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Got a text this morning that the truck I drive started on fire, suspecting the block heater but there really is no way of knowing. Fortunately just that one was lost, the other two parked next to it were able to get moved away before the fire got too hot. This sucks, it was a nice truck and I hate to see it go down like this.

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3 minutes ago, 1586 Jeff said:

Trucks and equipment can be fixed or replaced.  As long as you (& others) are alrigt.

I couldn't agree more. Luckily there was a guy there this morning, he happened to catch it early enough to be able to move the other two trucks that were parked on either side of it away. If those two would have gone up it may have taken the building with it where the other trucks were parked.

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That sucks. Next to impossible to find a replacement right now too I’m sure. One of the parts guys at ih lost a lot of equipment in a shed one time due to a block heater cord.  They’re a easily overlooked item that can cause a lot of damage in a short time. Thankfully no fires here so far. Hope the day never comes. 

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They make breakers that are Arc fault.  They supposedly prevent fires on heaters and such like 90 percent of the time.  I don’t know how true this is, but whatever I read about them convinced me to put one in my shop for all the heaters and chargers.

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3 hours ago, poor farmer/logger said:

That sucks. Next to impossible to find a replacement right now too I’m sure

That's exactly what I'm thinking. 

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4 hours ago, poor farmer/logger said:

Next to impossible to find a replacement right now too I’m sure.

It can be replaced, just at a very inflated price!! There are still trucks available, just more money involved!

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2 hours ago, MCC said:

They make breakers that are Arc fault.  They supposedly prevent fires on heaters and such like 90 percent of the time.  I don’t know how true this is, but whatever I read about them convinced me to put one in my shop for all the heaters and chargers.

They are required for pretty nearly all 15 and 20a circuits in residential dwellings. They monitor the sine wave of AC current downstream of the breaker and watch for ripples in it, which would indicate arcing, and the trip if they sense any, they also pick up not only line to neutral ripples, but neutral to ground, so it is quite common to work on a light for instance, shut the switch off, so no power, but if you touch neutral to ground you trip the breaker. One thing I really like is that I almost never ruin a set of cutters on them because the trip so quickly. 
you can also get DF breakers, which are arc fault and ground fault just about the same price and provide additional protection, Ground fault works similarly to arc fault but instead monitors for an imbalance of current indicating current is leaking to ground. 

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SO reading this thread, I think I need to double check my block heater situation. It's in a building detached form the house by a few hundred feet. @vtfireman85, what are your thoughts for maximum protection, while still keeping it plugged in?

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9 hours ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

Got a text this morning that the truck I drive started on fire, suspecting the block heater but there really is no way of knowing. Fortunately just that one was lost, the other two parked next to it were able to get moved away before the fire got too hot. This sucks, it was a nice truck and I hate to see it go down like this.

 

 

well heck mike, hopefully no one hurt and they can find something descent for you to drive quickly - hope you dont get stuck with a klunker 

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2 hours ago, KWRB said:

SO reading this thread, I think I need to double check my block heater situation. It's in a building detached form the house by a few hundred feet. @vtfireman85, what are your thoughts for maximum protection, while still keeping it plugged in?

DF breakers are 60-100 bucks, nothing wrong with extra protection if it is something you worry about. 

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8 hours ago, searcyfarms said:

well heck mike, hopefully no one hurt and they can find something descent for you to drive quickly - hope you dont get stuck with a klunker 

They still have the old truck that I drove when I started there, its been serving as back up. It doesn't haul nearly as much as this one did but is fully capable of working for the rest of the season. 

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9 hours ago, KWRB said:

SO reading this thread, I think I need to double check my block heater situation. It's in a building detached form the house by a few hundred feet. @vtfireman85, what are your thoughts for maximum protection, while still keeping it plugged in?

The issue I found with arc fault breakers is that when your  plugging something that has a continuous draw, the act of plugging it in will trip it. Tried one right after my skidsteer burned. A friend who is an electrician had pulled a bunch out and offered one 20a to me. Didn’t work. A GFI will trip before a fire I believe, I always plug heaters into a gfi or now I have a good gfi whip that I plug into the cord. 

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5 hours ago, NY1468 said:

The issue I found with arc fault breakers is that when your  plugging something that has a continuous draw, the act of plugging it in will trip it. Tried one right after my skidsteer burned. A friend who is an electrician had pulled a bunch out and offered one 20a to me. Didn’t work. A GFI will trip before a fire I believe, I always plug heaters into a gfi or now I have a good gfi whip that I plug into the cord. 

I have an Arc fault and it doesn't do this for me.  My typical load is plugging in my truck's block heater which I think is 750 watts.

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4 hours ago, MCC said:

I have an Arc fault and it doesn't do this for me.  My typical load is plugging in my truck's block heater which I think is 750 watts.

I’m glad it works for you. Tried it and it didn’t for me. It was 10 years ago so maybe they are better. The guy I got it from was having problems with them in a house due to tripping so maybe they weren’t any good. 🤷🏼‍♂️

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5 hours ago, NY1468 said:

I’m glad it works for you. Tried it and it didn’t for me. It was 10 years ago so maybe they are better. The guy I got it from was having problems with them in a house due to tripping so maybe they weren’t any good. 🤷🏼‍♂️

I found out several years ago that arc faults won't work right if two different circuits are sharing a neutral (at least that's what an electrician friend told me, when I asked him why a friend's arc fault kept nuisance tripping on a Christmas light circuit, in a really old house with no ground wires).

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