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Block heater cords

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by RLM, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    What gauge extension cord do you guys run for your block heaters ? I'm figuring I'll buy 50 ft ones, so I don't gave to worry if their long enough, just not sure what gauge. I don't want to spend more than is necessary, then have them disappear either.

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    Youll be fine with 12 gauge but zip tie them about 100 places and tie them around things or they can walk away, I have lost a few in my day. Also get the ones with the lighted ends so you can drive by and know they are on. Good Luck
  3. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Remember not to leave them all bundled up if they're too long; they can generate enough heat to melt their insulation if there's enough draw through them.

    Oh yeah - and the biggie - remember to unplug BEFORE you drive away!
  4. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Of course 12 gauge would work, but that said. I need to buy 5 and 5 @ 50 ft 12 ga add up to a couple hundred. I looked up the block heaters (I think I go the right ones), but non the less most draw 750 watts, even the largest I found drew 1500, so that said, even a 16 ga cord (that I looked up) is fine, I'll probably go with 14, I do like the lighted end idea though.
  5. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    We have used 14 gauge for keeping a machine plugged in before. It worked perfectly fine.
  6. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Thanks I figured as much, I haven't worried about it in the past but we now have the ability to plug in & I don't make the call as to when we are plowing (they call me) on this account, I figure by keeping the machines plugged in it should buy me a little extra time not having to let them warm up, our oldest loader definitely needs to be plugged in any time below 40 or so the others would be fine, just need to warm up.
  7. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    loop your cords by the entry door so you remember to unplug....if plugged into a ground fault check it after you plug it in....a lot of times they trip when plugging in heaters...once reset it is fine
  8. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    even with a block heater you should still let the equipment warm up for a little bit. its easier on the drive motors and hydro pumps when the oil isnt twelve degrees.
  9. tuney443

    tuney443 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,847

    You really should go with a minimum 12 gauge.You should never just ''meet'' the minimum required for anything electrical if possible.Whatever gauge you use,you will notice they get warm,the lighter gauge more so as they will sometimes bore a slot right through snow/ice.The lighter gauge simply has more resistance,thus more heat,so do not loop the cord onto itself,always have it strung out laying flat on the ground with whatever cord you decide on.
  10. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    Not always the greatest plan if you get freezing rain or freeze/thaw cycles over a few days of not working.
  11. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Ended up buying 12 gauge, all HD had with lighted ends(good suggestion), one machine is still here plugged in which is fine, brought other out to site & plugged in, checked on it last night, light was off, GFI had triped, couldn't get it to reset & stay plugged in and active, everything was wet from all the rain we have had. Hopefully that is all it is, that machine is fine either way last year it was never plugged in, but without the lighted cord I wouldn't of caught it. Going to check it out tomorrow.
  12. Cooter24

    Cooter24 Senior Member
    from NE Iowa
    Messages: 268

    Are you guys leaving your equipment plugged in all the time or are any of you using timers?
  13. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Mine are plugged in all the time.
  14. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

  15. tailboardtech

    tailboardtech Senior Member
    Messages: 140

    I usually get 2 or 3 freebies a year just gotta stop and pick them up off the road. I don't think I will ever buy an extension cord again lol I usually get the shortest one I need and loop it around the mirror or door handle on the truck so I don't forget it and 12 gauge is fine
  16. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    switch cords around might have gotten a bad one....try and keep 1 heater per circuit
  17. PowersTree

    PowersTree Senior Member
    Messages: 586

    I always ran the cords across the mirrors at my old job. I can't even count how many guys drove away with them plugged in, till we started making everyone back into their spot, drape the cord over the mirror.