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Old 05-06-2012, 07:02 PM   #21
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Ceramic heaters on low

On our sailboat and when we tent camp, we use two ceramic heaters on separate circuits set on the low setting (around 750 watts each) which takes the chill off the air nicely. Cords or outlets have never got hot. They run all night and cycle on and off as keep the thermostats set about mid range.....never on high setting.......if awake and attending heaters will sometimes set one of them on high for a short time ..... but then return it to the low setting.......high being the 1500 W setting....but never move the thermostat to max.....keep it mid range only or less.....we like the Lasko heaters and fan that are squirrel cage design.....they run between 50 and 75 dollars at Sams......I would stay clear of the cheaper heaters..
We also use the squirrel cage fans by Lasko for cooling......and just because there are two electrical plugs in the fans, doesn t mean we use them, except for low wattage items now and then......good luck, be safe..
All of our heaters have a safety cut off switch if get knocked over........
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Old 05-08-2012, 07:41 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Barnman1 View Post
DO NOT change the 15 amp outlet with 20amp outlet, unless you change all of the outlets and breaker feeding the outlets to 20amp. A space heater is not intended to be the only functioning heater. It should only be used in cooperation with the gas furnace to save on gas usage.
You said in part-- DO NOT change the 15 amp outlet with 20amp outlet, unless you change all of the outlets and breaker

Why not??? There is no good electrical reason for that statement.
A 20 amp outlet just has heavier components. IF it is connected to a 15 amp
circuit the limiting factor is still the breaker but the outlet will be less prone
to heating due to the stronger spring pressure and better contact on the
prongs of the device plugged into it.

We use a space heater on occasion and sometimes it is on high all night.
Why not? My cord does not get hot. My outlet is 20 amp even tho it
is on 14 ga wire on a 15 amp dedicated breaker.
None of these get more than barely warm after keeping us warm all night!!

At home I have a space heater I use in my workshop on occasion.
I also have several 16 ga orange 25 foot extension cords. I use one to
power the heater.
I have discovered that one of them will get very warm on the male end.
The others do not. I'm satisfied the crimp connections in this particular
cord are weak, thus the hot end.

I should toss it but I just marked it and use it on occasion for other
things like running a fan in summer or hedge trimming etc.
I just don't use it for the space heater anymore.

The OP said his cord end got very hot. I suspect the outlet being weak
but it could be a faulty male plug on the heater cord- same as my weak
extension cord.

The scary part of many/most/all RV electrical wiring to me anyway, is
those cheap push to connect outlets they use.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #23
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Actually I was wrong in that I forgot to say "and all wires to 20amp rated" Read the NEC and see if it says it is ok to replace one element to a higher rated device. If a 20amp receptacle is placed in a 15amp circuit, the thing plugged into the outlet and the outlet will stay cool. Meanwhile the wiring and breaker are getting hot and even if the circuit breaker is not tripping the wires could cause a fire and nobody would know until flames appear. Just because you or somebody else have done it with no problems, doesn't mean they are ok. The NEC is set up for people's safety, and should be followed to the letter. It is also the reason licensed electricians charge what they do and why they are required to take yearly continuing education to maintain their license
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnman1 View Post
Actually I was wrong in that I forgot to say "and all wires to 20amp rated" Read the NEC and see if it says it is ok to replace one element to a higher rated device. If a 20amp receptacle is placed in a 15amp circuit, the thing plugged into the outlet and the outlet will stay cool. Meanwhile the wiring and breaker are getting hot and even if the circuit breaker is not tripping the wires could cause a fire and nobody would know until flames appear. Just because you or somebody else have done it with no problems, doesn't mean they are ok. The NEC is set up for people's safety, and should be followed to the letter. It is also the reason licensed electricians charge what they do and why they are required to take yearly continuing education to maintain their license

I read this several times and still don't get it. I have a 30 amp RV outlet on a dedicated 20 amp breaker wired with 12/2 and a ground. As long as the breaker is rated for the lowest component in the circuit you are "safe", no? If not, why not?

The link to the NEC code cited would also be handy (or of you can't link to it a scanned "cut and paste" of the reference would also do.)
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:41 AM   #25
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You're right Herk, the breaker protects the wire. The outlet amperage rating has nothing to do with anything. You could wire a 60 amp outlet for a welder with speaker wire as long as the breaker was low enough to protect the wire.
Of course the box would be useless, but protected.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:12 PM   #26
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I find it difficult to insert speaker wire into the backs of outlets...
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:42 PM   #27
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I find it difficult to insert speaker wire into the backs of outlets...
That is why there are screws on the sides.

Now; I know it is Black on Brass and White on Silver.
What do you use for speaker wire to observe polarity?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #28
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That is why there are screws on the sides.

Now; I know it is Black on Brass and White on Silver.
What do you use for speaker wire to observe polarity?
It is like a flat extension cord, one side has a ridge(s) and the other is smooth. Don't think I said I had used the speaker wire on a 60amp outlet , was just making a point that the outlet has no bearing whatsoever on the wire used, just that the breaker protects the wire, not the outlet.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:35 PM   #29
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The ridges and stripes always get me confused. I test it with my tongue, whichever one gives me a 60Hz jiggle goes on the brass screw. Or is that the green screw? Ain't never burned nothin down, yet.

Why? Is there an easier way?
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:20 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnman1 View Post
Actually I was wrong in that I forgot to say "and all wires to 20amp rated" Read the NEC and see if it says it is ok to replace one element to a higher rated device. If a 20amp receptacle is placed in a 15amp circuit, the thing plugged into the outlet and the outlet will stay cool. Meanwhile the wiring and breaker are getting hot and even if the circuit breaker is not tripping the wires could cause a fire and nobody would know until flames appear. Just because you or somebody else have done it with no problems, doesn't mean they are ok. The NEC is set up for people's safety, and should be followed to the letter. It is also the reason licensed electricians charge what they do and why they are required to take yearly continuing education to maintain their license
I'm gonna argue with you all day long.

IF you upgrade a circuit breaker you have to upgrade the wire and
outlets. Yep I agree with that.

If you put in a heavy duty duplex outlet in a light duty 15 amp circuit
there is nothing wrong with that.
Code doesn't care what the outlet says on it as long as the outlet is
rated at LEAST as high amps as the connected wire and circuit breaker.
Same as wiring a house with all 12ga wire. I've seen that done many times.
They still put in 15 amp breaker for bedroom and lighting circuits.
No code violation there.

(Now that copper is high as gold you won't find them doing that much
anymore!!)

I don't recommend running any circuit near max amps load all the
time but a properly
connected and securely wired circuit is not a danger even if you are
drawing 12 amps out of a 15 amp rated circuit.
If the circuit was not capable of 15 amps why allow a 15 amp circuit
breaker in the first place?!?

OK I'm looking online and duplex outlets rated 20 amp now have a T shaped
slot on one side. Those might need to be on a true 20 amp circuit.
Older sockets that actually say 20 amp on the back do not have the T slot
and can be used on EITHER 15 amp or 20 amp circuits.
I still think you can get "heavy duty" duplex outlets that are 20 amp rated
and do not have the T shaped slot on one side but I haven't looked in
stores lately.

And back to the trailer hot plug.... my advice is still change the receptacle
first and see what happens.

Oh yeah, the following is a quote off the Home Depot outlet buying guide.
"Because 15-amp receptacles can be used with 20-amp circuits, most of the receptacles you see in homes are the standard 15-amp variety, with two slots and a u-shaped grounding hole. "
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