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Old 05-02-2012, 11:58 PM   #1
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Hot electric heater cord

I own a 2005 Cherokee 27L. I have already taken it out for use this year. Recently we stayed at a place that had electric hookups. I used an electric (Small) space heater to heat the camper to save on propane. I had adjusted the space heater thermostat to keep things comfortable for the wife and I. Usually it is set at the 1500 amp setting. It was also running frequently.

After several hours of overnight use I decided to unplug it while we were away. The cord to the space heater (near the outlet) was so hot that it burnt my fingers. So I set it at 1200 amps hours later and noticed the cord was not as hot.

I am wondering now if electric wires in the walls leading to this outlet are also getting this hot. Could this be damaging the hidden wires and possibly cause an electric fire. Is 1500 amps to much if kept running for long periods of time? Maybe buy a second small space heater and keep both set at 1200 amps?

I know the fuse never tripped so I am thinking I am safe. Any comments?
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:47 AM   #2
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1500w, is a common electrical heater size. Unless your using an extension cord, which its never recommended with a heater, it shouldn't be a problem. That said, if the cord was that hot, its possible the heater is failing. I use a space heater as well, but usually fire up the furnace to get up to a comfy temp and the electric heater just needs to maintain.
I wouldn't continue to use it if the cord gets that hot. But thats just me.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
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Unless your using an extension cord, which its never recommended with a heater, it shouldn't be a problem.
This can not be said enough. Never use an extension cord with any space heater. Number one cause of winter house fires.

There ARE "appliance rated" extension cords that only have ONE outlet on them, but they should only be used on wall circuits rated at 20 amps; not 15 like our campers.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by kjoh75 View Post
I own a 2005 Cherokee 27L. I have already taken it out for use this year. Recently we stayed at a place that had electric hookups. I used an electric (Small) space heater to heat the camper to save on propane. I had adjusted the space heater thermostat to keep things comfortable for the wife and I. Usually it is set at the 1500 amp setting. It was also running frequently.

After several hours of overnight use I decided to unplug it while we were away. The cord to the space heater (near the outlet) was so hot that it burnt my fingers. So I set it at 1200 amps hours later and noticed the cord was not as hot.

I am wondering now if electric wires in the walls leading to this outlet are also getting this hot. Could this be damaging the hidden wires and possibly cause an electric fire. Is 1500 amps to much if kept running for long periods of time? Maybe buy a second small space heater and keep both set at 1200 amps?

I know the fuse never tripped so I am thinking I am safe. Any comments?
I didnt read where you used a Ex.cord. Dont use (2) 1200w heaters either. I dont think your elec. system will handle the load without tripping the breaker. Youroo!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:06 AM   #5
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I installed a dedicated (20) amp circuit just for elec.heat. Totally seperate from the (30) amp trailer supply. Youroo!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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No I did not use a extension cord. The electric space heater I purchased last year. I plugged the space heater above the counter, near the sink and stove. I thought this might be more likely to handle the electric demand since I have used the same outlet to plug the toaster and coffee maker together in.

Not sure if I have a 20 amp going to that outlet or not? Not sure if any of my outlet circuts are 20 amp.

Any chance the wires in the camper wall are getting as hot as the space heater cord when set to 1500 amps?

Has far as using 2 electric space heaters. I was planning on separating them. One in front and one in back. I am hoping that this makes it more likely they are running on different circuts.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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I didnt read where you used a Ex.cord. Dont use (2) 1200w heaters either. I dont think your elec. system will handle the load without tripping the breaker. Youroo!!
He did not say. However, the cord should never "get hot" unless the heater is malfunctioning.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Let this be a lesson to never leave an electric heater unattended. A few years ago, when tenting in the fall, we left an electric heater plugged in all night while we were sleeping. I awoke to a burning smell. The heater was smoking, so we immediately unplugged it and threw it outside. We were using a heavy duty appliance extension cord plugged directly into the electric box. We never used one in the tent after that.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:10 PM   #9
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the heated cord was probably caused by the plug into the receptacle not being tight. the cord will heat up at the point of least resistance,which is generally where it is plugged into a receptacle. over time the contacts inside the receptacle become loose or worn and there is not a secure contact made. one solution would be to replace the receptacle ( at least the ones you want to plug a heater into) with a "commercial grade " receptacle. these have a heavier contacts inside and don't cost that much more than "household" grade.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:23 PM   #10
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the heated cord was probably caused by the plug into the receptacle not being tight. the cord will heat up at the point of least resistance,which is generally where it is plugged into a receptacle. over time the contacts inside the receptacle become loose or worn and there is not a secure contact made. one solution would be to replace the receptacle ( at least the ones you want to plug a heater into) with a "commercial grade " receptacle. these have a heavier contacts inside and don't cost that much more than "household" grade.
Excellent observation. I did not think of that possibility; but it is very true.
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