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Old 08-03-2012, 03:49 PM   #1
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7.3 psd block heater current draw?

Does anyone know offhand what the AC current draw is for the block heater on the 7.3L diesel?
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #2
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

The one on a 6.0 is 1000W (or about 8.2A).

The 7.3 is probably quite similar or the same.

Mike
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

1000W seems like that isn't high enough to me. The only reason I say that is b/c we plugged in our SMB this winter and man did our bill go WAY up. Way more than a 1000W light bulb I would think but that's just me.

I was going to put a meter on it but got distracted....

I can say from experience, it is NOT an insignificant draw.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

You have a 1000W light bulb????? 1000W is alot of power. A typical electric heater for a room is 1500W, and that will make your meter spin.

You don't need to keep the block heater plugged in.

4-5 hours before you are going to use the van is enough. I'd suggest a timer so it can start heating while you are sleeping if you want to get an early start.

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Old 08-06-2012, 10:31 PM   #5
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

Our 6.0 TD is 1000 Watts acordding to FOMOCO manual at our dealership . I inquired so that I could put a properly rated timer in line between Shore Power and the SportsMobile .
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #6
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

Wow Interesting. I guess 1000w is more than I thought. (I assume a chandelier with 10 x 100W light bulbs would be the same thing) We ended up putting it on a dusk to dawn timer and only in the coldest of nights. If all goes as planned the SMB is going to have a nice new, 40x60 insulated indoor bedroom to sleep in and we won't have to worry about it.
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

Thanks for all the replies. I asked because I was wondering how much of a load it would put on the Honda 2K generator. Sounds like it will be no problem.

We don't need to use it at home. We never go below 30 in the winter here, just light frost on a cold morning. In fact when out camping we've never had temps lower than about 15 deg. Should I even bother with the block heater on those mornings?
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:20 PM   #8
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

Viejo,

We have camped in ours down to 10 below (and I know there are others on the forum who are clearly more hardy than us) and never bothered with the block heater.

However, we do have the flat plate exchanger which does an almost admirable job of pre-heating the engine. If its going to be truly cold (below 10 deg) we set it to go off about an hour before we might think about pulling away (which usually coincides with the time we want to start making coffee). I can tell you that I notice a marked difference in the way the engine sounds when we do eventually turn it over. I don't think its just in my head, it just seems to start easier and run nicer right off the bat.

The reason we use the block heater is b/c it gets colder than that sitting in the driveway...

Not sure if that helps.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:57 PM   #9
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

x2 DUKCSUN
I'd like to move the plug to my electrical/water inlet door for an easy way to plug in the block heater while home
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:38 PM   #10
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Re: 7.3 psd block heater current draw?

My vans owners manual says the following:

The block heater system is most effective when outdoor temperatures reach below 0°F (-18°C).

Depending on the type of factory installed equipment, your engine block
heater system may consume anywhere between 400 watts or 1000 watts
of energy per hour. Your factory installed block heater system does not
have a thermostat; however, maximum temperature is attained after
approximately three hours of operation. Block heater operation longer
than 3 hours will not improve system performance and will unnecessarily
use additional electricity.

It is really just to aid the starting of your van. On a diesel because it uses heat as a spark source it will start and turn over better with a block heater, gas engines really just turn over faster so they in turn start better. A side benefit to using a block heater is the engine warms up faster so you have heat sooner. That said if the engine is healthy (good compression in all cylinders) and the batteries are good along with the proper oil it should still start when it is below 0°F. It depends on how long since it was started last. I used to live in upstate NY and sometimes in the winter we would have a week to ten days where it never got up to 0°F. I used to have diesel VW's and while I did plug them in over night at work I could not and sometimes they would sit for 9-11 hours without starting but they would always start right up. But I never drove one in the winter that I didn't know the compression was good because they like most diesels will not start without good compression if left out for any length of time. when its clod I have always seen more problems with the diesel fuel gelling that the engines not starting (as long as they had fuel).

At any rate do not over use your block heater or it will not work when you need it to. The resistance should be 12-15 ohms any less than that and it needs to be replaced.Like any electric heating element they do go bad over time.
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