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Vintage Heater Repair Answered

I need a replacement heating element, D80, for a vintage elec. heater made by the Carborundum Co. of Niagara Falls.  Any help?



3 years ago

Have you tried calling appliance repair stores? Even now-obsolete items are sometimes on their shelves. Granted, that's getting less and less likely with time same as hardware stores carrying things like #7 screws or oddball old parts, but they (appliance stores that hold onto old stuff) do still exist.


Answer 3 years ago

Erm...I meant appliance parts stores, not appliance shops.


3 years ago

You can get heating elements for water heaters and radiant heaters in all sorts of shapes and forms.
It might be easier to find such a replacement than one to suit the original unless of course extensive heat is required.
But depending on the actual use of the heater the best option might be to convert to something more modern, even if home made from other heater parts.

Jack A Lopez
Jack A Lopez

3 years ago

Is the heating element itself made of carborundum, i.e. made of silicon carbide; i.e SiC?

I mean, the Carborundum Company of Niagra Falls, NY, is still around,


I think they got out of the business of manufacturing SiC heating
elements, and their current product line is mostly just abrasives.

course there are still people that make SiC heating elements. I think
the brand previously sold by Carborundum Company was something called


It makes sense if you read it as a compound word: glo-bar; i.e. a bar that glows.

Noticed a competing brand of SiC heating bar, called "Starbar(r)"

I think nowadays, SiC heating elements mostly are sold for very high temperature applications, e.g. furnaces for melting glass.

By the way, turning electricity into heat is not technically difficult.


The usual way to specify a heating element (ignoring details like its exact shape, or the shape of its electrical inputs) is in terms of power dissipation, and the voltage across it when it is energized.

example, a typical heating element might dissipate1200 watts (as heat), when
connected to 120 volts AC mains power (with a current of 10 amperes AC
flowing through it, since 120V*10A = 1200 W).

I guess what I am saying, is those are the numbers that are meaningful to modern sellers of heating elements.

A fifty year old model number, e.g. "D80", might be less meaningful.

the way, it may be the case that your "vintage elec. heater" has a
plate or label on it, specifying the mains voltage into which it was intended to
be plugged (e.g. 120 VAC) or the power it would dissipate (e.g. some
number of watts (W)).

It is not unreasonable to expect such a
plate to exist, because the makers of electrical gizmos have been
putting plates and labels like that on their wares for, like, the past
100 years or so, I think. I'm not sure if there is a law that says they
have to attach such a label or plate, or if they just do it as a matter
of courtesy. All I know for sure is I have seen a lot of those
plates. They usually put it right next to the power cord.