I know that electric space heaters are sometimes the cause of electrical problems (breakers/fuses tripping, parts of the circuit overheating, heater overheating because of poor design/materials, etc). However, I am trying to select heaters to use while we wait for service in the event that the primary heat source goes out.
1. How should I size the heater to be sure that it won't overheat the circuit or trip breakers?
2. Are there any brands that are know to be good or bad?
Thanks in advance!
"Any American who is prepared to run for President should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
1800 for 15A. 2400 for 20A.
Continuous loads follow certain rules for circuit loading. A portable space heater is not considered a continuous load.
I am no fan of space heaters. They cause more problems and fires than I care to know, but come on, facts are facts.
Last edited by Speedy Petey; 11-14-2013 at 03:49 AM.
I like the cheap Walmart Lakewood.
They are small and have a 750W and a 1500W setting.
I have a few in use and always use the 750 Watt setting.
1500 Watts is not safe for long periods.
The little oil filled finned radiator types (DeLongi, and others) are quieter and safer from a fire-hazard point of than anything with a blower or radiant-reflector. Many/most come with dual elements a 600W and a 900W separately swichable, so you can have it pulling only 600W OR 900W if you don't think the circuit can handle 1500W), and an adjustable on-board thermostat to limit the surface temp of the unit. Shop around, and can usually find a pretty good one for under $50.
While they are not space heaters, infrared heaters can make you more comfortable for fewer watts. The infrared produced turns to heat when it hits your skin or clothes (or anything else). So if it points to your sitting position, you can be comfortable with a lower air temperature. They will still heat the room as as well as a regular heater for a given power, but the infrared will make you feel warmer for the same watts.
the Pelonis Disc Heaters were always touted for their safety, being that their thermistor heating elements never got fire-starting hot
It is kinda interesting/significant that these things seem to max out at 1500 watts, which is just a hair away from 80 percent of a 15 amp load.
You are correct for the circuit being able to handle the load. The Line cord and plug won't last long.
My 100% was about how people Put the heater on High, Blow and Go 100 percent of the time.
Just because a Microwave Oven has 100% Power does not mean that you need to use it. Popcorn requires 100%.
900 Watts is a good Max for what may be operating at 100 percent duty cycle and most likely is unsupervised.
Just make sure to install a Smoke Detector near the heater and have 911 in quick dial to operate the 1500 Watt mode.
I admit to cowardice and cutting corners on my answer and I throw myself on the mercy of the court.
But I still side with DonL's posts.
Last edited by Glennsparky; 11-15-2013 at 10:01 PM.