Loading Notifications...

Outdoor heaters

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020

My mum is the proud new owner of an outdoor shelter for Covid appropriate socialising. She is, as I write, having electricity installed in it and plans to have a heater or two in there. 

She has bought one of these, which sounded like the right thing.

https://www.screwfix.com/p/mh-10-1-wall-mounted-quartz-heater-600-1200w/1238p

However, when looking at the instructions for mounting it, it suggests it should be 700mm down from the ceiling and 1800mm from ground. The shelter is only 2000mm high! Lol. 

Are the manufacturers just being over cautious? If not, are all heaters of this style going to have a similar problem? Is there a better sort of heater to go for?

We are tempted to just put it up and try it, but I thought I would tap into good old UKC wisdom first!

Thanks

6
 marsbar 13 Oct 2020
 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to marsbar:

Interesting, quite a few of the reviews are people using it in workshops/ garages etc. 

The shelter is 3 sided with a proper felt roof, it should be fairly sheltered

 marsbar 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

If it has a proper roof then it may be ok, I’m not certain.  

 Ridge 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

A big coat might be more cost effective!

1
 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to marsbar:

You thinking it's at risk of water damage? We were more questioning the clearance suggested above it and wondering how necessary that was. I hadn't even thought to question the dampness issue! One to think about!

 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Ridge:

We have those, and she is making fleece ponchos etc. However she is mid 60s and some of her friends are older and less physically strong than her. She does really need a heater in there for her purposes. 

 Kevster 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

3 sides and a heater. Heating the world up... 

Eco credentials to one side - I'd worry more about the height from the ceiling than the height from the floor. They will get hot, they will burn when touched. Oldies and kiddies especially. 
For a relatively cheap to purchase fix, I'm sure itll do. If you fit it, and you burn yourself, who are you going to take to court if it all goes wrong? 

If your house is attached to the shelter, then the fire risk is greater for your home. 

Have you considered a button to turn it on, with a timed off after? so it doesnt get left on without someone in attendance recently?

In reply to girlymonkey:

Would a gas patio heater make more sense?

4
 marsbar 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I’m not sure my bathroom is quite tall enough either for that matter.  I absolutely wouldn’t put it closer to the ceiling, but I expect the height from the ground is to keep it above children’s reach.  Maybe get a guard for it if there are children or vulnerable adults.  

 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Kevster:

Indeed, at the moment the choice is she has no social life with her older friends who can't walk very far, or she heats up the world. Sadly, that's where we are. She was widowed in May, it's not a time to be left without social contact! Obviously, she has us, but she needs more than that!

House isn't attached and she is very careful about not leaving stuff on. 

Leaving that amount of ceiling clearance just isn't an option, it's way too low. Sounds like we maybe do need something else 🤔

1
 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

She wants it wall mounted so it doesn't take up too much space. Easier to have a good distance between people if you aren't working around other things

In reply to Kevster:

3 sides and it's not outdoors.  Most of the laws on the matter use the smoking ban as a definition of what counts as outdoors.  If there's a roof, there can't be any more than 50% walls.

 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I've not measured it, but probably not far off 50%. It's 2 short sides and one long which are closed. 

In reply to Neil Williams:

Gas patio heaters don't make sense in any shape or form, though unfortunately Covid rules will probably see an upturn in sales of the damned things.

Post edited at 22:14
In reply to Tom V:

> Gas patio heaters don't make sense in any shape or form, though unfortunately Covid rules will probably see an upturn in sales of the damned things.

Nor does heating anything outside, really, but these are special times.

2
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I've not measured it, but probably not far off 50%. It's 2 short sides and one long which are closed. 

That doesn't comply, unfortunately - you'd need 2 sides missing, or 2 half-sides plus one full side.  Technically that's legally indoors (assuming it has a roof on it).

Post edited at 22:16
 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

So we can extend the roof then and the sides become half sides?! I think we are safe enough with this. It's Scotland, the wind never stops blowing. All the shelter does is reduce the wind a bit. 

 marsbar 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

If it means older people can meet friends or family in a safer way then patio heaters do make sense.   There are fewer planes and commuters which may make up for it. 

11
In reply to girlymonkey:

I *think* so, unless Scotland is using different rules!

 marsbar 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I think I'd just use a portable fan heater and take it indoors between uses.

 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

So the extra roof would make no difference at all and therefore in terms of covid-safety we are about as feasable as we can be. I'm happy to leave it as it is!! 

1
 girlymonkey 13 Oct 2020
In reply to marsbar:

That's what she has at the moment, I guess we are just trying to find a nicer/ more efficient solution. The fan heater helps, but I think something wall mounted (or ceiling mounted) would be more efficient. The Scottish wind will always reduce the efficiency of any of them, but just trying to get the best we can

 Kevster 13 Oct 2020
In reply to marsbar:

Those fan heaters for bathrooms I'm sure have a smaller from ceiling height. Maybe a solution. If at floor level may keep the feet warm too. Less likely to burn someone too

 Kevster 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

How about an infra red heater? Pubs etc often have them. 

Another thought is an electric blanket..... or two. 

 Hooo 13 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I'm not a qualified electrician, but my quick risk assessment suggests two main risks.

1. It's supposed to be indoors. Make sure it's properly earthed and protected with an RCD and it'll be OK.

2. It might set fire to the ceiling because it's too close. But being outdoors this is unlikely. Don't leave it unattended, keep an eye on how hot the ceiling is getting, and it'll be OK.

It looks like a good choice. I can't see a fan heater being much use outdoors.

In reply to marsbar:

So the benefits to the planet of people not flying as much can be counteracted by burning gas outside your house?

For what it's worth, I was mainly criticising gas patio heaters, but I still think the benefits of putting an extra couple of layers on instead need considering. 

3
 Timmd 13 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> So the benefits to the planet of people not flying as much can be counteracted by burning gas outside your house?

It could take ages for people with outside heaters in colder climes to take a chunk out of any benefits due to most people stopping flying. I've not the headspace to look into it, but if one thinks of world wide flying for business, and snow sport trips, and winter sun trips, and flying home for Xmas.

An old(er) persons want to see her friends, you're technically right - but sentimentally wrong... ;-)

Post edited at 23:56
In reply to Timmd:

It's the attitude rather than the maths which bothers me ( speaking as an old(er) person myself).  Does the "special times" getout mean that I can celebrate my next birthday by setting off a dozen sky lanterns?

I still don't get what's wrong with the extra layers suggestion. Does it reek too much of Currie?

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Older ladies, some of them in their 80s, will wear lots of extra layers, have a hot drink in their hand, will have blankets and will still need a heater! This is a Scottish winter we are talking about. The attitude is that there is a deadly virus going around and their social life has gone. (These are all Scottish country dancers, I suspect we are going to be in this for long enough that some of them will never dance again). Instead of being dangerous and going to cafes, my mum will stick a heater on for a couple of hours once or twice a week to have one over for a cuppa. 

Yes, heating outdoors is bad, hence why we are trying to find the most efficient way of doing it, bit it's not the same as sky lanterns or people being selfish. It's people getting out once or twice a week to meet other humans! 

When we go for dinner, the heater will only be on if mum needs it, otherwise we will just wear jackets. It's a bit different for us though!

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Kevster:

Does infra red need much space around it? Worth looking at.

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Hooo:

That was certainly our first thought on it, that it should be fine. Will look around at infra red ones and compare and see where we go from there.

 Ridge 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Hooo:

The felt roof catching fire would be my concern too. Some sort of heat shield insulated from the roof or with an air gap to dissipate the heat might help, (and also give a bit of secondary radiant heating).

 Hooo 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

It looks like the Screwfix one is an infrared heater. 

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Hooo:

Ok. That was my first thought when she bought it and then the description didn't mention infra red so I thought I had misunderstood! I know nothing about these things!

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Ridge:

We had wondered about a heat shield. Any old sheet of metal do the job or would it need to be something specific?

 gethin_allen 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Aside from any safety issues I find those heaters unpleasant and just grill the top of my head. Would a few electric blankets be an option? You could put them on the seats and sit on them, with a throw over the legs you'd be well snug and it's would be relatively good for the environment compared to a heater on the wall.

1
 Timmd 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> It's the attitude rather than the maths which bothers me ( speaking as an old(er) person myself).  Does the "special times" getout mean that I can celebrate my next birthday by setting off a dozen sky lanterns?

> I still don't get what's wrong with the extra layers suggestion. Does it reek too much of Currie?

I was being slightly tongue in cheek. 

 doz 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Have you thought about getting her a couple of electrically heated rugs/overblankets? Might be a lot more effective in an open shelter....

In reply to doz:

> Have you thought about getting her a couple of electrically heated rugs/overblankets? Might be a lot more effective in an open shelter....

How about a hot tub? 🙄

 EddInaBox 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Kevster:

> 3 sides and a heater. Heating the world up... 

Don't worry, there are plenty of rich Middle Eastern countries which have outside air conditioning to cool it back down again.

 deepsoup 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

The fleece ponchos sound like a great idea, and I've noticed the suggestions for electrically heated overblankets etc.  (Which might also be great, but possibly present safety concerns - at the very least I'd want to make sure that they're RCD protected.)

This might be a bleedin' obvious suggestion, but since nobody seems to have stated it so far - an old-school hot water bottle or two might be handy.  You can also get wheat bags and the like to warm up in the microwave, handy to put in pockets perhaps to keep your Mum's and her friends' hands warm.

How is your Mum doing btw?  It's hard enough as it is, but this must be a dreadful time to be coping with a recent bereavement.

 Ridge 14 Oct 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

> How about a hot tub? 🙄

With electric blankets?? Are you some sort of serial killer?

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

I was going to look and see if there are battery powered electric blankets. Cables trailing to them wouldn't be very practical but I do like the idea. 

The microwave heat packs also a good idea.

Mum is going ok. In some ways dad's death was a bit of a release for her as for his last 2 months she was totally housebound with him. So while it's deeply sad, she can now go out again. She has taken up running, she managed 6km for the first time this week. It's a slow trot around local roads and parks but she is enjoying seeing improvement and getting out regularly. She started only ever running with me, but now she will go on her own and takes another friend sometimes who is even slower than her! She is also keeping busy making masks, every time I see her she has a new one for me in a new fabric or a different style! She has been making so many that the local food bank has been getting them to hand out too! It has been hard not being able to get back to her dancing, which would have been her coping mechanism in normal times, but she is keeping busy and doing ok. 🙂

 gethin_allen 14 Oct 2020
In reply to deepsoup:

> The fleece ponchos sound like a great idea, and I've noticed the suggestions for electrically heated overblankets etc.  (Which might also be great, but possibly present safety concerns - at the very least I'd want to make sure that they're RCD protected.)...

Electric blankets have to be rated to the point that someone could piss the bed and not get electrocuted so they should be fine for sitting around outside, even if someone were for example to spill a drink over one.

 deepsoup 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

By the sound of it making her own wheat bags or whatever could be the way to go.  Much cheaper and probably more satisfying than buying them and a bit of a no-brainer as she's so handy with a sewing machine.

They're really very simple I think, it's essentially just a cotton bag loosely filled with buckwheat or rice.  And then a few careful experiments to work out how long you need to microwave it for to get it to the right temperature.  (If making several perhaps it would be a good idea to weigh out the stuffing to make them all consistent.)

Great to hear she's keeping active and doing so well. 

 Kevster 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Humour me here, how about the blow up sumo suits but use hot air instead? 

Just had a mental image of a bunch of Scottish grannies in blow up sumo suits, iron bru, and malt in hand all havering away. 

Made me giggle. 

I'm sure you'll find a solution that works for your needs.

My brother had a potato baking oven in his shed, which on a cold night we would use not just for the potatoes but for heating too. Couldn't use burning fuels because of the smoke and fumes. 

Best of luck to your mum and friends too. It's hard atm. My mum hires the local village hall for the elderly ladies tea mornings, they have found that being distanced in such a place is quite easy, the hire is very little and it has heating - some what scuppered now by boris rule of 6. Obviously we are in England so have a different set of rules with outside and inside.  

 jkarran 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Obviously the right and proper answer is to only fit it in accordance with the manufacturers instructions. I suspect most of them are similar in mandating quite a gap to nearby potentially flammable surfaces, particularly above. Looking at the numbers there can't be that many strictly compliant installs if it needs a 2.5m+ ceiling.

If you're inclined more toward the make-do mentality and assuming your mum has the capacity not to burn herself on it when mounted within reach: I'd absolutely make sure the circuit has an RCD for when the mizzle, bugs and condensation eventually get into it, ideally put it on a suitably rated time switch so it doesn't get left on and give it at least a foot above. Insulate the (sheet wood, right?) ceiling above it with a raw piece of 6mm tile board hanging on screws to leave a small air gap to the wood. Double check it behaves safely as you hope in still conditions, if it doesn't, change the plan.

jk

 jkarran 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> It's the attitude rather than the maths which bothers me ( speaking as an old(er) person myself).  Does the "special times" getout mean that I can celebrate my next birthday by setting off a dozen sky lanterns?

Do you want to?

jk

 girlymonkey 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Kevster:

> Humour me here, how about the blow up sumo suits but use hot air instead? 

> Just had a mental image of a bunch of Scottish grannies in blow up sumo suits, iron bru, and malt in hand all havering away. 

Excellent!! I'd love to convince her on this purely for my amusement! I think she is unlikely to go for it, sadly!

 HansStuttgart 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

high position. With a heat shield if the ceiling becomes too hot.

In reply to jkarran:

I wouldn't normally but these are special times.

What was wrong with the heated jacket you mentioned in the other thread - sounds like a good move for the lady in question.

Post edited at 17:30
 doz 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Try Lakeland for the blankets

Got one for my daughter couple years ago...she says it's the best present she ever got! 

 jkarran 14 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> What was wrong with the heated jacket you mentioned in the other thread - sounds like a good move for the lady in question.

Nothing fundamental. 4x the cost of the radiant heater she already has, 12v, upper body single user only, bit of a pain in the arse... Really nice for a mobile application when it's lashing down and you've been in the wind for 18h but I'd make the cheap plug in space heater work personally for sitting out on the porch. 

Jk

Post edited at 23:06
 henwardian 14 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

In case anyone hasn't poured cold water on the idea yet:

1) Your shelter will likely need planning permission when you start to connect electricity into it. (you might get away with it if nobody notices though).

2) Outdoor heaters are pretty much the most un-environmental and wasteful things you can get.

3) Anything that is open to the rain and moisture is not going to mix well with a heater with open electrical elements.

4) The point of the covid restrictions is to stop the spread of the virus by stopping people spending time in close proximity for extended periods, if you build a shelter in the garden and put people in it, it isn't really any different from having people round indoors and just opening the windows.

Altogether it doesn't sound like a great idea if I'm going to be honest.

4
 marsbar 15 Oct 2020
In reply to henwardian:

 A garden shelter is far more ventilated than a room with windows open.

Planning permission isn't anything to do with electricity.  

 Enty 15 Oct 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> Gas patio heaters don't make sense in any shape or form, though unfortunately Covid rules will probably see an upturn in sales of the damned things.


Gas terrace heaters to be banned in France from early next year.

E

 girlymonkey 15 Oct 2020
In reply to henwardian

> 1) Your shelter will likely need planning permission when you start to connect electricity into it. (you might get away with it if nobody notices though).

We don't, we checked

> 2) Outdoor heaters are pretty much the most un-environmental and wasteful things you can get.

We know, I acknowledged that. Just trying to find the most efficient.

> 3) Anything that is open to the rain and moisture is not going to mix well with a heater with open electrical elements.

Indeed, we will mount it so it can be removed when sustained bad weather is coming. Mum is very careful with her stuff so she will do it

> 4) The point of the covid restrictions is to stop the spread of the virus by stopping people spending time in close proximity for extended periods, if you build a shelter in the garden and put people in it, it isn't really any different from having people round indoors and just opening the windows.

You must have big windows! In a normal house, like most of us live in, it's vastly different! The open side is about 2m high and I'm going to guess at 3 - 4m long. I get why the rules are there, and by doing this rather than going to cafes (which they would be allowed to do!) they are FAR safer!

 marsbar 15 Oct 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I think you should get a sign painted for the shelter. 

Instead of "no boys allowed" it should say "no grumpy old men"

 girlymonkey 15 Oct 2020
In reply to marsbar:

Lol!

Mum and dad spent about 10 years prior to dad's diagnosis living in Munich. It was probably the happiest period of their lives. They spent much of it in beer gardens and Christmas markets. Mum's garden already has the "biergarten" sign on the gate (we put that up when they moved back) so now I am thinking of making a "Glühweinhütte" sign to attach to the front of the shelter! Lol. Might need to add the "no grumpy old men" bit at the bottom!


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.