Diesel block heater

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Tom

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I'm checking stuff out in preparation for leaving cold country. My coach owner's manual suggests leaving the block heater on overnight. Is there any potential issue with leaving it on longer?
 

Ned

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None that I know of.  On cool (35-40F) mornings, we turn it on a couple hours before starting.  If it's much colder (we try to avoid those times :) ) we would turn it on the night before.  I think it's got a thermostat to prevent any overheating so there should be no problem leaving it on for a longer period of time.
 

UK-RV

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I hope there's no problem Tom

As ours has been turned on since last February 24/7

We did have a leak and the block heater was replaced by Freightliner in Nova Scotia - I asked them if it could be left on and was told Yes.

Paul
 

Ernie Ekberg

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I have gone for days and have left it on. Sometimes we forget and when I walk behind the coach it feels warm. Hasn't hurt a thing. Ernie, parked in a wanderlodge, Livingston, Mt
 

Tom

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Thanks for the responses. I've had it plugged in since this morning and now have no concern about leaving it plugged in overnight.

Didn't realize it might be on a thermostat.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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You've got several thousand pounds of iron back there, Tom. Not to mention a lot of water and a radiator. It would take one heck of a heater to overheat it and the branch circuit that powers it is only 15A or maybe 20A.
 

Tom

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You're right Gary, although I could hear the coolant gurgling after only an hour.
 

John From Detroit

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I have installed after market block heaters on Diesel engines,  The one I installed heated the engine up to above normal operating temps for the coolant, however it was unable to boil the coolant as the T-Stat on the engine opened and hot coolant then flowed under the influence of gravety out of the engine and into the raditor which held cool coolant, (Cooler = denser) thus keeping it below critical.  The engine cooled quickly to normal operating temp once started.

NOTE: this is really a good thing.  No damage to the engine at all, it really likes to be started hot.  Worked great,  NOTE: normal operating on that engine was about 180-190, the block heater would get the coolant temp up to around 210 in the upper engine  The kind I had heated coolant, not oil  I do not like oil heaters.
 

Bob Zambenini

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Tom said:
I'm checking stuff out in preparation for leaving cold country. My coach owner's manual suggests leaving the block heater on overnight. Is there any potential issue with leaving it on longer?

I have forgot and left mine on for an extended period as the switch is above my TV cabinet and not easy to see on or off as its a rocker switch.

My rule is generally if the overnight temp is going below 50 I turn it on when I go to bed. Not really necessary but it sure makes that big engine easy to start on first turnover.

If I were going to cold country I would leave it on until I left the 'cold country'.

Bob
 

Tom

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Thanks Bob, I'll do that next time we're in cold country. I fired up the engine yesterday and you're sure right about easy starting.
 

Ernie Ekberg

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It is WAY too early to be here in Montana. Son in law, who works with my son, had back surgery and will be out for 6 weeks. I get to work with my son. Ernie- in the snow- way too early, Livingston, Mt
 

Ron

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Ernie you realize you have used two bad 4 letter words WORK and SNOW in the same post.  Guess you will appreciate when the weather starts to warm up.
 

John From Detroit

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Ron, I'm sure you know what Snow is,, ,It's that stuff atop the big mountains.  My computer tells me they are getting dumped upon in Detroit this week.. Man do I miss all that snow... I miss it with every shovel.. But then I miss the shovel too (NOT ONE BIT)

Sure is fun reading about it though :)
 

Ron

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Yep I know what snow is.  It is something to avoid if possible.  We had over .5 inches of rain today but one doesn't have to shovel snow.
 

Smoky

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I have never turned on our block heater.  The engine has started instantly in low 30 degree weather.  Is this bad for the engine?  Should I be turning on the block heater?  If so, at what temperature does one turn on the block heater?
 

Tom

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Smoky,

We've been in single digit temperatures, so there was no question the block heater had to be plugged in. My Monaco owners manual says "if the engine has normalized to a temperature below 15F it will be necessary to pre-heat the engine before starting." Suggest you check your coach &/or engine manual for the correct procedure for your situation.
 

Ernie Ekberg

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Smoky- if your coach hasn't been moved in a while and the weather is cold, it would seem that turning on your block heater would help in warming up the oil so you get that lubricity going sooner. If I tried to start my coach, without turning on the block heater, the smoke that comes out would have allerted the fire department. Ernie- in cold Montana, sitting in my Wanderlodge
 
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