Author Topic: School me on block heaters please  (Read 3394 times)

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Offline Pinkertonk

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School me on block heaters please
« on: August 15, 2015, 03:21:11 PM »
Working through the punch list on my 'new' pusher with a CAT 3126.  A few of the 120 V outlets were dead and I traced it to a ground fault outlet that was tripping.  So I started disconnecting wires and checking outlets and finally determined that the block heater caused the ground fault to trip.  With the heater unplugged the circuit is fine.  As soon as you plug in the block heater, "CLICK" and the ground fault trips.

Checking the male plug of the heater with a meter shows open between the two blades and a dead short between one blade and neutral/ground.

So two questions:

1-  Is this repairable?

2-  I live in North Alabama and have no plans to travel to the frozen north in the winter.  I doubt I ever try and start the coach when it's below 20 degrees which is really rare here anyway.  Do I need to care if the block heater works or not.

Actually another question:  Are all posts moderated here or after a certain number of posts does someone get approved without moderation?
Kerry Pinkerton
2003 Fleetwood Discovery 3126 Cat
77 GMC motorhome
North Alabama

Offline Brett Wolfe

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Re: School me on block heaters please
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2015, 04:27:38 PM »

The only "repair" for a shorted block heater is to replace it.  So, a reasonable thing to do right now if in cold temperatures. A reasonable thing to do the next time you change coolant for anyone experiencing below 40 degrees F starting temperatures.

Offline David.e.atherton

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Re: School me on block heaters please
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2015, 07:37:33 PM »
Good point Brett, except leave it removed,  plug the hole and use a good sealant because it will
leak coolant at location. If everything is good service and up and running, starting at -20 below
Is a daily event without being plugged in. That is what that intake heater is for,extra cold just make
sure you have a trickle battery charger on battery's so engine will spin. In extreme cold you need to cycle the key on till light go off on intake heater several times than start. Before retiring mechanic's
had to start equipment very early in the am high up in the Rocky Mts of CO. Last before cutting
short, A block heater what you just mentioned would is $ 10.00 per night to operate and keep
Engine warm. Again I retired from the cold country where we worked outside all winter and cannot
say anything bad about the way a cat engine starts when it's below zero
Dave Atherton Retired Cat Mechanic