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Block heater 24/7

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by Deershack, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. Deershack

    Deershack Senior Member
    Messages: 807

    Is there a problem with leaving a block heater plugged in 24/7? Fellow I rent my storage lot from says that leaving it on all the time will cause it to burn out. He is pretty knowledgeable about heavy trucks. I'm not sure if he is trying to save power (electricity) since it is included in the rent or if there is truth in his statement.

    I have both a L-800 Ford and a R-20 Mack dumps.
  2. FordFisherman

    FordFisherman PlowSite.com Addict
    from 06611
    Messages: 1,613

    A few guys I know have them on timers like you can buy at the home supply store. Depending on low temp, 6 hrs on and 6 hrs off works good.
  3. blk90s13

    blk90s13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,157

    wow all day on ? sure it would burn

    I have mine on a timer it kicks on 2 hours before I get up and thats all
  4. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    It's a relative thing.If you always leave it on,even though most have thermostats,you will burn out the element faster than occasional use.They do use a lot of electric so I can understand your landlord's concern.Like previously mentioned,a timer is the smart way to go.
  5. Kenkreger

    Kenkreger Member
    Messages: 31

    No, it won't burn out right away or anything so long as there is water in the block.
    But I do believe there is only xxxx hours in a block heater, and at 24/7 they will add up quickly. At $30 for a new one, I'm not sure that's the issue. But a timer is definitely wise for power consumption.
  6. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Plug it in and leave it on.

    Timers are great if you know exactly when you need the truck or equipment.
  7. cantoo

    cantoo PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 66

    My brother in law's Duramax burnt last year from his blocl heater. Had a heavy 25' extension cord on it and the plug over heated and caught fire. He managed to drag it out of his shed but the truck was a complete loss.
    I once burnt the plug off a short extension cord on my 6.5 chev diesel. during a sunny day water ran down the hood and shorted out the plug end.
    I would consider a timer.
  8. blk90s13

    blk90s13 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,157

    was that posted on here ? I remember something about that here
  9. magnatrac

    magnatrac PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,059

    When it's bitter cold my skid is plugged in 24/7. I never know when I am going to need to load my truck so a timer won't work for me. I asked my dealer about leaving it plugged in and they said it's not a problem. It just uses more electricity !

    , shaun
  10. cantoo

    cantoo PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 66

    It happened 2 years ago so I might have already posted it. I drive a gasser now.
  11. AIMscapes

    AIMscapes Member
    Messages: 38

    I would have thought that the breaker for that outlet would have blown if water fried the connection. Was this not the case? I never think twice about draping my extension cord over my wet shop floor and plugging it into a snow-covered truck. Maybe I need to be a little more careful. I wouldn't wish for anybody's truck to burn up. By the way, my buddy's truck caught fire last year after plowing due to a defective GM wiring harness....... his insurance company still is in litigation with GM.
  12. kcress31

    kcress31 Senior Member
    Messages: 451

    Plug it in and leave it. He is just trying to save hydro. Use a good cord that is not too long and a good thick guage.
  13. deicepro

    deicepro PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,124

    Leave mine plugged in 24/7 on my 2002, original one from factory, almost 8 yrs old, knock on wood
  14. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    I had my first Dmax's cord on my 2001 short out.It wasn't a case of overheating--I believe it was a shared blame as GM IMHO does not then nor now make this 120V wire beefy enough. When I ran the wire and plug to the pass. side tow hook,I should have put it in the black flexible conduit as it rubbed raw against something.At least I caught mine before there was a fire--sorry to hear that about your brother-in-law.
  15. Black01Z

    Black01Z Member
    from VT
    Messages: 31

    I work on alot of generators that run them 24/7/365. I wouldnt recommend that. But I dont think that 24/7 for the winter would be a problem. We dont have too many problems with the heaters themselves but they do burn off coolant whicch becomes a problem for us because the generator wont start.