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  #1  
Old 12-13-2004, 04:19 PM
SoundBuys SoundBuys is offline
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How do I know if my block heater is working?

This is the first winter with my truck. How do I know if my block heater is working. I had it plunged in last night and it seemed to start easier this morning, but I don't really know. Someone told me that when it is plugged in that the heater would blow hot air right away, is that true?

Is there any way to check and see if it is working, any tests I can do.

Thanks for all you help!

Shawn
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  #2  
Old 12-13-2004, 04:32 PM
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Quadzilla Quadzilla is offline
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I'm sure you've noticed that when you start your truck normally, the temp gauge is all the way to the left. Depending on how long the truck has been plugged in, the gauge should show some movement of the needle when you start it after being plugged in. On my truck, if I plug it in for 2-3 hours, the needle is about 1/3 of the way up the gauge. The heater blows warm air, but not hot right away.
My son-in-law plugs his truck in as soon as he shuts it off for the night. The block heater is merely keeping the engine coolant warm, rather than trying to heat it up from dead cold. He gets heat as soon as he starts the truck.
When I plug mine in, I hear a little sizzle when it's first connected. I don't know if all trucks do that, but I know a few other guys that have trucks that do that, so it must be relatively common.
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  #3  
Old 12-13-2004, 04:48 PM
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Max1775 Max1775 is offline
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If you have any doubts on whether or not it is working, use an amp meter to check amp draw on the cord. I actually have never checked mine, but it sure starts easier when it's plugged in, and warms up to operating temp much quicker.
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:04 PM
powerglyd powerglyd is offline
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put a clamp-on-ampmeter on the cord and you should read amps
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Old 12-13-2004, 05:50 PM
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My simple idiot way is to plug it in, come back out in a couple hours. Reach in under the fender, if it feels warm, its either working or your truck is on fire.

Of course I don't do this every night. I just did it when new to see if it actually worked and how warm it would get.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:25 PM
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I listen to the buzz, or it will snap when you plug it in.
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Old 12-13-2004, 06:57 PM
mybigredford mybigredford is offline
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mine has a sizzle sound for about 2 seconds and then is silent. so i wondered if is quit working, so in a few hours i went out and reached in from the drivers side front fender well, there i could touch the exhaust manifold (i think) and it felt warm so i knew it was working
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:25 PM
SoundBuys SoundBuys is offline
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thanks for all your help. I will check and see if it is warm later tonight. When I started it today it started easy and it did heat up quicker so I am assuming that it is working properly.
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:27 PM
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well when I started it this morning it did start better. It also got warm quicker so I am assuming that it is working fine. I will check it alter and see if the block is still warm.


Shawn
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Old 12-14-2004, 12:02 AM
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If you lift the hood shortly after plugging the unit in and stand on a front tire or grille guard, you can hear it "cooking". Its not as loud as some units I've heard in gassers, but it sounds just like an electric water heater when it cranks up, which is to say it almost sounds like water just beginning to boil in the engine. Depeding on how cold it is outside, however, you may not notice much of a change in the temp guage. At least, here you don't! But the truck will start easier, you should feel heat radiating from the top of the engine (with the hood up) if you've left it plugged in all night, etc. As a matter of fact, if it is "warm" enough while snowing here (no colder than about 26 degrees), it will generate enough heat to melt the snow off the hood. There are a number of ways, in other words, to tell if its working. I would think a simple continuity check would tell you if the unit is still good, and therefore, as long as it has electicity, it should be working.
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:08 AM
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I tried mine yesterday for the first time. I dind't have it plugged in very long, about an hour. I, therefore didn't notice much difference. What I did notice was when I unplugged it. What an arc. It looked like fireworks. I understand that these things pull like 1000 watts. That is just short of a hair dryer. So I don't plan to keep mine on too long, maybe three hours with a timer. It will have to be a heavy duty timer to carry the load.

Frank
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Old 12-14-2004, 03:08 AM
 
 
 
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