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Switch for 4000W heaters?

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  • Switch for 4000W heaters?

    Hi - I have two electric outdoor heaters I'm installing for my back patio. Each heater is 4000W and on its own switch.

    I want to be able to automate these so they are appropriately on timers, can start as part of an outdoor event trigger (E.g. start bbq'ing when it's less than 50 degrees out, etc...).

    Will any of the homeseer switches support the wattage on these? I know there had to be higher gauge electrical circuits for them; I think 10 gauge but I'm not sure.

    Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    Would need some more information what you have now Larry.

    What kind of switch is used to operate each unit?

    How do you currently automate items in your home? Do you use ZWAVE?

    I have something similar to which I have 5KW heaters. I use 2 pole 30A contactors I bought at Home Depot for about $15 each.

    I trigger the coil voltage for each contactor using a Zwave single relay module Enerwave Cat No: ZWN-RSM1S.

    Since my install they now make a GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting and Appliance Control. I have never tried it.

    Good luck



    • #3
      Thanks Will!

      Current home is under construction, but will be Homeseer z-wave plus switches everywhere with a Hometroller S6 Pro brain.

      The two heaters will each be:

      They are wired, I believe, with 10 gauge wire - each is wired from my outdoor patio ceiling directly into individual switch boxes inside my patio door.

      Ideally I would put a z wave plus switch in each switchbox and call it good, but that's where I know the normal Homeseer switches might now handle the load.

      Suggestions? What do you think would work best?


      • #4
        I use an Aeotec heavy duty switch to control a water heater and it works great. Wired inline with the heater.
        HS Pro 3.0 | Linux Ubuntu 16.04 x64 virtualized under Proxmox (KVM)
        Hardware: Z-NET - W800 Serial - Digi PortServer TS/8 and TS/16 serial to Ethernet - Insteon PLM - RFXCOM - X10 Wireless
        Plugins: HSTouch iOS and Android, RFXCOM, BlueIris, BLLock, BLDSC, BLRF, Insteon PLM (MNSandler), Device History, Ecobee, BLRing, Kodi, UltraWeatherWU3
        Second home: Zee S2 with Z-Wave, CT101 Z-Wave Thermostat, Aeotec Z-Wave microswitches, HSM200 occupancy sensor, Ecolink Z-Wave door sensors, STI Driveway Monitor interfaced to Zee S2 GPIO pins.


        • #5
          Thanks much! Though - how big are these? As I mentioned, right now these are wired to dedicated electrical boxes inside my house, each currently with an opening designed for a standard switch. How would these work with that?


          • #6

            I have never seen a Zwave toggle switch rated for that amperage/wattage to fit in the wall. I assume your electrician was planning to use a double pole 30A rated wall toggle switch if a single gang switchbox is roughed in already.

            Either method that we offered above for controlling the heaters would be best to install at your electrical panel. Your electrician would be installing dedicated circuits (cables) from your power panel to the heater locations anyway. He should be using #10AWG wire as you mentioned the heaters have.

            Hope this helps.