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how to repair an electric heater?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by J Jensen, Mar 3, 2007.

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  1. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest


    I have a small AC portable electric heater that quit working last
    year. I'd like to repair it myself, and hopefully learn a little bit
    in the process.

    I've searched the web and the bookstore, but haven't found any good
    references on how to do this kind of thing. In the past I have taken
    an AC circuits class, and I have a multi-meter...

    Any suggestions...?

  2. Tom Biasi

    Tom Biasi Guest

    Hi Jeff,
    Need a little more info. What kind of heater?
    Does it have a fan? Look for a small capsule-like unit near the heating
    element. This is an over-temperature thermal fuse. If it reads open you need
    to replace it.

  3. Fan? Does it blow cold?
  4. Yukio YANO

    Yukio YANO Guest

    My experience with fan Heaters is that there are three Normal states
    with an Ohm meter across the power plug.

    A: High Resistance "OFF" or Fault due to broken lead, open Thermal Fuse
    or Thermostat "too warm" or dirty, or "TILT SWITCH" activated !

    B:Medium resistance ~ 100 ohms ie the DC resistance of the Fan only

    C:Low resistance, 100 ohms or less, due to the Heater Load, switch-able
    with the mechanical Thermostat

    Complications, the Heater load is not controllably measured with the Ohm
    meter if it uses a SCR/Triac Thermostat, should still see the Fan

    Broken or burned-out Heater Elements are RARE.

    If all is NORMAL Plug into a wall socket and check that the Wall
    socket is "Hot"

    If there is a"Fault" mode, Now is the time to take off the Covers to
    search for the "Break", wiring, Thermal Fuse, TILT Switch, Dirty
    Thermostat, mechanical. or Bypass the SCR/TRIAC Thermostat to
    troubleshoot. If all else fails, check for an OPEN Heater Element.

    If the Heater or Thermostat is not working, consider Scrapping
    entire assembly as too expensive to fix. Most small stuff, switches,
    fuses are available from small appliance service dealers.

    Yukio YANO
  5. J Jensen wrote:

  6. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

    Hi Tom. It is a Vornado model EH1-0005 EVH with variable temperature
    control and a fan. As I recall it also shuts itself off if it gets

  7. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

    Hi Homer. Yes, it has a fan, but nothing works, even the on switch
    doesn't light up when it is plugged in.

  8. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

    Thanks for the detailed reply, Yukio. As I mentioned in an earlier
    post, it doesn't do anything now, even the light for the ON switch
    doesn't light.

  9. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

    I'll take a look at that group. Thanks.

  10. You'll need to take it apart. You'll also need a meter - ohms and volts.

    Start by checking the AC volts where it enters the unit.
  11. jasen

    jasen Guest

    Electric heaters are basically big resistors, usually with a switch, often
    with a thermostat and sometimes with a fan. pull it apart and see what makes
    it tick.

    make sure that any repairs you do are as good as new, or better, you don't
    want them failing and killing someone or burnuing your stuff up.

  12. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    1) This REPAIR problem is likely ELECTRICAL.
    I doubt your gizmo has a single *electronic* device in it.

    2) Most questions have been asked many times before.
    Since you're already at Google to do your Usenet posting,
    you should learn how to use Google's search tool there:

    3) In the 1st response in the thread,
    Tom Biasi gave you the most likely fault:
    Blocked air flow == blown overtemp device.
    Homer J Simpson wrote:
    :Start by checking the AC volts where it enters the unit.
    It appears that Homer wants you dead
    so that he won't have to see any more of your posts.

    Using the ohmmeter to do *continuity* checks
    would be MUCH safer. If you don't know how,
    your public library probably has some books under 621.19
    with some nice pictures to show you how.
    Using Google's Web search engine (image search)
    will likely find some related pages as well.
  13. J Jensen

    J Jensen Guest

    Thank you for the information. I'm not clear on how I would find
    anything useful with google's image search for this. Ideally there
    would be a web site on electrical appliance repair that would give
    step by step troubleshooting basics (it doesn't have to be on just
    heaters...I can break some of my other appliances if need be).

    The best book on the subject that I've found to date is
    "Troubleshooting and repairing consumer electronics without a
    schematic" by Homer L. Davidson.

  14. Check your local library for books on appliance repair.
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