Heater -- Working on bike over the winter | GTAMotorcycle.com

Heater -- Working on bike over the winter

lakshan

Member
Hey guys,

I'll be periodically working on stuff in my garage over the winter. I want to get a space heater so I don't freeze to death. I have a little ceramic space heater that I've been using on some colder days but it only goes up to 5000 BTU, not nearly enough output. My garage is just a single so around 9000 BTU is fine. I found some propane heaters that would do the trick : Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater Red-Black: Amazon.ca: Home & Kitchen.

Question is, is it safe to use this kind of heater while working on the bike? What if I get some fuel leaking or something and there's a bit of fumes? Of course if that happens first thing I'd do is turn off the heater and ventilate the area, but is it still unsafe ?

If so, any suggestions on the type of heater? Should I just get a more powerful ceramic heater?
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
If you do a little more looking at "indoor" propane heaters, you will find most arent really indoor safe. They include words like well-ventilated in the details. Burning fuel also releases lot of water that I wouldnt want in the garage. I wanted to put gas infrared tube heaters (like hockey rinks have) but I couldnt find any that would be legal in canada without external venting. I didnt want vents.

I put in a wall-mount 6000w electric heater. As it is only running when I am out there, the operating cost per year is pretty low (~$1/hr). I hard wired it to a 40A breaker with some 8/3 I had leftover. A 30A with 10/2 would work (well almost, a few hundred watts over but the cord is short and in free air so it wouldnt be a safety issue).

Dont let the marketing around electric heaters sway you. They are all 100% efficient. All of the power that goes into them is released as heat. More watts heats the garage up faster or allows a higher max temp. Some people like the infrared as you get instant heat, but I dislike that they only have a small warm zone (and are normally ~1500 watts).
 

Wingboy

Well-known member
Moderator
Site Supporter
I use one of these to heat my milkhouse/shop all winter. Commonly called a construction heater. Heats an area quickly and no other fuels to bother with. Needs a 220 outlet.
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+1 for the construction heater.Mine is 15 years old and heats my insulated garage up to t-shirt temp in about 30 min when it's -15 out. I have a radiant heater from PA mounted to the ceiling above my work area that helps when it's really cold.
 

J_F

gringo diablo
Site Supporter
a fuel fired heater in a garage is risky, a few concerns
the obvious concern with other flammables in the space
if the garage is well sealed up it will end up being an oxygen deprived space
and if something did go wrong, you may have an insurance problem

biggest gain I found when turning a residential garage into a usable cold weather space
was draft elimination
the doors will be your #1 source of heat loss

suggest you look for a temp solution like a roll down vapour barrier across the door
sealed up the best you can get it
a cold draft will blow away whatever heat you are generating very quickly
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Hey guys,

I'll be periodically working on stuff in my garage over the winter. I want to get a space heater so I don't freeze to death. I have a little ceramic space heater that I've been using on some colder days but it only goes up to 5000 BTU, not nearly enough output. My garage is just a single so around 9000 BTU is fine. I found some propane heaters that would do the trick : Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater Red-Black: Amazon.ca: Home & Kitchen.

Question is, is it safe to use this kind of heater while working on the bike? What if I get some fuel leaking or something and there's a bit of fumes? Of course if that happens first thing I'd do is turn off the heater and ventilate the area, but is it still unsafe ?

If so, any suggestions on the type of heater? Should I just get a more powerful ceramic heater?
So the propane heater you were considering uses 1 lb propane bottles. That is probably the only fuel source more expensive than electricity. At 9000 btu, people are saying about 3 hours a bottle. At ~$9/bottle, you are at $0.33/1000 BTU. Electricity @ $0.15/ kWh is $0.04/1000 BTU. Damn, it's an order of magnitude more for small propane bottles.

Also, in the description "*WE ARE NOT ABLE TO SELL THIS PRODUCT TO CANADA AND MASSACHUSETTS* ". Yeah, I know it is on amazon.ca. Obviously there is something fishy going on.

EDIT:
From the manual:
"This heater requires a vent area of 9 square inches (example 3” x 3” opening) minimum for adequate ventilation during operation. Do not use other fuel burning appliances inside "
So you can operate it inside, but you need a vent. I wonder if that gets you a net heat loss or gain. I suspect loss.
 

lakshan

Member
So the propane heater you were considering uses 1 lb propane bottles. That is probably the only fuel source more expensive than electricity. At 9000 btu, people are saying about 3 hours a bottle. At ~$9/bottle, you are at $0.33/1000 BTU. Electricity @ $0.15/ kWh is $0.04/1000 BTU. Damn, it's an order of magnitude more for small propane bottles.

Also, in the description "*WE ARE NOT ABLE TO SELL THIS PRODUCT TO CANADA AND MASSACHUSETTS* ". Yeah, I know it is on amazon.ca. Obviously there is something fishy going on.
Good call on the pricing, and thanks for the above answers. I was fearing the dangers of using propane and that cost factor makes it another reason to stick to electric. I'm going to look into those construction heaters, looks like that's the best bet overall.
 

r3r3r3

Well-known member
+1 on sealing and insulating if possible. Garage I use shares 1 wall with a heated space and after sealing it up its enough to keep it above zero year round. one 1500W space heater is enough to heat it up in 30-40 mins.
 

Michael0124

Well-known member
I use this one, single car garage :


It throws off great heat with no fumes or fuel leak risks, unbearable heat if too close to it actually. If the garage is sealed well one should be enough, if not two on either side as mentioned above. everyone's tolerance to cold is different but I was comfortable with just a hoodie with this heater.
 

Trials

Well-known member
Propane heat also outputs a tremendous amount of water,
is going to become an ice cave every time you turn the heat off.
 

Mad Mike

Well-known member
I use one of these to heat my milkhouse/shop all winter. Commonly called a construction heater. Heats an area quickly and no other fuels to bother with. Needs a 220 outlet.
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I ditto this. I have one hanging from the ceiling in my garage, warms up 900sq' in about 1 hr from -10c. You do need 220v 15A circuit. I also installed a SONOFF 16A WIFI switch with temp sensor, that way I can see the garage temp on my phone and turn the heater on/off from anywhere.

I also have an exhaust hose and port. I run my car for 15 minutes inside the garage, shut it off and the garage is warm.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I ditto this. I have one hanging from the ceiling in my garage, warms up 900sq' in about 1 hr from -10c. You do need 220v 15A circuit. I also installed a SONOFF 16A WIFI switch with temp sensor, that way I can see the garage temp on my phone and turn the heater on/off from anywhere.

I also have an exhaust hose and port. I run my car for 15 minutes inside the garage, shut it off and the garage is warm.
220v 15A? Are you sure. No way the typical construction heater runs off that. The 4800 watt heater pulls 20 amps so you need at least a 25 amp circuit so you install a 30 or more.
 

nobbie48

Well-known member
Site Supporter
OP doesn't say what kind of single car garage. Mine is a single but attached with a bedroom over. Therefore it has minimal outside wall area and picks up heat from the house interior walls. I strapped the outside walls with 2x2s and insulated the outside walls with 2 FG, vapour barrier and plywood. A 240 volt electric heater is overkill but I use one anyway. The door is insulated and pretty draft tight. All kinds of insulation does no good if there's a massive gap around the doors and windows. A 1/16" gap around a garage door is like a 4" diameter hole in the wall.

A friend worked on my bike in his parent's garage using the clothes drier exhaust to heat the place. Until his dad found out. I know about the humidity but he was using it dry.

GreyGhost is right about the 100% efficiency factor. The difference between the different types of heaters is comfort level and distribution. Infrared IMO is only good for very drafty situations in that it heats the objects nearby. The nearer the hotter.
 
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Roadghost

Well-known member
I use a 220v construction heater to heat a double garage. Just turn it on and an hour later it's toasty warm in -20C weather. Spend the dough, get an electrician to install a 220v plug. The heater is only about $70. Mine is 20 years old.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I use a 220v construction heater to heat a double garage. Just turn it on and an hour later it's toasty warm in -20C weather. Spend the dough, get an electrician to install a 220v plug. The heater is only about $70. Mine is 20 years old.
What receptacle are people installing for these? If I was springing for a sparky, I would want a 40a plug that could also be used for a welder, but the construction heaters probably dont fit a 40 amp plug. Replacing the plug on the heater adds to the cost (and may be illegal and unsafe as the wiring on the heater wont be properly protected).
 

Bobo

Well-known member
What receptacle are people installing for these? If I was springing for a sparky, I would want a 40a plug that could also be used for a welder, but the construction heaters probably dont fit a 40 amp plug. Replacing the plug on the heater adds to the cost (and may be illegal and unsafe as the wiring on the heater wont be properly protected).
A typical 4800W construction heater requires a 30 amp 240 volt receptacle. I use one to heat my double garage. I find it works much better if it’s on the floor rather than hung from the ceiling.
 

boyoboy

Well-known member
If you do a little more looking at "indoor" propane heaters, you will find most arent really indoor safe. They include words like well-ventilated in the details. Burning fuel also releases lot of water that I wouldnt want in the garage. I wanted to put gas infrared tube heaters (like hockey rinks have) but I couldnt find any that would be legal in canada without external venting. I didnt want vents.

I put in a wall-mount 6000w electric heater. As it is only running when I am out there, the operating cost per year is pretty low (~$1/hr). I hard wired it to a 40A breaker with some 8/3 I had leftover. A 30A with 10/2 would work (well almost, a few hundred watts over but the cord is short and in free air so it wouldnt be a safety issue).

Dont let the marketing around electric heaters sway you. They are all 100% efficient. All of the power that goes into them is released as heat. More watts heats the garage up faster or allows a higher max temp. Some people like the infrared as you get instant heat, but I dislike that they only have a small warm zone (and are normally ~1500 watts).
Use a 40A breaker with 8/3 wiring. Same as an electric range.
 
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boyoboy

Well-known member
Use a 40A breaker with 8/3 wiring. Same as an electric range. This is what (some) construction heaters require. (10/3 is suitable for a 30 amp breaker, not 40A).

I say this because the construction heater I rented plugged into the stove plug 40A.
A 30A plug is used on electric clothes dryers with 10/3 wiring.
Im not sure how many watts my rental heater was. but it had a 40A plug, not a 30A. perhaps it was higher watts than others.
 
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