Space Heater Outlet

Tried searching the forums but couldn’t find a good recent-ish thread discussing this. What would people suggest for an outlet (plug in or hard wired) that will handle an 1800 watt space heater? The heaters seem to run 1800 on high and 1500 on low. 1800 seems beyond many outlets specs from what I am finding. In my basement we have forced air heat that just can’t keep up since I think it was an after thought to heating the main floor. Possibly added later when the basement was finished. Most of the time this is fine since I’d rather the heat money be spent on the main floor, but its where my kids play room is so would like to be able to warm it up when they are down there.

I have them pretty well trained to only run on low and turn off when they leave. . . .but being kids. . . there have been times they forget to turn off. Right now I have hooked up to a monoprice plug in outlet but it keeps dropping connection so I really don’t want to use it. The setup only turns the outlet off, never on. I have them click the button on the outlet and turn the heater on when they want to use it. Theoretically they also turn it off when they leave, but I use motion sensors in the room to turn off if people leave for 5 min.

It would be great to find a UL device but poking around, that doesn’t seem likely. Also my z-wave network seems more dependable than my zigbee, but I would be open to either. Dependability is key for either in this case. People have any good suggestions?

Not sure what you me by “seem to”…

The heater will have a Amperage specification on it’s UL label (sometimes Watts, but usually not). Watts = Amps × Volts.

Aeon Aeotec Z-Wave outlets tend to be rated at 15 Amps. At 120v household voltage = 1800 Watts.

So the outlet matches the capacity you require.

20 Amp outlets may be available; but 20 Amp appliances are relatively rare; big toaster ovens, perhaps powerful blenders…


Personally I’d use a standard GE on/off switch with a RIB relay rated for the heater. The switch turns the relay on/off then the relay turns on the heater. Safer for the switch, especially if you are going to hard wire it, and you can use almost any standard light switch.

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I have several space heaters from when I lived in the Midwest where winters required some extra umph. These actually do state wattage just like irons and bulbs. Mines fluctuate between 1200 and 1500 watts depending on fan speed and temperature settings.

My boxer recently had puppies and I have been using one of the space heaters to keep the day room a little warm during the nights. Luckily it hasn’t been too cold because once the outlet turns off then there is no way of turning it back on unless I get some kind of IR Blaster setup going on.

I use the Iris Smart Plugs and they seem to handle the load better than the peanuts. The peanuts got really hot!

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Do you know what the Iris ones are rated? From what I can see they are 12 amp which wouldn’t be quite enough. They are listed as UL which was would be good.

What’s that?

I meant I have a few heaters and they have low and high listed at 1500 (might be 1200 as noted below, but I was focused on high as worst case) and 1800. Meaning not sure I could find one with a high that’s much lower.

I should add I am in the US. Also was assuming running at max draw for a switch was a bad idea, but maybe that’s not a good assumption. If a heater max and switch max are the same it’s ok to run for significant periods?

I personally believe it is not a problem if you are buying a “quality” outlet.

I happen to use a couple of these old Aeotec’s even though there are newer models available. These sure look extra sturdy and have been reliable; but that doesn’t mean other brands and models are bad.

I’m certain that the Max Power draw rating specified by the vendor is not time limited and is likely conservative (i.e., if you happen to draw 2200 Watts, it’s not gonna fall over or light up on fire, though it wouldn’t be advisable to try).

I have the Aeotec Smart Switch 6 for several things (just bought my 3rd)…I don’t have an 1800W load on it, but it is rated for 15A (which is what standard US residential receptacles are rated for). Make sure to use @jbisson’s DTH and it will work slick.

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Don’t know but I know that my electric car charger pulls about 1500 watts and it killed a peanut but the iris is going strong.

RIB - Relay in A Box. Its a brand of relays. Lets you use a much lower rated switch and then it does the higher rated stuff: They even have ones that can do low voltage to high or 120c to 277 so you can use them on bigger motors with a standard switch.

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Funny, I bought a couple of these for my brother before I got into HA. Then he got me into it and now I’m the comparitive pro.

Does it work with a stock handler or just custom?

Zooz Zen 15 has a pretty high amp rating - not sure if it responds to a built-in device type (probably), but the custom device type is well-defined by krlaframboise .

This is what you mean right? I notice it does energy reporting. How much noise does that cause on the network? I have been having zigbee issues so have been chasing a way to shut up on of my noisy zigbee energy reporting outlets so am wary of introducing another source of high traffic. Otherwise this looks great.

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the noise level reporting is deeply configurable by the custom device type.

Yes the 0.1w fixed reporting differential of the original ST (Centralite) power outlet, is idiotic for most uses. I think I’ve occasionally seen 20 power updates in one minute. If that was the only device then I would have modified the device type (and I hate working on groovy) but fortunately there are plenty of alternatives.


From ActionTiles overall customer data, we noticed that over 85% of all SmartThings Events are power reporting.

Apparently cloud load is not a concern at SmartThings operations…

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I read the install manual on the Zooz Zen 15 and unfortunately it states to not use on electric heaters so thinking that’s out. What do people think of this? Although I would prefer a plug in model so its easy to move to a new location, this is 15 amps, notes good for 1800 watts of resistance, and its z-wave which is a better network in my setup. UL rated too.

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I’m not sure that’s due to a physical limitation of the device.

I think they recommend that because unattended use of an electric heater could increase the risk of a fire. You’d want to be very careful about where you place the heater, to make sure it can’t tip over, or something flammable can’t come in contact with it, etc.

So the same warning likely applies to any smart switch (whether the manufacturer acknowledges it or not), or the heater itself.


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