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8744675

join:2000-10-10
Decatur, GA
reply to fartness

Re: Unplug stuff?

A lamp timer is not rated for the amperage that a space heater requires. You're going to get some extra heat when the timer bursts into flames!


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to fartness

said by fartness:

I mainly want to keep an electric heater plugged into a lamp timer at night when I go to bed, this way it turns on before I wake up, and the room is nice and warm.

You could use an infrared bulb which is lower than the wattage of your lamp timer. You will feel the warmth much quicker than a low wattage space heater.

P.S. There is very little risk leaving toasters plugged in all the time.


DataDoc
My avatar looks like me, if I was 2D.
Premium
join:2000-05-14
Martinsburg, WV
Reviews:
·Suddenlink

1 edit
reply to fartness

I lived in Alaska as a kid and my bedroom was in the 40s during the winter. I had a door to the outside and the curtains froze to the windows, embedded in the frozen condensation.

Man up and get rid of the heater.
--
Sequestration must be a great idea. Obama thought of it.



fartness
computersoc dot com
Premium
join:2003-03-25
Look Outside

1 recommendation

With that logic I should use DOS rather than a GUI.


rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Mediacom
reply to fartness

Most conversation seems to be pointing towards current draw. I think the real reason for this was the possibility of shock as the OP stated. Non polarized plugs/outlets, K&T reversed at the outlet and poor design led to elements that could be energized all the time, such as dropping the neutral when off, leaving a shock hazard if left plugged in.
I still wont stick a fork in a turned off toaster if it is plugged in. Even if newer rules governing everything say its safer today than it was 50 years ago.


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

said by rfnut:

I still wont stick a fork in a turned off toaster if it is plugged in. Even if newer rules governing everything say its safer today than it was 50 years ago.

Curiously UL accepted that some people will stick forks inside a turned-on toaster. The risk of shock from a turned-off toaster is really insignificant.

The main concern with space heaters on a timer was the fire hazard.


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

My toaster is grounded.



PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
reply to lutful

I think rfnut is referring to the possibility of the toaster element being switched only on the hot side of the circuit, combined with a miswire situation that has hot and neutral flipped, leaving the elements at line potential when the switch is off.


rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Mediacom

Yup. I remember well being bit by a toaster (turned off) as a kid, as well as an electric frying pan. Weather this was due to a malfunction in the appliance or poor design, I do not know. It taught me to play it safe , at least with things with an exposed element
On the other subject of a heater on a timer, I can see where that could be its own problem if something were to come into contact with the heater unexpectedly. In my opinion any type heater that when covered by a blanket could cause combustion (even with overheat or other safety) should be manually turned on. Imagine getting up early in a rush for a plane or something and you throw a man made fiber shirt on the bed, which falls on an electric space heater. It turns on just after you leave and the shirt melts onto the element and catches fire before the safety kills it. Not a good thing.
Not the same thing, but close was the recent story in here of the person who left the clothes basket on the grill of an in-floor furnace. Plastic melted onto the furnace and started the fire.



norton

join:2005-08-03
Howard City, MI
reply to fartness

+++ excellant topic and very good read through entire thread. this is exactly why i come to dslreports.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to rfnut

said by rfnut:

On the other subject of a heater on a timer, I can see where that could be its own problem if something were to come into contact with the heater unexpectedly. In my opinion any type heater that when covered by a blanket could cause combustion (even with overheat or other safety) should be manually turned on. Imagine getting up early in a rush for a plane or something and you throw a man made fiber shirt on the bed, which falls on an electric space heater. It turns on just after you leave and the shirt melts onto the element and catches fire before the safety kills it.

It seems like those problems are easily solved. Get a programmable plug-in timer made for use with heaters and a wall or ceiling mountable heater.

tkdslr

join:2004-04-24
Pompano Beach, FL
Reviews:
·T-Mobile US
·Speakeasy
reply to fartness

I use X-10 appliance switches, paired with an X-10 controller to make sure heating devices are shut off when I leave the house..

Each heating device is sent 8 to 10 OFF commands a day..
Coffee pot, Iron, etc.. (no ON commands).. In order too switch the device back on, one locally cycles the power switch a couple of times.

Same X-10 system also controls the lawn sprinklers, and most of the lighting around the house. (system shuts off the lights at least once a day.)

The sense of well being, having left your house, and knowing you're not going to burn it down is more than worth it.

Nothing worse than being a thousand miles away, or 30 miles @ work, and thinking did I leave the Iron on !!! In lieu of an x-10 system, Yes, I recommend unplugging all low end (non-fused) heating devices when leaving.



cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON

said by tkdslr:

Each heating device is sent 8 to 10 OFF commands a day.

Automated OCD. That's awesome!

TampaVoIP

join:2002-05-10
Tampa, FL
reply to fartness

Having seen two separate fires caused by appliances with heating elements accidentally turned on, my rule is that any appliance which produces substantial amounts of heat gets put on a power strip w/switch & circuit breaker. The strip gets turned on when in use, turned off when done. In my homes, this includes: toaster ovens, induction cooktops, toasters, coffee makers (drip, not the Keurig), space heaters.

First one was a toaster oven, where the person had set their groceries down and went down to their car to bring up more groceries. The initial load of groceries was set on the countertop, next to the fridge and in front of the toaster oven. The groceries settled, rested against the front panel of the toaster oven, activating it. The decorative thing she had on top of the toaster oven & groceries caught fire, then the cabinets directly over the toaster oven. Whole kitchen was basically a loss. The rest of the unit suffered severe smoke damage, while the living room, dining room, and kitchen had fire and water damage. I think the water used to put out the fire caused more damage than the fire itself.

Second one happened 2 weeks ago. Person had a space heater in their bedroom with "nice digital controls" on the top of the heater. Somehow clothes, a pillow, or some other object fell off the bed and landed on top of the still-plugged-in space heater, turning it on. Fortunately the person woke up in time to get out, but after all was said & done, bedroom was a complete loss (had to replace all drywall, some attic framing) and the rest of the condo had severe smoke & water damage.

I also want to point out that we've all seen electronics do strange things with power glitches. Imagine one of your heating appliances turning itself on when you're not home. I have connected a space heater up with a conventional AC thermostat & relay, but both were designed for this and of sufficient quality that I didn't worry. Space heater was one of those oil-filled radiators so it wasn't likely to cause other objects to burst into flames.