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  1. #1
    New Member fluffhead31's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    13
    Location
    Colchester, Vt
    Tractor
    NH TC35A w/ 16LA FEL

    Default Is my block heater working?

    I live in Vermont and use the tractor (NH-TC35) on cold days to move snow (not that we have any snow now which is why i'm on the computer and not the tractor). I am running Rotella T 15W-40. Is there any way to be certain the block heater is doing it's job? Also, how long should the heater be plugged in prior to starting? I have no reason to believe it's not working other than a puff of black smoke after long periods sitting.
    NH TC35A w/ 16LA FEL
    Land Pride RCR1860
    Mackissic TPH183 Chipper\Shredder
    96 lbs Bluetick Coonhound

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,728
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    Many times you can hear it sizzling. You can also put your hand on the block or rad to see if they are warm. Many folks have the block heater plugged in for about two hours before starting.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  3. #3
    Veteran Member flyingcow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,064
    Location
    aroostook county maine

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    i agree, 2 hours should do it. I also run Rotella 15-40 and it works fine. Not a big fan of synthetic, but to each his own. The only time i run syn in tractors was when i had big V-8 perkins, and the older tracors needed a little help.

    Usually, you can put your fingers on where the block heater is attached to the engine. Feel some warmth there. BTW, for convience I usually leave equipment plugged in over night. i get up at 1 or 2 am. Drive tractor trailer for a living. My big truck, with 10 gals of antifreeze and 11 gals of oil, only uses about $2 maybe $3 of electricity a night. When i order equipment, i spec the biggest block heater available. When it's -40, turn the key and it starts right up. Like it.

    Also, i change fuel filters every time I service equipment. Take you old fuel filters, turn 'em upside down in a clean white bucket. Let them sit and look at what you have in there. You will find water/dirt/etc. Minimal, but it'll be there. Thats a filters job. If not due for a service at the beginning of winter, i will put a set of fresh fuel filters on. Good insurance.
    TN75D, w/cab, FEL, BH
    7 1/2 ft Lucknow Blower

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Craig Clayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    863
    Location
    Uxbridge Ontario Canada
    Tractor
    L2250 Kubota

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    A simple method to test the block heater circuit is to plug and unplug it in the dark,there will be a tiny spark if the element is carrying current. Make sure you have power to the plug. There could other problems that can easily found with a Ohm meter to ring through the circuit. E=IxR I x V= W so does this mean
    A 120 volt 300 watt heater draw 2.5 amps ( I )
    So when you use a ohm meter the black to white wire should have 48 ohm on the circiut if it is going to work.
    Craig Clayton

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    236
    Location
    Fairbanks Alaska
    Tractor
    Kubota B8200, 1953 International "Super C"

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    you can put an ohm meter on the bock heater cord. If its bad you will have an open circuit.

    on a cool day, where its quit, plug it in and listen. As long as work hasn't got to much of your hearing you will hear it, or the misses will

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    29
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    FARMALL 1206, FORD 4000

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    Depends on how many watts your heater is as to how long the preheat will take. Also, oil viscosity and battery condition play a big role. I have a 600 watt block heater in a 4000 Ford (no other heat sources) and it will start in about an hour or so after plugged up @ 0 degrees F.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member DEWFPO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    694
    Location
    "High in the Rockies"

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    Many times you can hear it sizzling. You can also put your hand on the block or rad to see if they are warm. Many folks have the block heater plugged in for about two hours before starting.
    X2, DEWFPO
    2009 Toolcat 5600 "D-Series", Hi-Flow, 29's, 72" SB-200, 84" Snowblade, 62" Lo-Pro Bucket

    SOLD - 2006 MF GC2300, 2350 FEL, 2315 MMM, 2360 SB, KingKutter CarryAll

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    3,202
    Location
    adirondacks

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    I plug mine in for 1 to 2hrs before start up, no need to have it pluged in any longer. I also use 15w-40 rotella. On my machines with a heater you can hear it sizzle within a few seconds after it's pluged in. You'll have to listen close and get close to the engine.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    937
    Location
    15 mi. N. of Winchester VA
    Tractor
    CK30HST

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    Use an infra-red hand held thermometer if you have it, they are about $35 or so and are useful for lots of things. You'd aim the laser at the heater area and compare it to another, distant metal part of the engine WITH THE SAME REFLECTIVITY (same color, same material) and compare temps.

    Mike

  10. #10
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    7,528
    Location
    Eastern NY
    Tractor
    Case 885, Ford 4000

    Default Re: Is my block heater working?

    Plug it in, wait 30 seconds, then put your thumb on the heater. If it is warm, it's working. If it is as cold as the block, it is not. 99% of block heaters will sizzle within 15 seconds of power-up.
    We have too much gun control.
    What we need is more idiot control.

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