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Topic # 59405 5-Apr-2010 13:57
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Just bought a Dimplex "eco" oil-free column heater. It looks really nice, and I look forward to using it over the winter.

The first time I run it, I noticed something "odd", but only because I have a mains power meter, otherwise I'd be blissfully unaware.

The heat settings are 1kW on low, 1.5kW on high. Has a power on/off switch, and low/high switch. When first turned on, it heats up which takes around 5-10 minutes. Once it has heated up I hear a "ping" noise (presumably a bi-metal switch), and then what is observed is the power drops back from 1.5kW on high to 1kW on low, even though switch is on high. Once this happens toggling high/low switch does nothing. If unit is powered off, when it fully cools down another "ping" is heard, enabling the high of the high/low switch again.

To me this sounds like an overheat protection, but if so why just cut high output, and not cut heater right out? BTW Its not just the thermostat, as thats set to high.

Besides this, does anyone have one of these heaters?

Anyone know any retailers who sell those "drying racks" for use with column heaters, because I haven't seen any locally?

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  Reply # 314960 5-Apr-2010 14:40

What happens when you turn it on from cold set to Low?

Maybe it draws the same for low/high and it could be the thermostat.

If you really want to figure it out; try the following tests...

Turn on from cold High/Low thermostat set to High
Turn on from cold High/Low thermostat set to Medium
Turn on from cold High/Low thermostat set to Low

That is 6 tests, could be fun eh?



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  Reply # 314982 5-Apr-2010 15:39
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To answer the first part, turning on from cold on low, still results in the "ping", it just takes a longer time as the heater takes longer to heat up, ie might take 15 minutes instead of 10. Up until that point the switch will work, after that point it "remains" on low.

As for your other ideas, if it was a fan heater maybe, as the heater output reaches rated output in heat in seconds, but this heater takes 10 minutes to warm up fully, ie in that time the room temperature does not go up 0.1 degree C, as the heater is warming up. Meanwhile after the first 10 minutes from switching on, the heater pings off high, therefore never gets a chance to increase room temperature in order to make the thermostat get close to activating.

The thermostat is "working", ie if passed through its range it goes ping and turns heater right off, turn it the other way, ping it goes back on. If I have this heater off and use a 4.2kW gas heater to heat the room, the thermostat on this heater changes position in response to raising room temperature as it should.

But right now I have just cranked it up and will see what playing with thermostat does re affecting the switch once switch stops responding.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 314993 5-Apr-2010 16:03
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It seems the heat the heater is producing internally is causing the thermostat to trip, thermostat for purpose of suggested above tests was set as low as "on" would be, but as the heater is warming up I have had to increase the thermostat position 4 times to keep it going (about 1/2 the full range the thermostat goes).

And on cue, after 11 minutes at 1.5kW, it went ping and is now running at 1kW and switch is non responsive.

Moving theromstat up, does nothing to change this, moving thermostat down to turn heater off, then up again to turn heater back on also does nothing.

After 4 minutes the heater is cold enough to touch, and has cooled a lot, and at this stage I heard the enabling ping again.

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  Reply # 315022 5-Apr-2010 17:18
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Sounds like you should take it back and get a heater that heats.




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  Reply # 315278 6-Apr-2010 12:02
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mentalinc: Sounds like you should take it back and get a heater that heats.


Yes I think you are absolutely correct! If what I've read on the Mitre 10 website is correct, I have 30 days to return it.

I'm in correspondence by email with Dimplex, and at this stage they are adament there is no problem or fault with my heater, and that its my poor understanding on technical features of heaters thats the problem. They said If I wanted a heater that puts out 1.5kW of constant heat, I should have bought one without a thermostat, not one that says 1.5kW heat output on the box.



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  Reply # 315684 7-Apr-2010 10:40
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It is all sorted now. My misunderstanding on how heaters and law of thermodynamics work. I will keep using the heater, and recommend them to everyone as it sounds like its going to be very cheap to run! It turns out its an automatic internal switch as described below:

"The ECO range oil free radiators does not require a continuous 1.5kW of power consumption to output 1.5kW of heat. Once the elements reach its peak temperatures it will drop power consumption to 1kW and will only require this amount of input to maintain a maximum temperature of 1.5kW heat output."

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  Reply # 315690 7-Apr-2010 10:56
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IlDuce: It is all sorted now. My misunderstanding on how heaters and law of thermodynamics work. I will keep using the heater, and recommend them to everyone as it sounds like its going to be very cheap to run! It turns out its an automatic internal switch as described below:


"The ECO range oil free radiators does not require a continuous 1.5kW of power consumption to output 1.5kW of heat. Once the elements reach its peak temperatures it will drop power consumption to 1kW and will only require this amount of input to maintain a maximum temperature of 1.5kW heat output."


 

A magical heater that can output 1.5kw of heat while using 1 kw of energy?

Its a miracle!




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 315780 7-Apr-2010 15:02
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robjg63:
IlDuce: It is all sorted now. My misunderstanding on how heaters and law of thermodynamics work. I will keep using the heater, and recommend them to everyone as it sounds like its going to be very cheap to run! It turns out its an automatic internal switch as described below:


"The ECO range oil free radiators does not require a continuous 1.5kW of power consumption to output 1.5kW of heat. Once the elements reach its peak temperatures it will drop power consumption to 1kW and will only require this amount of input to maintain a maximum temperature of 1.5kW heat output."


?

A magical heater that can output 1.5kw of heat while using 1 kw of energy?

Its a miracle!


Apparently thats quite normal, for such a revolutionary device, and its just that you and I don't have the intellectual capacity to understand such things.

I asked if the uses 1.5kW electricity input to warm itself up, then once up to operating temperature it automatically reduces the power input to 1kW BUT still outputs 1.5kW of heat, then how come on low it uses 1kW of electricity? If the rated output on low is 1kW, then shouldn't the input also drop to ~700W?
I mean if all things are fair and equal?? Otherwise in reality the high low switch is virtually redundant (except for speeding the initial heating of elements by a few minutes), as the user cannot change it, and power input is the same between the 2 settings, thus why have a switch at all??

It seems I just don't get it. Couldn't get a straight answer, they have now passed my chain of emails to someone else to try answer.

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  Reply # 315959 7-Apr-2010 22:36
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I am guessing this is one of the undersized ones where the fin area isnt enough to put 1.5kw of heat into a room that is anywhere near a sane temperature. Had that last year, was only 6 fins and 1.5kW and got really really hot and did S.F.A to the room, took it back and got a 2.2kW one which was about 3 times the size which is 1.something on medium and that does a lot more to heat the room and the fins arent as hot.

I got a nice little 6-700w one for under my desk which worked wonders last winter to stop the legs freezing, and just rely on my shacklock radient heater from mid last century to warm the room when needed.




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  Reply # 326848 5-May-2010 12:02
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I was interested in this thread as I am in the market for a couple of these types of heaters for bedrooms.  I was looking at the oil filled ones and went to the shop as these Dimplex ones looked like an oil filled heater in the advert but a lot cheaper, only to find they had a solid heating element in the middle and no oil.  So now I am confused! 

They are reported to be faster and more economical.  There is no doubt they will be faster, but more economical I am not convinced.

As for heat output it is possible to get more heat output vs input, heatpumps are a great example of this (2kw in does not = 2kw out).

I would be interested to know what people think of these new heaters vs oil filled.





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  Reply # 326892 5-May-2010 13:05
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I'm still planning to write to target, who may be interested, but its just a matter of finding the time.

I paid $100 for mine, just to find 5 days later Noel Leemings had them on clearance for $70.

Most brochures advertising these heaters have differing wording regarding the more heat output, some I feel a bid more risky than others.

They are more economical in the sense a normal 1.5kW heater uses 1.5kW of electricity to produce 1.5kW of heat. This 1.5kW heater gives you no choice - it switches itself to 1.0kW and cannot be turned up to 1.5kW so its "saving" you power. So if its "saving" you power, that must mean its "economical"?

Or as they claim, you pay for 1.0kW of electricity and get 1.5kW of heat, an extra 500 watts of heat for FREE!

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  Reply # 326897 5-May-2010 13:13
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Found this Advertising Standards Authority finding on these heaters that may be of some interest. The complaint was chucked out...

http://203.152.114.11/decisions/09/09277.doc


"Having considered this information, the Complaints Board was satisfied that there was a difference between power output and heat output, and it was also satisfied that the claim that the Drytech heater had a “30% greater heat output than a normal oil column heater” had been substantiated. Accordingly, it said that the advertisement did not contain anything that was likely to deceive or mislead consumers, and that it was not in breach of Rule 2 of the Code of Ethics".




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  Reply # 326911 5-May-2010 13:51
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Well it makes sense that a "fast warm up" heater will heat up a room quicker in a short given time such as 1 hour, than a "slow warm up" heater, so of course they will get those results.

Is there anyone here that can explain this statement:

"It is correct 2Kw electricity in equals 2Kw out, but this is a measure of power and not heat". Whats heat measured in then?

That guy was arguing about the point the heater produces 30% more output than rated 2.4kW output. I'm not. I'm arguing the fact they can advertise the heater as 1.5kW, when it uses 1.0kW.

If the heater was rated 1.5kW, and put out 30% more free I would not care, but in this case its using 1.0kW, and as I have said before, if they are given the benefit of the doubt, then how come on low it uses 1.0kW as well as high, when the box says low =1.0kW, high = 1.5kW? Shouldn't low drop to 0.7kW?

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  Reply # 326927 5-May-2010 14:55
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Fair enough. I think I will steer clear of this one and go for the oil heaters as originally intended. Too many dodgy claims and not enough of the full story for my liking

Best of luck IlDuce with Fair Go/Target




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  Reply # 326934 5-May-2010 15:09
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But the heater itself looks nice, the ventilation slots down each column looks great. Mine is black which is far better looking than the white version. It works well, just in my view (as one of very few people who measure power input of appliances), it seems they make some bold claims, which at the very least shows they can't do elementary arithmetic, and their heaters have strange features absent on other heaters (the high switch gets locked out after 10 minutes from turning on - thus why have a switch at all?).

If all their claims are true, then why do oil column heaters still exist?

They have been suersceded by drytech heaters. They look the same, and are far lighter, heat up much much faster, and "more economical", don't contain oil, so what reason do manufacturers have to still want to make obsolete oil column heaters anymore?

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