Red Box Heater & Blue Blower

Is it time to think about investing in a heater?

Are you tired of standing in a cold studio or work shop?

Are you letting $1000’s of dollars of turning tools sit idle because you are to cheap to invest $150 in a heater?

Main Heat

The heat in my house is base board hot water driven by a natural gas hot water furnace with 4 zones.  The 4th zone is the main heater in my studio.  It  is a  fan forced “Modine” hot water heater.

The Modine heater works great.  It is the best solution because it is efficient and no open flame (pilot light) in my studio.

Note: “Modine” is the brand name.  But, it is also commonly used to refer to and box heater that hangs from the ceiling.   May be hot water or gas fired.

240 Volt Red Box Heater

It takes about 1 hour for the Modine to warm up my studio from 50 to 65 degrees.  When I forget to turn it on early I use my red box heater for supplemental heat.

The red box heater I like is manufactured by Marley Electric Heating, Model# 402. Contractor Heater,  4000 watts at 240 volts.  Roughly 11″ x 11″ x 12″. The same heater is sold under the Marley, Qmark, Berko and Fahrenheat brands.  Just look for BRH 402 heater on Amazon.  $150 on 2/8/2013

I like this heater because.

  1. Its red and rugged!
  2. It is fan forced.  So it shoots a steam of hot air across the studio.
  3. It puts out a lot of heat!.  But, it is not to hot.  You can stand in front of it and feel very comfortable.
  4. It is portable.  You just plug it in.  It is easy to move around.  Easy to store in summer. Not to big.
  5. You can easily hang it from wall or ceiling with wire, gas welding rod or chain.
  6. It is 220 volts.  120 volt heaters are to wimpy for me!  I want heat now, lots of it!
  7. It has a knob on the back that turns it off/no and sets thermostat temperature.
  8. It is not to noisy.
  9. It is low and square.  Very stable shape.  You really can’t knock it over.  So, no fire hazard.
  10. It is easy to clean with a blast of compressed air.

The model BRH 402 heater is the smallest model in the BRH series.  It  draws 16.7 amps at 240 volts.  Thus it requires a 20 amp 220 volt circuit breaker.   However, I run the heater on the same circuit as my large 3hp VB36 lathe.   I plug them into the same wall outlet. 

It is a little known fact that you can replace the local hardware store variety single outlet 220 volt receptacle with dual outlet one.  You need a  “NEMA 6-20 duplex receptacle” (www.mcmaster.com item # 7120K942)

Marley makes larger BRH heaters.  But they require more than 20 amps.   Click here for details.

120 Volt Blue Blower with Heater Attachment

I love my “Nascar Blue Blower” it is “the best fan I have ever owned”.   I take it every where in the summer.

I love this fan because it will blow a stream of air, straight across the room, 10 feet or more. It has low, medium, and high speeds.  High = wind tunnel.  It is a small portable squirrel cage fan driven by a 180 watt motor.

They make a $30 heater attachment that snaps onto the front of blue blower.  It works pretty good.  But, I don’t like standing in front of it.  Its just a little to cool.  Because, even on low speed the blue blower moves to a lot of air.   The heater works fine if you don’t stand in front of it.

If you don’t have 220 volts then blue blower heater is a good 120 volt solution.  You just have to live with less/slower heat. I take the blue blower heater with me in the winter when I stay in cheap motels.
I don’t think they are still selling the orginal blue blower.   I have seen lots of knock offs.  Same quality?  Look around on Amazon.  Original fan $70 + heater $30.

Air Cleaner

I have a JDS 750-ER air cleaner in my studio.  It is a very important part of my heating and AC systems.

The air cleaner hangs from the low ceiling in the center of my studio.  My “Modine” heater is positioned so it blows hot air across the room into the intake on my air cleaner.   The air cleaner blows the heat around the rest of the shop.