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Old 10-19-2019, 02:21 PM   #1
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block heater off house batteries?

a block heater typically draws about 3 amps on 110v power - any reason I couldn't use house batteries through the inverter to run the block heater for an hour or two?
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:13 PM   #2
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As long as the house bank will handle the load it should be fine.

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Old 10-19-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
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will be 30A off 12V, very heavy load like over 10 fridges
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:20 PM   #4
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will be 30A off 12V, very heavy load like over 10 fridges
best I use my generator then
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:48 PM   #5
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Bush pilots drain their oil into a coffee can. When they're prepping for take-off they heat the oil over a stove and then return it to the crankcase...
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:23 PM   #6
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Bush pilots drain their oil into a coffee can. When they're prepping for take-off they heat the oil over a stove and then return it to the crankcase...


I've used a tiger torch before - flame directed through a tin chimney with a 90 degree bend to the bottom of the oil pan - temps were off the end of the thermometer and the dogs had chewed off the wire to the block heater - made it to the race on time - - lol
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Old 10-20-2019, 04:09 AM   #7
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a block heater typically draws about 3 amps on 110v power - any reason I couldn't use house batteries through the inverter to run the block heater for an hour or two?
I am glad you askedthis question. Our bus is equipped with a block heater and I was considering the same ... just in case we needed it.
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Old 10-20-2019, 08:31 AM   #8
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I am glad you askedthis question. Our bus is equipped with a block heater and I was considering the same ... just in case we needed it.
remember as stated above it will be about a 30 (not 3) amp draw on the batteries. also inverters use (lose)juice to convert it. i would prefer to heat my oil
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:36 AM   #9
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3 amps on a block heater at 110v? I thought must I have seen are 1000W, mine is a factory installed job, and I am pretty sure it's 1500W.

Yes if you have a gen set to use, I would totally do that, unless you were in a emergency and your battery bank is all there was.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #10
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With a 1500W block heater, you would deplete a 100Ah bank to 50% in 25min.
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:46 AM   #11
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one way to warm the motor/oil in extreme temperature when off grid, would be to throw packing blankets over the motor and stick a propane powered catalytic heater under the bus - wouldn't be as efficient as a block heater, but it would get the job done in a pinch - I wouldn't need to buy one as I already have one for my small workshop
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Old 10-29-2019, 07:03 PM   #12
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We plugged the block heater into our 110v grid for 30 minutes a week or so ago. It drew 100amp (12v) and dropped our battery bank from 13v down to 12.7v over that time. We have 920ah of batteries so I don't think it made a big dent into it.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:14 PM   #13
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I'm a big fan of Wabesto type heaters. They can thaw an engine block or keep it warm enough to turn over without issue and draws a lot less electrical power to do it. Uses a little diesel fuel in the process so unless your fuel gels also shouldn't be left stranded.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:32 PM   #14
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I'm a big fan of Wabesto type heaters. They can thaw an engine block or keep it warm enough to turn over without issue and draws a lot less electrical power to do it. Uses a little diesel fuel in the process so unless your fuel gels also shouldn't be left stranded.


I think that's the way I'm going to go - no worry about the bus being warm enough to be comfortable, and no separate block heater needed
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:03 PM   #15
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Back in the day, I had a VW Vanagon which I put a little woodstove in to take up skiing. When I went to start it at the end of the day it became apparent those air cooled engines didn't like cold or altitude. I cranked up the woodstove and opened the engine hatch in back(under the bed). After a couple of hours, it fired up and I headed down and went shopping for a Ford van.
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Old 11-02-2019, 07:03 PM   #16
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Drove '61-67 veedubs skiing through the Alps for many years, in the 80's and 90's no problems.

Maybe the fact they were maintained by German-speaking mechanics made all the difference

But yes, a woodstove would've been a nice add-on

8-D
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Old 11-03-2019, 01:33 AM   #17
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I carry a 500W heat lamp on a flat stand that I can slide under the oil pan for the ocaisional -20 night when I don't want to idle but need it to start in the morning. About 45 minutes. Does the job as well or better than a static block heater. I run it off my solar system. I've got a pretty decent battery bank if its not yet sun up. Draws led that the coffee pot.
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Old 11-03-2019, 07:54 AM   #18
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Once you factor in inverter losses a small genny seems the best way to power a block heater. I had a installed a flat plate heat exchanger in my circuit which could heat hot water or reverse with use of a 12v circualtor (solar) could heat the engine when needed. Hot water came from a Bosh tankless (LP).
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:23 AM   #19
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Reviving a old thread.
My 2003 Ford 7.3 does not have a block heater and I would like to install one. I can get a 1000 watt or a 700 Watt. My first though was bigger is better, but then I thought of the house battery question which brought me to this thread.
700 Watts/120volt=5.8amps. Correct? If this block heater was powered by an inverter, would this not be viable for a short time? My battery bank will be 224 amp hours. This would old be used very occasionally when travelling if in extreme temps. Maybe I don't understand amp hours.
If is not wise, I'll go with the larger heater since it won't matter on the road.
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Old 01-24-2021, 10:46 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peakbus View Post
Reviving a old thread.
My 2003 Ford 7.3 does not have a block heater and I would like to install one. I can get a 1000 watt or a 700 Watt. My first though was bigger is better, but then I thought of the house battery question which brought me to this thread.
700 Watts/120volt=5.8amps. Correct? If this block heater was powered by an inverter, would this not be viable for a short time? My battery bank will be 224 amp hours. This would old be used very occasionally when travelling if in extreme temps. Maybe I don't understand amp hours.
If is not wise, I'll go with the larger heater since it won't matter on the road.
I'm going to assume your battery bank isn't 120 volts. It doesn't matter if the heater is 120V, if you want to measure the amperage draw on the batteries, you need to divide the wattage of the consumer by the battery voltage to get a rough estimate.


For a 12V bank, you will be drawing 5.8A from the inverter, but to satisfy 5.8A at 120V, the inverter will need to be drawing 58.3A (more in actuality, due to inefficiencies) from the battery bank. With a 24V bank, you'd be drawing 29.1A. A 48V bank would be drawing 14.6A, and so on. Add 3% to 12% for inefficiencies.
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