Torpedo Heater Heaven
So I have a 150K BTU Kerosene Heater that works great with the exception of using in smaller spaces. Without a thermostat, you're constantly plugging/unplugging the heater when it gets too hot.
A long time ago, I found out that DESA made thermostats for these heaters but I never bothered getting one. Well, this past winter, that changed. I wanted to work out in my garage and got sick and tired of running back and forth to turn the heater on/off so I invested in a DESA thermostat made for this purpose. Once it arrived, I took it outside, hooked it up and started adjusting the thermostat for that perfect temperature.
What I found is that the DESA thermostat was absolute junk. It uses a coiled metal strip now rather than a capillary tube to switch the relay on/off. It was about a 20 deg span between on/off. 20 deg makes a big difference when you go from 60 deg to 40 deg...I sent it back for a refund.
I kept looking around to find a quality thermostat I could use for this purpose and found nothing. I was ready to call upon my previous experience as an electrician and just make one. When I did a search for thermostats (capillary tube), I accidentally came across this thermostat (2.5 deg span) from NorthernTool. It was exactly what I was getting ready to build down to the handy box and cover. The price was right up my alley since it would cost at less than the individual parts and then I'd have to assemble.
That said, I ordered it right away. Once it arrived, I hooked it up, fired up the heater and set to 70 deg. The heater kicked off right about 70 deg and when the temperature dropped 3 deg, the heater kicked right back on. The heater ran for a couple minutes, shut off at temperature and then started back up 12 minutes later when the temperature dropped that 3 deg. I thought to myself, this is a wonderful thing.
I don't know why I waited so long to invest in this thermostat. No more getting frustrated running back and forth. No more burning up and then freezing out in the garage. On top of that, I was burning far less kerosene, so heat was cheap again. I was truely in Heaven.
Now a little background info:
I pulled out my 150K BTU heater (30 years old) this past winter and the pump motor had locked up. A new motor was almost 1/2 the cost of a new 75K BTU Torpedo Heater.. I could buy a smaller Torpedo Heater (75K BTU) that should have been able to easily handle my garage requirements and it had a thermostat built in. It was supposed to use less kerosene that the 150K BTU. It only had a 5 gallon tank so it was much smaller/lighter full. This wouldn't be an issue storing on a shelf during the summer and gaining valuable floorspace, I wouldn't have to break out the engine hoist.
All that was great until I put it into action. This smaller heater; Properly Tuned Up; sucked the fuel. If the temperature outside was 35 deg or less, it was all that small heater could do to keep up. On top of that, if I were using outside, I had to be within 4 feet of the heater to feel any heat. With the 150K BTU, I could within 15-20 feet and in a tee shirt and be comfortable outside. I went ahead and ordered the replacement motor for the 150K BTU.
When the motor arrived, I gave the old heater a tune up, hooked up this thermostat and it works like a champ. I will probably be able to have garage heat for the entire winter on one tank of fuel (13.5 gallons). I say that because the 5 gallons of kerosene I burned in 12 hours with the 75K BTU heater constantly running, My fuel usage has been cut to 16% or lower for the same amount of heat, with more control.
Another good thing is that if I run diesel instead of kerosene, I will further cut my heating costs. If I have any fuel left at the end of winter, I'll just empty it into my truck and refill with fresh fuel next winter. I am good to go for another 30 years if I make it that long.
April 28, 2013
Great versatile tool
This is a good, durable, reliable unit. I have 2 that I use to heat an airplane hangar. They are able to control to temps as low as 30 degrees which is hard to find in a thermostat. This is very useful in a place where you're just heating enough to prevent freezing. They can be wired to control heating or cooling equipment. One shortcoming is that the temperature setting dial is a bit small and tricky to set. It would be nice if it was a little larger.
May 7, 2012
I Purchased several of these for my pheasant brooders and hovers. The thermostat can be set to turn on when the temp drops below 100 degrees and keeps the pheasant chicks warm. I love the fact that I don't have to spend big bucks on a dedicated brooder. They are an excellent product and work very well
January 16, 2012
The first one I got was not calibrated right, it would come on at 40* when set as low as the control nob would go. Sent it back. The new one will come on at 30*, but you have to turn the control knob as far as it will go passed 30*. I guess I expected a little better calibration since it is made in the USA.
January 16, 2012
The replacement thermostat for the heater I have is over $120. This thermostat works as well for under half the price.
January 10, 2012
My Plants Love this Thermostat
I needed a thermostat that would turn on my exhaust fan in my home/hobby greenhouse. It does what it supposed to do. You can pretty much set it and forget it. Automatically turns on when you need it and turns of when you don't. Great energy saver.
October 17, 2011
I bought this 115 volt portable thermostat fo control my new swamp cooler and it works very well, no more turning the swamp cooler off and on when it reaches the right temperature. Get it!
June 13, 2011
I live in Alaska & purchased this product to run a heater in my pump house in the winter months. It allows me to set a temperature to come on at, therefore eliminating the need to go out & turn it on & off. This made a considerable drop in my electrical bill in the winter months & more than paid for itself in the first year savings. I have since used it in the summer to run a fan in the house. Installation is as simple as it gets & switching from heating to cooling is just a matter of switching 2 wires that is clearly illustrated in the instructions. It is simple to set up, works flawlessly, & is a wonderful money saving device. I am very impressed with it.
March 21, 2011
Works as advertised
I run a 1500 Watt heater off the thermostat with no problems.
February 15, 2010
Works like a charm. I built a hotbox for heating tires up. Was surprised how easy it was. Did not have to do any wiring at all. Thermostat is off about 8 degrees but I just set it a little higher than needed.
December 16, 2009