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Old 12-25-2013, 05:07 PM   #1
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Electric heater for RV, Ceramic?

Looking at an electric ceramic tower heater for MH.

Does a ceramic heater have less chance of setting off an explosion if a propane leak exist in a RV
compared to other heaters?

Don't know if oil filled heaters are all that efficient.

Thanks in advance.
Fred, US Army Aviation, 61-70
2002 Itasca Winnebago Ford V10
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
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Experts may correct me but I dont think there is an ignition risk, as the propane detector shuts down the propane valve before the gas can get dense enough to ignite. And an electric heater would not be an ignition source unless it is worn/defective to the point of arcing/sparking.

We use both ceramic and tower units. Have for many years.

The oil filled radiator type merely spreads the heat source over a larger area. It is the same wattage as a ceramic or tower. 1500 watts max.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #3
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Resistive electric heaters (meaning just about any type other than a heat pump) are all going to be about the same efficiency. In terms of explosive safety , the type of electrical switch/thermostat would be the critical element there. I'm not aware of any consumer-type heaters that have been rated or tested for intrinsic safety. I would expect that you would both smell any propane and set off a propane alarm long before there would be an explosion danger, and if the unit is unattended and in storage then one would simply turn off the propane. As far as being concerned while you might be out for the day, I don't know that I've ever heard of anyone being worried about that before. I suppose it is a possible concern but I wouldn't be inclined to worry about it, it would take a very unlikely combination of safety failures to create the potential for explosion.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:28 PM   #4
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I do not know about Ceramic heaters and Propane. I assume the spark as the T_Stat opens and closes is going to do the job.

I do know about explosive gas detectors.. They can either alert you or protect you depending on the detector.
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:05 PM   #5
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Most ceramic heaters have a high temperature limit of less than 400F. Propane auto ignites at 878F. Of course if the on/off or thermal switches aren't sealed, the small spark generated as the contacts open or close could still trigger the propane. Just make sure your LP gas detector is less than 5 years old. (recommended life span)

I wouldn't worry about the spark created in a space heater, you'd be 'blowed up' when you turned on a light switch, a TV, or some other spark creating device in the RV.

Bob & Donna
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by frederick w View Post
Looking at an electric ceramic tower heater for MH.

Does a ceramic heater have less chance of setting off an explosion if a propane leak exist in a RV
compared to other heaters?

Don't know if oil filled heaters are all that efficient.

Thanks in advance.
I use the coil heaters, I have 2 of them and used them just a week or so ago when the S&B furnace died, this is a big house and I closed doors hung blankets in the open arch to upstairs, and kept one in the livingroom and one in the kitchen, alaong with a gas fireplace, I survived a week.
I thought it was cold in the house until I had to go out and come in, I was surprised at just how warm it was.
It was -41C outside (-40F) and we got a huge blizzard that had closed roads, so that is why it took a week to fix.
The coil oil heaters are great because you can have 3 heat settings and it will turn off when the desired temp is reached,
My neighbour who is a farrier and often goes out in the winter, uses his coil for heating the RV while he is at work ... I am sure he turns on the LP when he gets in ... it gets mighty cold here on the prairies, and these units are reliable and safe... the 2 I use are 30 years old and have been loaned out and used by many over the years....
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