Heated wire

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Old 03-14-09, 04:57 PM
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Heated wire

Ok here's what I need. I need help in figuring out how to hook up a thin guage, nichrome wire to a standard 120V household outlet. I need about 20 or so feet of wire heated to as close to 60 degrees as possible. Any help/tips would be appreciated.

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Old 03-14-09, 05:34 PM
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First that is going to be dangerous as He**. But I assume you know that. The gauge matters as you will need to know the resistance of the wire and a whole lot more. Here is a link for some technical data.
Nichrome Wire: Heating Element Design Basics

Old 03-14-09, 06:24 PM
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Suggest using an isolation transformer. I remember back in the days when they rebuilt TV picture tubes they cut the necks off with a nichrome wire plugged straight in to 120 receptacle. Are you doing something like that?
Old 03-16-09, 12:02 PM
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Ya, I know it can be dangerous. I also know that in tearing apart an electric heating pad it looks soooooo simple. It's really just become an obsession at this point.

I've seen instructions for wiring a riding vest to a motorcycle battery to heat it up for cold weather rides. Those instructions were pretty much just hooking the two ends of the wires to the battery. That uses a 12V battery. I went and got a limiter adapter that had different settings; some below 12V some higher. That experiment didn't get any results at all. No heat from the wire but unlike some other attempts it didn't blow the breaker either.

I know the guage makes a difference. I just need the wire to be pliable enough to lay it out in a pattern. It doesn't need to hold the pattern as I'll be using a sheet of material on top of it.

I've found the formulas and I can work them out without a problem. I think what I"m looking for is a wiring plan. I'm definately not educated in this area so if you can help please explain like I'm a 5 year old (i.e. hook one wire end to part A...etc.).

I appreciate any help you folks can give. You'd be saving me lots of time and frustration; at this point it's driving me nuts.

Thanks for the information so far.
Old 03-16-09, 04:18 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

Unfortunately you're first posts are asking all of us to give you advice on something that is not only dangerous, but potentially deadly. No more advice will be forthcoming in this thread. This is a DIY website, not a hobbyist website.

For the record: Never connect any heater wires directly to a 120VAC receptacle. There must be additional circuitry to control it. You were on the right track by reverse-engineering a heating pad, but please pay attention to the safeguards in that pad.

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