Battery generator block heater - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
Power Strokes 1994-1997 General Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the Power Stroke engine in 1994 through 1997 models.

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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Battery generator block heater

I'm looking for a way to warm up my blocker heater when I go camping in the winter time. I was looking at a battery generator that has 500 watts and 15amps of continuous power would that work or do i need something bigger
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 08:38 PM
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Are you talking about using an inverter to power the factory block heater? Our block heaters are (I think) 1000W so that wouldn't work (and would take a lot of power and a good inverter). If your glowplugs, batteries, and starter are in good shape, you shouldn't have any issues starting, even below zero. If you need the truck itself warmed up quickly, start it and then idle it up for a bit. Cheers!

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 09:38 PM
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Using a battery to power an inverter for a resistive heater is VERY inefficient - you'd get as much heat from the inverter as you did from the block heater (which means you'd waste half the battery charge).

Keep the truck running well, and just use the battery (batteries) for cranking (including the built-in glow plugs). If you absolutely have to use the block heater, buy a generator rated for more than 1200W @ 110VAC.


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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-07-2019, 11:47 PM
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I agree with Patrick. Just make sure that your glow plug system is working properly and enjoy your camp out.

I have started my truck at a -40 after a long cold soak and when I have gone ice fishing I have started it at below zero temperatures multiple times.

But if you want to get a generator to power the block heater then go ahead but as was mentioned the heater is a 1000watt draw so your generator is going to have to be a minimum of 1200 watts or so and you will need to run it for a couple of hours to do any good.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 12:09 AM
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Sooooo give us some more info. Where do you plan on camping? What kinds of temps are you talking about? What is the mileage on you engine? I have cold soaked a 99 for over 24 hours at 25 below and it started, was not happy but it started and ran. I never worry even to 10-20 below because I make sure my engine/batteries are up to the task. If you want a backup get a Honda 2000 generator it will run at 30 below and do a fine job.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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My F250 1994.5 has 153000ish and I just bought it a few months ago never owned one but the diesels I've been around that are 80's and early 90's do not like the cold and where I'm planning to camp is North Eastern Washington.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 04:11 AM Thread Starter
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And no it's not a inverter it's a battery generator and thanks I think ill just pick up a gas generator 🙂
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMcClue View Post
And no it's not a inverter it's a battery generator and thanks I think ill just pick up a gas generator 🙂
If I just got finished with a winter camping trip away from civilization, I would sure want to be confident my truck is going to start also.

I think you are on the right track with a small gas generator.


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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMcClue View Post
And no it's not a inverter it's a battery generator...
Got a link to it? Maybe on Amazon?


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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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I know it's not big enough but they have bigger ones that are 1500watts and go up these can be hooked up to solar panels and wind turbines. And I don't have to listen to some bloody horrible noise if you know what I mean


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVSWLSR...v_ov_lig_dp_it.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 04:18 PM
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I don't see any actual specifications on what you linked to on Amazon but you need one that is rated at a minimum of 1000 watts that will run for 1.5-3 hours to do any good to be used for the block heater.

Solar doesn't work at night and you will be using it mostly in the early morning if needed after your truck has cold soaked overnight and won't start. You also have to consider the cold effect that is going to affect the battery of the device.

As I mentioned before, just make sure that your glow plug system is in proper working order and then don't worry about it. I live in the mountains of Colorado and my truck will sit for weeks at a time during the winter at temperatures down to a -40 and I have no problems starting it. It argues until it warms up a little bit but it will start without the help of the block heater. It has done this for 23 years now.

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 04:18 PM
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So that's a battery/inverter package, that's capable of being recharged with a generator. I see it's rated for 288 WH which means it would last less than 20 minutes if loaded at 1000W. The battery would be drained in short order. Not going to help much

What everyone else said about keeping your glow plug system and starting batteries up to snuff. I once started my cold-soaked truck at minus 6F without a working block heater or a working glow plug system. When it finally fired off, I mosquito fogged the whole neighborhood (if there had been any mosquitoes around at that temp). With a working GP system and good batteries, you should have no problem starting without a block heater plugged in well below zero.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMcClue View Post
And I don't have to listen to some bloody horrible noise if you know what I mean

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVSWLSR
Yes, that's an inverter. It's just packaged with a battery & charger inside the case so that, if any ONE of them goes bad, they want you to toss the whole thing & buy a new one. You'd spend less & get better performance buying them separately. But you don't really need to buy batteries (your truck already has 2) or charger (the truck has an alternator). Of course, that just gets you back to my first reply - the inverter will put off about as much heat as the block heater, so you're wasting the batteries. They'd be better-used either powering the glow plugs, or a 12V block heater (no waste, except a little in the wiring & connections).

But modern inverter generators are VERY quiet & compact. Some can be ganged.






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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 09:47 PM
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.... They'd be better-used either powering the glow plugs, or a 12V block heater .....
Except a 12V block heater of 1000W capacity would drain the batteries too low to run the starter in short order, or the block heater would be too wimpy to do any real heating.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-08-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah it would be better off with a gas one like a Honda and thanks for the info on the block heater wattage I wasn't figuring it would be that much wattage 🙃
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