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line voltage thermostat - best approach?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Ralph D., Nov 22, 2003.

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  1. Ralph D.

    Ralph D. Guest

    Background:
    I desire to install a 5000 BTU electic radiant heater to keep a
    section of the garage warm for our outdoor cats that enter garage via
    pet door. I intend on supending the unit on chains about 1 1/2 ft
    below the joists. I have read that cats should not be left at below
    45 degrees for sustained time. I am in Tennessee and the garage is
    set-up with cat blankets and never freezes, so the QA on this doesn't
    have to be 100%. The three cats ahave been raised indoor/outdoor, but
    won't be back inside for allergy reasons. I want the radiant heater
    to activate whenever the ambient temperature in the garage hits about
    48 degrees. I want the setup to be safe enough so that I don't have
    to worry about house burning down on vacations. I will also be using
    the heater when working in the garage that serves as a cramped shop.

    Approach:
    I intent on purchasing a dipole (4 wire) line voltage thermostat that
    connects in series between the 120V power supply and the the heater.
    I am leaning toward the CADET T410B. An installation manual for a
    similar model recommends taping up any ground wires.

    Question(s):
    Is taping up the ground wires smart? Should I install a GFCI outlet
    to compensate? Any other ideas on how to get this done? (getting rid
    of the cats is tempting, but not an option ;) I would like to keep
    the up front costs under about $150. I think an electic radiant
    heater is the way to go since I don't want to pay to heat the whole
    garage and I like the thermostat since I don't have to worry about
    checking the weather and turning the heater on/off.
     
  2. Of course the heater must be earthed so the earth cables coming through the
    'stat must be continuous, if the 'stat has no earth terminal then I would
    not consider it requiring it.
    All this assumes I am interpreting your post correctly :), I can see no
    problem with taping earth wires, indeed it might help prevent them from
    coming into contact with the mains terminals and shorting.
     
  3. Baphomet

    Baphomet Guest

    --
    e-mail - reply to: fanda at catskill dot net
    Why don't you just build a small insulated box, perhaps 1 1/2 - 2X the size
    of the cat. Cats love to crawl into small areas anyway and the cat's body
    heat will keep it more than warm enough. This has the added benefit of no
    additional energy costs and or safety considerations. Of course, if you are
    using the cat as a justification for your putting in heating for a
    workshop...that's a different story ;-)
     
  4. Ross Mac

    Ross Mac Guest

    That's exactly what we did. We purchased an insulated Dog house (the freakin
    cat's really big) and put some old blankets and towels inside and the cat
    stays pretty warm in there. If you are still worried, you could put a
    heating pad set way on low in there too with a lamp timer set for the
    evening hours (make sure it's UL rated please!). As far as "you" staying
    warm, well, one of the propane tanks with a heat element or two works really
    well and are pretty cheap too!........give kitty a pet.....Ross
     
  5. Ralph D.

    Ralph D. Guest

    Thanks for input. I'll go with simple and safe solution and prepare
    insulated boxes with blankets for cats and get a simple heater w/o
    thermostat for when I'm in shop.

    For anyone following question of grounding a line voltage thermostat -
    I have found a statement in the manual for the T26 Johnson Controls
    thermostat to "Ground the thermostat to the branch circuit ground as
    required by National Electric Code and local regulations." This
    contradicts the instructions to tape of the ground wires that I found
    for another brand. I am not an electician, so I don't know what to
    make of contradiction, but having the set-up grounded seems to be much
    less of a fire hazard. Also, the GFCI would be a bad idea if you were
    really counting on the thermostat and got false trips from the
    outlet...
     
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