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Installing a Sauna Heater

Installing a Sauna Heater


Installing an electric sauna heater into a sauna or "sweat bath" can be a luxurious and welcome source of relaxation and rejuvenation. A sauna can have several different types of heating sources: oil, wood, gas, and electricity. The electric sauna heater is the most convenient and can be the safest if it is installed correctly. The electric sauna heater works by radiating heat and warming a bed (typically with rocks on it) to which water can be added. The heat generates steam, which creates the heat, moisture, and ambiance that is typically found in a sauna. There are several considerations to be kept in mind before selecting this as the heating method for your sauna.

Building Codes

International building code does regulate what types of sauna heaters can be used in specific circumstances. Local building codes can be even more specific and even  more limiting than international building codes. Make sure before you plan and purchase your sauna package and heating appliance that it meets all building codes that are involved. Make sure that you consult with a professional, licensed electrician before installing any appliances as well if you have any doubts about the wiring or electrical supply.


You will want to make sure that you purchase a heater that will not only be powerful enough to heat the space of your sauna, but you will also want to make sure that it will work with your existing electrical system. Most circuits on an existing breaker are 110 volts. You most likely will need to install specific wiring and breakers 220 volts for your sauna heater. This is prudent for a number of reasons, but most importantly for safety reasons.

Different Heaters

Before purchasing your heater, make sure that it is the right one for your sauna. How easy is it to control the heat output? Is it safe? And will it be powerful enough to heat the sized sauna that you have, or will it be too powerful? All of these are important factors to consider. If you have an outdoor sauna, does it even have electricity available? What will it cost to run power to the sauna if not, and is it in the budget to do so?

Special Considerations

Common sense will tell you that a sauna is a wet environment and moisture and electricity do not make the best of friends. You will want to make sure that above all, the sauna is safe to use. You will need to take extra care to protect electrical components from moisture and wetness. While the actual heating unit will likely have several safety features built in, it is up to you, or the contractor that you hire, to ensure that the wiring that supplies power and any connections are carefully protected from exposure to water. Make sure that the heater that you purchase if from a reputable supplier, and that you know what you are doing if you are doing the installation, or that the contractor that you hire is knowledgeable.


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