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huntnfish

Plugging in pickup

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I have a 2013 F150 that sits most of the week because I have a company provided car. I would like to keep it plugged in most of the time not because I'm worried about it not starting but because it warms up much quicker. Does anyone have any idea about whether or not keeping the block heater plugged in all the time would damage anything?

Edited by huntnfish

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I would not plug it in 24/7 no need. an hour before you need it should be enough, not even cold enough to think about plugging something in when it is above zero out. you just need  a good battery. 2013 it is not even an old truck and the block heater is heating the engine which is not what warms the truck up when you start it anyway

Edited by Bobby Bass

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14 hours ago, Bobby Bass said:

I would not plug it in 24/7 no need. an hour before you need it should be enough, not even cold enough to think about plugging something in when it is above zero out. you just need  a good battery. 2013 it is not even an old truck and the block heater is heating the engine which is not what warms the truck up when you start it anyway

I understand that the block heater doesn't warm the truck. It does warm the block which in turn heats the antifreeze which circulates through the heater core. The quicker the antifreeze heats up, the quicker the heater in the cab is blowing warm air. I am simply trying to cut down on idling time in the driveway. During the week the only time it's driven is quick trips when the wife is not home. Her vehicle is what's driven most of the time. 

My my main concern was leaving the pickup plugged in all the time and causing some other sort of issues with the engine. 

Edited by huntnfish

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It contributes to global climate change due to electricity from coal usage.  Other than that I can't think of anything that keeping the engine warm would harm.   On the other hand, it is sort of wasteful.   Put it on a timer or go plug it in when you will be using it.   That's my take on it.

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I'm not saying I'd plug it in on November 1st and leave it for the year. I'm mainly talking when we start getting into the lows around zero or below. The main reason I asked this was because my father in law stated that it wasn't a good idea to be leaving it plugged in and that the block heaters weren't designed to be left plugged in for more than overnight. It was much nicer last year with the quicker warm ups to load the kids up and take off. 

 

As as far as the global climate change, would it be better to have it plugged in and let it warm up for a couple minutes or hit the auto start and let it idle for 20 minutes? 

If I ever get caught up on the honey do's and get my stall in the garage cleaned out I can just park inside. May have to push the junk to the wife's side. That may move the cleaning up on the list. 

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I’ve never measured how many Amps my block heater draws but resistance type heaters like that usually draw heavy.  Maybe you notice it on your electric bill and maybe not.  That would be my biggest concern if I was starting it most every day and circulating the fluid.

The only other thing is using up the serviceable life of the heater.  Heat/cool cycles the hardest on the heater but they only burn so many hours.  Granted it should be LOTS of hours.  Putting in a new one wouldn’t be fun if you do that stuff on your own.

IDK, it’s electricity, copper and coolant.  Pretty basic stuff.  If your owners manual doesn’t mention any guidelines I’d go for it.

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The climate change stuff was a joke...  Anyway I would think it mostly depends on how predictable your usage of the truck is.   If it were mine, and I knew I wasn't going to be using it for a couple days, I would unplug it.  Just seems like a waste for it to sit there burning money day after day for no good reason.    

What's the worst that could happen?  You have to drive a cold car for 10 minutes when your usage is unexpected?    

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   Used to be you had to plug in your car or you weren't going anywhere. 

Frost plug heaters vary from 400-1000 watts or think of 4-10 100 watt incandescent light bulbs left on 24-7.  I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.    Its money wasted and using resources we should be cutting back on.

As far as damaging anything, you'll burn out the heater sooner and are a pain to replace.   Can't prove it but I think your creating an environment internally and externally for condensation to the engine.  There is a benefit to the engine having been warmed but frost plug heaters really aren't intended to be plugged in 24-7, a couple hours is all you need.   Its not likely your going to wake up 2 hours early and go outside to plug in the car when its -30.   If you had a set schedule you could put the heater on a timer to turn on an hour or two and use the remote start 5 minutes before you leave.   Otherwise plug it in at night before you go to bed.

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How about putting it on some sort of timer so that it only goes on an hour or so before you normally use it and shuts off after a couple of hours.  Or maybe there is some sort of gizmo that would allow you to turn it on with your phone.  Might be a business opportunity to develop and app for that.

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3 minutes ago, Tom7227 said:

How about putting it on some sort of timer so that it only goes on an hour or so before you normally use it and shuts off after a couple of hours.  Or maybe there is some sort of gizmo that would allow you to turn it on with your phone.  Might be a business opportunity to develop and app for that.

they have app controlled outlets also.  20 bucks and your phone turns it on and off.  Those can also be set to a timer if needed.

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8 minutes ago, Moon Lake Refuge said:

they have app controlled outlets also.  20 bucks and your phone turns it on and off.  Those can also be set to a timer if needed.

I just checked Amazon and you can get one for $16.  Another place indicated that a block heater takes up to 1500 watts and the one I checked on Amazon is good for up to 1800 watts.  Looks like it would work as far as I can tell.   So much for my business opportunity.

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7 minutes ago, Tom7227 said:

I just checked Amazon and you can get one for $16.  Another place indicated that a block heater takes up to 1500 watts and the one I checked on Amazon is good for up to 1800 watts.  Looks like it would work as far as I can tell.   So much for my business opportunity.

Win some and lose some.  I wanted my million dollar idea 'Uber shovels' to take off until I found out someone is doing something similar in other states.

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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. 

Having it plugged in isn't a necessity so I'll probably just skip plugging it in all together. I didn't realize that the block heater were that high of wattage so it'll be a much larger draw than I anticipated. 

 

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C'mon, we've spent a lot of time coming up with solutions.  Pull out the credit card, buy some of the stuff, and tell us how it works.

 

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5 hours ago, huntnfish said:

Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. 

Having it plugged in isn't a necessity so I'll probably just skip plugging it in all together. I didn't realize that the block heater were that high of wattage so it'll be a much larger draw than I anticipated. 

 

I'd good move...

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1 hour ago, Tom7227 said:

C'mon, we've spent a lot of time coming up with solutions.  Pull out the credit card, buy some of the stuff, and tell us how it works.

 

Ha! I am looking into the app controller outlets but not for plugging in the pickup. I just built a deck on the back of the house and I'm going to pull wire and add some extra outlets out there for lights. They'll be much easier than putting in more switches to control them. 

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12 hours ago, huntnfish said:

Ha! I am looking into the app controller outlets but not for plugging in the pickup. I just built a deck on the back of the house and I'm going to pull wire and add some extra outlets out there for lights. They'll be much easier than putting in more switches to control them. 

If you want it for lights look into a photocel timer.  Mine turn on at sundown for 2,4, or 8 hours.

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You could buy a scalable ford remote start system. Just press a button 15 min prior to and viola, warm truck.

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