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Small heater for bilge


Leftlane

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Hi all - I drained my boat for winterization but for peace of mind would like to put a small heater in the bilge also.  I can pay $300+ for a marine one on Amazon, or I can use the small ceramic one with multiple settings I bought at Lowe’s for $25 with a temp sensor plug that will kick it on at 40 degrees and back off at 54 degrees.  Is there anything to worry about with using one of these small heaters?  I guess I’m worried about some kind of spark blowing the whole thing up.  I know I could lose power at my boathouse but it is unlikely and I’m drained anyway.  Opinions? I will only get a few freezes over the winter that usually don’t last that long but I kinda like the belt and suspenders approach.

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I have used a 15w heating pad made for seed trays.  Not much of a freeze here, and the boat is in a garage, but it stays warm when I put the pad on the heat exchanger the few nights it gets in the twenties. 

A 60w light bulb is a good choice also. 

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13 hours ago, BlindSquirrel said:

If everything is drained properly, what's the reason for the heater again? 

Because this is the first year I winterized myself, and while I think I did everything right, I'll feel better with a little backup just in case.  

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1 hour ago, oldstv said:

I put a drop light in my engine compartment. Have done this for more years than I care to tell. 

Better yet, two bulbs in parallel in case one burns out.  Watch the wattage though, since incandescent bulbs could melt stuff.  A trouble light cage works well.

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21 hours ago, Eagleboy99 said:

Better yet, two bulbs in parallel in case one burns out.  Watch the wattage though, since incandescent bulbs could melt stuff.  A trouble light cage works well.

Buy 130 volt bulbs for that application. Should never burn out then. That's what they did in traffic lights before LED technology.

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i use an Oreck wood box house space heater with ceramic element and an insulated metal enclosure inside it on wheels on floor of cabin with all openings open for air flow to all compartments, boat covered under carport open on two sides, back up gasoline generator for power for house, but in reality this is once every 5 years hear with little risk of a power outage.  i tried the hanging bulb in engine compartment or laying in bilge and could never get it where it wasn't going to overheat something it was near or laying on .  i dont like the bulb idea

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