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Old 12-02-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
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Are space heaters safe at 1500w for hours.

I have a space heater from West Marine that is a great little heater. Variable speed and variable speed the highest of which is 1500w.

I am wondering what experience and expertise people have had running these heaters at 1500 watts for hours on end, say 4 or 5 or more. I am not sure just how good the wiring is in our 03' Itasca Suncruiser. It seems very wel made but I prefer to use the heater at 1500 for shorter times to bring the room up to temp then drop back down to 900 watts.

I am not seeing any red flags like hot wiring and so forth but I can only feel the wiring on the chord running from the wall to the heater.

Just wondering what others think about this.
Here is a link to the heater. West Marine: Portable Cabin Heater Product Display 710 1662&Ne=712&Ntt=Vents&Ntx=mode matchallpartial&page=CategoryDisplayLevel1&isLToke nURL=true&storeNum=5002&subdeptNum=12&classNum=543

Thanks Keith
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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Should not be a problem. We never set them on or near a combustible material. The heaters all have an internal safety that should shut them down if the unit over heats.

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Old 12-02-2009, 07:36 PM   #3
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I would say yes. I've run mine at the 1500w setting all day & night with no issues of hot/warm wiring or overheating.

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Old 12-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #4
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I've run my 1500 watt heater up to 24 hours straight without issue. If the wiring got hot the resistance would increase then the breaker should open the circuit. I think you would be safe.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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You don't have to worry about the coach wiring. It is protected up to it's capacity with a breaker. Keep an eye on the plug and heater cord, if they don't get hot you are ok.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
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Not all heaters have an internal overtemp. It depends on if they are "shop" heaters or "residential" heaters. This feature can be found on the side of the box or in the instruction manual when purchasing. I found this out the bad way, but luckily only a blanket got ruined. Generally, if it is UL listed though, it will have the overtemp switch.
I recommend ceramic heaters. They work well and are fairly safe. Another good feature is the "tipover" feature that will shut down the heater if it falls over.
As for running it at 1500 watts all the time, it was designed to do so. The wiring in your camper should be designed to hold whatever current is designated on the breaker. Simple math would say a 1500 watt heater is drawing roughly 12.5 amps. My outlets are all on 15 amp breakers, so I imagine yours are also. You may want to make sure it is on a separate breaker from the microwave unit, as this may cause it to trip if you use both at once.

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Old 12-03-2009, 12:38 AM   #7
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Great input everyone, thanks so much. I feel better.
It does have tip over shutoff. It was designed to run on a boat and be safe under those conditions. I will double check the over temp but I will be surprised if is doesn't have it. I agree with checking the chord and socket to be sure. I do that from time to time and I am very careful with placement.

Thanks again for all the input. We just can't be too safe in our coaches.
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:35 AM   #8
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i have read on this forum about some 110v receptacles overheating at the 1500w setting. it seems like some of these receptacles use push in wiring that cannot be tightened like you can with a screw and eye connection.
to be safe, i run 3 ceramic heaters at night while we are sleeping at the 750w setting.
when we are away, i run 1 or 2 heaters on the 750w setting to keep our furkids happy.
when we are awake and attending the heaters, i sometimes run them at their 1500w setting.
i had the bathroom gfi receptacle for the 1500w hair dryer smoke. the hair dryer was not on high at the time.
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:32 AM   #9
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I have been running 1500 watt ceramic heaters for long hours, like all night for years now. Have never had a hint of a problem and I do check for problems.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:44 AM   #10
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I have 4 electric space heaters in my rig just now.. Here is the inventory
1: 2000 watt, yes, I measured it at 199x watts,
2: 1500 watt, one t-stat controled, one not
1: 150 yes, 150 watt, no T-stat

Strangly the 2000 watt one runs on a 15 amp circuit and does not trip the breaker... This I find amazing. (I do have a 20 amp line for it)

As for the wires in an RV.. Well...... I truly do not like the way they wired my rig. the push-in connections on the outlets leave a lot to be desired.. but I see no sign of issues
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Old 12-03-2009, 03:22 PM   #11
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I also had the GFCI in the bath area smoke (internally, not the connections). Replaced with one from Home Depot and since it was feeding the right front side of the coach, I bypassed the GF for the additional outlets. They are now protected by the main breaker for that circuit and I no longer loose power to my computer if the GFCI trips from the hair dryer.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:00 PM   #12
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We have run 2- 1500 watt heaters for 7-8 hours no problems sometimes on a 30 amp service we have to watch the total electrical draw we put on but have had no problems
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:51 AM   #13
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We've one in the barn running around the clock keeping the entire area, and hence the motorhome, somewhat warm and cozy . . . Above the below freezing temperature outisde, anyway.
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