Space Heater Problems: FAQs, Diagnoses & Solutions

It’s wintertime and you’re trying to stay warm; but the cold is coming in through your drafty windows, walls, and doors. You have tried everything from wearing a sweater to turning up the heat.

However, when it gets really cold out there nothing seems to work. That’s when you finally break down and turn on your space heater for some extra warmth.

When you first use your space heater it feels so good that all of those other problems seem insignificant in comparison.

After a while, something starts happening with the space heater: things start catching fire! And then before long, the whole house catches on fire because of a little thing called “overheating”.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending because we are troubleshooting the common space heater problems, issues, and their solutions.

Common Space Heater Problems

Space Heater Keeps Shutting Off

Interruptions in power during a home heating season are bound to happen. These interruptions may be natural, such as when summer storms knock out a power line, or they might occur because of a power outage stemming from an accident or equipment failure.

Regardless of what causes the interruption, if your space heater shuts off during this time, it is important to take the following steps in order to reduce your risk of losing valuable things in your home.

If you currently have no backup heat source available in the event that there is a power outage and your space heater happens to shut off once again, then it may be necessary for you to purchase either another space heater or another form of reliable backup heating device.

A space heater that has been overloaded will cycle on and off to try to stabilize the temperature. If a space heater is not operating correctly, shut it off, wait 30 minutes and try again.

Many people think a space heater can be used as often as they want because of its small energy consumption.

They don’t realize however that it has one very specific job – heating a room – and when this is too much for it, you’re going to see problems like this more often!

In some cases, the unit may also have been damaged by heat from another heat source or from an outlet that was connected with multiple units plugged in at once.

Sunbeam Space Heater keeps shutting off

It sounds like the current drawn by the small heater is pulling more power than it can handle, and has tripped. It needs to be placed on a different outlet with a higher amperage rating.

If this is not possible, most homes have breakers in which you can rewire your circuit to accommodate for less likely overloads, or you could also contact an electrician to upgrade your home wiring infrastructure.

The other possible cause of this would be that the thermostat setting needs to be adjusted so that the room temperature is set at 60 degrees rather than 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Anything above 70 degrees Fahrenheit will cause power fluctuations as well as risk fire hazards if any one of these causes is present in your home.

Comfort Zone space heater keeps shutting off

The most common cause of comfort zone space heater shutting off is overloading the circuit. If you still think there is a safety issue as well as an overload, follow these steps:

Check to see if the breaker/fuse for your heater has tripped. Turn off power at the main breaker and move all plugs on that circuit to different outlets (including lights).

Shoot for never having more than one or two items per outlet and make sure none of them are plugged into an extension cord.

Find out if your power company offers brownouts, unplanned interruptions in service for short periods of time

Pelonis space heater keeps shutting off

One of the most common reasons your Pelonis heater is shutting off is that it needs to be restarted due to its safety function.

This safety feature comes into play when there are high temperatures in the room that may damage other items such as drapes, furniture, and air conditioners. For information on troubleshooting this issue please contact the manufacturer.

The space heater fan not working

There are two common causes of this problem. The first is that dirt or debris has gotten into your heater fan causing the motor to overheat, making it fail. This is an easy fix – just use compressed air to remove any dust or debris on the outside of the fan.

Portable electric heater not working

Before you call a service person out to troubleshoot your portable electric space heater model, it is important to have a service technician evaluate the unit and complete or troubleshoot one of the following or may recommend a different course of correction:

  1. Inspect the product for any physical defects that might impede its operation.
  2. If there are none, may replace faulty components within them until they have been successfully restored back to full functionality.
  3. Attempt to operate it if functioning properly

When selecting an electric heater, be sure that it provides for three levels of protection against fire by conforming to their respective standards.

Brand-Specific Space Heater Problems

In this section, we highlight, briefly the problems and solutions for specific space heater brands.

Whale Space Heater Problems

There are several problems that can be observed or encountered by the owners of the Whale space heaters. Some of the reported problems include:

  1. Whale space heater red light flashing.
  2. How to reset a Whale space heater.
  3. What to do when the whale space heater is not working when connected to electricity.
  4. The Whale space heater fan is not working as expected.

To troubleshoot these problems in detail, consider reading our article on Whale space heater troubleshooting.

Sealey Space Heater Problems

As with any appliance, there is always a risk that the Sealey space heater may malfunction. This could be due to user error or because of an inherent defect in the product itself.

However, with proper use and care, there should be no problem. Safety first and foremost – make sure the space heater is out of reach for children and pets and make sure nothing else can come too close to it (clothes, furniture).

Always unplug the power cable before moving it or transporting it to another location; also make sure you check all electrical cords for cuts or frays before plugging them in!

If any defective part comes into contact with water during use then stop using the appliance instantly and consult a licensed electrician immediately.

Draper Space Heater Problems

The Draper space heater is a diesel or paraffin space heater. There are many issues that may be diagnosed when using this space heater just as any other space heater would. Some of them are discussed below.

Draper Diesel Space heater can’t fire up

Sometimes you may notice that your Draper Diesel or Paraffin fails to fire up even when the igniter glows and the fans run for a short period before it cuts out.

One of the solutions you can implement in this case is to remove the solid 1/8 inch plastic plug and then install a low-pressure gauge whose readings are around 5 psi.

READ MORE: Space heaters for large drafty rooms.

About Eng. Nelson K.

Nelson is a Chemical and Process Engineer with vast theoretical and practical knowledge of Thermodynamics, Heat Transfer, and Mass Transfer.