Safer: Electric Space Heater Or Bathroom Heater/Exhaust Vent

Discussion in 'Shower & Bathtub Forum & Blog' started by PM5K, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. PM5K

    PM5K New Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    So most of my posts here are for a friend that I've been helping for quite some time. The thing is, he's pretty paranoid about anything that can go wrong with things in life, and in this case plumbing and electrical are no different.

    So one of his concerns is about the heater/exhaust in his bathroom. I think mostly because there is insulation and a heater in the same general area. Now my common sense tells me that he's not the first guy to have a heater/exhaust combo put in his bathroom, and that they are perfectly safe, but the more info I have to prove that to him the better.

    What especially concerns me is that he'd rather use an electric space heater instead of the heater/exhaust combo, and I feel like a properly installed heater/exhaust combo is safer than an electric space heater, and obviously not so unsightly.

    I didn't install it but I'm fairly certain it was installed correctly, or maybe 99% correctly. The guys that did a lot of the work on his house were pretty good but not perfect.

    I did a little paint illustration to show how it's installed. Top down: The black lines are 2x8's or whatever, the pink is insulation, and the blue is the heater. There is no insulation between the 2x8's but there is right up to the heater on either side.

    [​IMG]

    I ran a temp probe on it when it was on and at ambient it was about 74 and after 15 mins it was at 101 and after 30 mins it was at 105. It didn't seem to get much hotter than that no matter how long it was on. It gets hot but in South Texas it gets a lot hotter in there during the summer so I think the only other concern would be spark, but the heater is in an enclosed metal box so sparks shouldn't normally be an issue. The temperature in the bathroom was just a bit over 80 degrees so it was fairly comfortable.

    Thoughts?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    you would have to get the manufacturer's installation instructions to see what their clearance requirements are. I am not sure what you mean by "there is no insulation between the 2x8's", because if there is insulation up to the heater, then there should also be insulation in the rest of the ceiling.
  3. PM5K

    PM5K New Member

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    That's what I was thinking. There's an old paper sitting around there somewhere that probably has that information.
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