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Block Heaters and Generators

Block Heaters Diesel Generators

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#1 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:00 PM

First, let me be honest, I am being lazy.   I always drain the fuel from my generators and run them out of gas, so I am trying to avoid doing that right now.   I could go out and test it for myself (and eventually probably will), but just curious if anyone has tried theirs. 

 

I have a 2000 F250 with a 7.3L diesel.   One of my numerous worries in the worry box is being out in really cold weather and having the glow plugs crap out, and not be able to start the engine.   The question is, has anyone tried a Honda or Yamaha 1000 on their block heaters?  

 

I am told by a Ford parts guy that the heater is 1000 watts, which is right at max output for these little generators.   I wonder if it would run OK, or kick offline.

 

Thanks in advance...

 

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#2 pvstoy

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:12 PM

Being that it is a coil and has no start up load on the 1000 watt generator.  It should work and it would be on the top end of the gen output.  In theroy....

 

How long does the block heater (depending on water temp) need to run to reach temp to make a difference?  Or how long are you needing to run the generator and how much fuel for the run time?


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#3 Bwht4x4

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:14 PM

Someone on Turbo Diesel Registry said the Dodge block heater was somewhere in the 700-750 watt range.  I could see the Ford being closer to 1000 watts though.

 

I thought about this too and had a thought.  Would it be possible to connect an 1000 watt inverter to the two batteries of my Hawk to run my block heater for an hour or two in an emergency?


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#4 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:06 PM

Being that it is a coil and has no start up load on the 1000 watt generator.  It should work and it would be on the top end of the gen output.  In theroy....
 
How long does the block heater (depending on water temp) need to run to reach temp to make a difference?  Or how long are you needing to run the generator and how much fuel for the run time?


I'm guessing it would need to run for several hours if it's really cold.
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#5 ntsqd

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:26 PM

Block heaters being a resistive heating element are going to change their current demand as they heat up. Current will vary with the inverse of temperature. So is the 1000 watts the max demand or the steady-state demand? If it is the max then I would guess that the generator can hang with it since they usually have some reserve capacity for starting in-rush currents. However if the 1000 watts is steady-state then the extra generator capacity may not be enough.

 

Figure 1000 watts by a roughly 80% inverter efficiency (likely better, but this is conservative) is 1250 watts times let's say 2 hours run time = 2500 watt-hrs; divided by (worst case) 12 Volts = 208.3 Amp-Hrs. Since you can't use the full battery's stored amp-hrs and 50% is the general RoT for max discharge you'll need roughly 420 amp-hrs in your battery bank for that to work. Note that this 420 amp-hrs doesn't include what ever discharges were made after the last charging cycle.


Edited by ntsqd, 10 January 2014 - 09:28 PM.

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#6 Riverrunner

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:14 PM

I know a few guys that have plugged in their truck during hunting season using a generator when they were having a hard time starting in the cold.  If the truck is not wanting to start check your batteries first.  Then look at the glow plug relay.  Then maybe the glow plugs.  When I've had issues it's always been the GPR.  You can short across the GPR posts to close the circuit if needed...That's what a friend of mine has done.  The GPR is a known weakness.  I've replaced mine 3 times in 100K miles. It'll start around 25f but it takes some cranking and then it will blow white smoke for a while.  BTDT.   I just get the GPR109 from NAPA.  There is a better one out there but I've never looked for it since I'm guessing is a special order part.  There was some talk about it over on the Expo forum.    

 

At home, I've plugged it in as little as an hour before I wanted to leave and it made a noticable difference when temps where in the 20's.  When mine was a daily driver, I put it on a timer and it was only on for no more than 3 hours.  Leave it on all night and there would be no frost on the windshield and the heater blow warm air instantly.   :)


Edited by Riverrunner, 10 January 2014 - 10:19 PM.

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#7 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 11 January 2014 - 12:39 AM

Thanks all. I've got new batts, and put in new plugs and relay about 2 years ago. Just being a worry wart, and there are times when I will want to drag the little generator along.

Again, thanks!
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#8 Caveman44

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 08:49 AM

Buy a 2000 watt generator
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#9 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:37 PM

Buy a 2000 watt generator


I've got a Yamaha 2800 for the Trailer, but don't want the weight, nor the footprint of anything larger than my Yamaha 1000.
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#10 Alley-Kat

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Posted 13 January 2014 - 03:55 PM

Have you tested the 1000 watt generator running a 1000 watt appliance?

 

When I purchased my Honda, I took a 1000 watt bathroom wall heater to test how the 1000 watt vs the 2000 watt handled the electrical load. The Honda 1000 was running at a pretty high RPM, made a lot of noise, and I could hear the generator at over 100 feet away from it. The Honda 2000, was at much lower RPM's, made a lot less noise and when I walked away could not hear it running at about 40 feet from generator. I purchased the Honda 2000. I later got a digital RPM/Hour meter on it and the highest RPM's using my 1000 watt appliances has been 1,800 RPM. It just "lopes" along, pretty quietly. I'd guess that it has less wear and tear at the lower RPM's and will last a lot longer than if I had purchased the 1000. Just something else to think about... noise and maintenance.


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