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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rhagfo

Portland, OR

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Posted: 04/22/22 06:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

shum02 wrote:

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.


Mine draws about 800 watts. Been using it 15 years without issue but why would you even bother to turn it on if it's not even below freezing?


When we had our 2001 Ram CTD, I would use the Block Heater, when it got down to about 40 degrees. Having the engine preheated greatly reduced the Can Of Bolts rattle on startup. I was just being a good neighbor.


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JRscooby

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Posted: 04/22/22 06:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NamMedevac 70 wrote:

Thanks everyone for your appreciation in my posting a news story about a safety issue to help others and keep them safe. No good deed goes unpunished. Trying to be helpful to others brings only

Some like to shoot the messenger if the story is not popular to them and for the uneducated Reno is high desert country of 4500ft where night time temperatures get down well below freezing not only in winter but also early spring so therefore some Reno diesel owners felt need for block heaters to you knuckle heads.

In the photo in the news story the truck appeared to be a GM diesel and they are on recent safety recall for block heater fire hazard. Too bad SAT.

I have no need for or desire to own a diesel but I do thank all of you for being generous taxpayers for supporting my fishing, hiking and camping etc. Life is very good indeed for this 75 year old. No serious health issues to interfere with the good times. I could care less about CAN


I think the issue is block heater caused fire. I think the story would be more accurate, and more helpful if it said the extension cord caused the fire. A 100 ft, 16 gauge cord, the electricity will just dribble out the end. A motor is likely to overheat because of low voltage, but resistance heater, like a block heater just will not get hot, but cord will.

I also question why block heater was plugged in in mild weather. If injuries where not reported I would wonder if the real cause of fire was a overheated insurance policy.

nickthehunter

Southgate, MI

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Posted: 04/22/22 10:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

****, some of these people on here are pretty dog gone amazing! They can see a picture and tell what started the fire. The fire investigators must be bilking the rest of us, no hands on needed by the pros on here.

BCSnob

Middletown, MD

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Posted: 04/22/22 11:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So what does an expert say about fires caused by block heaters?

Block Heater Fires – How to stay safe this winter
By Daniel Kabaroff, P.Eng., CFEI

Electrical plug for heater
Extension cord used to plug in heater
Damage to wiring caused by pulling on electrical plug for heater

* This post was edited 04/22/22 11:26am by BCSnob *

tommyznr

NR, WI

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Posted: 04/22/22 02:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

nickthehunter wrote:

****, some of these people on here are pretty dog gone amazing! They can see a picture and tell what started the fire. The fire investigators must be bilking the rest of us, no hands on needed by the pros on here.


This isn't about doubting the fire investigator it is about piss poor reporting as is commonplace in our news cycle. The resulting comments here were speculating on what really happened since the reporter couldn't find the gumption to find out and explain what really happened.

* This post was edited 04/22/22 02:57pm by tommyznr *


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BB_TX

McKinney, Texas

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Posted: 04/23/22 08:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It doesn’t take much current to start a fire if the cord or outlet or wiring is faulty. Think how hot a 100 W light bulb gets on less than one amp. Coincidentally a house in our neighborhood suffered a major fire two weeks ago. Fire inspector determined it started in an outlet in the garage. I did not find out what, if anything, was plugged in at the time.

Mayor30

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Posted: 04/24/22 03:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wouldn't blame the block heater, I would blame the extension cord. If you are just using a residential electric cord plugged into a regular wall outlet that was most likely the problem. I was an electrician for 48 years. I saw this at a trucking company I worked for. There was no strain relief for the cord and over a period of time they started arching which caused the outlet and extension cord to melt. I finally convinced them to install twist lock plugs and that solved the problem.

aboxerdad

Oregon

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Posted: 05/04/22 10:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My sister's 3 or 4 year old Chevy 2500 burned up due to a block heater fire just over a year ago. This was after the truck had been in to the dealership to deal with the recall that was out to prevent block heater fires. the fire started in the engine bay and thankfully they back their vehicles into the driveway so the house wasn't damaged.

It wasn't the extension cord or the ends. On those trucks there is an outlet in the front bumper to plug into. And the fire originated in the engine bay.

[image]

* This post was edited 05/04/22 10:21pm by aboxerdad *

ppine

Northern Nevada

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Posted: 05/05/22 04:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why would anyone use a block heater in Reno?
Because it is going to snow next week. May 9-13.

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