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block heater/tank heater


Farmall Cub
So the crazy plan is this:
Two deep cycle batteries linked in back, with an inverter to plug in hopefully both the block heater and a tank heater.
I'll typically only need it one "heat session" at a time, with the intention of recharging it nightly.
Might hook it up to a timer, or I am planning on turning the system on and hour or so before I leave.
I may utilize a solar panel on top to charge the batteries as well, but night-time is what I am really concerned about. Minnesota winters.
Thoughts, suggestions, facts about how much juice a block heater sucks up?
Won't work? Tell me why so I don't waste my time. I am replacing the rear floor at some point, is there room to build a metal box and drop the batteries down?
Thanks for reading,
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High Wheeler
Lets make some quick assumptions:

Block heater = 1000 watts
Batterys = 100 amphour rating
Inverter has ZERO power lose (yeah right :D )

So 1000 watts starting with 12 volts - uses 83 amps. You've got 200 amphours in your batteris... You don't want to discharge you batteries below 50% -- So you really only have 100 amphours --- THUS you could run your one block heater for about 1.2 hours under perfect ideal conditions.

You could do it in a pinch but you'd probably only get about 45 minutes to an hour of service considering the power lose at the battery and the inverter.

Erik Morton

High Wheeler
I think 100 Ah per battery is high. Should be 40ish. 83 Amps will heat the batteries as much as the block.

Oh and solar panels just won't provide that kinda power. Particularly at night.


Farmall Cub
I really am just hoping for an hour or so, enough to bring temp barely up to start.
And of course the solar panel would be for the dayside, if I was out in the sun on a cold day (Jan and Feb are very cold, but very bright.)


Diesel Herder / Moderator
Staff member
Espar and there are others that make heaters that do not require electricity or just enough to run a timer, igniter and valve. I know there are threads on these heaters in the diesel forum.
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Farmall Cub
Thanks for the replies, but just so we're clear here, I'm looking at heating the block and maybe fuel so it doesn't gel, not neccessarliy the batteries, though I sure don't want them to freeze!


Farmall Cub
Kimz Hotstart are very popular block heaters around here. They work really well but you can't be very far away from a plug because most of them are 1500 watts or more.

If you are trying to run waste vegetable oil you are going to need a substantial heating unit to keep the WVO from turning solid, which it will at about 30 degrees. It will stop flowing at about 40 degrees. Something like an electric hot water tank heater might do the trick.

But again, it will need to be parked close to a plug or you are going to need a substantial drop cord to carry the load.

Keeping the batteries warm will help the batteries do their job. Most batteries are rated at 70 degrees F and have lost about half of their rated capacity at 40 degrees F.

Another thought about running WVO, you will need to have some sort of fuel switching system so that you can shut your engine down on diesel and not on WVO. When things get cold, if you have WVO in your pump/lines/injectors you are going to have a really hard time getting your engine to start.

Good luck.


High Wheeler
I assume the problem is that the Scout will be parked somewhere at length with no available 110V. There are a few things you can do. I have a KATZ block heater that pulls around 350 watts and will heat things up in 2 - 3 hours. You could combine that with a tank heater and a "pad" type heater glued to the fuel tank and another on the oil pan. Of course you'll have to figure out wattages and so on to see how much you can support out of batteries, then choose which ones you want to use. Another few things you can use or add to the above is better glow plugs and an intake air heater. There's a great but long glowplug thread around here that has intake air heater info as well.

Erik Morton

High Wheeler
Blue Scout,

Do you have any information on that Katz heater? I have been looking for something like that for some time. We have an old JD 2030 diesel with a similar sounding heater on its side and I haven't been able to find one readily.

Any help would be appreciated.


Erik Morton

High Wheeler
Awesome! Thanks Blue Scout. Google searches did not yield squat. Yahoo was a little better, at least I knew there was such a thing. Amazon is the key. Thanks, Erik


Farmall Cub
Put a coolant heater on your coolant and a separate coolant heater on your grease. Beats a vegtherm.

great idea on the battery boxes in the back.

I was thinking the same thing and even adding a separate tank at the same time.



Have you figured out the veggie idle yet?