Oil Filled electric heaters
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    2,209
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14671
    Likes (Received)
    878

    Default Oil Filled electric heaters

    With the cold weather, I have seen many of those little, white, oil filled radiator looking heaters laying out next to trash cans to be hauled off. I would say each and every one of them came from Walmart.
    Me, being the scavenger and the curious type, I stop and picked up a couple. Plugged them in and got no heat.
    Took the cover off the end and scoped out everthing. I wired direct to the heating coil connections and viola, heat. Tried continuity testing and finally found a little item wired in-line with the power to the switch- it was failed open.
    Turns out it is a little thing called a thermal fuse (thanks to a local Heat and Air guy who recognized what I was talking about and explained them to me). Luckily it has some numbers on it, and I find them in a Newark catalog. The one I have here opens at 332° F. or 167° C.
    87¢ apiece in last years catalog. They open up when the heater gets too hot and are not user (homeowner) replaceable. (On edit- maybe I could've sprayed some "Stabilant" on it and hoped for the best= Sarcasm intended for those who read that Stabilant thread) There are loads of these heaters laying around- what a waste of money for a $75 (walmart price) item. I wouldn't give $10 for one, but that's just me.
    I've fixed one of the things and put it in my bathroom, just to keep the chill out of there. I find that they aren't designed to warm a room, which is what most people think they're going to do with them. They aren't made to run on high. That cord gets a little warm, which isn't good in my book. 1500 watt heater! I see some of them have a tilt switch, which is a good idea because they aren't full of oil, only partially. If the heater tips over, the heating element could be exposed and......!!

    So, if you see some laying around and want a cheap heater, go for it. I rigged 2 of them back to life without that fusible link - just clipped it out and soldered the wire back together. I run them on low and keep the little thermostat set on 3.5 (out of a possible 10)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    23,939
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4100

    Default

    Yep stablilant is the way to go. I personally wave a dowsing rod over my heater
    and it hasn't died on me yet!



    One can find those thermal link disconnects in lots of items, my bathroom fan had the
    bearings lock up and the link blew. I re-oiled the bearings and replaced the
    thermal fuse. Oddly radio shack had them!

    Basically a tiny metal tube sealed at one end, inside is a drop of low-melting
    solder, that holds a spring contact which ties to the wire held on with epoxy
    at the open end.

    Body goes over the melt temp for the solder, the solder lets go, the spring
    retracts, and the contact pulls back.

    Non-resettable as you say.

    Jim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Posts
    13,038
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    423
    Likes (Received)
    1011

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeE. View Post
    1500 watt heater!
    An analogy would be trying to heat a room with a hairdryer which draws/outputs about the same wattage.

    It would probably keep a pup tent nice and warm though

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Providence
    Posts
    72
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Default TCO ageing

    Some of the TCO's (Thermal Cut Outs) depend on a chemical pellet to keep the contacts in continuity. The pellet will shrink in the presence of a temperature exceeding the design limit thus allowing a compression spring to force the contacts to open. These pellets suffer from age much like you or I do and eventually the repeated heat cycles combined with age will cause premature contact opening. The devices I am familiar with that use the pellet have an epoxy bead on one side of the central tube. They are always suspect in any heating device I have ever encountered which fails to operate. I like the idea of solder holding the spring much better. What do they look like physically? Is it easy to differentiate the two?
    All the best.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    17,395
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1593
    Likes (Received)
    2763

    Default

    They do indeed fail. Of course if they partly fail and resistance goes up, they promptly fail the rest of the way.....

    A "safety system" that may fail and cause teh unit to be useless thereafter.

    BTW, I can't speak for the Wally-world ones, but the older "DeLonghi" units work pretty well. If, as people I know do, you keep the house on a ,low temp, and use the heaters in teh room you are in, they do a good job. Won't heat from -20, but do a good jpb of local supplemental heat.

    The oil-filled ones are 10X better than the funky little "curtain igniter" types that look a bit like a tilted toaster oven and have heating elements behind an openwork grille.

    Then there is the "bowl fire" type........ Our British friends will recognize that type. nice radiant heat, but no room warming to speak of.

    Round reflector on a stand that looks like a fan, with a heater coil on a conical ceramic form. Old ones are copper reflector, IIRC.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,882
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    280
    Likes (Received)
    467

    Default

    The DeLonghi units were nice. I used it to warm up the cabin in my boat, great for fall sailing.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    peekskill, NY
    Posts
    23,939
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4100

    Default

    They're not as good as radiant heaters, they do heat the air and not the
    person. But I just got done with a two hour session in the basement shop
    which was darn chilly.

    Sweater, overjacket, and hat chilly.

    Admittedly party my OWN fault because after passing the garden
    hose into the basement to get hot water from the water heater,
    to rinse the salt off the car last week, I left the window open a
    crack.

    But that oil-filled heater radiator was only on the medium setting (guess
    it was 1 kw) was keeping my legs quite comfortable, I put it right behind
    me while I was making needle file handles on the hardinge second op
    lathe. Woodturing walnut, not the usual application but I had the
    T-rest and it worked out fine.

    Jim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Waterford, VA USA
    Posts
    253
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default I love them and have salvaged several

    I've done the same thing as you. I've snagged at least 4 of these things. Only one didn't work and need the fuse thing. One just had a broken plastic wheel. One had nothing at all wrong with it, etc.

    Personally, I think they are the best type of electric heater. They are just like a water radiator that we have in our house. The best part about them is the thermal mass. When the heat element cuts off, they still emit heat.

    The electric heaters that just heat and then cut off are useless. They are fine when they are running, but you feel cold when they are off. The electric radiators just continue to put out heat. we have an old house and they are just the thing when a particular spot is a little cold.

    Thanks for encouraging the fixing of stuff that inept people discard.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    6,024
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1266
    Likes (Received)
    728

    Default

    Only problem with all that mass emitting heat after you turn it off is that it took just as long to warm it up in the first place. Same as the argument about fintube and CI baseboard radiators.

    The copper puts out heat immediately, cools as soon as the heat dissipates after the pump stops. CI might take 20 minutes to get to water temp, 20 minutes to cool after the pump stops.

    You don't get nothing for nothing.

    Cheers,

    George

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    marysville ohio
    Posts
    8,959
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2520
    Likes (Received)
    5714

    Default

    we have an oversized entryway on our house. kind of like an air lock. outside door and an inside door into the house. it is about 8' x 16' or so and has the laundry in it. it can get pretty cold in there, like the water pipes to the washer freeze! I use one of the oil filled radiators in there, set at 900 watts and it stays nice and warm in there.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    17,395
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1593
    Likes (Received)
    2763

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post
    Only problem with all that mass emitting heat after you turn it off is that it took just as long to warm it up in the first place.
    Not really....... at least for the electric units. The power input is higher than the rate of output, once the temp falls a bit. The rate of heat transfer is dependent on temperature difference.

    When they are cold, they heat quickly to "warm", losing little heat. And so they also stay "warmish" for quite a while.

    The only temp where heat input and output are required to balance is at the normal operating temp.

    So in fact, they heat up relatively fast, slowing near final temp, while they cool down slower, since they release heat energy at a constantly reducing rate as they cool.

    result is subjectively they stay warm a reasonably long time, and yet seem to heat up fast. It's paradoxical, but understandable.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    6,024
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1266
    Likes (Received)
    728

    Default

    All well and good. But, they still take longer to produce heat, as well as longer to cool down.

    BTU in equals at beast BTU out. As well, they warm up in a lower temp environment, and cool down in a higher temp environment, so maybe the DeltaT is a misperception.

    I wonder, in an air conditioned room, say 70F, and kept that way, how long it would take an oil filled heater to reach say 130F, then switch off and reach 70F again. I'd bet it would be neck and neck.

    Personally, I don't believe in any of the "super heaters", be they oil or all those "ceramic miracles" from years ago, like that 4 or 6 inch "Cube" that was supposed to be a miracle heater.

    The toaster ribbon style of the cheapest ones produce the same amount of heat as the best of those, with the same input. That's the kind I have near my chair at the machines in the basement. I turn it on, sit down, and I have warmth immediately. Don't wait 15 minutes to take the chill off. Same token, turn it off, go upstairs, it cools in less than a minute.

    The OP started this with picking them out of the trash. I'm good with that. But I wouldn't go buy one because the hacks who push them tout the superiority of their heat production. Hell, if I saw one in the trash, I might pick it up and fix it, too.'Specially with the cost of nat. gas these days. Just got my highest gas bill ever, and that was the December bill, 3 more months to go.

    Cheers,

    George

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    17,395
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1593
    Likes (Received)
    2763

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gmatov View Post

    I wonder, in an air conditioned room, say 70F, and kept that way, how long it would take an oil filled heater to reach say 130F, then switch off and reach 70F again. I'd bet it would be neck and neck.
    Depends on the rate of input vs output...... it is fairly trivial to use a heating coil which in most temperatures produces more heat energy than the "radiator" can dispose of at a safe temperature of the coils. You simply switch off with a thermostat if it gets too hot. That's the red dial on them...sets the 'stat.

    So the heater would actually overheat if left on..... that makes it heat quickly.

    The cooldown is controlled strictly by temp difference.

    Obviously, at some ambient temp, the losses as a radiator are as much as, or more than, the heater input, and it won't ever warm up.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Syracuse, NY USA
    Posts
    9,633
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    18
    Likes (Received)
    548

    Default

    I have had a DeLongi one for 15 years or so, works fine. I was just looking at one of the full page advs for oil filled baseboard heaters $250 + for 1500 watts! they really go after the guilble and the old ladies.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    People's Democratic Republic of Louisiana
    Posts
    2,557
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    562
    Likes (Received)
    266

    Default

    Jim, What's your opinion on those "Amish" heaters I'm seeing advertised?

    ( I know you have one! )

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    2,209
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    14671
    Likes (Received)
    878

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thruthefence View Post
    Jim, What's your opinion on those "Amish" heaters I'm seeing advertised?
    .....from a previous poster comes the answer.."gullible little old ladies." Since when did the amish become scientists inventing and perfecting radiant electric heat- or anything electric? I suppose some "entreprenuer" bought a load of "made in India" electric heaters and had some amish guys make him some cabinets to fit around them. I really doubt if they are actually amish made cabinets. Probably made in the same factory which makes the Walmart particle board furniture, only with a picture of an amish guy on the wall while they make them!
    I've seen full page ads in newspapers featuring these things. I just roll my eyes....

    To me, they may as well have Jack LaLane hawking them with the juicer he sells

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    5,289
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    408
    Likes (Received)
    2154

    Default

    I have one in my machine room I use if I need to keep the room warm overnight for some reason or if I'll be working out there all day. It works pretty well.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Waterford, VA USA
    Posts
    253
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Default amish heater nonsense

    Quote Originally Posted by thruthefence View Post
    Jim, What's your opinion on those "Amish" heaters I'm seeing advertised?

    ( I know you have one! )
    I saw that ad- they have this claim that they put out 5100 BTU and consume 1500 watts. Well, er, uh, 1500 watts IS 5118 BTUs. So, no miracle there.

    It seems like they are mostly selling their wood enclosures.

    Nothing against the Amish, but there is nothing remarkable about their heaters.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Sussex, England
    Posts
    3,182
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    12
    Likes (Received)
    646

    Default

    Best trick in a workshop is to build and insulate the thing to a standard where it never gets really cold then have a / some thermostatically controlled heater(s) whether oil filled or just a simple convector set for a bit over freezing. A decent tonnage of cast iron machinery makes for a nice storage radiator once its up to temp! Which probably takes moist of the summer!

    I'm very pleased with the way my small shop coped with the recent -8° nigh-time temperatures here in Britain. About 10 minutes in the hour heating at worst with two 3 KW (max) heaters. Oil one kept the 7 x 9 ft office / electronics sit down area a bit warmer for sedentary jobs and a simple convector did the deed for the machine shop occupying the rest of the 28 x 16 ft (nominal) space. Didn't bother with the 8 x 8 ft "dirty" shop and that was noticeably colder. OSB on both sides of 4 x 2 frame filled with fibreglass all round, timber clad outside, double glazed windows, 6 x 2 joists & fibre filling for ceiling, proper flooring board underfoot and 2" polystyrene under the tin roof sheets. Added the poly sheets under the roof in the summer as an anti-condensation measure but that warm, rather than cold, attic makes a huge difference at sub-zero temperatures. If it doesn't go sub zero the shop heater hardly comes on at all.

    Never needed to do the chilly shop trick of running a fan heater for 10 minutes to blast the subjective coldness off in this one. Anyone else find that electric fan heaters don't seem to do much after the first few minutes?

    Clive

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    6,024
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1266
    Likes (Received)
    728

    Default

    Friend of mine bought one similar to the Amish "cabinet" containing a China made 'lectric heater. About 300 bucks, US. Amazing thing!! REMOTE CONTROL!!! Lah-di-dah. Put it in his mobile home bedroom turned on high. Told his son to put it back in the box and get a refund the next day.

    Right. The Amish aren't making the heater, just the enclosure they stuff them into.

    I prefer the cheaper ribbon heaters with fan, myself. Have one running in the basement now, 900 SF, brought it up from 64 to 68 F over the past 6 hours. Chilly out and I have about 25 gallons of wine fermenting down there. Too cold, it slows way down, but I don't like it too warm either.

    Cheers,

    George.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
2