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Old 01-12-2014, 06:17 PM   #1
banana24
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'99 G2500 block heater

Here I've owned this van for almost 14 years and never knew it came with a block heater(while diagnosing my brake problem I noticed the plug/wire bunched up and zip-tied near the brake M/C).

This van has always had a rough time starting in cold temps, at first I thought I just had a weak battery or one without enough cranking amps. While a bought a better battery, it still struggles...at this time I don't know for sure whether it's still a battery issue or somewhere else in the starting system.

Anyway, as to the subject at hand...

I attempted to try out this block heater, I plugged it into an outlet in the garage. I couldn't hear anything(not sure if you should)but just to verify I connected one of those Kill-A-Watt boxes just to see how many watts the heater uses. The Kill-A-Watt showed no power at all coming from the outlet(through extension cord). First thing I thought was the heater popped the breaker as soon as I plugged it in. I checked them all, but none had tripped. Now I tried to figure out where to reset this line...it turns out the outlets in the garage are tripped by a GFCI in the utility-room.

That problem solved I attempted to again check to see how many watts the heater uses by plugging again into the Kill-A-Watt box, hoping it's on long enough to get a reading before it trips the GFCI. I got about 3-5 seconds before it popped, but was able to read about 550w or so.

So is this an issue with the GFCI(550w doesn't seem like a lot, with very little, if anything else, on that circuit)...or more likely a short/other related to the block heater?
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Old 01-13-2014, 04:41 AM   #2
rhandwor
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Re: '99 G2500 block heater

Quote:
Originally Posted by banana24 View Post
Here I've owned this van for almost 14 years and never knew it came with a block heater(while diagnosing my brake problem I noticed the plug/wire bunched up and zip-tied near the brake M/C).

This van has always had a rough time starting in cold temps, at first I thought I just had a weak battery or one without enough cranking amps. While a bought a better battery, it still struggles...at this time I don't know for sure whether it's still a battery issue or somewhere else in the starting system.

Anyway, as to the subject at hand...

I attempted to try out this block heater, I plugged it into an outlet in the garage. I couldn't hear anything(not sure if you should)but just to verify I connected one of those Kill-A-Watt boxes just to see how many watts the heater uses. The Kill-A-Watt showed no power at all coming from the outlet(through extension cord). First thing I thought was the heater popped the breaker as soon as I plugged it in. I checked them all, but none had tripped. Now I tried to figure out where to reset this line...it turns out the outlets in the garage are tripped by a GFCI in the utility-room.

That problem solved I attempted to again check to see how many watts the heater uses by plugging again into the Kill-A-Watt box, hoping it's on long enough to get a reading before it trips the GFCI. I got about 3-5 seconds before it popped, but was able to read about 550w or so.

So is this an issue with the GFCI(550w doesn't seem like a lot, with very little, if anything else, on that circuit)...or more likely a short/other related to the block heater?
I would check the wire back to the engine to make sure the wire doesn't have a bare spot. Try a hair dryer on the GFCI circuit if it doesn't blow its probably the heater.
A GFCI monitors the power coming to the circuit and the power going to ground. I tried to hook up a ceiling fan in my computer room so I could operate the fan without the lights. I had to run a separate feed just for the fan as it would trip the GFCI breaker.
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