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How much electricity does a block heater use?

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How much electricity does a block heater use?

Old 03-07-2006, 04:45 PM
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How much electricity does a block heater use?

Just a question for those of you who may know. My electric bill has skyrocket over the last two months. the only difference in my electricity useage has been that I have been plugging my truck in nightly. Could my block heater be causing this much usage?
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Old 03-07-2006, 04:58 PM
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Yes, it sure can. I put a digital timer on mine. No more problems with high electrical bills. I think I read on here that the heater is like 6 amps and 700 watts. I know that the digital timer was recommended to handle 1000 watts.
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:07 PM
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Yes, your block heater could cause a spike, but "skyrocket"?

Are you sure your just not getting ripped by your electric company? The bill at our shop went up 60%, (YES, SIXTY, Six zero). Nice huh? They are claiming they need to recover from not hiking the rate a while ago. This is not some backwoods company either, it's Connective.

BG&E jacked it's rates 80%, that ought to be nice for the people who can barely pay the astronomical rates as is huh?
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Old 03-07-2006, 05:18 PM
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My electric has more than doubled over the last two months.this past month it was 2900 kwh no changes but consistant use of block heater. Now I do keep it plugged in for about 8 hours, so I guess I will be buying a timer PDQ!
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:54 PM
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The cord on the truck is undersized as well.

They say its not, but anytime you can feel the cord temp you are seeing a restriction and losing energy that could be going to the heating element.

The more efficent the block heating is the shorter the duration to get the block to temp under a given cycle/ambient temp which will save electricity.

If you can cut an hour off plugging it in, say 2hrs vs 3hrs, it will add up.

I put a 14 gauge cord on mine to replace the 18 gauge (I believe) that comes with the truck.

Big Jimmy
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Old 03-07-2006, 06:57 PM
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The block heater costs about 7 per hour to run at the national average electrical rate of 10 per kWh.
Of course rates vary, look for the rate on your power bill and multiply by 0.7 to find how much your heater costs per hour.
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Old 03-07-2006, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by infidel
The block heater costs about 7 per hour to run at the national average electrical rate of 10 per kWh.
Of course rates vary, look for the rate on your power bill and multiply by 0.7 to find how much your heater costs per hour.
And how much fuel do you use idling your truck?
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Old 03-07-2006, 08:41 PM
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block heater is 750 watts. which is around 6.25 amps.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:04 PM
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It rarely gets real cold here, around freezing is usually low, once this winter down to 22F, I use a timer, 3 hours works good for me at these temps.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:12 PM
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I plug mine in for at least 8 hours and my electric bill hasn't gone up.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by BigBlue
I plug mine in for at least 8 hours and my electric bill hasn't gone up.
It probably hasn't gotten cold enough in Texas to kick the heater on.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:18 PM
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I rarely plug in at the house, only if I know I am leaving early in the mornings is about the only time. However I always plug in at the hotels where I stay, so it's usually free for me...
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by rjm022
block heater is 750 watts. which is around 6.25 amps.
Correct, Amps (current) times Voltage = Wattage (power). Or to get the amp draw you take Watts (power) divided by Voltage. 750W divided by 115 Volts = 6.5 Amps.


Originally Posted by infidel
The block heater costs about 7 per hour to run at the national average electrical rate of 10 per kWh.
Of course rates vary, look for the rate on your power bill and multiply by 0.7 to find how much your heater costs per hour.
Also correct, 750 Watts = kiloWatt/hour. Find your rate per kiloWatt/hour and multiply that by 0.75. Thats what it would cost per hour for your heater. My rate is 7 per hour so my heater costs 5.25 per hour, and if I run it 8 hours it costs 0.42. 42 per night to run my heater times 30 days (month) comes out to $12.60 per month. Pretty cheap if you ask me.

Originally Posted by Fronty Owner
And how much fuel do you use idling your truck?
A better question would be how much wear and tear happens on a cold engine compared to one thats already warm. Not to mention you get heat in the cab faster, much less time waiting for it to warm up, easier on the starter, and your oil comes up to temperature much faster too.
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:24 PM
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The electric bill wouldn't be affected much by plugging in the heater. It would consume as much electricity as a computer, or a few bright light bulbs

Last year, my truck was plugged in every night (on a timer) - this year its rarely plugged in at all. My BGE bill(s) this year are over DOUBLE of what I paid last year. Talk about skyrocketing - my bill increases are due to natural gas prices "skyrocketing".
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Old 03-07-2006, 09:26 PM
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I was talking to a guy in Wy that spent about 1/2 the year in Canada. He said he had a timer in his truck that would start and idle for 30 minutes every couple hours.
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