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Are space heaters safe?

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Forum topic by newbiewoodworker posted 1315 days ago 3837 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newbiewoodworker

659 posts in 1330 days


1315 days ago

I may very well pickup a space heater on the way back from an appointment tommorrow. But my question is: Are oil filled heaters safe for use in a shop? Will they warm an uninsulated 1 car garage? The size is 11×24, would one suffice?

Also, are they cool to the touch… or do I have to worry about getting burned by one(so I can figure out where to position it, so while planing a board I wont end up cooking a “Rump Roast”... :O

Thanks

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."


32 replies so far

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PurpLev

8473 posts in 2151 days


#1 posted 1315 days ago

since they are space HEATERS, I can only assume it also gets hot ;)

I have a space heater (electric) and it’s hung from the wall so that I won’t accidently bump it, touch it, or knock it over something that might want to catch fire. just remember not to use any solvents (finishes/mineral spirits/etc) near it, the vapor could easily start an unwanted BBQ party.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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Quixote

206 posts in 2141 days


#2 posted 1315 days ago

Yes, maybe, maybe not, no, yes.

Q

-- I don't make sawdust...I produce vast quantities of "Micro Mulch."

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newbiewoodworker

659 posts in 1330 days


#3 posted 1315 days ago

http://www.homedepot.com/Appliances/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xh3Zaq30/R-100646471/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

I am refering to one of these.

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14412 posts in 2179 days


#4 posted 1315 days ago

Herer in WaterWorld, Western WA, 10 watts per sq foot is a good number for insluated room. It may make a nice little spot to warm up, but it will not heat the space.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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snowdog

1127 posts in 2486 days


#5 posted 1314 days ago

I use a torpedo to bring the shop up to temp then a hanging electric heater to keep it warm. The electric heater is a new addition and has not yet been put through the zero degree test. This winter will be the true test. The torpedo worked for me, I just had to shut it off after 10 min due to the fumes. Good luck.

I don’t thing your heater will heat your shop, but it depends on how cold it gets

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

View Toolz's profile

Toolz

985 posts in 2245 days


#6 posted 1314 days ago

In the winter I heat my shop (22’x44’) with a torpedo heater to bring the temp up to about 55F. It has a thermostat and cuts off when it reaches the desired temp. I also have a 220V electric heater that I place a fan in front of to circulate heated air. The torpedo come on about 10 minutes every hour.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

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TheDane

3429 posts in 2166 days


#7 posted 1314 days ago

I have a Fahrenheat 5000 Watt Unit Heater ( http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1161 ) that I am quite happy with. I considered other options, but IMHO, electric was the cleanest and safest for my situation.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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helluvawreck

14610 posts in 1369 days


#8 posted 1314 days ago

All I have is a space heater in my office at the plant but outside my office in the plant there is no heat. At home I have a space heater in my shop. We don’t have cold weather but about two or three months since we’re in North GA. I would not use a space heater in the house especially if there were children or pets that could knock it over. I know that most of them will cut off if knocked over but I still don’t trust them if no one is right with them.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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dbhost

5281 posts in 1735 days


#9 posted 1314 days ago

I have one that I use in my 2 car garage. Will it keep up with an uninsulated garage? That all depends on just how leaky the building is, and how cold it gets where you are I guess. BUT… in my 2 car garage, prior to insulating last winter, my shop heater was able to keep up with a Texas winter, windy sub freezing days without door seals and my shop would still stay in the 70’s.

I am in a 2 car garage, but a small one. (18×20), so even if you are in a colder climate, you SHOULD still be okay with it since you are minus about a third of the square footage.

As far as are they hot. Yeah, they are hot. But not enough to cook your rump roast as it were… I can lay my hand on top of mine with it running at high heat no problem.

I find that a small box fan on low, and I suspect now that I have an ambient air filter, would be sufficient to move the air all the way around the shop so you don’t have hot and cold spots. Except for maybe by the overhead door.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1486 days


#10 posted 1314 days ago

I have one of the oil filled space heaters. As a single source they don’t heat enough for one to stand alone. You may want to use 2 of them to make a comfortable temperature to work in. I first bought mine for the chicken house, at 0 degrees it kept the chicken house 20 degrees warmer than the outside temp. They are warm to the touch but won’t burn you. I had no problems with dust on the heater causing problems. Depending on where you live you may want to check into something with more BTU’s to be more economical to heat the shop.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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TopamaxSurvivor

14412 posts in 2179 days


#11 posted 1314 days ago

I have installed a lot of unit heaters of the type TheDane recommends. IMO, they are the best style for heating shops if yoiu are going with electric. That style comes for gas and hot water systems too.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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NathanAllen

376 posts in 1647 days


#12 posted 1314 days ago

That one is safe, but won’t do much to heat an uninsullated garage. The other down side is they are expensive to run, figure $20-$30 a month to run a few hours a day.

Your best bet is if you have a natural gas service pipe located nearby that you can have a plumber tap into to install a wall or ceiling mounted unit. The blue flame versions will throw off enough heat, but will smell, cause some extra moisture in the air and are a risk of explosion. Not to understate the risk, but all three are a pretty minor risk.

The next step up is a direct vent natural gas heater, which I use. They minimuze the main three risks of using gas around wood working and still keep the biggest two advantages; cheap to run and effective.

Beyond insullation and drywall or other wall enclosure you’re probably going to need around 20k btu/hr worth of heat to keep working through the late fall and winter.

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newbiewoodworker

659 posts in 1330 days


#13 posted 1314 days ago

My father is worried about a space heater starting a fire… so I think I may go electric baseboard, its about the same price per 4ft segment…. and then I can attach a thermostat..

We dont have Natural Gas over here in HickTown USA….

IF we dont sell the house(divorce) I am going to insulate.. but, not until I am certain my money will go to use for ME.. not the next owners…. Even the workbench can be removed… and it will unless it increases the houses value by more than $200(about what I have into it…)

-- "Ah, So your not really a newbie, but a I betterbie."

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kosta

946 posts in 1857 days


#14 posted 1303 days ago

I got a heater and it does get hot when I use it. I dont have enough power going to my shop so I cant run my heater and my tablesaw at the same time its one or the other. The most important thing when your using a space heater is dont get dust on it and in it. If your in a garage you dont want to put gas cans within 10ft of your heater. As long as you pay attention to whats going on you wont have any problems

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA http://www.kostasworkshop.blogspot.com/

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TopamaxSurvivor

14412 posts in 2179 days


#15 posted 1302 days ago

Do not put gas cans in the shop at all!! Fumes can collect up to 18” deep. Above that is considered non-hazardous.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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