What? 1800 Watts

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  #1  
Old 01-23-16, 06:31 PM
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What? 1800 Watts

Saw an electric heater for home use advertised on TV. The Apollo 2000 heater is touted as having a full 1800 watts of heat. Plugs into a 120v receptacle. Wow! What could possibly go wrong with that?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 01-23-16 at 08:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-16, 06:33 PM
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A full 1800 watts (15A) is sure to be a real breaker popper.
 

Last edited by PJmax; 01-23-16 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 01-23-16, 07:02 PM
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Its 1,800 watts not 18,000...lol Typo?
 
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Old 01-23-16, 08:27 PM
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I should just delete this and start over. I screwed my own point with a typo.
 
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Old 01-23-16, 08:42 PM
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A full 1800 watts (15A) is sure to be a real breaker popper.
Why cant it be on a 20 amp circuit?
 
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Old 01-23-16, 09:16 PM
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It would have to be on a 20A circuit. Most people will try to use it on a 15A circuit.
 
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Old 01-23-16, 10:00 PM
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From their site:
The Apollo 2000 plugs in to a standard wall outlet.
Most wall receptacles are 15 amp and not dedicated. Sure it would work on a dedicated 20a receptacle but again from their site:
The Apollo 2000 is portable and lightweight, weighing just 7.5 lbs. The easy-grab carrying handle makes it easy to move from room to room.
So sure if you put dedicated receptacles in multiple room.

I suspect it isn't really 1800 watts but their site gives no real info. https://www.apollo2000heater.com/index
 
  #8  
Old 01-23-16, 11:39 PM
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I suspect it isn't really 1800 watts...
I got a deep fryer for Christmas. It is listed as drawing 1800 watts. I plugged in my Kill-a-Watt meter and the line voltage was about 121. Plugged in the fryer and the line voltage dropped to about 115-117 (I don't remember the exact numbers) and the watt indicator read around 1700.

So why the huge voltage drop? These are fairly new Leviton Decora receptacles and yes, the wires are wrapped around the screw terminals. Being a small appliance branch circuit it IS dedicated and the only other things on this circuit are a toaster oven and a microwave oven, both in standby and therefore drawing almost nothing.

I wanted to get the 2400 watt or 3800 watt fryer but it would have required me to run a dedicated 240 volt circuit.

Ray, I suspect the heater IS pretty close to 1800 watts when supplied with 120 volts. I also suspect that when contact resistance (plug/receptacle, wires at receptacle, any splices, wires at circuit breaker, CB resistance, etc. are calculated in the voltage at the heater is low enough that the full 1800 watts is not realized.

This also is a strong recommendation for making all receptacle circuits 20 ampere circuits and including lots of them, something my own house is sorely lacking.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 05:48 AM
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Breaker popper? Hopefully. I got a call from two widows the other day stating they smelled burning plastic for a short spell in the basement apartment. No heat from their space heater (1400 watt). No breaker trip, but the contacts in the receptacle were apparently loose enough to cause arcing and burned them to the point of no contact. Typical 35 cent contractor grade receptacle. Worked fine with a better receptacle, but I found out they were also running lamps, TV, AND an oxygen generator off the circuit Had to reapportion their circuit use real quickly.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 07:20 AM
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So why the huge voltage drop?
All loads cause voltage drop. 4-6 volts is not a huge drop and is well within tolerance.
 
  #11  
Old 01-24-16, 07:59 AM
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I went to the web site linked and tried to contact them to ask about specs. the "contact us" feature doesn't seem to work.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 08:51 PM
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All loads cause voltage drop. 4-6 volts is not a huge drop and is well within tolerance.
You are correct. I just did a voltage drop calc and it came back as 4.3 volts drop which is 3.6% and a terminal voltage of 115.7 with a supply of 120 volts. (About 75 feet of #12 copper conductors.) I should have "run the numbers" after seeing the results on the Kill-A-Watt.

Thanks, Tolyn.
 
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Old 01-24-16, 10:20 PM
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I would be afraid to use the Apollo space heater I think it could be a potential fire hazard from over heated wiring. I remember years ago my father had a space heater that was old and unmarked that he used and he couldn't smell the Romex wiring burning due to nasal surgery. Luckily I was near the room he was in and I told him to unplug the heater so those space heaters can be very dangerous. Later on we bought dedicated electric baseboard heaters and had them installed by an electrician.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 12:37 AM
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With a properly wired 20 ampere circuit I would NOT be afraid of using this heater. I suspect the weakest link is the plug itself.

Richard, what is the difference between an 1800 watt (120 volt) heater on a 20 ampere circuit with #12 copper wiring and a 3600 watt (240 volt) baseboard heater also on a 20 ampere circuit with #12 copper wiring? Both are pulling 15 amperes through the circuit, one ampere less than the allowable 80% for a heater circuit.

Besides, with a beauty like Carol Alt hawking it, it MUST be good.
 
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Old 01-25-16, 01:27 AM
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Joel I believe in my case the wiring in question was #14 and not #12 gauge wiring and the wiring in question first came from the plug and then to the receptacle when the fire almost happened. Once we had hard wired baseboard heat everything was safe again as our electrician made sure it was safe. I think the Apollo would be fine for some homes especially those using #12 gauge wire and the proper amperage circuit which everyone agrees is 20 amps. Most older homes and even many newer homes unfortunately don't meet that criteria.
 
  #16  
Old 01-25-16, 02:05 AM
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Quite honestly, the only 20 ampere circuits in my house are the SABC in the kitchen and dining area, the garbage disposal, which is currently used for an instant hot water tap, a circuit in the pantry, a couple of receptacle circuits I rewired and three receptacle circuits I added in the garage. I well know the folly of allowing 15 ampere circuits for receptacles.

I would like to see the NEC revised to require that ALL receptacle circuits be 20 ampere circuits. I couldn't care less about the poor, poor, electrician having to fight the "heavy and hard to work with" #12 wire. I would like as well to see a maximum number of receptacles on any one circuit as I understand the Canadian Electrical Code mandates.

Further, although 1800 watts IS (just barely) 15 amperes I personally think that Apollo heater should be required to have a 20 ampere plug, that would go a long way to preventing it being used on a 15 ampere circuit.

And...as long as I am wishing for things, a twenty pound bag of Krugerrands for myself and instant death to anyone preying on someone weaker.
 
  #17  
Old 01-25-16, 11:19 AM
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"I would like to see the NEC revised to require that ALL receptacle circuits be 20 ampere circuits. I couldn't care less about the poor, poor, electrician having to fight the "heavy and hard to work with" #12 wire."

When I read this part of your post I agreed with the thought (except for the part about "poor electricians . . . ." I don't think that most electricians care whether they are working with 12 ga or 14 ga wire. My thoughts were that the 15 amp requirement for general purpose circuits came about at a time when we had way fewer toys and gadgets plugged in.

Then I had second thoughts - yeah, we have a lot more electrical stuff, but most of it is a lot more efficient than it used to be. A good example of this is a replacement reading lamp that we bought recently. We got rid of a 150W incandescent and replaced it with an 18W LED.

So I did a survey of my living room/dining room. All on a single 15 amp circuit. I have nine duplex receptacles. I counted the stuff plugged in. I have a total of 13 electrical devices powered from those 9 receptacles. They range from the highest consumer, a 200W (only when running) wine chiller, to the lowest a 6W cat bed heater. In between are the usual stuff that you would find in a living room, TV, DVD and CD player, cable box, lamps etc. I added everything up and they totaled a whopping 852 watts and that's with everything powered on (something that never happens) Well below the 1440 watt limit for the circuit.

So then I thought that given the added expense of 12 ga wire, is it worth it?
 
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Old 01-25-16, 12:12 PM
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So then I thought that given the added expense of 12 ga wire, is it worth it?
In my opinion, yes. Cost of materials is a fairly small part of any job and the additional cost of #12 over #14 is...let me check...$16.80 for a 250 foot roll of type NM-B at Home Depot today. Probably less at Graybar.

When I bought my house the home inspector remarked on how few branch circuits I had. My entire front room, light (there was only one) and ALL receptacles were on one circuit. This circuit also included the front bathroom lights and exhaust fan and some other areas that I don't offhand recall. The lights and receptacles on both of the smaller bedrooms as well as some of the receptacles and maybe the lights in the "mahwstar" bedroom and the lights in the second bathroom were on the same circuit. There was ONE 15 ampere circuit that fed the lone duplex receptacle in the garage and the door opener as well as the receptacles in BOTH bathrooms and the receptacle on the back porch/deck.

I have a device that pulses a heavy load on a circuit to check for excessive voltage drop. When I checked one of the receptacles in the front room it failed miserably.

I will agree that most of today's electrical appliances use less electricity than similar appliances did ten years ago but that is NOT a reason to cut back on the installed electrical systems. I have read far too many times of a relatively small electric space heater overloading a circuit or of a vacuum cleaner tripping the circuit breaker knocking out all the lights and receptacles in a significant portion of the house.
 
  #19  
Old 01-26-16, 09:44 AM
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Furd - It sounds like you may be having problems specific to your house. My LR/DR receptacles are all on one 15A general purpose circuit. In addition to the max 850 watt load that I listed earlier, I have also occasionally run a 10K BTU window AC on the circuit. My bedrooms and computer room share two 15A circuits. One of the rooms has a TV, treadmill and sometimes a window AC. In 30 years I have never had a breaker pop on any of those circuits.

I guess my point is, in my experience 15A is adequate for lighting/gen purpose circuits under most circumstances. I do agree that the increased cost is probably not a factor.
 
  #20  
Old 01-26-16, 10:51 AM
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I don't have any "problems" but my house was wired "strictly to code" when it was built in 1987. Remember, "code" is minimum. Since I purchased the house (in December of 1999) I have about doubled the number of circuits, mostly receptacle circuits and breaking up the lighting circuits so that if one CB trips I still have a significant amount of lighting operational.

The original service panel (still in use) is a 20 space/30 circuit model. I have since installed two, 8/16 sub-panels, one through a 60 ampere three position transfer switch and this panel is for all my generator-supplied standby circuits. The other sub-panel only has three working circuits as of now but I will likely be adding more IF my health improves to the point where crawling around under the house and through the attic is again feasible.

Of course my house is not a typical one in that I have three 120 volt receptacle circuits and two lighting circuits in my garage which is also my shop area. Also, a 40 ampere, 240 circuit for a welder, a 20 ampere, 240 volt circuit for an air compressor and soon a 30 ampere, 240 volt circuit for an electric heater all in the garage/shop. I'll probably add another "small appliance branch circuit" in the kitchen and a few more circuits off of the standby (generator) panel. Overkill? Perhaps, but it meets my needs/desires better.
 
  #21  
Old 01-26-16, 11:19 AM
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I guess I misread your post. My understanding was that your concern was that your 15A circuits were inadequate.

But that doesn't change my opinion that 15A circuits are adequate for their intended use. If the NEC were changed to require 20A circuits for general purpose use, does that mean a circuit would have to be brought up to current code whenever it is worked on?
 
  #22  
Old 01-26-16, 08:33 PM
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...mean a circuit would have to be brought up to current code whenever it is worked on?
Kind of depends upon what you mean by "worked on"? Simply replacing a receptacle because it is broken or worn out, not at all. In fact, in most cases as long as it met the requirements when built, it does not ever need to be upgraded to current code.
 
  #23  
Old 02-06-16, 05:10 AM
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I don't see a need for 20 amp circuits throughout a home. If you need an 1800 watt space heater, then your problem isn't your electrical service.

A space heater like that should also be on its own circuit. No one should have the expectation of putting such a high draw appliance on a circuit with anything else. I don't see it being any different than a refrigerator or a 12,000 btu window air conditioner.
 
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