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Heater element control

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by PerfectP, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. PerfectP

    PerfectP

    1
    0
    Jul 27, 2010
    Hi guys. I have a dilemma. I want to control a heating element so that I can turn down the heat using a rheostat. The Heater element runs at 1700w 240v. (7.08 amps)

    I understand from research I have done, that a rheostat on its own will get as hot as the element itself as the power reduces and will need a triac etc to control this aspect.

    Question, can I get a unit off the shelf that will do this job at a sensible price or is it something I should talk to a manufacturer about making? We will need a few of them.
    If you can indicate the type of unit I need and any brand or trade names would be very useful indeed.

    Thanks
     
  2. Resqueline

    Resqueline

    2,848
    1
    Jul 31, 2009
    Rheostats were used for lamp dimming in theatres like over a 100 years ago. They soon found out that variable transformers (variac's) were a whole lot more efficient.
    Ordinary triac lighting dimmers (rated for the power) will do the job. They are often much more expensive than they "deserve" to be but a contract job's money down the drain.
     
  3. Mitchekj

    Mitchekj

    288
    0
    Jan 24, 2010
    You can usually buy a decent triac dimmer for ~$10 USD or so... something like a Lutron Diva, or similar. Edit: Just read the 1700W part... disregard the Diva, I think it's 600W max.

    I don't know how they work with heaters, but there are many types: incandescent, magnetic low voltage, electronic low voltage, fluorescent, etc. etc. Though, I would expect they would all act similarly with a pure resistive load, no?

    Lutron, Smarthome, Leviton, among other manufacturers. They may even make controls specifically for heaters.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
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