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Old 01-08-2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


Stupid question but will it work and is there any safety reason not to do this? Will it only put out half the wattage, or will it draw 2X the current, or both or neither? I know the wire to it is a 12/2 home run, and not very long, so I don't think 500 watts is the concern.

This is electric baseboard BTW.

EDIT... Just read that in fact it will put out 1/4 of the power... does that sound right? Not going to heat up even a little bathroom I'm sure!!!


Last edited by pcampbell; 01-08-2009 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:26 PM   #2
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


Quote:
Originally Posted by pcampbell View Post
Just read that in fact it will put out 1/4 of the power... does that sound right?
Yah, sounds right.

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Old 01-08-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


Why run it at 120? 12/2 will give you 240.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:59 PM   #4
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


I only have one 1" spot left. No worries, thanks...

Last edited by pcampbell; 01-08-2009 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


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Originally Posted by pcampbell View Post
I only have one 1" spot left.
replace some breakers with tandems?
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


Or, combine circuits that aren't being used efficiently.
Example: My basement (finished) has two fluorescent lights on a 15A breaker. I can add lots more to that branch.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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Can I run a small (500 watt) 240 V space heater at 120V?


A 500 watt heater designed for 240 volts and operated on 120 will produce 125 watts. The current will be 1.04 amps.

Provided it's a heating element only (no fan), it will not be damaged, and not the slightest bit unsafe.

Rob

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