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Electric/Heating Question.

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Ron in Nebr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:35 am    Post subject: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I've got an in-wall, hardwired 120v heater in a small (5'x6') poorly insulated bathroom. The bathroom used to be a small porch years ago.

My problem is, when turned on high, it puts out good heat for about 5 minutes, then the thermostat automatically shuts it off, and the bathroom gets quite cold before the thermostat lets the heater turn back on. Turning the dial to about halfway only makes it shut off sooner. I've cleaned the dust from the insides.

In looking at it, it's a 1500 watt heater. Only a couple years old, and it looks like the same heater is sold under quite a few different brand names.

Inside are two "jumper wires", and the directions on the tag for the installer say it's factory wired for 1500 watts. Clip the blue jumper wire and it puts out 1300 watts, clip the red wire and it's 750, clip both wires and it's down to 300 or something.

I found a chart online to determine the wattage needed to heat a certain number of square feet. This bathroom is much smaller than what 1500 watts is rated to heat.

If I clip wires to reduce the output, will it stay running and heat the bathroom better, even if it's making less heat?

If so, in the opinion of the experts here, which wattage should I take it down to for best results?

Thanks in advance!
 
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Steve@Advance
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Being the room is poorly insulated, you may need the 1500 watts to keep it warm.

I take this heater does not have a fan to move the heat, so as a safety it shuts down to keep the case from getting too hot. Possibly you could sit a small fan near the heater to keep the air moving, and leave it at 1500.

If that is not possible, nothing to loose by trying clipping the jumpers, start with the 1300 watt first, see what happens.

If it doesn't meet your needs, a fan forced heater will be much more suitable.
 
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gregww
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

There are a lot of variables here.

"I found a chart online to determine the wattage needed to heat a certain number of square feet. This bathroom is much smaller than what 1500 watts is rated to heat. >

That certain # of sq. ft. is probably insulated sq. ft.

"I've got an in-wall, hardwired 120v heater in a small (5'x6') poorly insulated bathroom."

Is it mounted in an inside wall, where the heater and thermostat can be warmed by another space?

Personally, I would get a free standing "SAFE" heater
 
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da.bees
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I believe Steve is correct,a safty device is shutting it down before it melt's. Are you certain there's not a built in fan which has stopped functioning? I'd use a fan as Steve suggest's.
 
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D beatty
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The heaters come from factory wired for max. wattage out put. I have a 1,500 watt 220 volt Marley wall heater like this in a small basement bath room and it will hold 70 degrees easy and that is set half way to high. It sounds like thermostat is not working right. Does the heater have a safety overload switch built into it that could be bad.

 
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Ron in Nebr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I should have been more specific. It does have a fan. It is mounted between the studs on an interior wall. The room "might" be insulated a little, but it's usually cooler than the rest of the house. There is a duct from the house central heat and air, but it's far enough away from the furnace that not much heat comes out, so this wall heater was put in to supplement it when needed.

I tried to add a link to the exact heater to this post. This heater replaced a similar one that quit working a few years ago.

This bathroom is very small- has a stool, corner sink, and a bathtub. There's hardly enough floor space for a stand-alone heater, and it would be in the way, so figured the wall unit was better.

I had a wall heater sort of like this in a different house in a bathroom about twice the size previously, and it would run full time and put out good heat. It appears that heater isn't made anymore.
Untitled URL Link

 
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Ron in Nebr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That looks almost identical to mine except the numbers on the dial. Mine has worked as I described since new. It does have a red light behind the outer white cover that is supposed to light up when the safety overload has tripped, and it never lights up.

Maybe I just got a bad one.
 
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Ron in Nebr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

When the heating element is on, the fan is turning. There is a light that is supposed to come on if it overheats, and that doesn't turn on.

When I set the dial halfway, after it shuts off, if you turn it up more, you can feel a little "click" in the dial like it's going past a thermostat setting, and it starts working for a little bit again until it gets warmer.

There's a full-sized bathtub in this little 5x6 bathroom, so the total floorspace minus the tub is probably only about 5x4 or so.

If it matters, it's an old house, the bathroom has a 10 foot ceiling height, and the heater is mounted about 18-20 inches above floor level.
 
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David G
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The switch has a dead band in it, sounds like it is too large.

Is this a new problem?
 
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Russ from MN
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would try running it at a reduced wattage, it sounds like the fan doesn't move the heat away fast enough.
 
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Ron in Nebr
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

No, this particular heater has done this since it was new. It works ok, runs in every position you put the switch. Just shuts off too soon.

Like I mentioned, I'd found a half dozen or so similar heaters, all with different brand names but suspiciously similar part numbers, and they all had this same option to clip wires to run at reduced wattage if so desired.

I figured there has to be a reason it was manufactured so that the installer could set it to other lower wattages than the maximum 1500. I had planned to try that, but thought maybe someone on here had experience with these heaters and had installed them with less wattage and could tell me how they determined which wattage to go with.
 
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da.bees
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

All things considered,I recommend replacing the heater. A new safty or t-stat might fix it if you knew what you were doing but a new heater wouldn't cost that much more. Not worth the gamble.
 
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kcm.MN
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have you considered in-floor electric tiles? There's no liquid to worry about; it's all wiring. Works best under non-carpeted floor covering, but will also work under carpet.

Nice thing about in-floor is it heats from the floor up, and heats the room evenly. Eliminates a lot of cold spots.

If you have a draft where outside air can blow through the wall(s), or if air can infiltrate where water/drain lines and electrical come in, then those need to be sealed up.

Our old farmhouse heats easy when there's no wind, even when the outside temp is -30F. Add in a 10 MPH wind and it's now much more difficult to heat. And 10 MPH for our area is nothing.

I haven't looked at such in-floor heating options since my last time in a box store, which was several years ago. I was impressed then with the options. Would imagine they've only gotten better since then.
 
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Dave Sherburne, NY
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My opinion, your heater is working as designed. You set the thermostat at 70 degrees and at 15oo watts it runs for 5 minutes to heat the bathroom up to 70 degrees or what ever you set it for and it shuts off. If you clip some wires to put out less wattage, example, 750 watts it will take ten minutes to get the trmperature up to 70 degrees. Other wattages will take more or less time depending which wattages you select by cutting the wires. You don't have a towel rack above it do you? I've got the Marley, and it works like that except when I shower I turn it all the way up so it runs constantly. I like it warm, but I think I will look into cutting some wires.
 
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guido
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Electric/Heating Question. Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello Don in Nebr,

The thermostat is the problem. The temperature differential, built in or adjustable, is set wrong. Once the temperature drops a few degrees, the heater should go back on. Your house thermostat has one of two degrees differential. Can you imagine if it took 10 degrees before it came on? Is it staying too warm to come on again? That's my guess,

Guido.
 
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