Find out How to Repair a Wall Mounted Electric Heater

  • 01 of 06

    When Your Electric Heater Doesn't Work

    Socks drying on radiator
    Image Source / Getty Images

    Electric heaters are some of the most reliable home heaters available. But sometimes they do have problems and you need to troubleshoot them. This tutorial will look at the possible issues you may run into and how to fix them.

    Possible Cause(s)

    • Loose or disconnected wiring connected to unit;
    • Circuit breaker tripped;
    • Fuse is blown;
    • Incorrect thermostat setting;
    • Obstructed airflow from unit;
    • Heating element in heater is defective;

    Possible Repair(s)

    • If the breaker is tripped, reset the circuit breaker;
    • If...MORE the fuse is blown or popped, replace with appropriate fuse;
    • If fuse or breaker is good, please make sure power is turned off to the electric heater at the service panel before making this repair. Once power is turned off to the heater, remove the heater control knob and if the unit has a separate thermostat, remove the thermostat knob, and loosen the knob stem nuts and face plate mounting screws and remove the unit from the wall. Check the wiring connections and tighten any loose or disconnected connections.
    • Check the thermostat setting to make sure it is not set too low and not calling for heat;
    • Check to make sure there are no obstructions to air flow such as drapes, furniture, plants, etc.
    • If all the above do not work, then it is likely the heating element in the heater is bad and will need to be replaced.
    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    When the Electric Heater Fan Doesn't Work

    Handyman fixing radiator
    Echo / Getty Images

    Possible Cause(s)

    • Wiring not connected to fan motor;
    • Switch is bad;
    • Fan blades are obstructed;
    • Circuit breaker tripped;
    • Fuse is blown;
    • Broken fan motor.

    Possible Repair(s)

    • If the breaker is tripped, reset the circuit breaker;
    • If the fuse is blown or popped, replace with appropriate fuse;
    • Remove cover and check for any fan obstructions;
    • Remove cover and check for disconnected or loose wiring to fan;
    • Check for current at motor with volt-ohm meter. If the motor is getting current, replace the motor.
    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    When the Electric Heater Fan Works but There's Still No Heat

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    Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images

    Possible Cause(s)

    • Defective heating element;
    • Loose or disconnected wiring connected to the unit.

    Possible Repair(s)

    • Please make sure power is turned off to the electric heater at the service panel before making these repairs. Once power is turned off to the heater, remove the heater control knob and if the unit has a separate thermostat, remove the thermostat knob, and loosen the knob stem nuts and face plate mounting screws and remove the unit from the wall.
    • Check the wiring connections and tighten...MORE any loose or disconnected connections.
    • Replace heating element with exact same voltage and wattage rating.
    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    When Your Heater Turns on and off Frequently

    Interior Of Domestic Room
    Alessandra Pace / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Possible Cause(s)

    Possible Repair(s)

    • Remove any obstructions to heater such as furniture, drapes, plants, etc.
    • If there are no obstructions blocking airflow, replace the¬†switch.
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    When Your Electric Heater Doesn't Turn off

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    BanksPhotos / Getty Images

    Possible Cause(s)

    • Unit is undersized for the room;
    • The room is extremely poorly insulated and heat loss from leaky doors and windows or poor wall/ceiling insulation is exceeding unit's ability to heat the space.

    Possible Repair(s)

    • Stop excessive air infiltration into room by weatherstripping doors and windows;
    • Insulate walls if they are exterior walls having no insulation;
    • Add additional heater(s) as required. See How to Size an Electric Room Heater
    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    When the Heater Smells Like Something Is Burning

    Electric bar heater, with bars glowing red-hot
    Tim Ridley / Getty Images

    Possible Cause(s)

    • Dirty heating element is burning lint or hair.

    Possible Repair(s)

    • Dirty heating elements are the main reason they burn out prematurely and can be dangerous.
    • Carefully vacuum the dirt, dust, lint, and hair from the unit.
    • Please make sure power is turned off to the electric heater at the service panel before opening up the unit for cleaning. Once power is turned off to the heater, remove the heater control knob and if the unit has a separate thermostat, remove the thermostat knob, and...MORE loosen the knob stem nuts and face plate mounting screws and remove the unit from the wall.
    • If necessary, remove the unit from the wall and open up the cabinet to access the heating elements completely.