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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm looking at installing an electric heater in a block concrete stairwell that currently has no heat. The stairwell is three stories high. My concern is that if we install the electric heater it may run for long periods of time or even continuously through out the winter. Would this be a potential issue or concern I should consider? Do to limitations of the existing electrical service, we are limited to installing one electric heater at this time. The heater will be installed on the lowest level above or near the entry way door.

Or should the heater be installed halfway up the stairwell?


Heater Specs.

Berko FRA Series - Commercial Fan-Forced Wall Heaters

240 volt, 2000 watt
 

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I'm looking at installing an electric heater in a block concrete stairwell that currently has no heat. The stairwell is three stories high. My concern is that if we install the electric heater it may run for long periods of time or even continuously through out the winter. Would this be a potential issue or concern I should consider? Do to limitations of the existing electrical service, we are limited to installing one electric heater at this time. The heater will be installed on the lowest level above or near the entry way door.

Heater Specs.

Berko FRA Series - Commercial Fan-Forced Wall Heaters

240 volt, 2000 watt
I think as long as you size your wire and breaker for continuous duty (125%) then it should be fine.
 

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I'm looking at installing an electric heater in a block concrete stairwell that currently has no heat. The stairwell is three stories high. My concern is that if we install the electric heater it may run for long periods of time or even continuously through out the winter. Would this be a potential issue or concern I should consider? Do to limitations of the existing electrical service, we are limited to installing one electric heater at this time. The heater will be installed on the lowest level above or near the entry way door.

Or should the heater be installed halfway up the stairwell?


Heater Specs.

Berko FRA Series - Commercial Fan-Forced Wall Heaters

240 volt, 2000 watt
If you can only install one, put it at the bottom. I see nothing that would prevent you from running it continuously.
 

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Wow, w/out a fan and some duct (to blow air from the top to the bottom), won't it be really warm/hot at the top and rather chilly at the bottom?
 

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Wow, w/out a fan and some duct (to blow air from the top to the bottom), won't it be really warm/hot at the top and rather chilly at the bottom?
Just a guess but I bet it is cold at the bottom due to an exterior door at the bottom floor.

If that is the case a heater on that level should work.
 

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Just a guess but I bet it is cold at the bottom due to an exterior door at the bottom floor.

If that is the case a heater on that level should work.
Good point, but won't there still be a big temperature difference between the top and bottom?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a guess but I bet it is cold at the bottom due to an exterior door at the bottom floor.

If that is the case a heater on that level should work.
That's part of the problem. The concrete block stairwell was added in the 80's. Each floor has a fire rated door that must remain closed at all times, the block probably was never filled with insulation and the stairwell was never heated.
 

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Good point, but won't there still be a big temperature difference between the top and bottom?
No doubt, but that pretty much applies to most stairways.

I don't usually see ducted heat to stairways due to fire codes / smoke concerns.

I usually see fan forced unit heaters at one or more landings. Of course
I am talking hotels / motels / apartments / commercial / retail etc. not really single family dwellings. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No doubt, but that pretty much applies to most stairways.

I don't usually see ducted heat to stairways due to fire codes / smoke concerns.

I usually see fan forced unit heaters at one or more landings. Of course
I am talking hotels / motels / apartments / commercial / retail etc. not really single family dwellings. :)
This isn't a single family dwelling more like a sorority house.:)
 

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That's part of the problem. The concrete block stairwell was added in the 80's. Each floor has a fire rated door that must remain closed at all times, the block probably was never filled with insulation and the stairwell was never heated.
If the building has a fire alarm you might be able to pin the doors open with fire alarm released holders. I know, that is way off what you are doing, just throwing it out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
From what I understand, I have these options:

Commercial grade wall mount unit heater with built in t-stat.
Installation by main entry door
Check to see if door closures could be integrated with existing fire alarm system.

Thanks everyone for the help.:)
 
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