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Old 03-24-2009, 10:11 AM   #1
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1500W Heaters?


My basement is cold and I would like to add an electric 120V space heater. Most available seem to be listed at 1500W.

The circuit for the room I want to place the heater is 15AMP's run with 14/2.

Do these 1500W heaters run at 1500W constantly? If so, this only gives me 2.5 AMP's left to run my TV and any other equipment. If these things are variable and I may be ok.

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:27 AM   #2
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1500W Heaters?


At 12.5 amps you are slightly above the the 80% constant load recommended. I would suggest you install and addition circuit.

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:36 AM   #3
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1500W Heaters?


That better be a very small basement. 1500 watts is not going to heat any large room. 1500 watts at 120 volts draws 12.5 amps.
If the heater is adjustable it will not draw 1500 watts all the time. But basements are notoriously cold and that 1500 watt heater probably even on low will never cycle off, unless you live in Miami.

I would try one before I installed a new circuit. These portable heaters are not expensive and you could get one and see if the circuit will allow this load. Try this first. Run new circuit as last resort.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:41 AM   #4
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1500W Heaters?


It's a ~600sq ft finished and insulated basement in Alberta Canada, has 4 hot air ducts and 3 returns(all in the ceiling). At night, its nice and toasty when the furnace is running but of course in the daytime/evening when the house absorbs solar energy the basement is freezing because the thermostat is happy upstairs and I'm hoping to take the "edge" off especially since the returns are in the ceiling.

I have two separate 15 AMP circuits in the basement and was hoping to have one of these heaters on each side.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:05 AM   #5
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1500W Heaters?


Electric resistance heat is very expensive. I bet you could make the basement warmer by sealing all penetrations into the attic. It sounds counter-intuitive, but, by reducing the airflow up and out of the house, you reduce the amount of cold air sucked into the basement through all the unseen cracks. This is called the stack effect.

You'll save a lot of money.
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Old 03-24-2009, 01:49 PM   #6
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1500W Heaters?


Another option is to install a duct with fan to take the warm upstairs air & blow it down to the basement
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:00 PM   #7
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1500W Heaters?


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Another option is to install a duct with fan to take the warm upstairs air & blow it down to the basement
The house was built in 2004 and does have a ventilation fan setup. I could circulate the air throughout the house, but the noise of the furnace fan running all the time tends to get annoying.
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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1500W Heaters?


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Originally Posted by sweaty View Post
Electric resistance heat is very expensive. I bet you could make the basement warmer by sealing all penetrations into the attic. It sounds counter-intuitive, but, by reducing the airflow up and out of the house, you reduce the amount of cold air sucked into the basement through all the unseen cracks. This is called the stack effect.

You'll save a lot of money.
It's a 2 story house. The main floor and second floor are fine, only the basement is cold. Would the effort still be worth it?
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Old 03-24-2009, 02:37 PM   #9
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1500W Heaters?


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Originally Posted by n0c7 View Post
Do these 1500W heaters run at 1500W constantly? If so, this only gives me 2.5 AMP's left to run my TV and any other equipment. If these things are variable and I may be ok.
I believe that these heaters have two "speeds", on and off. In my experience, there's nothing variable about them, except that some of them have a switch that varies the heat output, like a "High" and a "Low" setting, but I get the idea that's not the nature of your question. I suppose there might be a slightly higher amperage draw as the heating elements are ramping up, then a bit of reduction as the device is asked to deliver constant heat rather than increasing heat, but if so it's not much, in my experience.

I own an old house in which I have been using these sort of small electric heaters. I have noticed that when the heater is on, it takes very little electrical usage to trip the 20 amp circuit breaker. This gets annoying, it's not possible to leave the TV on in the living room and heat some water in the microwave without tripping that breaker (yeah, I'd really like the chance to talk to the guy who put both the kitchen and the living room on a single, 20 amp circuit!! ).

I'm hoping to be able to run a second circuit to my basement and "separate" the original circuit into two separate zones, leaving the first of the two zones as original and hooking the new circuit to the second zone where I separated the wiring.

It was so infuriating to me that I wanted to (and actually did!) run 10 gauge wiring on 120v/30 amp breakers into the basement, hoping to place at least some of the heavier drawing equipment, such as the TV/audio gear, on it's own separate circuit with plenty of reserve. Turned out to be a foolish idea, found that out when I asked for advice and found out the only 30 amp 120 volt receptacles are the twist-loc type and of course none of the equipment has those types of plugs.

Bottom line is that it's best to run another circuit, I guess.....although I do think you'd be OK "borrowing" amperage from that other circuit in your basement as long as you used a beefy enough extension chord. I've done that in this old house, it worked better than tripping the breaker every time I turned on the kitchen light.

Dugly

Last edited by YerDugliness; 03-24-2009 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Forgot to answer the question, DUUHHHH!!!
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Old 03-24-2009, 04:43 PM   #10
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1500W Heaters?


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Originally Posted by n0c7 View Post
My basement is cold and I would like to add an electric 120V space heater. Most available seem to be listed at 1500W.

The circuit for the room I want to place the heater is 15AMP's run with 14/2.

Do these 1500W heaters run at 1500W constantly? If so, this only gives me 2.5 AMP's left to run my TV and any other equipment. If these things are variable and I may be ok.
I have had several of these & most have a setting dial
When that temp is reached it will shut off
Many have a 750w/1500w switch, so they can be run at 1/2 power

But trying to heat 600 sq ft it may be running at full power for quite a bit

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