Jump to content
hemsteadc

block heater

Recommended Posts

I am new around here but just an FYI for the Ram Cummins, when we bought our 2019 3500 here in Texas it did not have the plug in cord for the block heater. From what I read all Ram Cummins engines have the block heater installed, they just don't give you the plugin cord. For our travels up to Northern Indiana for the holidays, Instead of paying the dealership a high price for the option (which is the cord), I got one off Amazon for a few dollars and just plugged it into the block heater and ran the cord out through the grill. Works great!

 

And yes I usually leave it plugged in all night or if you want like he said, just plug it in an hour or so before you start it. Or don't worry about it, "Wait To Start" then turn on the seat warmers!!!

Edited by Steven@146

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or use a plug in timer so that it will start the heater at say, 3 in the morning.  Less energy consumption and still no fuss for the need.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/22/2019 at 7:49 AM, rpsinc said:

Or use a plug in timer so that it will start the heater at say, 3 in the morning.  Less energy consumption and still no fuss for the need.

 

Yeah, one with really beefy contacts!  I assume these heaters have thermostats...?

Edited by hemsteadc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe they do.  Another option if high current is a concern, is to use a timer as is used for lighting or sprinkler systems, that have a rotary clock and are rated for higher capacity.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started using the block heater on my Caterpillar C-7 motorhome before any move in which the temps are below 50.  I know I don't need it, but the rig starts quicker with it.  I actually have a 110v outlet in the engine bay for it so I plug in before going to bed the night before I move. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Block heaters are generally 1500 watts, and have no thermostat.  That means they draw roughly 14 amps of 110v current as long as they're plugged in.  Generally, an hour or so is sufficient to warm up a small motor like most of us are using.  Keep in mind, the heater only heats the coolant, not the oil which is down in the pan.

Diesels aren't all the same in how they cold start, plus, if the starter, cables, or battery(s) aren't up to task, the motor won't spin fast enough to start when cold.  I have a farm tractor that from new, needed ether to start below 40*f.  After years and years, I refurbished the starter, replaced ALL the cables with larger gauge, and replaced the 2 -6v w/ 3- 12v batteries.  It now starts at 20*f as if it were summer time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we were in cold climates and we were not paying for power, I always plugged the Volvo in for any temps below 40*.  Since the block heater heats the coolant, which in turn flows thru the heater core, I consider it more a matter of driver comfort for those first 15-20 minutes waiting for the engine to warm enough to make some heat.  Our old Cummins M-11 starts without help down to zero and below, but it sounds like an old Hit & Miss for a few seconds.... plus it takes care of any left over mosquitoes with the clouds of smoke....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have many times.  It makes the electric meter go round and round.....

Even plugged in for hours, you radiator will be cold, because the thermostat prevents flow until the coolant reaches a certain temp, usually near 190*f or there abouts.  That said, the warm water in the block is available for the heater core, once the water pump is spinning.

As Jim pointed out, a warm motor gets happy much quicker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, rickeieio said:

as Jim pointed out, a warm motor gets happy much quicker.

Yes, much easier on the batteries when starting. I don't think the intake heater even came on.I needed it to leave NM in early October when we had a cold snap. Also need to be aware of wire size of extension cord for long runs.

Edited by hemsteadc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the day we were taught by Cummins and Caterpillar that the majority of engine wear occurs from cold start to about 140F coolant temp. Oil temp doesn’t matter as long as the viscosity is correct for the cold start temp so it flows throughout the engine at start up. Excessive slow “warm up” idling adds to time below 140F vs putting a light load on the engine to warm it up as fast as possible, or preheat it. That’s about all I remember.

Both my little Cummins’sz have exhaust brakes which I close after start up which warms the engine many times quicker than idling. It’s recommended by Cummins to do this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

having lived where ice does not stay around very long. i do not have real experience with a frozen diesel motor.

but from talking with many a driver that did. a block heater would be the min for these motors. (talking about class A type diesel motors)

a simple heater pad placed on the oil pan is also a great way to have the oil up to "usable" temp. this i know is to keep the motor oil and water warm to get the motor up to running temp faster to keep ware form being a $$ problem. then there is the temp of the fuel. as it can gell above 32F. if gelled it can not be pumped into the injectors. a chem helps, but not if that cold.

this is one of the reasons why diesel motors were never turned off.

but any block heater will never get so hot as to damage the block or anything else by heat alone. the block of the motor just bleeds off the heat to the air. but if it gets too cold the freezing coolant can crack a block.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two comments-

1  do not expect the block heater to work in 15 mins

2 In cold climates, NEVER open both cab doors at the same time.............

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A common rail type diesel with pilot injection uses so little fuel to idle the engine plus it retards the injection timing when the engine is cold to prevent “cold knocking” - that the cab heater core and fan are totally capable of cooling the idling engine down to cold wear temperatures causing rings to stick, after treatment systems to be unhappy etc. Modern diesels do not like or need excessive idling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

0 to 20°F we plug in for 1-2 hrs or so.

-20 to 0°F push it closer to 4 hours.

-20 to -50°F screw it, leave it go all night.

average block heater cost about a quarter an hour to operate at our power rates($0.18/Kwh).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/5/2019 at 4:29 AM, ARGO said:

2 In cold climates, NEVER open both cab doors at the same time.............

Not sure I understand that one.

Edited by hemsteadc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Imurphy907 said:

average block heater cost about a quarter an hour to operate at our power rates($0.18/Kwh).

I guess those folks in the CG who insist on idling their trucks for 20 minutes before driving have never heard of  a block heater.

Edited by hemsteadc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most rigs don't really even need it. Its a starting aid, that's about it. GM has a thermostat on their cords, they wont turn on till 0°F.

I idle my truck only as long as it takes to build air, or cool the cab depending on weather. I don't do well in the heat...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RVAir The cleanest air in RVing!

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

AGS Now Hiring

RV Pet Safety

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...