Tuesday, September 3, 2013

An Electric Heater Modification

I have this ancient, but very nifty, radiant electric space heater.

It works fine, and it looks likely to last forever, but it has a little oddity that I'd like to rid it of -- it can't be turned off.

The thermostat has its range, from low to high, but there's no 'off'.

The only way to be sure the heater is off is to unplug it. I find that inconvenient, and inconvenience irritates me something fierce.

The solution is pretty obvious -- install an on/off switch. Serendipitously, a couple of ideal switches just turned up the other day, when my son brought me another raft of stuff from my deceased father's garage.

I'll return to this soon, and document the switch installation.

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Switch Installation -- TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2013

The electrical compartment at the lower rear of the heater is held on with six screws, then two more screws give access to the rear of the thermostat. I disconnected the heater's resistance element so I could more easily manipulate the compartment. Here's a view of the thermostat and the area where I'll be installing the switch.

The switch's shank wants a 15/32" diameter hole; I'll locate it as far down from the top of the compartment as the thermostat is up from the bottom (1 1/4").

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Here's the switch installed.

It's a double pole switch, so I shorted the poles together to make it a single pole switch with redundant contacts. I had to tape it completely because of its proximity to airflow openings in the sheet metal. All that's left now is to reassemble the electrical compartment, and try the heater out.

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All done.

And it works as I intended it to.

Imagine that -- a heater that you can simply switch off when you don't want it on.

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