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Old 10-31-2014, 01:43 PM   #1
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Question Ceramic Heaters

Ok so you all will probably be laughing once you read this but oh well.

So my husband and I went to turn our heater on. We had it on a couple weekends prior and it worked just fine. It was a colder weekend so we turned it up so company and the dogs wouldn't get cold. Well it warmed back up for a week or two then we got another cold day and went to turn it on. No luck. Nothing coming out of the vents. So Michael checked online before we called a repair person. We discovered that our heat comes from the propane tanks. Well we checked and found out that we had drained them. So we went to fill them up no biggie there. We spoke with our neighbors and they said they just use heaters during the winter cause propane is so expensive to use. So I bought 3 tiny heaters that actually push out a lot of heat for their size. The problem isn't the size and them not filling the room with heat. The issue comes when we try and turn them all on. If we turn on more than one we trip a breaker. I am an idiot when it comes to Volts, Hz, BTU's, or Watts. So here is my question. Why are they tripping the breaker? Here is information about the heaters.

Three Settings: High (1500W), Low (750W), or fan only.
Then it says 120V, 60Hz, 5120BTU's.

Like I said this is foreign language to me. I would like to use all the heaters at once. We tried different plugs in the walls but the ones in the main living area and the second bedroom seem to be all on the same circuit. It trips it too if I turn on the main living area one and the master bedroom one as well.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:57 PM   #2
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Heaters pull a lot of amps. Once you exceed the amp rating for the circuit they're on, you blow fuses or breakers. There's really nothing to be done for it. What we normally do is set the furnace to about 50 degrees so it knocks the chill off and run one space heater to maintain it at around 65 degrees. Depends on the size of the trailer as well. It's going to require a little compromise...dress a little warmer, bring a few more blankets, and use a little more propane. It's more than doable though.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:58 PM   #3
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You only have roughly 1800 watts available for a 15 amp circuit. So, with nothing else on the circuit, you may be able to run one at 1500w OR two at 750w...
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:59 PM   #4
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Assuming you have a 30 amp service in your camper at 120 volts you have ~3600 usable watts. You could only run 2 heaters at a time on high and consume 3000 watts leaving only 600 to run everything else in your camper. Those two heaters would also have to be on separate circuits(breakers), probably 15 amp each and capable of 1800 watts per circuit. If it was a 20 amp then you would have ~2400 usable watts on that circuit. But you still have only 3600 watts available for the entire system. Drawing more watts/amps then a particular circuit is capable of will quickly overheat the wiring and trip the breaker.

disclaimer: I am not an electrician Someone else may be able to describe the situation more accurately.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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Each heater 1500watts is a lot of amps.. Close to 15amps...( if you have 15amp breakers thats the limit it would trip )and being a heater its a steady draw..It would do best for each heater to be on its own circuit...or try running two heaters on low (750watts.. )

Simple way to guesstimate amps.. On a steady draw (1amp =100watts..)

Hope this helps
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:07 PM   #6
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Try running two, and not getting behind on the heat, to where you want to crank them to high. Do a little experimenting to see what works. As mentioned, all three on high at the same time, may be needing more power then your system provides.
We can get by with 2 in our 26WFKSS V-Lite. The one on the kitchen circuit, I turn off(or make sure it's on low), when I want to use the Kuerig, or Microwave.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raspivey View Post
Heaters pull a lot of amps. Once you exceed the amp rating for the circuit they're on, you blow fuses or breakers. There's really nothing to be done for it. What we normally do is set the furnace to about 50 degrees so it knocks the chill off and run one space heater to maintain it at around 65 degrees. Depends on the size of the trailer as well. It's going to require a little compromise...dress a little warmer, bring a few more blankets, and use a little more propane. It's more than doable though.
Thanks! This is our first winter in our RV and we don't really know what we're doing. We did fine in hotter months with the A/C running or keeping windows and doors open for a breeze. But this cold has got us a little flabbergasted. LOL Suppose to be a freeze warning this weekend. I don't know where this weather has come from but BRRRRR!!!!!
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsscully View Post
Assuming you have a 30 amp service in your camper at 120 volts you have ~3600 usable watts. You could only run 2 heaters at a time on high and consume 3000 watts leaving only 600 to run everything else in your camper. Those two heaters would also have to be on separate circuits(breakers), probably 15 amp each and capable of 1800 watts per circuit. If it was a 20 amp then you would have ~2400 usable watts on that circuit. But you still have only 3600 watts available for the entire system. Drawing more watts/amps then a particular circuit is capable of will quickly overheat the wiring and trip the breaker.

disclaimer: I am not an electrician Someone else may be able to describe the situation more accurately.
We actually have 50 amp service in our RV.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:17 PM   #9
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My experience has been that your GFCI outlets will be on one circuit and all non-GFCI on another. The GFCI are typically located near the sink are in the kitchen and in the bathroom. My advice would be to run 2 on low, 1 on each circuit. You greatly reduce the likelihood of overloading a circuit and creating an arc fault problem at the outlet by doing so. What we do is run 1 radiator type that has 2 settings (600/900/1500) on medium and 1 ceramic type on low (750W) for a total of 2250W of heat. This typically maintains the trailer in temps down to the low 40's (30' bunkhouse with 1 slide). If the camper is cold and we are trying to bring temps up, we run the ceramic on high. I would personally NEVER sleep with any electric heater on high in a camper. Make sure nothing covers any of the cords and that nothing flammable is anywhere near the front or heat output direction of the heater.

Edit: Just caught the 50A service. You are still overloading an individual circuit. You still most likely have only 2 "legs" of AC service feeding outlets even with 50A service. I think the advice above still stands- with 50A you just don't have to worry about using other appliances like you would with a 30A trailer. You'll be able to run the heaters like I stated above AND use the microwave, fridge, water heater, etc. on AC. Just don't try to run anything else on the outlet circuits while the heaters are on- such as a hair dryer, toaster, etc.
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:28 PM   #10
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Another option is to run a heavy gauge cord to the power pedestal to the 20amp plug so you can run one heater all by itself on high.


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