Can someone help me to add a dimmer switch or other temperature controller to my hotplate?

I saw the soldering iron controllers but my hotplate has a switch and I was hoping to put the dimmer right on the unit.  I basically want the coil to run a little cooler.  Thanks for your help!

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framistan7 years ago
Be carefull how you decide to accomplish this. Any wiring placed INSIDE the unit will have to be special insulated wires so they dont OVERHEAT and melt the insulation.  Anything you connect to it  must be rated to handle the watts this thing uses.  One way would be to have a LARGE diode in series with the heating element.  The big diode could have a LARGE hi wattage switch across the diode. When the switch is open, the electricity goes through the diode and only 50 % of the sinewave will go to the heating element.  When the switch is CLOSED, (ON), then full electricity goes to the element.  That gives you HI and LOW.  You might have trouble finding any dimmer that will handle that heater.  If you are not familiar with electricity and building things, you are running a risk of causing a fire.  I think you would be better off to buy the upgrade model that the factory designed with a thermostat.  These hotplates don't cost much.  You should have bought the nicer version for a couple bucks more.
Agree with you on the buying the better version !

BTW, a big diode is not a nice thing to do to the mains supply. It draws DC through the transformer and can cause nasty effects.
Prfesser7 years ago
A dimmer switch may work IF it has the capacity, but most dimmers are limited to 600 watts.  Most hotplates run around 1000 watts.

An alternative is a stepless controller.  This is the kind of controller used for many stovetop elements; it works by turning the current on and off every 10 seconds or so.  It handles up to 15 amps (at 110 V that's 1600 watts).  Look at the replacement parts in the appliance section of the home supply store, or check with an appliance repair store.

While you're in the store pick up a "handy box" and cover, and a couple of strain reliefs in the electrical section.  The controller can go in the handy box, in-line with the electrical cord.  Be SURE that the controller controls the 'hot' line from the wall socket---that's the line that is connected to the "narrow" prong of the plug.

Good luck!
Yes, I wasn't thinking of a dimmer switch, more about where to locate the controller - the object doesn't look big enough to hold one.

Steve
Id reccomend what Steve said . buy a Incord dimmer switch for temp control .

Or if you have to put it in the case , take it apart and Drill a hole in the side of the panel where the switch is and Wire a Variable Resistor inline to the switch plug
SInce the thing has a power cord, and no thermostat, just put the controller in the power cord.