Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Be careful with engine block heaters
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 > Be careful with engine block heaters

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JRscooby

Indepmo

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Posted: 04/20/22 10:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

I’m unfamiliar with block heaters. How much power do they draw, JR?


I don't know for sure. I had mine hooked to a timer, only on for couple hours in morning. Often the cord, (25 ft, 12 gauge) would melt ice/snow around it.

MFL

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Posted: 04/20/22 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

Lwiddis wrote:

I’m unfamiliar with block heaters. How much power do they draw, JR?


I don't know for sure. I had mine hooked to a timer, only on for couple hours in morning. Often the cord, (25 ft, 12 gauge) would melt ice/snow around it.


Not a one size fits all. Kind of as needed per engine, but can be 400-1,000 watts, with 650 watts an average.

Jerry





free radical

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Posted: 04/20/22 06:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ive never used block heater even at minus 30 in winter and truck starts on first click every time.

Of course any damaged electrical cord could potentialy start a fire.
Keep it away from flamable materials.

NamMedevac 70

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Posted: 04/20/22 10:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BobsYourUncle wrote:

Why would you need a block heater in Reno? I use mine in Alberta during the cold times.
I guess anything can happen, but seems like a long shot for a block heater to start a fire.

FYI, your second link points to a file on your own local hard drive.


Sorry a true news story and quote from Reno, Nevada fire department upset your day sport. I know nothing about block heaters. But have a nice day anyway.

The recent GM recall on diesel trucks with block heaters fire hazard support both the news story and Reno FD.

My second link was photo of the incident as appeared on TV news site.

Anything else D

Wade44

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Posted: 04/21/22 02:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You have to have a higher IQ than the heater.


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NamMedevac 70

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Posted: 04/21/22 04:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wade44 wrote:

You have to have a higher IQ than the heater.


Thank you Ohio I am very proud of my high IQ as a retired Financial and Tax account, SEC CFP, FAA and British highly rated advanced license Airline Transport IFR pilot and Instrument Flight Instructor pilot on many types of Army and Civilian twin engine helicopters, etc. with many years flying overseas in SE Asia and ME after Vietnam Army volunteer Medevac pilot duties saving lives under fire in 1970.

In 1980 saved over 1000 Vietnamese boat people in South China Sea flying as volunteer solo helicopter pilot for the UN. Later received the UN Humanitarian Certificate. Refugees sent to Germany and not your so . Anything else df? IFSSFY.

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wa8yxm

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Posted: 04/21/22 04:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

Most block heaters, the element is submerged in non-flammable liquid, inside a metal container. The heater can't start a fire. OTOH, they do draw a lot of power. If plugged into most cords, the cord and connections can get pretty hot. Add the fact that many people like to keep the cord coiled up, I can see a dry bush catching fire.


this is truth. However many homes today are made with those )@#[email protected])#([email protected] Unibox/quickbox type outlets like used in an RV

if the block heater is over 10 amps. it can draw enough current to melt the outlet and start a fire.


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rhagfo

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Posted: 04/21/22 06:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NamMedevac 70 wrote:

BobsYourUncle wrote:

Why would you need a block heater in Reno? I use mine in Alberta during the cold times.
I guess anything can happen, but seems like a long shot for a block heater to start a fire.

FYI, your second link points to a file on your own local hard drive.


Sorry a true news story and quote from Reno, Nevada fire department upset your day sport. I know nothing about block heaters. But have a nice day anyway.

The recent GM recall on diesel trucks with block heaters fire hazard support both the news story and Reno FD.

My second link was photo of the incident as appeared on TV news site.

Anything else D


Well you are in Reno, what was the temperature that evening. Many block heaters are thermostatically activated and the temperature needs to be below a certain point.
Yes, GM does have a recall on some block heaters, they do draw a bit of power, so a decent sized cord needs to be used.


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BobsYourUncle

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Posted: 04/21/22 07:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NamMedevac 70 wrote:

BobsYourUncle wrote:

Why would you need a block heater in Reno? I use mine in Alberta during the cold times.
I guess anything can happen, but seems like a long shot for a block heater to start a fire.

FYI, your second link points to a file on your own local hard drive.


Sorry a true news story and quote from Reno, Nevada fire department upset your day sport. I know nothing about block heaters. But have a nice day anyway.

The recent GM recall on diesel trucks with block heaters fire hazard support both the news story and Reno FD.

My second link was photo of the incident as appeared on TV news site.

Anything else D

Sorry you took it wrong, my post was merely commenting, why would you need a block heater in Reno? Reason is that you only need a block heater in cold climates and it does not get that cold in Reno, IMO.
I'm not doubting it's a true news story. Seems there ought to be more details though....
And I was just letting you know that the link posted points to your own computer. The pic has to be hosted somewhere. Just politely trying to help you out there. [emoticon]

The purpose of a block heater is to warm the engine a bit prior to starting it. It does help if it's minus 20.

Upset my day? Nope, doesn't bother me a bit chum! [emoticon]

The power demand from a block heater does vary, and you should always use a 14ga cord, the same gauge as house wiring feeding the plug. Some people use small gauge cords, a no-no. This can lead to excessive heat from the draw exceeding the cords rating, and also heat at the plug.


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MFL

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Posted: 04/21/22 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good reply Uncle Bob! Bob is a [emoticon] dude, and gave good info on cord size!

I see so many folks that are using way too light of cord, and way too long for the load carried. Not just for block heaters, as we've all noticed the guy running a 100' 16g cord to his RV, while trying to run AC and other. [emoticon]

Jerry

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