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post #1 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 04:42 PM Thread Starter
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heating the shop

my shop is in the basement. it's a walk-out basement, poured concrete foundation walls.
chilly stuff, that . . . this AM we had 9'F

as designed/installed the basement is unfinished and unheated. I did cut a register into the main trunk to spill some heat into the shop but wintertime it's in the low 50's.

so I'm thinking to plunk in a propane indoor approved 'spot' heater. by various on-line tools sounds like I'll need about 15,000 BTU/hr to jack up the space by 10 degrees.

any thoughts / experiences / recommendations?
one concern I have is humidity issues - one combustion 'product' is water.....
winter is typically dry, so a shot of humidity doesn't sound like a bad idea unless it starts mucking up the wood stock.
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post #2 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 05:08 PM
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My basement shop is unheated (as is the rest of the space down there). It was -1 F this morning by the outdoor weather sensor and it was 64 F in the shop with no heat outlets in any of the basement or shop. My basement is sheathed outside with 2" foam board and the above grade parts of the walls are covered by 4" fiberglass batts on the inside. I'm thinking that's why the basement is so consistent (64 winter/68 summer) in temperature. I use a small electric heater (up to 1500 watts) to boost the shop (12'x22') up above 70 when I finish stuff.

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post #3 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 05:34 PM
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Would something like this work:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...K3ADINREFMSYOQ

It's "ambient" heat as opposed to "radiant" - only 400 watts per unit and you can get a thermostat for it

Just a thought
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post #4 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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if the 15,000 BTU/hr need is even remotely correct, the 400 watts would produce roughly 1,400 BTU/hr - so that's ten times $100 each.... nah, I'll pass!
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post #5 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 06:27 PM
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I doubt if the humidity would cause a problem as you say the humidity level is pretty low in the winter but it could also cause the tools to sweat and that will cause rust

If you have the power available you would be better off getting 4-5 cheap wallyworld "milk house" heaters they run about $20-30 each. just make sure each one is on a separate circuit.

If your electric is $.13 per KW $2 gallon LP is a neck and neck price, and the last time I saw the 20 lb tanks it penciled out to over $4 per gallon. 4 1500 watt heaters will put out 25860 BTU
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post #6 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 07:12 PM
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Have you looked at improving the insulation and airtightness of your basement? Styrofoam panels with plywood on top applied to the concrete can make a big difference. Be sure of the wood part for insulation.
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post #7 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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a build out for insulation / etc is a bit more than I want to tackle. we have a "first floor master" so the basement is probably on the order of 2,000 sqft.

200 amp service is there, the breaker box is in the basement, so I could indeed go electric. gas heat/hot water; winter time the big draws are the oven and the clothes dryer - at 30a ea, adding heaters should not be a problem.

it's all unfinished; running wires/ 220v around and about, or hard wired units isn't especially problematic
checked, our actual total electric $/usage Dec16-Nov17 does indeed come out at 0.13/kwhr

things to ponder . . .

the thought of tools sweating & rusting is, I must say, a really big push in that direction! glad you mentioned that!
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post #8 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 10:11 PM
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I also use electric heat

I heat a 900 sq ft woodshop, well insulated on the second floor, a 1200 ft metal shop on a concrete slab, and a 1000 sq ft garage on a slab with electric heat in MICHIGAN....brrrrr. I keep the metal shop about 55 F, the wood shop about the same, and the garage was 48 F last I looked earlier tonight outside temp at 5 F. I am an energy HOG and as hard as I try my electric bill last month was $320.00. I anticipate this month's bill will be over $400.00 because of this bitter cold snap. I can add addition heat with propane space heaters If I was going to work out there on the vehicle OR just turn up the thermostat on the wall furnace.

The heaters in the shop are both HD 240 V 30 amp floor models with thermostats also. Ya want more heat? just turn up the dial, but watch the electric meter take off. :frown2:

I have no rust anywhere, but the walls are insulated and TYVEK wrapped on the exterior and Cedar sided. The slabs are similar to a besement in that they take a long while to change temperature... thermal mass is what is happening. There are SOUTH facing windows which let in some solar heat during the day.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-28-2017 at 10:14 PM.
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post #9 of 34 Old 12-28-2017, 11:10 PM
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Can you insulate your walls from the inside? Even if you had to install a second inside wall, you could insulate with the 2Ē foam as Jim Frye did above. I think insulation is job one.
I donít like the idea of breathing propane heater fumes in a fully enclosed basement. If you can run a flu out of the basement, you could install a big gas or propane heater with no problems.
How big a space is your basement?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #10 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 07:49 AM
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If you can't provide an exhaust for any kind of gas heater I would go electric. Unventilated gas would introduce carbon dioxide into your house.
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post #11 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 10:26 AM
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Over time the cost and trouble of insulating will pay for itself several times over in energy savings plus the temperatures will be more consistent than trying to use brute force to stay warm.
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post #12 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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insulating from the inside would be a huge job of taking down "stuff" then doing a "rehang" of a different type since most is Tapcon-ed to the wall. nice idea but not in the cards. it'll be quite warm enough before I got that job done!

there are propane fueled heaters designed for indoor use - some state explicitly outdoor use only.... either way, water vapor is a combustion by-product and rusting up all the tools and cast iron is not an option - so sounds like electric is the best choice. it has a serious convenience factor - no lugging cylinders around for a refill . . .

I was reading some user reviews of space/garage/shop electric heaters - it's really scary! thermostats melting, wire/insulation melting/shorting out, etc. - along with a lot of "my hair dryer works better" comments. this in ref to Chinese junk tho....

I'm headed down to our local electrical supply house - they should know which brands don't burn the house down. they service the trade so they won't be selling stuff that does not stand up.
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post #13 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 11:14 AM
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Read this first!

There are real bargains at Northern Tool Supply on 240 volt electric heaters:

Like this one:
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...1888_200631888



https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...-1&type=search

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 12-29-2017 at 11:16 AM.
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post #14 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 11:40 AM
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I have one of these in my basement workshop -

https://www.homedepot.com/p/4-000-Wa...H4AB/100120005

I made an adapter / extension cord so I can plug it into the dryer outlet.


Dave in CT, USA
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post #15 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 12:02 PM
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I run a Mr Heater Big Buddy and crack the window open ~15 inches square. It costs the same to heat with propane or electric heat in my region but I don't have much electric power in my shop.

Big Buddy puts out 18,000BTU max with 9,000BTU and 4,500BTU settings. Runs ~30hr/60hrs/120hrs on a 20lb tank.

Last edited by P89DC; 12-29-2017 at 12:04 PM.
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post #16 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
insulating from the inside would be a huge job of taking down "stuff" then doing a "rehang" of a different type since most is Tapcon-ed to the wall. nice idea but not in the cards. it'll be quite warm enough before I got that job done!

there are propane fueled heaters designed for indoor use - some state explicitly outdoor use only.... either way, water vapor is a combustion by-product and rusting up all the tools and cast iron is not an option - so sounds like electric is the best choice. it has a serious convenience factor - no lugging cylinders around for a refill . . .

I was reading some user reviews of space/garage/shop electric heaters - it's really scary! thermostats melting, wire/insulation melting/shorting out, etc. - along with a lot of "my hair dryer works better" comments. this in ref to Chinese junk tho....

I'm headed down to our local electrical supply house - they should know which brands don't burn the house down. they service the trade so they won't be selling stuff that does not stand up.

Whatever the full load amps is on the heater you need to oversize the conductors by 125% IE a 1500 watt heater will pull 12.5 amps at 120 volts, to size the conductors 125% the NEC would require a 20 amp circuit because 12.5x125%=15.625 amps

You would probably skate by on a 15 amp circuit, but to be safe it really needs to be 20. 14 ga wire will handle 15 amps 12 ga will handle 20
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post #17 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 03:33 PM
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My shop wiring is all 20 amp. circuits with 12 ga. wire for all power outlets. Lighting is 14 ga. but those circuits total less than 500 watts.
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post #18 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 03:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Beasley View Post
Over time the cost and trouble of insulating will pay for itself several times over in energy savings plus the temperatures will be more consistent than trying to use brute force to stay warm.
I agree and if the basement temperature is improved it most probably would reduce the bills for the house above the basement.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #19 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
insulating from the inside would be a huge job of taking down "stuff" then doing a "rehang" of a different type since most is Tapcon-ed to the wall. nice idea but not in the cards. it'll be quite warm enough before I got that job done!
Itís true it would be a job but it would give you the chance to reorganize and lay out your basement to more meet your needs. It will go faster than you might think and wintertime is the time to do it. You will enjoy the benefits for as long as you live there and your basement will be much more usable.
How much space do you have in your basement?

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #20 of 34 Old 12-29-2017, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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not gonna' happen.

I've got a 5kw heater on order - and the wiring will be #10.
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