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Why do space heaters catch fire? #4639338
01/18/18 10:44 PM
01/18/18 10:44 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,941
Houston, Texas
motor_oil_madman Offline OP
motor_oil_madman  Offline OP
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,941
Houston, Texas
Do the heaters themselves fail and catch fire or is it just because someone does something to it to catch something on fire?


2007.5 dodge cummins 6.7 liter. Chevron Delo400 15w40. 7000 mile or 250-300hr intervals.

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639344
01/18/18 10:47 PM
01/18/18 10:47 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,411
Soviet State of Washington
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,411
Soviet State of Washington
Flammable materials too close is the major cause. Drapes, furniture, papers etc.

If you read all the idiot tags on the space heater it will be explained further.


2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Valvoline Advanced Synthetic 0w20
Mobil 1 M108A EP filter

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639362
01/18/18 10:58 PM
01/18/18 10:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,142
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,142
MA
In addition to that, the max rating on most portable electric heater is 1500 watts which works out to about 12.5 amps. Most people plug multiple items into a 15 amp outlet so they're pretty much getting the max load out of it without tripping. Over time, if the wiring is a little loose, you get heat build up and an electrical fire. Electrical fires are blamed on space heaters all the time.

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639370
01/18/18 11:06 PM
01/18/18 11:06 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 397
Massachusetts
VeryNoisyPoet Online content
VeryNoisyPoet  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 397
Massachusetts
I agree that usually is external problems causing the fires. Space heaters have thermal fuses that should cut power if they overheat, and I believe are required by law to have a safety switch underneath that shuts them off if they tip over. But flammable items too close or on top of the heater, or bad house wiring that can't handle the power draw are more likely causes of fire than the heater itself bursting into flames.


1998 V70 GLT / 192k miles [10w-30 Valvoline Syn w/ Maxlife Tech + Mann W917 filter]

"Use yah blinkah!"

"Be nice. The alternative involves an air horn and 7000 lumens of high beam."
Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639382
01/18/18 11:19 PM
01/18/18 11:19 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 447
South Carolina
pcoxe Offline
pcoxe  Offline
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 447
South Carolina
An electric space heater pulls a lot of current and probably does so continuously with little or no off time. This can cause a gradual overheating of every wire, terminal connection, and receptacle in the circuit. It's just a matter of time before something somewhere gets too hot and too close to something combustible.

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639383
01/18/18 11:19 PM
01/18/18 11:19 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,317
SE British Columbia, Canada
Snagglefoot Offline
Snagglefoot  Offline
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 2,317
SE British Columbia, Canada
You can reduce the chances of an accidental fire with a space heater by using an oil filled heater ( their surfaces are not overly hot.) Also you can uses a ceramic heater which also is not overly hot.

The worst ones are those wire type heaters that glow red. They are bad news in my opinion.

SF


If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: pcoxe] #4639408
01/18/18 11:42 PM
01/18/18 11:42 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: pcoxe
An electric space heater pulls a lot of current and probably does so continuously with little or no off time. This can cause a gradual overheating of every wire, terminal connection, and receptacle in the circuit. It's just a matter of time before something somewhere gets too hot and too close to something combustible.


^^^^ THIS is the REAL reason.

Two 750 watt heaters in the same room on different circuits is 1000% safer than one 1500 watt heater running on one circuit.

Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
You can reduce the chances of an accidental fire with a space heater by using an oil filled heater....The worst ones are those wire type heaters that glow red.


The heater type itself is really not important.







"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: Linctex] #4639429
01/19/18 12:01 AM
01/19/18 12:01 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,411
Soviet State of Washington
PimTac Offline
PimTac  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 5,411
Soviet State of Washington
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: pcoxe
An electric space heater pulls a lot of current and probably does so continuously with little or no off time. This can cause a gradual overheating of every wire, terminal connection, and receptacle in the circuit. It's just a matter of time before something somewhere gets too hot and too close to something combustible.


^^^^ THIS is the REAL reason.

Two 750 watt heaters in the same room on different circuits is 1000% safer than one 1500 watt heater running on one circuit.

Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
You can reduce the chances of an accidental fire with a space heater by using an oil filled heater....The worst ones are those wire type heaters that glow red.


The heater type itself is really not important.









I hope your breaker opened with that. That is really bad.


2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Valvoline Advanced Synthetic 0w20
Mobil 1 M108A EP filter

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: PimTac] #4639443
01/19/18 12:19 AM
01/19/18 12:19 AM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 397
Massachusetts
VeryNoisyPoet Online content
VeryNoisyPoet  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 397
Massachusetts
Originally Posted By: PimTac
I hope your breaker opened with that. That is really bad.


Faults like that often will NOT trip the breaker. A high resistance bad connection will happily start a fire even when the total current is well within the ratings of the rest of the circuit. Important to replace worn outlets that get hot to the touch or that do not hold plugs tightly.


1998 V70 GLT / 192k miles [10w-30 Valvoline Syn w/ Maxlife Tech + Mann W917 filter]

"Use yah blinkah!"

"Be nice. The alternative involves an air horn and 7000 lumens of high beam."
Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639460
01/19/18 12:53 AM
01/19/18 12:53 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,857
'Stralia
Shannow Online content
Shannow  Online Content
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 40,857
'Stralia

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: Linctex] #4639466
01/19/18 01:20 AM
01/19/18 01:20 AM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,664
MIchigan
Warstud Offline
Warstud  Offline
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 5,664
MIchigan
Originally Posted By: Linctex
Originally Posted By: pcoxe
An electric space heater pulls a lot of current and probably does so continuously with little or no off time. This can cause a gradual overheating of every wire, terminal connection, and receptacle in the circuit. It's just a matter of time before something somewhere gets too hot and too close to something combustible.


^^^^ THIS is the REAL reason.

Two 750 watt heaters in the same room on different circuits is 1000% safer than one 1500 watt heater running on one circuit.

Originally Posted By: Snagglefoot
You can reduce the chances of an accidental fire with a space heater by using an oil filled heater....The worst ones are those wire type heaters that glow red.


The heater type itself is really not important.







Linctex...My mother has a oil heater similiar to that one that has done that exact thing on 2 different outlets. Do I need to replace the outlets. How about the heater plug....it's a little charred...you think it might be ok?

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: motor_oil_madman] #4639491
01/19/18 02:39 AM
01/19/18 02:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California
OneEyeJack Offline
OneEyeJack  Offline
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 7,485
S California
I have a space heater that I set on a tile surface. I plug it into an uprated socket. If it falls over its supposed to turn off but if it does not I'm hoping that on the tile surface it won't do any damage. I run it on a timer and there's a smoke/fire alarm nearby.

As you might guess I'm afraid of fire and only use it when I'm right there.

I used it when I was really sick with cancer and got the chills. The heat was lovely. Now I don't use it much. It's a heavy duty unit and not one of those cheap ones you get at the department store. So far, so good.

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: VeryNoisyPoet] #4639495
01/19/18 02:51 AM
01/19/18 02:51 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,142
MA
Wolf359 Offline
Wolf359  Offline
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 5,142
MA
Originally Posted By: VeryNoisyPoet
Originally Posted By: PimTac
I hope your breaker opened with that. That is really bad.


Faults like that often will NOT trip the breaker. A high resistance bad connection will happily start a fire even when the total current is well within the ratings of the rest of the circuit. Important to replace worn outlets that get hot to the touch or that do not hold plugs tightly.


You could try an arc fault breaker. That might detect it and trip the breaker. Those are now required by code in newer construction in bedrooms.

Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: VeryNoisyPoet] #4639513
01/19/18 03:32 AM
01/19/18 03:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: VeryNoisyPoet
Faults like that often will NOT trip the breaker. A high resistance bad connection will happily start a fire even when the total current is well within the ratings of the rest of the circuit. Important to replace worn outlets that get hot to the touch or that do not hold plugs tightly.


EXACTLY!


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
Re: Why do space heaters catch fire? [Re: Warstud] #4639514
01/19/18 03:34 AM
01/19/18 03:34 AM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Linctex Offline
Linctex  Offline
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 6,226
Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Warstud
Linctex...My mother has a oil heater similiar to that one that has done that exact thing on 2 different outlets. Do I need to replace the outlets. How about the heater plug....it's a little charred...you think it might be ok?


YES, Replace the outlets AND also THE HEATERS with bad plugs.

Do NOT take the chance with plugs that are "a little charred" - you don't know how deep the damage is

the roll of the dice isn't worth the risk


"The evidence demands a verdict".
(Re:VOA)"it's nearly impossible to actually know the particular additives that are in there at what concentrations."
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