Hot answers tagged

26

Well, you really nailed it. It's the fact that normal everyday garden variety extension cords are usually 16 AWG, or maybe 14 AWG if you're lucky. The reality is, an extension cord, properly sized for the load, would pose no safety issue, other then potentially being damaged from grandma's proverbial rocking chair, but then again, we have AFCI breakers to ...


17

In addition to the already stated "shouldn't use a flimsy little 18 gauge extension cord", which would have a definite overheating problem, two specifics come to mind: Tripping Tripping over an extension cord is a real problem. Tripping over a cord that then moves a hot appliance into a dangerous position (on clothes or curtains etc.) is far ...


10

RTFM After reading the user manual for this heater, as per National Electrical Code. National Electrical Code 2011 ARTICLE 110 Requirements for Electrical Installations I. General 110.3 Examination, Identification, Installation, and Use of Equipment. (B) Installation and Use. Listed or labeled equipment shall be installed and used in ...


9

A larger tank does not cost more energy. The only thing that costs energy is when the water cools - and that depends only on the surface area, not the amount of water in the tank. (Mathematically volume increases by the 3rd power, but surface area only by the 2nd power.) So to save energy add extra insulation around the tank. Reducing the amount of water in ...


9

Lawyers, pure and simple. When you start a fire with an electric heater plugged into an exension cord, even if the extension cord is massively over-adequate and properly protected from damage, you were "violating manufacturer's instructions" and they are off the hook, legally, even if the fire had nothing to do with the extension cord. It's "...


8

If your carbon monoxide alarm is going off, you need to assume that there's actually carbon monoxide in dangerous levels in that area. If the heater is electric it probably shouldn't be emitting CO but maybe there's a manufacturing defect that's causing the heating element or plastic to burn. CO is lethal and totally undetectable by people, so if the alarm ...


7

These heaters need what the UL-approved instructions say they need. However this heater is rated for a 20.8A draw. For heaters, we must provision 125% of that, or 26 amps. That is too much for a 20A circuit, and appropriate for 30A. 10/2 will get the job done for this one task. But it'll do more for your resale if you use 10/3, because that will ...


7

Quite simply, it's the law in most states as around 40 states have adopted the international fire code. The International Code Council (ICC) covers space heaters under the International Fire Code, Section 605.10.1-4. The code lists under what occupancies space heaters can be used, it specifies that only listed and labeled portable space heaters can be used, ...


6

Bad thermocouple - it is supposed to sense the presence of a flame, and turn off the gas if it is on, but nothing is getting hot. Last one I replaced was less than $10 at home depot, it is held in with only a screw or two, and less than an hour of work, including the beer after fixing my friends water heater. Looks like this, they are pretty much universal....


6

Check all the supply valves to ensure they are open. It is not uncommon for old valves (particularly gate valves) to break whilst operating, leaving you with a low or no-flow situation (sometimes called a "dropped wedge"). This would require you to replace the suspect valve. If you did a DIY install, were any of the valves particularly corroded or hard to ...


6

No, every hardwired appliance does not need to be on its own circuit. But... Provision power for heaters with a 125% derate You need to study the unit's specs carefully, and note the amps or VA drawn by it (note a resistive electric heating element will have VA identical to Watts, but a fan motor may knock that off a little). Then, multiply that figure ...


6

Only issue I can see is where the makeup air comes from. The washer doesn't matter, but if the dryer, furnace, and water heater all turn on at the same time, they each need air input. Putting everything in one room can cause an issue where it's easier to suck air through the output of another appliance than suck air from inside the house, and that can leave ...


5

I assume you are in the USA. The heater is probably a pure 240V load with no need for the neutral (white) wire. you should simply cap the white wire with a wire nut and tuck it back into the electrical box.


5

TL; DR: When the temperature is colder outside, your cold water is colder so you have to use more hot water for the same shower temperature. Facts: A shower head puts out 2.5 gallons per minute (GPM) (or close to it). To get the temperature you want, you have to mix hot and cold water. In the summer, the "cold" water temp is much warmer than it is in the ...


5

Instead of a space heater, try some pipe heating cable. This is a simple electric resistance heater that is designed to be wrapped around pipes in order to prevent freezing. The good ones have a thermostat built-in, so they'll only kick on if necessary. You wrap the cable around your pipes, apply insulation over the wrapped pipes, and plug it in. This will ...


5

Heat tape will keep the hose from freezing (where it's attached) but there are other freezing risks... e.g. where are the pipes coming from? Do they go into the uninsulated wall? Also there is still water inside the washing machine itself that can freeze. Frankly installing a washing machine in a cold, unheated garage was not a great idea. I think you need ...


5

I would suggest a timer like this. Additional start/stop pins can be added if you decide on adding a second on off time (or more) and you can always flip the over ride to the On position. This way your water will be hot in the morning instead of having to wait after you turn it back on. The only problem is if there is a power outage you would need to ...


5

Here's my guess. The left pipe goes to the hot water faucet of a fixture with a common hot+cold spout. Since there is no hot water pressure at that faucet, when you open both faucets some of the cold water comes out the spout and some flows backward through the hot water faucet and spills out the left pipe. The left pipe may also connect to the hot faucets ...


5

When air contacts a sufficiently hot object, dust in the air burns, and in some cases, particles from the hot object are also ejected similar to how dry ice sublimates. Dust can also gather on the heating filament when not in use, and burn off immediately when plugged in. An infrared lamp with a sealed glass bulb contains the hottest point (the filament of ...


5

A short or arcing would most likely sound more like a buzzing (but could sound like a hiss, I guess) but would also be accompanied by smoke, a nasty "fried circuitry" ozoneish smell, and black soot marks near the source. I have never heard of this being a common source of danger for anything besides fire and/or shock. I think it is way more likely ...


4

I'd use 12/3 -- that way, the neutral is there if you need it (for built-in outlets for instance), and you can use standard color codes. (Just about ALL /2 NM is black/white/bare.)


4

The most important issue in a portable heater, even before the issue of heating is safety. Dangers involve tipping, brushing a hot surface, things falling into, in or on it. This risk is even more pronounced in a kitchen which is a busy place (unlike a quite reading room). People move about, often quickly and carry (and drop) things. While your particular ...


4

We ended up bleeding the radiators, upping the pressure, and replacing the thermocouple. After all of that, we discovered that flames had been shooting out of the front of the boiler and melted half of the valve, messing up the electronics for the pilot light. We ended up replacing the entire boiler since it was 35 years old anyway, but the reason for the ...


4

Probably not the answer you want to hear, but the manufacturer of your heater would most likely prohibit the alteration of air flow into and out of the unit. Doing so would void the industry safety certifications required for manufacturers, the warranty, and would probably not be safe. Additionally, all wall heaters have minimum clearance requirements for ...


4

It sounds to me like a restriction at the regulator, not the control valve. You mentioned that the previous owner had done some work on it, make sure that he/she did not replace the regulator with one that does not deliver the design flow/pressure. In this case, adequate flow/pressure depends on proper regulator back pressure setting (they are rated in "...


4

NO. If this electric heat circuit is on a 30A breaker then ALL the wiring on the circuit must be #10cu (or larger). Even if it feeds just one heater.


4

What you have in these pictures is a massive code violation, fire hazard as well as an electrocution hazard. This must be rectified first. Leaving this mess intact is negligent even if you cover it with a mile of electrical tape. You need to put all of this cable into a listed electrical box. Since we cant see the conductor size, I'm just going to ...


4

No problem, the water will just pass through if you turn off the gas supply.


4

There's an absolutely fantastic heater called a wall furnace. It is a proper furnace that mounts in a wall, and is either one-sided or two-sided. You could mount a 2-sided unit on an interior joist wall. Or you could mount a 1-sided unit on an exterior wall by spacing it out from the wall 4", this would let you put a jog in the stack pipe and penetrate ...


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