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Space Heaters

What to know about using space heaters in your home.
Most space heaters are around 1500 watts. What that means to your electrical system is you will most likely overload the circuit you plug it into. Can you plug it into any outlet and will it work? Yes, but that does not mean it is correct or safe. The circuits that power bedrooms and living rooms are 15 amps. A 1500 watt space heater on a 120v circuit uses 12.5 amps. That is more than 80% of that circuit. If the space heater runs for more than 3 hours continuously than that number goes up to 15.63 amps. At which point the breaker should trip. Other concerns are damage to others parts of the circuit. When the breaker fails to trip I have seen wires burn up and outlets melt.
If you are going to use a space heater, it might be wise to consult a licensed electrician to run a dedicated circuit for the space heater. A dedicated circuit is a circuit that serves one specific outlet or appliance so it will not have to share power with anything else in the house.
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