Block Heaters 24/7

   / Block Heaters 24/7 #1  

Tony H

Platinum Member
Mar 18, 2013
Summit, NY
My winters are cold. Sometimes way below freezing sometimes well below zero Fahrenheit. A few of my neighbors that have snow plowing routes and those that have farm animals plug in their block heaters for those 6 months. That is, when they are not in the vehicle, using it, the vehicle is plugged in. Their idea is #1 The vehicle is ready at a moment's notice. And #2: there is no stress on parts (expansion and contraction) as the engine goes from 0 degrees to running temp. I'm not saying what they do is not valid... Personally, I nervous about having the Heater plugged in overnight when I'm not around to see or smell a problem. I just don't have confidence in them. What is your opinion.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #2  
I would like to hear some opinions on this as well. I know some old-school farmers who live by that mentality. I personally don't love the idea due to fear of an electrical fire starting from a short circuit or something and burning my tractor and outbuilding to the ground.

Also, I've found that once my tractor has been plugged in for 3-4 hours, leaving it plugged in for longer doesn't make any more of a difference. In other words, leaving it plugged in overnight doesn't seem to get it any warmer than leaving it plugged in for 3 hours before hand.

Just something I've noticed, again I'd like to hear other users opinions.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #4  
I don't use my tractor daily, so I only plug it in a few hours before I go out to plow. I'm retired, so that lessens the "at a moments notice" need.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #5  
You only need to plug it in about 20 minutes before you need to start it. Worked @ -22 F in Vermont, even on a lower rad heater. Be even more direct in a block heater. Any longer, and you're wasting electrical energy out the radiator to air.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #6  
I would be more concerned with the wasted energy cost vs anything but if you can live with that plug it in and forget it.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #7  
When my dealer delivered my new tractor, his instructions were to only plug the block heater in for a hour before trying to start the tractor. The heaters don't have a thermostat and run non-stop. No need to overdo it. Just sayin.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #8  
A couple hours pre-heat is enough,just a waste any longer.Buy a heavy duty timer.I leave a battery tender on mine all the time in cold weather and switch to the block heater a couple hours before use.
Farmer's electricity is paid by "the farm" so they don't care.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #9  
Mine is plugged in to a timer all winter. Comes on at 430 am and switches off at 1000 am (or so). I figure if I need it, it will likely be in the morning to plow out so we can get to work. If I end up needing it in the evening when I get home, I can always plug it straight in to the wall outlet and go back in the house until after dinner.
   / Block Heaters 24/7 #10  
With most block heaters being 600 watts or less that would be around 14.4 Kw per day.
So if your electricity is $0.16 per Kw that would be about $2.30 per day, or around $70 per month.
So is it worth it to plug it in all the time, I guess it depends on how often you need it and if you want to wait for it.

Now some of the newer and larger tractors with block heaters and hydraulic heaters will be closer to 1500 watt,
so that will add up faster, of course if you are using it 6 hours as day that will add up also.