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Author Topic: Block Heaters  (Read 1197 times)

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Offline David-L

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Block Heaters
« on: February 04, 2017, 06:23:57 pm »
Well, wondering if anyone is getting more than a season out of the freeze plug block heaters. I am on my third kats 1000W heater. two were in Detroits and the one I installed last March in a Cummins  went today. Less than a year old. They seem to short out or something. first thing I did was make sure the anti-freeze was topped off after  it  shorted and it was , just in case. I know a dry element will cook one but that was not the case.  Might have to look for another brand as I really don't like using either. Any thoughts or similar experience with the Kats stuff. Thanks
In two days from now, tomorrow will be yesterday.

Offline Andries

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2017, 06:44:31 pm »
You might want to find a different brand.
We use block heaters all winter up here.
One car, one truck and two diesel loaders.
They last for the life of the motor - or should last that long!
Almost any kid will run a chore for you - if asked an hour before bedtime . . . .

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2017, 06:59:49 pm »
Are you starting the engines with the block heater still plugged in? After you unplug them you should wait a minute or two before starting. Any kind of bubbles passing over the hot element can cause issues.

I've got block heaters in 30 year old equipment that get used almost daily for 6 months of the year and they still work perfect.

Offline North River Energy

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2017, 07:00:52 pm »
I'm not using them daily as you do, but I use the Kats immersion type heaters on a loader, tractor, and a truck, and have had good luck with them. I go oversized on the wattage, just because.

Offline Puffergas

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2017, 07:49:24 pm »
I have three, think they are Zerostart. Always work.
Jeff
Somewhere 20 miles south of Lake Erie.

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Offline David-L

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2017, 08:30:38 pm »
I followed the instructions on all three. Don't start motor until the heater is unplugged and can't say I wait a minute but usually wrap the cord up and secure the gen-set so its gotta be close to a minute. Read a bunch of reviews tonight online and I ordered a Cummins OEM 750. They are suppose to be a better element and have more surface area. I do see where cold water on a hot element might lessen the life ,but less than a year when only using under 20 degrees is pretty poor in my book. We shall see. Thanks for the replies.
In two days from now, tomorrow will be yesterday.

Offline barbender

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2017, 11:51:42 pm »
I've never waited for startup, in fact, most of the time I fire up and then take care of unplugging, winding up my cord, etc. I've never had one fail, fwiw.
Too many irons in the fire

Offline David-L

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2017, 07:00:06 am »
Maybe the 1000 w heater is to much and the shock of cooler fluid lessens its life span.. I am trying a 750 this time. I only run it for 1/2 hr or so,maybe a bit longer if real cold just to get it warmed up a bit. Maybe  not running it longer and getting heat into more coolant has something to do with it. There is definitely cool fluid if I am running them a short period of time. How long is everybody running there block heaters, curious. There has to be some reason mine are failing after a short period. I have also checked my gen-set to see that the voltage isn't wanky.

 

 
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Offline Mountain_d

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2017, 08:09:10 am »
Are you running the heater from a generator? If so maybe an issue with the generator?
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Offline Ed_K

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2017, 10:31:25 am »
 I'm using the katz 750 in my 4-53 with no problems. I have left it plugged in to the generator more than once for 45 mins. Also I've always started the machine up before unplugging it. I was told when installing it,to make sure the probe doesn't touch any metal on the inside of the engine. I installed it 4 yrs ago, but it doesn't run every day tho.
Ed K

Offline Puffergas

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2017, 11:16:08 am »
Anywhere from a half hour to a day if near a plug in.
Jeff
Somewhere 20 miles south of Lake Erie.

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Offline maple flats

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2017, 11:36:55 am »
I have a block heater on my 01 F-250 7.3 diesel. I don't know the brand, but it works perfectly. I usually unplug it before starting but not always. When I unplug it, I usually start the engine within 20-30 seconds.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Andries

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2017, 12:01:44 pm »
EdK touched on a key point here - the heater element must not touch the block anywhere inside the block.
That'll kill it for sure.
When we have cold weather, motors are either running or plugged in.
A well installed block heater should have the same life span as a stove top element.
As for starting/unplugging order, meh.
Nobody I know in North Country has ever seen a difference.
Almost any kid will run a chore for you - if asked an hour before bedtime . . . .

Offline Andries

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2017, 12:07:37 pm »
btw, a block heater brings a motor block up to temp in four hours.
When it's -40 a plug in time of 30 minutes is like lipstick on a pig.
I'll give mine 2 hours time before I expect it to run.
Almost any kid will run a chore for you - if asked an hour before bedtime . . . .

Offline starmac

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2017, 05:42:26 pm »
The logger I haul for plugs his in in the evening before he goes home and lets the genset run all night. He has not had a problem with them and is on his third year with them.

I plug my pickups in and leave them all night pretty much all the time and have never had a problem.

It seems to me that you just about have to have a generator problem or the element touching metal or even some deposits in the block.
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Online Dave Shepard

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2017, 06:56:16 pm »
We get long service life out of the internal heaters. The external ones do get replacedd more often, but more like ten years. There should be no shock to the heater, as the heater has raised all the water in the engine to the same temp.
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Offline David-L

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2017, 06:55:19 am »
I know about the element touching the water jacket wall and make sure that isn't happening. I had to mess with the Detroit ones that were 1000w cause the element is longer. On the Cummins there was lots of room so no problem. I did check the gen-set for steady voltage with no spikes. I did read online that my particular brand was giving alot of users issues and the longevity was not so great. Ordered one Saturday and we shall see. I love working on cooling systems in the winter. I don't even plug the Cummins in unless its below 20 degrees or so.
In two days from now, tomorrow will be yesterday.

Offline gspren

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2017, 07:54:28 pm »
  My 1989 JD 2355 farm tractor has the freeze plug style and I find if it's teens or colder I need to plug in at least 1-1/2 hours to get her started, 2 is better. I bought the tractor used about 20 years ago and still the same heater, probably original.
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Offline Randy88

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2017, 08:05:37 am »
Does it have a replaceable cord or the cheaper one's with the cord attached?    With replaceable cords, we got through two to three cords before the thermostat goes bad.   

As for water bubbles passing over the heating element causing damage, I have a few heaters in the 5-6,000 watt range externally mounted with a 120 volt water pump hooked up for forced water circulation though them, with my portable generator I can bring the engine from below zero to 100 degree's in about 15 minutes so it'll start, never had an issue yet with burning out an element in those heaters.     

We quit putting in Katz heaters, zerostarts are much better quality heaters, FWIW.

Offline David-L

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Re: Block Heaters
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2017, 05:00:12 pm »
Just got a heater today with a cord and suppose it would be worth checking the  old cord out for continuity. Thanks.
In two days from now, tomorrow will be yesterday.