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July 9, 1998

Release # 98-139
CONTACT: Jane Francis
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1187

CPSC, Honeywell Announce Revised Rating and Recall of Electric Baseboard Heater Thermostats

CPSC, Honeywell Announce Revised Rating and Recall of Electric Baseboard Heater ThermostatsWASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Honeywell Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., is revising the rating of 26,000 electric baseboard heater thermostats and recalling about 2,600 of the devices in the United States. The thermostats are used only on electric baseboard heaters. The thermostats were rated at a higher wattage than they are able to handle. If too much power runs through the thermostats, they can overheat, presenting a potential fire hazard.

In the United States, Honeywell has found 10 instances of thermostats overheating when connected to baseboard heaters using over 3000 watts. In two instances, the unit ignited, resulting in fire damage to the thermostat's casing and smoke damage to the surrounding wall. No injuries have been reported.

The electric baseboard heater thermostats were rated to a 3800 watt maximum, which is a higher wattage than they are able to handle. For thermostats connected to heaters above 2500 watts, Honeywell will send consumers a replacement thermostat rated to 5280 watts. For thermostats connected to heaters at 2500 watts and below, Honeywell will send consumers new labels to revise the maximum wattage to 2500 watts.

The thermostat carries the Honeywell brand name with model T4600 or CT1650. The thermostat also was sold under the King Chronolux brand name with model K4600S. The brand name is stamped on front of the unit, and the model number is located underneath the unit's snap-off front cover. The unit is rectangular in shape and it is white. It has a digital temperature display window near the top with four programming buttons arranged vertically below.

Home centers and hardware stores throughout the United States sold the thermostats between January 1996 and June 1998 for less than $80. The thermostats also have been installed in homes by contractors.

Consumers should stop using the electric baseboard heater thermostat, models T4600, CT1650 and K4600S, and call Honeywell toll free at (877) 575-4533 anytime to determine if their thermostat is involved in this recall. Honeywell will help consumers determine the wattage connected to the thermostat and provide help with any other problems.

Honeywell also sold thermostats in Canada. Canada is issuing its own recall announcement.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to