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Up-cycle an electric blanket? Answered


Our non-woven electric blanket has become unreliable and has been retired.    Is there anything useful I can do with the cords or blanket itself?  It's a lot of bulk to put in the trash.  The wires in the blanket make it undesirable as a regular blanket or quilt lining. 

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caarnteddBest Answer (author)2011-07-15

A bloke I knew pulled the wires out of an old blanket and used it for a horse rug. Apparently a single bed sized one is just right. He just had to stitch on some straps.

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orksecurity (author)2011-07-14

I used one as a regular blanket for aeons. I don't remember whether I ever extracted the wires. If it's not too lumpy to sleep under when heated, it shouldn't be too lumpy to sleep under when not heated.

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iceng (author)orksecurity2011-07-14

So "lumpy" is a function of heat ??

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orksecurity (author)iceng2011-07-14

Some older electric blankets had a bunch of lumps scattered every few feet along the wire. I've never been sure whether they were heating elements or safety thermostats or what; I didn't examine mine when I gutted it.

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mole1 (author)orksecurity2011-07-14

True. But it's not warm enough in the winter.... so it's going to be replaced.
And the wire issue isn't everything.. it's been in a duvet cover since we got it because I don't think it's washable. It also sheds horribly.

In essence, it's a really cheesy excuse for an electric blanket, but it did heat up. Given a choice, as a regular blanket, I wouldn't let it in the house. I doubt that Goodwill will accept it.

So I was hoping for something amazing and nifty to do with it or the controls or the wires.

Thanks for thinking about it.

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orksecurity (author)mole12011-07-14

It may or may not have been washable... but if you're never going to plug it in again, it is now. (Remove the connector to be sure.)

((Actually, I think I was able to remove the wiring from mine at some point. I don't remember how.))

I'd be hesitant to try to reuse the heating wires/elements unless I knew more about them. But that's just me. Someone may be able to give you advice. The fabric might be reusable, but...

The power cords/controllers might be reusable for something. The simple ones, at least, were essentially thermostats with heaters used to cycle on and off for varying durations -- power goes on, heat comes up at a speed controlled by the knob's rheostat, eventually there's enough heat to cause the thermostat to open, power goes off until it cools down enough to turn back on. I'd want to open it up and check before assuming that, though, and make sure I knew how much power I could safely draw through 'em.

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Jack A Lopez (author)2011-07-14

I think taking apart your old electric blanket,  just for the sake of seeing what's inside, can be educational.

I mean, if you just throw it away without taking it apart, you won't learn anything.

Take some pictures, and put an ohmmeter on the those heating elements.  See if the length and resistance per unit length jives with Ohm's law and Joule's law, or whatever your model is for how you think electric blankets work.

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