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Thread: Mr Heater Big Maxx shop heater

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Deep South
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    Mr Heater Big Maxx shop heater

    I am considering using one of these as a heater in my new shop and am hoping someone has experience with one. I am also looking at the popular Modine Hot Dawg but it is 30% more expensive.

    Opinions?

  2. #2
    I just installed the Modine 30K BTU with sealed combustion in my shop. Love it. I know it's more expensive but I justified the price difference because I knew the local dealer, servicer and installers so it was worth it for me. Can't speak for Mr Heater because I have no direct experience with that brand. Good luck. Stay warm

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Willard,Utah
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    142
    I'm looking at the same unit, Mr. Heater. A friend of mine just installed one in his shop and is happy so far with it. Great price!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
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    1,528
    I had a Big Max in my previous shop. The shop was a poorly insulated pole building with no ceiling, 24 x 48', and the heater worked fine. I had it for ten years or so, if I recall, no problems at all. I only ran it when I was in the shop and it got the temperature up to comfortable in a half hour to an hour depending on the outside temp. I was in the Pacific Northwest, so it never got bitterly cold.

    I had a contractor Cayenne heater installed in my current shop (in Northern Utah) as he was on-site installing the HVAC in the new house anyway. It's more expensive than the Big Max, and only available through wholesale distributors, but it works great and seems to be more refined than the Big Max. My new shop is about the same size as the old one, but much better insulated with R25 or so in the walls and R50 in the ceiling, and I leave the heater on 24/7, set for 50 at night and 59 during the day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    In the foothills of the Sandia Mountains
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    15,274
    I installed a similar Sterling 30K 15-20 years ago. It's been trouble free so far.
    Please help support the Creek.

    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
    - Steven Wright

  6. #6
    I installed one about 10 years ago when I built the shop. It’s the 50k unit and the shop is 20x36 with 10 foot ceilings. I have it on a thermostat and keep it about 45 all the time then turn it up to 60 when I go out there. Im usually only out there on the weekends. Takes about 30 minutes to warm it up from 45 to 60 but lately here in Michigan we have been sitting in the teens.

    I did have the control board go out on mine about 6-8 years ago. Had an hvac guy out to fix it and it was under warranty so the part was free but a couple of trips by the hvac guy cost me about $100 which was reasonable.

    I too looked at other models like the hot dawg but didn’t see an advantage for the cost increase. But, maybe they have better control boards?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Art Mann View Post
    I am considering using one of these as a heater in my new shop
    The specs on that heater state it's a minimum of 8' required from floor to the bottom of the heater. You have that kind of height in your workspace?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    177
    Mine is branded Lennox and is a NG 35000 BTU unit that started out in a 400 sq.ft. insulated shop in 2007. Worked extremely well except for the board failure that we all encountered back then. The shop size was increased to 1000 sq.ft. in 2009 and I thought a larger heater was going to be required but was never needed even in the coldest weather. I maintain a constant 65 degrees in the winter increasing to 72 occasionally when spraying. I also find it extremely inexpensive to run in our Southern Ontario climate. I should also add the shop is extremely well insulated.
    Last edited by John Kee; 01-20-2018 at 8:48 AM.

  9. #9
    I have the Mr. Heater Big Maxx 80,000 BTU heater that I am using with propane. My shop is 30' x 40' x 10'h, 1/2" sidewall insulation and no ceiling insulation (the area is prepped for blown-in insulation but I still have some wiring and other work to do and thus haven't insulated yet).

    I vented my heater through the ceiling & roof and installation was relatively simple. I highly recommend a 'drywall lift' to put the unit in place and it makes positioning & holding the unit a breeze. I had a friend with a lift so used his, but rental is only a few bucks and would be well worth the cost. The heater was well below the rated weight capacity of the lift and I placed a couple 2x4's across the lift to position the heater in the center.

    I live in Ohio and only use the heater when I use the workshop. The Big Maxx heats the shop quickly and I have had no problems what-so-ever with it. I will also note that over the weekend my son's wife was in the shop as we were unloading a new bandsaw and when she stepped in front of the heater, she felt the heat and made the comment that she wishes she had the heater in her office (she is a bank manager so it's likely not a good office heater - but it works great in the shop).

    I am not sure what size shop you have or the BTU model you may be looking at, but other than different heat output, I'd expect similar performance with their 50,000 BTU unit. I did a huge amount of research before choosing the heater and know that choosing the right unit can be important, but since installation, I haven't looked back and am more than satisfied with the heater. Attached is a picture of the heater in my shop.

    Good luck in your purchase.

    Shop d.jpg

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Deep South
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    3,916
    The size of my shop is 24 X 36 down stairs but I have a loft that is 15 X 36. It is isolated from the down stairs by a door and a stair well. The upstairs will not be finished out right now except for foam insulation in the rafters. It would be nice if the heater could knock the chill off the upstairs through the stair well. The down stairs will have insulation in the ceiling and walls and the garage door is insulated. The walls will be 1/2 inch either OSB or exterior siding. The temperature around here seldom drops below freezing during the day and 20 degrees at night. This winter has been an exception.

    Thank you all for sharing your personal experience. I trust it more than store reviews.
    Last edited by Art Mann; 01-26-2018 at 1:20 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    51,603
    Art, if the upstairs loft is fully insulated, you could merely put in a couple of gates to provide convection heat to that area from below. (My neighbor's house is actually setup that way...no duct work at all!) It sounds like your shop building is very similar to mine...my building is 22x44 with an upstairs that's about 16x44 with knee walls. My shop is insulated except for the ceiling and that's about to be attended to before the CNC arrives since I'm spending pretty much every day in the shop and I don't want to keep spending more money on heat than necessary. I may finish one end of the upstairs for an office or auxiliary assembly space. There's already an insulated cedar closet up there and closing things in would be pretty simple. I'd likely go the convection route for heating the space, at least initially for simplicity. I recently insulated the stairwell already.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #12
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    Sep 2006
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    Deep South
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    Here it is if anyone is interested.

    shop.jpg

  13. #13
    Real nice! Would make a great B&B.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    That's an attractive building, Art...'clearly blends in with the surroundings. Can we surmise that you had to put that big, old "garage" door on there to get the building approved?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Deep South
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    No, they didn't require the big garage door but if I ever sell the property, the next owner would probably prefer it as a detached garage. I did find it interesting that the neighborhood covenant wouldn't allow the houses to have a garage door that faces the street. Are garage doors really that ugly? They also require that any outbuildings be prior approved and match the appearance of the house.
    Last edited by Art Mann; 01-30-2018 at 8:21 PM.

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