A Review of the Heat Wave FES Series Portable Electric Heater
The Heat Wave FES series heater (by TPI, Corp. – formerly Fostoria Industries) is an electric heater designed primarily for the construction trades such as drywall workers, plumbers, electricians, finish workers and painters and general maintenance areas. Instead of using kerosene, diesel or propane, the Heat Wave heater offers the convenience of clean electric heat on the job site. No need for refueling.
What is the Heat Wave heater?
The Heat Wave is a yellow drum-style forced air heater integrated into a portable cart with heavy-duty wheels and a push handle. Weighing about 65 lbs. the heater is about the same physical size as a baby stroller.
Following are the available Heat Wave models with specifications:
FES-1024-1CA 10 kW, 240V, 1 phase (42 amps, 34,130 BTU's)
FES-1520-3A 15 kW, 208V, 3 phase (42 amps, 51,195 BTU's)
FES-1524-3E 15 kW, 240V, 3 phase (36 amps, 51,195 BTU's)
FES-1524-1A 15 kW, 240V, 1 phase (63 amps, 51,195 BTU's)
FES-1548-3E 15 kW, 480V, 3 phase (18 amps, 51,195 BTU's)
FES-3048-3A 30 kW, 480V, 3 phase (36 amps, 102,390 BTU's)
FES-3060-3A 30 kW, 600V, 3 phase (30 amps, 102,390 BTU's)
Of these models, the most common is the FES-1024-1CA, which comes with a 10 'cord set and range plug to fit most plug configurations found in homes behind electric clothes dryers and oven ranges. Almost all residential job sites and most commercial sites will accommodate the 1 phase, 240V electrical requirement of the Model 1024. A dedicated 50 amp breaker is all that is required to handle its 42 amp draw.
The next most popular model is the FES-1524-1CA. This unit is also 240V, 1 phase, but draws 63 amps of power. Along with all the other models, this unit does not include a cord set. Contractors are required to buy their own range cable, found at most hardware and electrical supply houses.
All the other Heat Wave heater models are more typical of commercial and industrial sites having a range of power capacities such as 208V, 480V and 3 phase operating power requirements.
What are the advantages of using this heater versus a fuel-fired heater?
– Completely portable. Take the heater from job to job, room to room.
– Clean, dry heat. No moisture, no contaminants, no noxious odors.
– Quiet operation. Salamander propane and kerosene heaters are noisy.
– Safe to leave unattended – unlike fuel-fired heaters.
– Thermostatically controlled. Can be left on overnight.
– Convenient heat. No need to refill tanks.
Who uses the Heat Wave heater?
– Drywall workers
– Finish workers
– Carpet layers
– Restoration companies – refinishing, drying out flood-damaged areas, etc.
– Homeowners – DIY, garage heating
– Event planners – large tent heating
– Facilities Maintenance
– Offices needing temporary heat
Drywall workers tout the fact that the Heat Wave does not add moisture to the air, as do fuel fired heaters, which makes curing drywall mud especially difficult. This heater eliminates that problem. Likewise, painters benefit from shorter dry times and higher quality paint jobs.
How much area can the Heat Wave heat? How long will it take?
This depends on factors such as cubic feet of space, insulation and temperature rise desired. Heating 1000 sq. feet of space with a 10 kW unit from 40 degrees F to 60 degrees (a 20 deg. temperature rise) will take about 70 minutes. Twice that long for a 40 degree rise. Heating 1500 sq. feet requires about 150 minutes to raise the temperature 20 degrees and 210 minutes for a 40 degree rise. These estimates are based on a 15 'ceiling height.
The 15 kW Heat Wave heater model emits more heat compare to the 10 kW heater (51,195 BTU's compared to 34,130 BTU's), so heat-up times will be shortened under the same conditions. The same holds true for the 30 kW model, which emits 102,390 BTU's.
How much does a Heat Wave heater cost?
Prices can range from under $ 800 to more than $ 1200 for the 10 kW and 15 kW models, which is more importantly than a conventional forced air propane or kerosene salamander heater. However, when considering the time and cost of refilling tanks, the Heat Wave can easily pay itself off in a short amount of time.