Portable Heater (Dangerous)


  #1  
Old 11-14-22, 02:06 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
Portable Heater (Dangerous)

I bought two ceramic heaters from Walmart about 20 years ago. Both have the same issue which the plugs have burn marks after using them for 6 months. Obviously, this is a dangerous issue since it can catch the house on fire.

Last year, I threw one out already. I was checking the second one this morning and after carefully inspecting the cord, there are burn marks at the plug. I am about to throw it out.

Is there anything internal that I can salvage? Before I throw it out, I am curious how the unit works so I am planning to take it apart just to learn about it. Any thoughts?
 
  #2  
Old 11-14-22, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 344
Received 39 Likes on 34 Posts
Just for grins, I'd open it up and see whether it could accommodate a thicker, heavier-duty cord and plug.
 
The following users liked this post:
  #3  
Old 11-14-22, 03:56 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
Good idea!
 
  #4  
Old 11-14-22, 07:21 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Jersey
Posts: 70,915
Received 3,161 Likes on 2,840 Posts
Melted plug/cord is a problem found with many electric heaters.
That's why there are so many electric heater fires in the winter.

However.... it's not always the appliance. A loose receptacle can be just as hazardous.


 
The following 2 users liked this post by PJmax:
  #5  
Old 11-15-22, 04:39 AM
GregH's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 10,235
Received 65 Likes on 60 Posts
You might want to just replace the plug on the end of the cord.
This a weak spot most heaters.
 
  #6  
Old 11-15-22, 04:56 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
That would be an easy job Greg. You may have a point since both were burned at the plugs. But to be in the safe side, I might change out the wire too because it looks like those regular lamp wires or 20 awg.

I wished I have asked this question last year because I threw the other one away already.
 
  #7  
Old 11-15-22, 05:00 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
  #8  
Old 11-15-22, 05:53 AM
P
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,330
Received 1,627 Likes on 1,461 Posts
Definitely try a new plug or power cord if you want to save the heater. I put a new plug on one 20+ years ago and it's still working great. The replacement plug is much heavier duty than the little one that came with the heater and it stays relatively cool during use.

If you do decide to scrap the heater I like to see if the nichrome wire is worth saving. I use it for making hot wire cutters.
 
The following users liked this post:
  #9  
Old 11-15-22, 11:03 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
Wow! "Nichrome Wire" is a term I have not heard for a long time since grade school. I remember the first time when my 6th grade science teacher connected nichrome wire to a battery and cut a hot dog in half, the entire class was like "whooaaa!" I remember I got a hold of it by breaking one of those old incandescent light bulb and got the filament. I don't remember but somehow I got a hold of it and was burning stuff with it.

So why would both plugs got burned out right at the prongs? Is it because they are cheap junk? I have used that outlet for other space heaters but only the above model has burned plugs.

Yeah, I will change out the plug and let everyone know how it goes.
 
The following users liked this post:
  #10  
Old 11-15-22, 04:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1,083
Received 71 Likes on 67 Posts
WRDIY
regular lamp wires or 20 awg.
They may look like "lamp wire" but they are 16AWG and are type HPN for "Heater Parallel Neoprene" a type of high temperature wire insulation

Is it because they are cheap junk? I have used that outlet for other space heaters but only the above model has burned plugs.
Yes most heaters suffer the same fate as they are cheap junk the plugs are crimped and then molded the crimps can sometime damage the strands of the wire and the repeated flexing can break them thus causing more heat then normal.

I have a oil filled heater from 1991 and the original cord has brass colored prongs I don't know if that makes it better but the whole heater was made in Italy and seems to be of fairly high quality
 
The following users liked this post:
  #11  
Old 11-15-22, 06:09 PM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
CircuitBreaker, yes you are correct. I went and look at the wire gauge and they are indeed 16 awg as you have indicated. That is surprising and interesting.


 
The following 2 users liked this post by WRDIY:
  #12  
Old 11-16-22, 03:35 AM
WRDIY's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,092
Received 38 Likes on 36 Posts
CircuitBreaker

Again, thank for pointing out the gauge and saved me a trip from accidentally replacing the cord.

Anyway, I have a few of these in my storage box for electric stuffs.


https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-...-0WH/302183191

Was super easy to put on, probably took me about 5 minutes, using a wire stripper. This thing is so handy:

https://www.harborfreight.com/6-12-i...ent-63143.html

The ribbed side (neutral or negative) of the wire, I connected it to the wide prong
The smooth side (hot or positive) of the wire, I connected it to the small prong.


Cleaned up the unit and plugged in and worked fine. However, not sure if it is old or my new Costco Heat Dish is much better. This unit does not give out the same level of warmth and heat compared to my Heat Dish.

I have another heater (Mica) and it is also not as hot as my Heat Dish. However, it does a better job of heating up the room, compared to the defective heater. The Heat Dish is still the best since it is concentrated. I should have returned the heater (Mica) last year because it does not seem as cost effective.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07X3ZGT41


Anyway, thank you everyone for helping me on reviving this heater. I was about to dissect it.
 
The following users liked this post:
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description: