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My block heater has stopped working. I had it plugged in for 3+ hrs the other day. (longer than I had planned on) I had got involved with other activities and before I knew it a fair amount of time had gone by. :banghead:

Oddly enough I felt the engine when I finally remembered and it was stone cold. Unplugged the heater and checked resistance and it was open. So in reality I don't really know at what point the heater stopped working. It clearly had to have been less than 3hrs given the engine had no warmth at all.

Usually I plug in for 1+ hrs maybe. I'm struggling to think the extended time would have been the cause of the fail and instead I think the fail was due to end of life.

Thought I would ask others what their thoughts were. Would an extended period of time of use on this block heater cause a premature fail?

At any rate I did find the heater on Amazon.
Amazon.com: Zerostart 3100003 Engine Block Immersion Heater for Eagle, Jaquar, Jeep, Renault, Rover, Kubota, Massey, Perkins, Yanmar, 1 NPT Thread Brass Adapter | CSA Approved | 120 Volts | 400 Watts: Automotive

I'm also thinking it might be a good time to install the optional 180 thermostat as well. My coolant was scheduled to be drained anyways as it had been about 2-3 yrs.
Optional thermostat p/n M812140. I see in the manual that it suggest replacing gasket at same time. Would anyone have that p/n handy? I haven't seen mention of a gasket in any of the post I've read about on the 180 thermostat replacement. Plus in looking up the parts diagram I don't see where it is shown. Odd that they would say to put a new gasket on in the manual but not show it in the diagram.

What have others had to do
 

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When I got mine from John Deere (Special Order) it had the rubber gasket as part of the T-Stat already attached to the rim. I don't know what an after market one will come with as there were none available that I could find.
 

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You can leave them plugged in indefinitely - if you like a crazy electric bill. At work our trucks were plugged in for days at a time but they were on a thermostatic power box.

These heaters will burn out - no different than the elements in a water heater. What will make them burn out instantly is them being turned in dry. They are only meant to be powered when immersed.

Just a quick side story - at work we had all Mack dump trucks. We were having a batch of the block heaters going bad. Long story short - the heaters were installed way up high on the engine above the water pump. The drivers were starting the trucks while they were still plugged in. What was happening is that when the engine started, there would be a moment when there was no coolant covering the heaters on startup which burned them out.

Since then I have bee adamant about not starting any machine while the block heater is plugged in.
 

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As Stan said, you can run them indefinitely, and they burn out due to age or running them dry. Always disconnect them for a few minutes before starting the engine. The Zerostart 310-0003 is the one I just bought and all info I've found is that is the exact same one JD installs and will sell you for a higher price. You're good to go.

The t-stat doesn't have a housing gasket. As Sundancer mentioned, the seal is made part of the stat. Unbolt the housing, pop out the stat, drop the new one in, re-bolt housing back on. Literally 1 minute. Takes a lot longer to drain the coolant then change the stat, and I only drained the coolant from the radiator.
 

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I'll plug mine in the night before.
 

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I was wondering the same thing yesterday. Thanks for starting the thread!
I have my 1025R in my shop, which is around 50 degrees F if I'm not in it.
I plugged in my block heater the other night, and thought I should check it the next morning (9 hours later) before I went to work. To my surprise, the top of the block was reading 150 or more, which I thought was a bit too hot. I thought it would have a t-stat switch or something, but no. I'm using a Fluke IR temperature gun.
So last night, I played around to see how fast it got hot. I started at 55F and in 1/2 hour it was 90F on the valve cover, which I think would be good for starting. From this, one would guess it would get up to a good starting temp in maybe an hour if it were cold, but shielded from wind.
I have some controllable outlets that are rated for 10A. The heater draws just under 4A when running. It's rated 400W.
I now have it on my Amazon Alexa system, so I can say "Alexa, turn on tractor" (I named the outlet) a half hour or hour before I start it. I think that will work just fine. I can also set a timer to turn off the outlet in case I forget.
I'm hoping I didn't shorten the life of my heater by running it too long. Also, I remember hearing it "boiling" very soon after plugging it in last night, so it was probably doing that all night long the first time.
 

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I was wondering the same thing yesterday. Thanks for starting the thread!
I have my 1025R in my shop, which is around 50 degrees F if I'm not in it.
I plugged in my block heater the other night, and thought I should check it the next morning (9 hours later) before I went to work. To my surprise, the top of the block was reading 150 or more, which I thought was a bit too hot. I thought it would have a t-stat switch or something, but no. I'm using a Fluke IR temperature gun.
Umm... using a block heater at 50-degrees ambient is a total waste of electricity.
 

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At work some of the hard to start equipment stays plugged 24/7 during the colder months when not in use.
 

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Umm... using a block heater at 50-degrees ambient is a total waste of electricity.
Went to my part-time job about two weeks ago. One of the guys there had his diesel pickup truck plugged in overnight and it was about 45*. :laugh: Of course, it is a Dodge truck, so maybe that explains it. :hide:


:lol:
 

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I just now ran my block heater for 1/2 hour in my 50 degree shop. It started so much smoother and cleaner than if I hadn't warmed it.

I figure that cost me about a nickel (at 22c per kWh) and the engine appreciated it as well. I'm okay with wasting that. :dunno:
 

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3 hours shouldnt hurt it.
I thought the Zerostart heaters (and others) were thermally protected, meaning that if it gets too hot, it just shuts itself down and resets.
Has it been working fine until now?
Is your coolant level good?

Ive had the heater on my VW plugged in for 4-5 hours before with no issues, and its a 1000W heater. Pretty sure its tripped its thermal protection a couple times.
I dont generally TRY to do that, as a rule I only like to have it plugged in for 2-3 hours before use, but when its cold like it is now, it gets plugged in when it can.

I looked at their online catalog, and they dont mention much about use, except not to use anything greater than 50/50 coolant mixture.
https://phillipsandtemro.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017-Zerostart-Temro-Web-Catalog.pdf
 

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Those heaters do burn out occasionally. Use a timer, makes life easier. Have it come on a couple of hours before you need the tractor. That way you are not constantly drawing that extra voltage and your heater will last way longer..
 

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You can leave them plugged in indefinitely - if you like a crazy electric bill. At work our trucks were plugged in for days at a time but they were on a thermostatic power box.

These heaters will burn out - no different than the elements in a water heater. What will make them burn out instantly is them being turned in dry. They are only meant to be powered when immersed.

Just a quick side story - at work we had all Mack dump trucks. We were having a batch of the block heaters going bad. Long story short - the heaters were installed way up high on the engine above the water pump. The drivers were starting the trucks while they were still plugged in. What was happening is that when the engine started, there would be a moment when there was no coolant covering the heaters on startup which burned them out.

Since then I have bee adamant about not starting any machine while the block heater is plugged in.
Thanks Stan, one day out of boredom I read through almost every block heater thread on this site and not once did I see the importance of unplugging them before starting the engine. They do occasionally burn out but a sure fire way to speed up the chances are by starting the engine with the block heater still plugged.
 

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I thought the Zerostart heaters (and others) were thermally protected, meaning that if it gets too hot, it just shuts itself down and resets.
Not that I've seen. AFAIK they run anytime they have power.
 

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3 hours shouldnt hurt it.
I thought the Zerostart heaters (and others) were thermally protected, meaning that if it gets too hot, it just shuts itself down and resets.
Has it been working fine until now?
Is your coolant level good?

Ive had the heater on my VW plugged in for 4-5 hours before with no issues, and its a 1000W heater. Pretty sure its tripped its thermal protection a couple times.
I dont generally TRY to do that, as a rule I only like to have it plugged in for 2-3 hours before use, but when its cold like it is now, it gets plugged in when it can.

I looked at their online catalog, and they dont mention much about use, except not to use anything greater than 50/50 coolant mixture.
https://phillipsandtemro.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017-Zerostart-Temro-Web-Catalog.pdf
When I see “Zero Start” I always think of my TDI heaters. They are different than normal block heaters. I know you know this but just mentioning it for other folk’s FYI.

There is no place to instal a typical element type heater on these older VW diesels. It is a tank type heater and works by convection - no circulating pump. As far as I know these were originally designed by Frost Heater. The location of the heater and associated piping is critical for it to work. When the heater is energized, once it starts warming, it creates a natural convective flow through the cooling system. Pretty neat stuff!

1FFEC8A3-E2EB-4F0B-9FF6-72586BBF9E26.jpeg
 

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When I see “Zero Start” I always think of my TDI heaters. They are different than normal block heaters. I know you know this but just mentioning it for other folk’s FYI.

There is no place to instal a typical element type heater on these older VW diesels. It is a tank type heater and works by convection - no circulating pump.
We used to use tank heaters a lot. We referred to that natural circulation as thermosyphon. They were manufactured by Kat's. Kat's Available at our local NAPA store. Once started our 1955 Chevy pickup at -60°F when using the tank heater. Of course, the coolant was probably only good to around -40°F so it wouldn't circulate thru the radiator. Now, they are thermostatically controlled. Not sure about the ones from 50 years ago.
 

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When we were farming/ranching, we would have 3 tractors plugged in at all times.
2640, 4240 (later a 7700) and the 8630.
The smaller two were our chore tractors and needed to feed the cattle.
The 8630 has a blade on it and we used to move snow, run the hay grinder, run the PTO generator as needed, and other tasks that came up.
 

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When I see “Zero Start” I always think of my TDI heaters. It is a tank type heater and works by convection - no circulating pump. When the heater is energized, once it starts warming, it creates a natural convective flow through the cooling system. Pretty neat stuff!
The cord looks the same as my convection heater,, :laugh:



The IH always starts if the convection heater is plugged in for 30 minutes,,,
 

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I use a smart plug outlet. I use an app on my phone to turn the outlet on when I want to use the lock heater. Just have to remember to turn it off:lol:
 
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