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Old 12-16-2007, 11:55 AM
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Garage Heater Electrical Question

I am in need of installing a recently purchased Fahrenheat (FUH 54) forced air garage heater. It is a 17000 BTU, 240volt, 5000 watt, 20.9 amp heater with a max fuse capacity of 30. The installation instructions call for a 10 gauge hard wired.

I have installed a window air condition unit through the wall of my garage which is fed by 240 volt, 10 gauge wire to a single outlet.

My question is, in as much as it is a single outlet and only one appliance at a time can be active, is there any reason I could not use a pigtail from the heater to the same outlet, alternating which one is plugged in on a seasonal basis? I would like to avoid having to run another wire and getting in to the box if at all possible....

I'm assuming the pigtail would need to be 10 gauge to meet mfg. specs.

The heater will be suspended from the ceiling as provided by the mfg. brackets and will be within 3-4 feet of the outlet.

Would a pigtail of this nature be available in local hardware stores (Nashville) or would I need to go to an electrical supply store?

Thanks....

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Old 12-16-2007, 02:15 PM
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If I read it correctly, you have the AC plugged into a 220 wall recepticle. But check the rating on that receptical to make sure it's 30 amp rated. Just the arrangement,angle, & size of the terminal openings should let you know the amps rating.

Then go to either a good hardware store or elect supply and buy the correct plug end and a short length of the 10ga cord wire that is made to be used as a cord. I know Home Depot & Lowes has plug ends in most types, but I never looked for "cord wire by the foot" at those places.

Yes you can buy a pigtail someplace, but it's easy to make one.
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:16 PM
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These electric heaters put more stress on the wiring because the fan cycles for cooling after the heating element has shut down.

My point of view..wire it per the instructions/codes because saving a couple hundred on materials may void your homeowners/shop insurance if something where to ever happen - that something being fire.
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:50 PM
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If the A/C circuit is 10 gauge and 30 amp as is required for the heater, then it wouldn't concern me to get the proper male plug and hook it to a suitable lead from the heater. Then just plug it in as you do the A/C. Probably not code and I'm not an electrician. But I did wire my own house when I built it and the inspector asked me if I did. I told him I did and he said he thought so. Because he said, a contractor usually doesn't do work that neatly! It passed with no problems.
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Old 12-16-2007, 02:57 PM
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make sure whatever you do it's code! if that heater starts a fire and burns down your house and was improperly insalled the insurance company can tell you "sorry but were not covering that claim!"
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:48 PM
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The wire will handle the load, just make sure that the breaker feeding the a/c receptacle is 30 amp.

Vince
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Old 12-21-2007, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeford
I am in need of installing a recently purchased Fahrenheat (FUH 54) forced air garage heater. It is a 17000 BTU, 240volt, 5000 watt, 20.9 amp heater with a max fuse capacity of 30. The installation instructions call for a 10 gauge hard wired.

I have installed a window air condition unit through the wall of my garage which is fed by 240 volt, 10 gauge wire to a single outlet.

My question is, in as much as it is a single outlet and only one appliance at a time can be active, is there any reason I could not use a pigtail from the heater to the same outlet, alternating which one is plugged in on a seasonal basis? I would like to avoid having to run another wire and getting in to the box if at all possible....

I'm assuming the pigtail would need to be 10 gauge to meet mfg. specs.

The heater will be suspended from the ceiling as provided by the mfg. brackets and will be within 3-4 feet of the outlet.

Would a pigtail of this nature be available in local hardware stores (Nashville) or would I need to go to an electrical supply store?

Thanks....

You can use the same recept for either device as long as the recept is rated for 240v and 30a. Then you will need a cord cap with the proper configuration to match the recept. Some 'sjo' cord from an electrical supply house, or maybe from a Home Depot type joint, will work. Just make sure everything is grounded according to code, use #10 or #8 wire and terminate it on a 30a 2 pole breaker.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:03 PM
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Thanks

Thanks...I checked the box and looks like I have two 20amp breakers tied together....gives me 40amp....Next step is to check the wire gauge, but you gotta think with 40amp it's at least 10ga...thanks again....
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeford
Thanks...I checked the box and looks like I have two 20amp breakers tied together....gives me 40amp....Next step is to check the wire gauge, but you gotta think with 40amp it's at least 10ga...thanks again....
Huh? Do you have two single 20 amp breakers to get the 240 volts? If so that's still 20 amps.

If you do have a 40 amp breaker, that's too big as max fuse size for your heater is 30 amps.The wire could overheat before the breaker trips.

If you run a cord to plug it in , it should be tied to the cieling using a mesh type hanger.
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Old 12-22-2007, 06:55 PM
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Like Pugsy said, the breaker is there to protect your wire and trip out before it melts or catches fire.

Make sure that you get a double pole 30 amp breaker, It will be one solid breaker with the two "levers" on top tied together.

Everybody is telling you the same thing here, just listen to them and it'll work fine.

Now, the part I'm having a hard time with, is, why do you need a heater?
It was around 80 degrees here today, and I was sweating like a pig working outside today

LOL, have fun staying warm!

Later - Karl
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Old 12-22-2007, 11:09 PM
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I don't mean to be negative, but I don't believe that your circuit is adequate.

Generally A/C uses 20amp breakers. That's what I have for my home A/C, which is hard wired. A 40 amp 220 breaker will say 40 amp -- not 20.

My stove circuit has a 40 amp breaker -- and it's labelled 40 amps

Check the wire size in the receptacle -- if your A/C is 20 amp, the wire will probably be 12 gauge.

From your description, the heater will certainly need a 30 amp breaker. -- It could draw 22 - 25 amps. The fan will also draw some -- although nothing too serious.

The pigtails and plugs are also rated for amps. Generally they are rated for
electric dryers and stoves. Dryers are the smaller of the two, I believe.

If you hook up to an underrated circuit with proper breakers, you will blow the breakers on a consistent basis. This will not do your wiring any good.

If your circuit is properly rated, there shouldn't be a problem in plugging in a heater or an A/C. You can only plug one in at a time.

Just trying to help,

ford2go
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeford
Thanks...I checked the box and looks like I have two 20amp breakers tied together....gives me 40amp....Next step is to check the wire gauge, but you gotta think with 40amp it's at least 10ga...thanks again....
That only gives you 20 amps the way it works is each feed is getting 20 amps of regular old 110/120 V giving you 20 amp 220/240 volts at the motor. I seriously doubt that the electrician would use 10 wire on a 20 amp 220 circuit it would be 12 gauge. I would run a new circuit to the Heater with 10 wire and a 30 amp double pole breaker.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:40 AM
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an electric stove i believe uses a 50 amp plug and breaker and the clothes dryer i believe takes a 30 amp plug if it is electric. it is very easy to tell the difference when you look at the plugs side by side .if an electric oven can be wired safely being plugged in then why couldn't the heater
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:12 PM
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I am a licensed journeyman electrician.

The device is rated at 20.9 amps, not 20. You go to the next size breaker, a 30 amp. It is 240 volt so it requires a 2 pole, 30 amp breaker. The wire size for 30 amps is #10 copper or #6 aluminum. You can legally, according to the NEC, use a larger size wire, but the overcurrent protection must match the rated size per the nameplate. Period, end of story. In addition, since the instructions call for specific wire size, etc, you might want to heed them to protect your warranty, and potentially your or your loved ones life. But its your decision. Listen to advice from a professional or take advice from amateurs, your call.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:34 PM
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Garage heater ?

Ztoy, got a ? What does the amperage rating on a double breaker mean. 40 amps ? does that mean that over 20 amps on each leg will throe it, or does it take 40 on either leg to throe it. Thanks
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