Does car block heater need ground?

For Canadian winters, the car has a built-in engine block heater, powered by 120v house current. Last spring the third pin (ground) detached from the male connector. Do I really need it, i.e. do I really need grounding, when the block heater is powered up (max. 3 hours) ?
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Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On 10/26/2013 8:40 AM, Don Phillipson wrote:

Functionally, no, it's just safety ground, the neutral carries the return path current.
Given the application and that w/ snow and all so is damp environment I'd probably repair it for that reason (safety, that is).
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On Saturday, October 26, 2013 10:24:34 AM UTC-4, dpb wrote:

+1
The car is also sitting on rubber tires. If the hot shorts to the engine, now the whole car is energized. Walk out when the ground is damp, grab the metal door handle, not a good thing. If it's plugged into a GFCI outlet, like new garage, outdoor wiring has, then that should prevent harm, but there isn't any guarantee where the heater will be used. Easy enough to put a new plug on it.
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On Sat, 26 Oct 2013 09:22:45 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

It does sound like a good way to stop "car hoppers" and you even have plausible deniability if it is simply a defective heater.
OTOH this should be on a GFCI anyway so the safety issue is mitigated..
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On 10/26/2013 11:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote: ...

Does "should" always equate to "is" for a movable DUT...???
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Don Phillipson wrote:

Sure, you can only replace the cord. Think safety. All our cars came with block heater but haven't use them. In old days when cars had carbs. we always did. Also A/C system is now automatic climate control. As soon as engine satrts running car interior gets warm air right away.
They may not sell cord only, then you have get heater and only use the cord from it. Or you can replace the plug yourself.
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On 10/26/2013 9:40 AM, Don Phillipson wrote:

unit should function without it. But, there is risk of electric shock to you or others.
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Christopher A. Young
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On 10/26/2013 8:40 AM, Don Phillipson wrote:

Have you considered replacing the plug? ^_^
TDD
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