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Heater for bilge...

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Old 11-01-2002, 02:34 PM
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Question Heater for bilge...

Has anyone used a small space heater to heat their bilge? If so, what kind? I looked at several small ones today, but all of the small ones used the ceramic heating elements, and I am a little nervous about sitting something that glows red-hot down in my engine compartment where it could come in contact with gas fumes. Seems like the oil-filled radiators would be a lot safer for this, but the smallest one I could find stands about 2 feet high. It would still fit, but all I really need is a little bitty one.

I store my boat in a pole barn, so it is out of the weather, but the forecast is calling for the temps to fall into the mid-20's tonight. I have not winterized yet because I still plan to do some testing this month. It seems like a small space heater would be enough to keep things from freezing up for a night. Obviously, if they were calling for extended sub-freezing temps, I would be out there draining everything, but this is only supposed to last one night.
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Old 11-01-2002, 02:37 PM
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100watt drop light.
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Old 11-01-2002, 02:43 PM
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I use a small cube 1500 watter with a fan set on the low setting 750 watts I think and the thermostat set to full. It's the spark from the thermostat turning on and off that blows em up.
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Old 11-01-2002, 02:56 PM
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I use two 100 watt bulbs in a pair of clamp-on fixtures in the engine compartment and run the cord out under the cover.
I'll turn them on during the day while it's above freezing and leave them on all night.
I know it doesn't get down to freezing very often in Florida but I did the same thing up north. Old habits die hard.
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:04 PM
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The ceramic heaters don't glow red hot. Well, at least you can't see it. I'm currently using two 170w infrared lamps. Gonna get really cold tonight though. I'm not sure if I trust them to raise the temps enough though.
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:08 PM
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Im in ohio and it gets pretty cold sometimes and two drop lights kept my engine block at 42 degrees even on really cold days.
I bought one of those cheap pet store stick on thermometers and stuck it to my intake.
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:13 PM
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Drop light works great in Texas.
 
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:15 PM
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Thanks for the replies!

So the ceramic heaters don't glow? Does that make them safe enough for an engine compartment? Sure would be a lot easier than lugging the oil heater up there!

I'm not sure I would trust a light bulb. Knowing my luck it would burn out!
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:19 PM
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It isnt really getting cold enough to worry to much, Dock Holiday said it takes 24 hours at 20 degrees to freeze over to do damage. Get a NEW light bulb and prey that the power dosent go out. we "winterized" our hot tub last winter (time to use but it was empty?) I think it was a bulb we pulled out of a drawer, probably a GE and it lasted all winter being on all the time.
Must have some good luck here...
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Old 11-01-2002, 03:30 PM
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Boat US has some .. one model is on sale... Trying it this year for the first time ...A friend has had success with it.
 
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