Getting ready for another Wisconsin winter...

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Project by woodgizmo posted 09-23-2007 03:49 AM 2393 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into how to heat my shop the last couple of years. Previously I’ve used a kerosene salamander (torpedo) heater. However, there were three things I really did not like about this system, the smell, the noise and the open flame.

I spent a lot of time researching some alternatives, and had made my mind up to have a LP Hot Dawg (modine) heater installed running on a small auxilary tank. I did not like the $1500 – $1700 quotes I was getting back (considering the unit was about $500 at the local BORG).

My wife started to do a little Internet research earlier this week and found an interesting electrical shop heater
called “The Hot One”. It’s a 240 volt – 4000 watt unit measuring about 16×16x10, has a built in thermostat and high and low heat settings. It can also be used in a fan only mode to help cool the shop in the summer.

I had to run a new circuit to the shop which involved taking off some wall and ceiling panels. Installation was fairly straight forward and I was able to hang the heater by myself, as it only weighs 40 pounds or so.

The unit seems to pump out a good deal of heat, but we will see how it handles the cold Wisconsin winters. I figure I can still use the salamander to bring the temperature of the shop up quickly, but this unit should help maintain the comfort level without all of the adverse side effects.

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

14 comments so far

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 3928 days

#1 posted 09-23-2007 03:54 AM

I share your anticipation of the oncoming winter, and envy your potential solution. Good luck, I hope it works out well for you!

-- Robb

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4060 days

#2 posted 09-23-2007 04:08 AM

What size shop do you have? What many Sq Ft. is the heater rated to heat? I think that it would be overkill for my little 220 sq ft shop, especially with our rather mild winters here in SE Louisiana, but we do get a few 30 deg. days with 98% humidity – bites right through you.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View woodgizmo's profile


43 posts in 3897 days

#3 posted 09-23-2007 04:35 AM

The shop is 14’x28’ with 10’ ceilings. Here is a link to manufacturer's product page. I can’t find any info on rated square footage, but when I was reading the reviews on several sites, the unit is being used in everything from green houses to cabinet manufacturing shops.

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4070 days

#4 posted 09-23-2007 04:54 AM

From what I’ve been able to determine the 4000 watt unit is designed to handle 400 square feet. There is also a 5000 watt version which will handle 500 square feet. Unfortunately my garage is almost 700 square feet. I’ve been thinking about installing a natural gas unit around 60,000btu. I’m a little hesitant to install myself so the cost is probably going to be around $1000 installed.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4308 days

#5 posted 09-23-2007 06:03 AM

It is a nice unit. I heated a 28 foot 1970’s travel trailer in a cold Idaho winter with one while building my house. Which is kind of like trying to stay warm in a large card board box, but the unit did great.

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 3977 days

#6 posted 09-23-2007 01:43 PM

I can’t wait to hear how it works. I have no heat in my 20×20 and need a solution soon <laugh> or I will freeze my part off this winter.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View joey's profile


396 posts in 3898 days

#7 posted 09-23-2007 05:08 PM

Looks like this product might be worth looking into. I to have a cold shop in the winter. and an uninsulated concrete floor. I could at lease plug this heater into the dyer plug on the days we don’t do laundry, until I get time and money to run a new circuit.

I went to the manufacturer’s product page, but it didn’t say if it came with the 20 amp, or the 30 amp plug, or did you have to buy the pigtail separate?

-- Joey~~Sabina, Ohio

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4058 days

#8 posted 09-23-2007 05:56 PM

Gawd I hated that kerosene smell. Soaks into your clothes, your pores. Yuch. I’m on my second propane model and it’s also not ideal. This looks great. I don’t have anything but 110v 30 amp service to the garage-shop, so I’ll likely have to keep on keepin’ on, but thanks for showing this alternative. If I ever get big scratch I’d like to get one of those motel room heater/AC units second-hand.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View woodgizmo's profile


43 posts in 3897 days

#9 posted 09-23-2007 07:06 PM

The 4000 watt unit I purchased uses the 20amp RCP402S plug. You can see it on the main page of the link I provided above.

I’m almost inviting the cold just so I can see how it works!

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

View gbvinc's profile


628 posts in 3940 days

#10 posted 09-23-2007 09:57 PM

I have been using this heater in my 22’ x 30’ shop (3-car) for over a year now. Works fine for me.

View Tony's profile


986 posts in 4024 days

#11 posted 09-23-2007 11:51 PM

Intresting to see you all quoting the square footage of the shops when selecting the heaters. Surely you must take into account the height of the cealing/roof, therefore the cubic feet are more important???

By the way I use a wood burner in the shop (33’ x 20’ x 7’) – I cannot affort to pay for the electricity to keep the shop warm in the winter, when it gets down to -30°C outside.

-- Tony - All things are possible, just some things are more difficult than others! - SKYPE: Heron2005 (

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 3988 days

#12 posted 09-24-2007 03:33 PM

I think that electric is the way to go if the cost of the electricity is not too much to handle. No fumes, no flame, and no smell are important elements. I use electric space heaters to take the chill off my shop here in South Carolina. Of course, my winters are nothing compared to yours, but I just don’t have to use as big of unit as you would.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3868 days

#13 posted 10-18-2007 06:22 AM

Thanks a million for this info! I built a new shop this summer and was starting to worry about heating it. After reading this I did some research online and then went and bought one. It’s been in for over a week and so far, so good! Right now it is heating my 24×36 shop with no problem. We’re only getting down to the mid 30s at night right now, but the heater keeps the shop comfortable and is off as much as it’s on. I imagine I’ll need more heat in a month or so – but maybe I’ll just get a second one of these!

-- -- --

View woodgizmo's profile


43 posts in 3897 days

#14 posted 10-18-2007 03:22 PM

I’ve kicked mine on this last weekend just to take out some of the dampness in the shop. Seems to really pump out some heat, and that’s in it’s low setting. I’m sure it will be another month or so before I can really put it to the test.

-- Hard work spotlights the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all!

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