on

Are you feeling cold despite turning on the baseboard heater? Possibilities are that the baseboard heater is not working.

How do you inspect it? The first step is to clear the vent, ensuring it is free of any pieces of wood or toys. If it still doesn’t work, examine the system. Also, check the heater’s valves, ensuring they are in excellent condition by lubricating them to avoid sticking together.

How do you repair the vents, preventing more damage? Find out if there is an object blocking the vents and prevent them from reaching the heater. In case of a short circuit, check the breaker box and replace the fuse.

Baseboard producing a burnt odor while running.

This is another issue that you might experience when dealing with baseboard heaters other than not turning them off. Do you smell a burnt odor when the baseboard is running? Usually, the odor is from burnt lubricant and dust collected in the vent. Proper vent cleaning can help remedy the issue.

How do you check the baseboard heater? In case you notice a burnt odor while running, turn the heater off and wait for it to cool. Use a wet cloth to wipe off the dirt from the vent. Turn it on and if the odor persists, consult a technician.

dirty vent
Ensure to clean vents to avoid dust buildup.

How do you prevent bad odor from the baseboard heater? Ensure you clean the vent after using it to avoid dust build-up. If the odor persists, it is best to change it completely. It is essential to ensure that carbon monoxide functions properly to avoid carbon poisoning, especially when the heater produces burnt odors.


In this article, we have examined two reasons why your baseboard heater is not turned off. They include a broken thermostat and a damaged check valve. These are problems that you can inspect and resolve yourself as we have examined safe step-by-step processes of addressing the issues. However, if you are not feeling safe handling them, it is best to consult an electronic technician. Also, as you address the issue of the baseboard heater not turning off, be on the lookout for possible problems that you might encounter, like failure to turn it on and other  problems. I hope you have gained insight into avoiding the problems with your baseboard heater and how to address them when they occur.

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