Still safe to run portable heaters? - Electrician Talk - Professional Electrical Contractors Forum
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:32 AM   #1
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Default Still safe to run portable heaters?

Hi everyone I hope I'm posting in the right place.

This is some what of a long story so please hang in there with me

So about 3weeks ago our heater went out in our home

So we were using the portable space heaters for our rooms
so my daughter plugs her space heater in and it flips a breaker
So we flipped the breaker back and it never flipped throughout the night again

So the next day we had two heaters running in the living room we had them on about 2 hours, then my daughter plugged her heater in in her room and the breaker flips again (same breaker) so we went to flip the breaker back up but everytime we did it went right back down so in the midst of flipping the breaker we were hearing a buzzing sound coming from the attic so as I glanced up I see lighting through the attic entrance door and buy this time were smelling something burning.

So we immediately called the fire department out of fear that our attic is possibly on fire long story short it wasn't thank goodness!

So the next day an electrician comes out and finds that a wire had been completely burned through and separated as well as another wire showing some burn marks (the lighting that I seen through the attic and buzzing he said was the sound of the bare wires touching and the smell, the insulation getting burned) OK so of course we had all the wires replaced. And that was that.

BUT what's still on my mind is was it the heaters that caused the wires to burn?
Was it possibly a rodent or something chewed through the wire (the one that got separated) and that made the wire weak? what was causing the other wires to start to show burn marks?

It is a older home, we've only been here about 2 years, we did have something getting into the attic as we would hear scurrying at night so we had the whole outside of the home sealed and have never heard anything since.

So my main question is it safe to still use a space heater every now and then?

I indeed did ask the electrician and he said he recommends to use the heater on the lowest setting which is 750watts

(Also btw we all had our heaters on the highest settings which were 1500w)

I honestly didn't think to ask the other questions I'm asking now I was actually quite sick to my stomach and couldn't really focus when he told me that if it wasn't for the flame ******ant insulation that the situation could've been alot worse.

So I do apologize for the long post anymore questions or if there's something I left out please ask and I will answer.

Thank you all.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:40 AM   #2

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You really need to talk to your electrician. I doubt the wiring broke because of the heater and if I had to guess- squirrels got into it. We have worked on one house 3 times because of squirrels in the attic chewing thru the cables.

You really would be better off getting your main heater working but at the lowest setting it may work fine. If the breaker trips then don't keep resetting it.

I am sorry but I need to close this thread as this site is for professionals in the trade
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