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Spinoff. What is the safest way to heat a tackroom?

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  • Spinoff. What is the safest way to heat a tackroom?

    Years ago, when I built our barn and spoke to the electrician about heat for the tackroom, he suggested an electric in wall heater. I didn't like the looks of it because it had coils that heated and just did not look safe. So my tack room is still cold.
    I was wondering about a hardwired electric baseboard heater. Too many barns around us have gone up in flames with heaters, and I'm very concerned. There has to be a safe way.
    Suggestions?

  • #2
    I know, right? I mean, my house is heated, and it hardly ever goes up in flames. How hard can it be? It's 2012, for crying out loud.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

    Comment


    • #3
      hardly ever. snork!
      A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

      Might be a reason, never an excuse...

      Comment


      • #4
        I still maintain that an oil-filled "radiator type" heater (plugged into a properly grounded outlet) will be your safest option. Has anyone ever looked into the causes of the barn fires that occur each year? What is the common denominator, beyond "electricity"--either lightning, old electrical outlets (grounded??), dust accumulation, etc. I am a detail, get-all-the-facts kind of gal. Then I make an educated decision.

        OP- does your barn have electrical wiring? If it was properly installed, within the last 15 years or so, and it isn't chewed up by rodents or frayed or dusty or what have you, then a heater (new, with safety devices) placed away from oily rags, and combustibles in your tack room should be a good, safe option.
        Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

        Comment


        • #5
          Run around really really fast in a circle for 5 minutes. You will be warm. ;-P

          I don't see why a modern space heater with a tip shut off and other safety features would be a problem. I have a fairly new electric ceramic space heater that pivots and if you so much as nudge it, it shuts off. It also keeps the fan blowing for 15 seconds after you turn it off to cool down the heating element.

          I mean, nothing is impossible and I certainly understand caution. My biggest terror is a house fire (I don't worry about the horses b/c they live in the pasture 24/7. The only time they are enclosed is to eat) so I totally get that!
          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
          We Are Flying Solo

          Comment


          • #6
            Have an 8 ft electric baseboard in the tack room, set on low(50ish) to keep the chill off and keep pipes from freezing. I am a "what if" worry wart, but before I turn it on everything is removed from in front and it is dusted and vacuumed all around. No problems and it is sooo, nice being able to come into a warm space
            "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

            "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"

            Comment


            • #7
              We had an electric in wall heater in our last house; the only heating option there was electric and while the rest of the house had baseboard heat the layout of the master bedroom was so goofy the only option, apparently, was an in wall heater (we bought house with heater in it). I did not like it; it was noisy and not very good; the half of the bedroom close to it was hot, the other half was cold. I was always afraid that it would die and we would be unable to find one that fit exactly in the same opening.

              A firefighter told me to avoid space heaters; stuff happens and things like coolers and saddle pads can fall on it it if it is near the wall. Barn cats can knock things off hangers. I suppose you could put it in the middle of the room. Our city has had two fairly recent devastating house fires caused by defective newer space heaters for which there had been recalls.

              A place I used to board at had a base board heater installed under a ledge, I thought that was a pretty good idea; it was up off the ground (less chance of rodent damage maybe?) and the fact that there was a ledge above meant that nothing could fall on it.

              I saw this ad recently:
              http://winnipeg.kijiji.ca/c-pets-liv...AdIdZ427608314


              and wondered about using them in a tack room. My tack room is at yet unbuilt but I am thinking about this and plan to do a bit more research into this option.

              Comment


              • #8
                for years gardening enthusiasts have used rabbits in place of man-made radiators, housing rabbits in greenhouses to keep the plants warm... just be sure to keep the door closed

                Comment


                • #9
                  What if you took a ceramic heater and put it in a wire dog crate? Then nothing could fall on it and get close enough to catch fire. Or even the oil radiant as mentioned? If you had it in a wire crate that was big enough, no matter what could fall on it, you should be fine.
                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Our old race horse barn had a tack room on one side, office on the other and a small bathroom and closet in-between them.
                    In that closet was a water heater and a very small furnace, that kept it all warm and the pipes from freezing.
                    It was all electric.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think you gals might want to look into Convection heaters.

                      "Convection space heaters generate heat in the same way that an electric range or electric oven does. Electricity flows through a resistor--a material that resists the flow of electric current. The resistor turns the electric energy into heat energy. In the case of convection heaters, this heat energy is then distributed through the room through convection, along with conduction and forced air.

                      We got one for my Grandmother whose room is always SO cold.. but we had to have something that was safe with oxygen use. You mount it on the wall and it sucks up the cold air and turns it into warm air and spits it out. It is completely enclosed and cool to the touch. Nothing can fall on it or cause it to burst into flames.

                      If it is safe to use with the use of an oxygen machine in the same room then it has to be safe for a tack room!

                      http://www.amazon.com/Econo-Heat-060...vection+heater
                      Last edited by KSquared; Dec. 4, 2012, 01:58 AM. Reason: Gals... not galls
                      Chambermaid to....
                      Lilly
                      Reggie

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The viewing room at the barn i board at is heated with an Eden Pure Heater. Appears safe. Has been run 24/7 all winter for several years. Worth a look maybe?

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by wildlifer View Post
                          Run around really really fast in a circle for 5 minutes. You will be warm. ;-
                          If I can convince my water heater to unhook itself every now and then and do that , I'd be golden.

                          I think the convection ones look really interesting. I believe that a lot of the fire danger is the wiring, and plugs. I don't know if that's rational or not. I have a refridgerator pluged in in the tack room and don't worry about that, yet plugging in a heater just scares the bejeezus out of me. All my wiring is metal wrapped and in conduit. Electrician thought it was overkill.
                          I do have one of the radiator types there now, but always unplug at nite.
                          Thanks for the suggestions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have hard-wired electric baseboard in mine. Actually, the baseboard is just in the office and bathroom part. I rarely use it because the tack room shares a wall with the attached apartment and usually stays above freezing. When I do turn them on, I have to vacuum the dust out first!

                            I have radiant cove heaters in my apartment, and wish I'd used them in the barn, too. They're up high on the wall so you don't have to worry about placing stuff too close to them. They are relatively easy to install and you can get them in whatever voltage you want to use (mine are 240V). I've been really pleased with this form of heat.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you ask your insurance agent--the guys that actually bet money on what causes barn fires--you'd find that something over 90% of all barn fires are caused by stroing hay in the barn or smoking in the barn. So while yes, you should certainly have an eye toward safety when deciding on heating it's probably a smaller fire factor than you think. (Actually, talking to your insurance agent might be a great place to get data on what really causes barn fires and what you should do to prevent them.)

                              I have hard wired electric baseboard heaters, properly installed, wired and set just to keep the pipes from freezing. I don't loose any sleep at night over it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BuddyRoo View Post
                                What if you took a ceramic heater and put it in a wire dog crate? Then nothing could fall on it and get close enough to catch fire. Or even the oil radiant as mentioned? If you had it in a wire crate that was big enough, no matter what could fall on it, you should be fine.
                                In my post on the other thread I didn't clarify. Nothing fell on my oil rad, they have a bad habit of drawing too much electric. The plastic on the wire, in the middle that separates the wires, melted then arced, due too ecessive draw
                                This is what the firefighters told me, and how the vast majority fires caused by these, are started.

                                My boarding barn has had hot water baseboard heat, set to 40ish, for well over 20 yrs. Safe so far.

                                CFF

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I am thinking about this down the line, so it is interesting to see where folks fall. We had electric baseboards, hardwired, in the house and they were VERY expensive to run. We have replaced them with a much more efficient central system. With dust and rodents, I would have a very hard time trusting the baseboards in my barn.

                                  My tackroom is small, so I was wondering about radiant floor heat. The kind that would be embedded in thinset under a tile floor. Has anyone tried it?
                                  * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by subk View Post
                                    If you ask your insurance agent--the guys that actually bet money on what causes barn fires--you'd find that something over 90% of all barn fires are caused by stroing hay in the barn or smoking in the barn. So while yes, you should certainly have an eye toward safety when deciding on heating it's probably a smaller fire factor than you think. (Actually, talking to your insurance agent might be a great place to get data on what really causes barn fires and what you should do to prevent them.).
                                    Do you mean spontaneous combustion of the hay? Yes I believe that to be true in the summer. But in the winter around here (midwest) it seems the causes tend to be heaters used for calves, lambs, chickens etc. Just like house fires and Christmas trees. I suppose an insurance agent who does farms primarily would have those facts . Good to know.
                                    Last edited by SLR; Dec. 7, 2012, 10:27 AM. Reason: used wrong wording

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by jacksmom View Post
                                      My tackroom is small, so I was wondering about radiant floor heat. The kind that would be embedded in thinset under a tile floor. Has anyone tried it?
                                      I think it can be done with a concrete floor too, can't it? I was going to suggest radiant floor heat as a safe option, but obviously not something you install later, but would do while building. Have no personal experience with it, but seems like it would work well.

                                      I have a wall heater in mine, properly installed by the electrician when building our barn. It seems okay, but I worry, so it gets vac'd out all the time and I won't let anything be near it. It is in a fully enclosed wall that mice cannot get into. And my tack room is a mouse free zone so I don't have to worry about critters eating wires, etc., plus all barn wiring is in conduit (even stuff in the now enclosed walls, since we left open when building and finished later).

                                      I also have a fire extinguisher in the tack room, rigt inside the door. I am truly amazed how many don't do that. Chances are that a barn fire will go up so fast, you won't get a chance to use it (wood, hay, shavings...poof!), but if I can stop a tiny fire from escalating, it is well worth it.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by SLR View Post
                                        Do you mean spontaneous combustion of the hay?
                                        I would assume so. What I *know* is that what I'm saving in insurance premiums by agreeing not to store hay in my barn is taking a big bite out of the expense of building our separate hay shed in only a few years.

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