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 > Wiring of parabolic heating elements.

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K3WE

Missouri

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Posted: 04/29/21 04:28pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1. I invite the mods to move this to OT; However, there are often some good wiring folks here.

2. I invite the safety police to go away, yeah, I know the rules, but sometimes I drive 5 MPH over the speed limit and happily towed our 27 ft TT for over 10 years with a 1/2 ton Suburban.

3. I have an 800/1200 watt Optimus parabolic heater. The electronics crapped out, but the elements are fine. My goal is to do away with the electronics and put the element in an antique cast iron pot belly stove...see an orange glow through the air vents AND have unique twist on a space heater.

4. Now for the technical part: The elements functioned in a manner that the whole element gets hot whether on 800 or 1200 watts- Dull red or bright orange. (Yes, there are other heaters where the 1000-watt setting uses less coil (thus less resistance, more current, but not this one).

There are connection 3 posts, but four wires.

White (14 ga): Obviously the Neutral leg
Red (14 ga):
Yellow (14 ga) Was labeled as 400W on the circuit board

THIN Red wire (Roughly 18Ga) ? The Thin red wire is co-connected with the regular red wire

My goal is to simply wire it as 1200 Watts On or Off. Not opposed to having the 800/1000 watt option, but I know that will require additional switching.

I have done some internet searching, and have so far come up blank on a diagram.

I'm fully versed in household wiring and almost made some popcorn while reading the recent thread on the guy with the 20A/120/240V plug and 30A/120V plug- Yes, a 50A RV plugged into a proper 50A plug has ~11,000 watts available and 240V "available" whether it uses it or not...If adapted into a 30A RV plug it has 3,600 watts and only 120V is available, so the occasional 220V appliance won't work.

Anyway- if anyone is interested in discussing this- I look forward.

A few years ago, I tried to jury rig a "milk house" heater and discovered that those are wired in series through the fan motor...A quick, very bright orange glow and then the element melted. Note to Safety Police: all of this was done out doors and 3 feet away from me and with circuit breakers in place.

CA Traveler

The Western States

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Posted: 04/29/21 04:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Clearly what you want to do would not be UL approved. If you have a significant problem with your jury rig expect your insurance to be denied. Good luck.


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dedmiston

The West

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Posted: 04/29/21 04:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

Clearly what you want to do would not be UL approved. If you have a significant problem with your jury rig expect your insurance to be denied. Good luck.


I don't think it works that way. Stupidity is definitely covered by our policies. Stupidity is the cause of most claims anyway.

Most claim reps will flag your account for Underwriting review if you do something really objectionable. Then they'll either raise your rates or flag you for non-renewal. Claims aren't denied though, not unless the activity is fraudulent or specifically excluded in your policy (I think "commission of a crime" is one of those excluded conditions).

Otherwise, you have a contract with your carrier and they're bound by that contract as long as your premiums are paid up.


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BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 04/29/21 08:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

With 3 posts it would seem to be a dual heat element with a 400 watt portion and an 800 watt portion where you could energize just the 400 watt post, or just the 800 watt post, or energize both posts for 1200 watts. You should be able to ohm it out to see if that is correct.

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 04/29/21 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have a far better idea.

[image]

Its called a flicker LED bulb.

I used some like these on a fake "fireplace" I built for my sticks and bricks. I then added a hidden commercially built finned baseboard heater for heat effect. I was able to find a 500W baseboard heater that runs on 120V. Nice effect and makes our homes living room cozy on cold winter nights.

Much better than trying to roll your own heater from scratch using unsafe leftovers from broken portable heaters.

Buy the LED flicker bulbs for your stove and then buy a new heater, I prefer the oil filled radiator heaters, much safer than the parabolics.

msmith1.wa

Tacoma, WA

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Posted: 04/29/21 10:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I can't help with the wiring, but be prepared to be disappointed by the heat output. during this past winter I took a small potbelly stove and put 2, 6" diameter propane burners stacked on top of each other. It takes a long time for metal to get hot and give off any noticeable heat.


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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 04/29/21 10:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I assume maximum heat would be supplied with the elements in parallel. Although two equal elements in series might cut power in half. And of course the element resistance will change with temperature so that could account for the 800/1200.

Do the elements look to be same? Maybe verify the resistance.

I am mostly guessing here.


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wa8yxm

Wherever I happen to park

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Posted: 04/30/21 05:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I like the idea of adding a flicker bulb.

Your multimeter is your friend. measure resistance bewtwewewn the assorted connections.

On a triple power generally (AND I STRESS GENERALLY) there are two conneciton layouts

First
Hot---low power element---Neutral---High power----HOT

In this hook up the 4th wire is likely safety ground

In this hook up the low power (400 watt) will have a higher resistance to NETERAL than the High power (800 watts) does.

How to ewnable adjustable power on this unit

For the powewr switch use a twin toggle one for low. one for medum, both for high power.. (Now that was easy wasn't it)

Alternative hookup

Hot---low power---neutral
Hot---high power--- neutral

And I stress again this is my best guess... GUESS, I can not say for sure. it's a GUESS and thus the only guarantee is your free is herby refunded.


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Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 04/30/21 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have another idea, thinking outside the box..

[image]

Found HERE for $58

That is a 1000W belly band drum heater, designed to wrap around the outside if a drum to heat oils and fluids in winter. Includes adjustable T-stat. With some creative thought you could either wrap around part of the stove then create a "cover" to hide it or might be able to attach to the inside of the stove via high temperature silicone caulking (silicone will transfer heat from the band to the metal).

Add in flicker lights for "ambience"

The also make 1200W versions.

As someone also mentioned, it will take a long time to heat cast iron..

poppa

Dallas, TX

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Posted: 05/02/21 05:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1200 w is 1200 w. not much heat no matter what. sorry for no help

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