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Author Topic: Timer for Block Heater  (Read 2506 times)
Lin
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« on: November 13, 2012, 12:40:21 PM »

I often forget to turn things off when I turn them on.  For this reason, I thought that using spring wound timers would be good.  For example, if one wee to forget to turn off their misters, they could run out of water.  Hence, a spring wound timer could protect you by simply turning it up a few minutes.  I have a spring wound, 1 hour timer that I was thinking of using on the block heater, another thing I am prone to forget to turn off.  It says it is rated at 20a, 125v or 1hp, 125, so it seemed to me that it would be fine.  However, it also says it is rated for 7A Tungsten, which I assume has to due with a lighting load.  Am I correct in thinking the the tungsten rating is not relevant to my plan; 7A would obviously be too low if it applied.
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luvrbus
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 12:51:33 PM »

20 amp load will do fine on the 1500 w heater that is almost double the amps that the heater will draw fwiw
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Sam 4106
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« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 03:22:57 PM »

Hi Lin,

I know you live in California and don't get very cold temperatures, but do you think 1 hour is enough time to warm your engine? I usually turn my block heater on about 2 hours before I plan to start my 8V92 TA at 40 degrees or above and longer below 40 degrees. I like my engine warm before I start it so I can drive right off, especially when the bus is in my shop. No smoke with a warm engine. Thats my way, your needs may be different.

Good luck, Sam
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1976 MCI-8TA with 8V92 DDEC II and Allison HT740
Lin
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« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 04:08:55 PM »

1 hour has always been enough for me, and believe that has included 40 degrees give or take.  Anyway, what I went and did is to slap together a double gang box with the timer and a slave set of outlets.  This has a cord that plugs into the live outlet in the engine compartment, so the whole thing is removable if we want to use it elsewhere.  If we were to be in weather that required more heater time, I could just plug the heater directly into the live outlet and bypass the timer.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 08:32:59 PM »

For those who have to think about the electrical bill...

If the point is to do what it takes to get it to start and that's it:

In one hour, a 1500 watt block heater should put enough heat into the engine to get it started in any cold weather condition that a busnut who is asking will encounter.

Lots less than an hour when it is warmer than colder. Experiment a little, using an infra-red thermometer.

From an economy standpoint, keep the spinning of the electric meter as short as possible.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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boxcarOkie
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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 09:20:56 PM »

For those who have to think about the electrical bill...

If the point is to do what it takes to get it to start and that's it:

In one hour, a 1500 watt block heater should put enough heat into the engine to get it started in any cold weather condition that a busnut who is asking will encounter.

Lots less than an hour when it is warmer than colder. Experiment a little, using an infra-red thermometer.

From an economy standpoint, keep the spinning of the electric meter as short as possible.

happy coaching!
buswarrior





Usually leave mine off, and if I am taking it out that day, will hook it up for four hours or more and then fire it up.  I don't leave it plugged in all winter.

BCO
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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 07:41:05 AM »

  Usually leave mine off, and if I am taking it out that day, will hook it up for four hours or more and then fire it up.  I don't leave it plugged in all winter.    BCO   

        Yeah, on my electric bill, if I plug it in (1500 watts) for an hour longer than it needs to be, I pay about 10 cents.   If I plug it in an hour less than it needs to be I save 10 cents and get a heavy load on the starter, unburned fuel, knocking and rough running for a while, and lots of smoke.

        I do appreciate Mr. Rior's point about using an IR thermometer and getting to know your bus and how it usually works in different conditions.

Bruce  H,    NC   USA 
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
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TomC
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 07:50:18 AM »

When I was driving my truck cross country, I did not have the capability to plug in to a power pole. My 6.5 Onan Commercial gasoline genset ran a lot (first one I got 12,000hrs out of it). No matter what the weather was, I always ran the block heater.  I'm convinced that the 1,500 watt load on the generator kept it from carboning up and actually allowed it to last as long as it did.

On my bus, I do not have a block heater. When I've been at a site for several nights and if it gets below 40 at night (like December in Las Vegas), when I want to leave, the night before I'll put my 500 watt halogen light under the engine aimed at the oil pan. By the morning it is warmed up enough to easily start and cut down on initial cold smoking.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Lin
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 10:34:21 AM »

Here is the block heater (or whatever timer).  If I were to hard wire it, I would probably put the timer next to the bed, but this will do for a long, long test period.


« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 10:40:04 AM by Lin » Logged

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Oonrahnjay
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 12:01:06 PM »

Here is the block heater (or whatever timer).  If I were to hard wire it, I would probably put the timer next to the bed, but this will do for a long, long test period.   
     
      Nice!  Clean, KISS approach.
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Bruce H; Wallace (near Wilmington) NC
1976 Daimler (British) Double-Decker Bus; 34' long
6-cyl, 4-stroke, Leyland O-680 engine

(New Email -- brucebearnc@ (theGoogle gmail place) .com)
boxcarOkie
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 03:22:40 PM »

        Yeah, on my electric bill, if I plug it in (1500 watts) for an hour longer than it needs to be, I pay about 10 cents.   If I plug it in an hour less than it needs to be I save 10 cents and get a heavy load on the starter, unburned fuel, knocking and rough running for a while, and lots of smoke.

        I do appreciate Mr. Rior's point about using an IR thermometer and getting to know your bus and how it usually works in different conditions.

Bruce  H,    NC   USA 

It is not that I am frugal or the electricity is costing me too much.  I often think of the possible hazard of fires in the shop or on the bus itself, being plugged in 24/7, so that is why I don't run a block heater all the time.

A friend of mine, lost a 40 Ford Coupe (really nice car) and in the resulting fire had something like $66,000.00 in damages to his home when his garage caught on fire and they were not home.  Fireman said it started from a faulty battery charger left in a wall-plug to recharge a portable drill.

Ever since then, it has sort of been in the back of my mind.

BCO
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Kevinmc5
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« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 04:14:39 PM »

For me if it is 50 I need to plug in the heater. started it the other day and pulled hard on starter and bat. I only have 800 miles on in frame rebuild. If it's cold just a little lots of smoke and starter time.

Kevin
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1964 4106-2471 8v71 Boise ID Driving any place I can Fit
boxcarOkie
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« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2012, 04:32:10 PM »

For me if it is 50 I need to plug in the heater. started it the other day and pulled hard on starter and bat. I only have 800 miles on in frame rebuild. If it's cold just a little lots of smoke and starter time.

Kevin

All of 'em when they are cold are gonna smoke a little, new or well worn.  It is when the smoke persists and doesn't go away, then we might be in trouble.

BCO
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eagle19952
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« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 05:25:53 PM »

My experiance in the arctic might prove useful to all but one that I can think of...LOL.
40wt oil can become like mud,and block heaters are pretty much useless, (at certain temps),having had equiptments readiness responsibilties necessated different approaches ...
These oil pan heaters were pretty much mandatory.
We used the black hi-temp silicone and duct tape to install.
Yes the tape eventually disintegrated.
Allisons benefit too.
we were starting DD's in sub 0 temps.

http://www.wolverineheater.com/category-s/1822.htm
http://www.amazon.com/Kats-24500-Watt-Universal-Heater/dp/B000I8TQF4/ref=sr_1_1?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1352942479&sr=1-1&keywords=Kat%27s+500+Watt
YMMV<HTH< BTDT<WFM etc.
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Donald PH
1978 Model 05 Eagle w/Torsilastic Suspension,8V71 NA, DDAllison on 24.5's 12kw Kubota.
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buswarrior
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« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 07:47:55 PM »

FWIW, the modern stuff typically will have both a block heater and an in-pan oil heater wired in to the same body mounted plug under a fine chrome cap, to which the extension cord gets plugged into.

1500 watt capable circuit will support it, both the coolant and the oil are getting warmed.

Best of both worlds right from the factory, when the correct option boxes are ticked.

Thick oil slows the spin, slow spin won't make enough heat in the cylinders to fire. Heat rises, so warming the bottom when there's nothing else will achieve the maximum results.

Sheets of cardboard propped around the engine room to cut the wind and a metal garbage can lid full of charcoal shoved under there... prayers and curses alternately filling the air...

Amazing the things that have been, and on occasion, continue to be, done to get it started.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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Frozen North, Greater Toronto Area
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