My grandmother lives about 70 miles from me, so I try to make it there as often as I can. She has a 1953-ish electric wall heater in her bathroom, and the switch has gone out. It is an appliance switch and the yoke is shorter than a standard toggle switch. The appliance does not have any built in safety devices of any sort, nor does it have a fan. You could flip it on, and go on a 6 month vacation and just hope that everything was fine.
Instead of cutting down the yoke on a standard switch, I'd rather just replace the heater with one that has a fan and some built in safety devices. However, the old heater measures (outside of trim) 47" x 9". Most of the electric wall heaters are around 12" x 10".
Do I have any options other than patching drywall?
I've had success in the past with fabrication of a piece of sheet metal to fit the outside dimensions, then cutting the appropriate opening in the middle for the new unit. A little spray on paint, and it looks not half bad. If the heater rating will allow, you can even use 1/4 inch paneling or plywood. There is also a wedge-on piece you can add to the edge of sheetrock to finish the edge, then paint, and it blends into the wall, even if it sticks out an additional 1/2 inch. You can also frame it in with mitered trim, like a picture frame.
If I'm going to go through all that, I'll just patch the drywall. Then it would actually look good.
I was hoping I could find heater with the same dimensions. I'm guessing the chances are slim, as the addition of fans has allowed more efficient use of wall heater space, thus allowing for a smaller unit.
edit - I don't mean anything bad in my first paragraph. It just seems like a lot of effort to only have the installation not pass by grandmother's inspection. "Not half bad" won't cut the mustard.
[This message has been edited by royta (edited 11-09-2004).]
royta, You could install a thermal cutout (about three bucks) in the line and a wall mount line voltage T-Stat. This would do away with the switch altogether and if you got a cutout with a high opening temp it would be a backup if the stat gets left on. Aside from that I doubt you will ever match that size. Is the company still around?
I don't remember the name of the manufacturer, but it was some outfit in Los Angeles. I did some internet searching but found nothing on them. They were more than likely bought out, or something to that effect.