Electric Fireplace Question

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Idoc4u

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I have posed this question to local electricians and vendors. The answers are almost consistently inconsistent. Any opinions would be appreciated.

I am interested in installing an electric fireplace in a new construction basement recreation room area. Should I place the 1500W fireplace on a dedicated 15 or 20A breaker, or can I plug it into a circuit shared by a small in-wall electric heater which I believe also draws either 750W or 1500W?

I don't want to plug it into the circuit that I will have for the tv, dvd, etc. If I have the tv on, the dvd on, using a blender by the bar area, have a juke box plugged in, lamps plugged in, if desired, etc, the probability of overload is high.

I would consider having it share a 20A circuit with the bathroom heater for two reasons. The bathroom heater is unlikely to be running at the same time and I additionally have a 6" duct supply to the 10X10 bathroom so that room would likely be adequately heated.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.
 

JWelectric

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1500 watts divided by 120 volts equals 12.5 amps times 125% equals 15.6 amps.

It wouldn’t matter what size the branch circuit is the cord that comes on the appliance you have no control over.

This is a rule that I live by and try as hard as I can to spread the word all around. If it is so cold that a portable heater is needed then move south but don’t use something that had been proven to kill.
 

Jadnashua

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Short answer...the fireplace needs its own 20A circuit. In theory, it probably comes with a 20A plug which has one blade turned sideways, so you'll need to ensure you have that as well, if it isn't hardwired.
 

Idoc4u

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Thanks for the replies. Makes sense. I hard wired my in-wall electric heater on a dedicated 20A circuit.

I'm not sure if the electric fireplaces have a 20A plug.

From the websites I've looked at, I believe the vendors indicate that the plugs are standard polarized 15A-type plugs and that the units can be plugged into any household outlet. Not that I would do that, however.
 

JWelectric

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Thanks for the replies. Makes sense. I hard wired my in-wall electric heater on a dedicated 20A circuit.

I'm not sure if the electric fireplaces have a 20A plug.

From the websites I've looked at, I believe the vendors indicate that the plugs are standard polarized 15A-type plugs and that the units can be plugged into any household outlet. Not that I would do that, however.

However the cord is going to get hot and melt to start with so it don't much matter which way you choose to burn down your house.
 

hj

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quote; However the cord is going to get hot and melt to start with so it don't much matter which way you choose to burn down your house.

Now WHY would that happen if the manufacturer installs the correct cord? And if it is not the correct cord, he should return the unit, NOT rewire it. I doubt that a 120 volt anything, (within limitations), other than a small air conditioner, is going to have a 20 amp opposed prong plug on it.
 

JWelectric

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quote; However the cord is going to get hot and melt to start with so it don't much matter which way you choose to burn down your house.

Now WHY would that happen if the manufacturer installs the correct cord?
And the appliance is used accorciing to instructions but for the most part the instructions that is packed with the heaters are never looked at. I have personally been involved with portable heaters where the cord and end cap is melted. These heaters gets plugged into 15 amp rated receptacles that are mandated to:

Table 210.21(B)(2) Maximum Cord-and-Plug-Connected Load to Receptacle

Circuit Rating (Amperes) Receptacle Rating (Amperes) Maximum Load (Amperes)
15 or 20 15 12


These 1500 amp portable heaters are two big for the end cap on the cord in the first place but if one reads the papers that comes with these heaters one could see that they are for temp heat not permanent use.
 

hj

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We have 1500 watt infrared heaters in the barns, which have "standard" 120 v. plugs on them. They are used EVERY evening all winter long and have NEVER melted a cord OR a receptacle. Your caveat borders on hyperbole.
 
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