Plugging in block heater on '02 7.3 - is there a time limit ? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 02:55 PM Thread Starter
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Plugging in block heater on '02 7.3 - is there a time limit ?

I have an '02 F350 with 7.3 and approx. 104k miles. Unfortunately, I don't get to drive the truck daily - maybe 2-3 times per week. I'm always uncertain what nights I should plug it in because I don't know if it's going to be used the following day. Living in Pennsylvania in the winter months it can get pretty chilly at night in the winter. My truck runs / starts so much better and smoother after the block heater has been plugged in once the temps get below freezing. My question is - are there recommendations for how long you should / can leave a truck plugged in with the block heater ?
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 04:15 PM
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As far as I know you can leave it plugged in all the time it would only make your power bill get higher.
But if you leave it plugged in all the time it could also shorten the life of the heater.
What I do is if I am going to drive mine I plug it in 1-2 hours prior to starting it.
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 04:20 PM
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Get a timer to plug it in to if your worried. Set it so it comes on a couple hours before you would be leaving in the morning.
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post #4 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 05:06 PM
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It cant really hurt anything other than the power bill. I dont know for sure how much power it really pulls. I havnt seen much of a difference in my bill and I plug it in whenever it drops below 40. I volunteer at an ambulance and cant wait for the truck to warm up before I take off for the call.

Which reminds me, our ambulance 97 powerstroke and it stays plugged in all winter long. 24/7. And it has never been worn out or replaced.

Food for thought.

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Last edited by Schnot; 12-27-2011 at 05:27 PM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 05:10 PM
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Use a timer. Ford recommends the truck being plugged in for 3hrs.
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post #6 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinaboy02powerstroke View Post
Use a timer. Ford recommends the truck being plugged in for 3hrs.
Any special timmer?
I know they claim the block heater is to be arround 1000 watts if I rember right.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-27-2011, 09:33 PM
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You can leave the truck plugged in for as long as you want, I've left mine plugged in for days. The 3 hours is to warm it up. The heaters draw about 900-1000 watts.

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post #8 of 17 Old 12-28-2011, 04:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mgassel View Post
Any special timmer?
I know they claim the block heater is to be arround 1000 watts if I rember right.
Thats about 8 amps. I wouldn't skimp on it. I'd pick one up that is rated for 15-20 amps. Should be around $20-$30
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-28-2011, 04:42 AM
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I've been curious to know what it will cost now that I'm plugging in. Hasn't even been a month yet. What's it usually cost a month to plug in every night ?
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post #10 of 17 Old 12-28-2011, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbie6.0 View Post
I have an '02 F350 with 7.3 and approx. 104k miles. Unfortunately, I don't get to drive the truck daily - maybe 2-3 times per week. I'm always uncertain what nights I should plug it in because I don't know if it's going to be used the following day. Living in Pennsylvania in the winter months it can get pretty chilly at night in the winter. My truck runs / starts so much better and smoother after the block heater has been plugged in once the temps get below freezing. My question is - are there recommendations for how long you should / can leave a truck plugged in with the block heater ?
I have the exact same situation that you have. I don't drive my 7.3l everyday, I never know when the next time will be. Here in NM, winters are always below freezing and sometimes sub zero. I made a rule for myself, if its 20 degrees I plug it in over night, even if I don't drive the next day...it doesn't hurt anything except of course your electric bill. The block heater is 1,000 watts.


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