How to Troubleshoot an Electric Heater

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Things You'll Need

  • Owner's manual

  • House fuse

Most electric heaters will automatically shut off if they tip over.

Your electric space heater may fail to work for a number of easy-to-fix reasons. Most space heaters have an automatic shut off that is activated when the heater tips over or gets too hot. There can also be a problem with the wall electrical outlet or your home's electrical supply. Try some easy tips to troubleshoot your electric heater and get it working again.


Step 1

Turn the electric heater off and unplug it. Check your house's fuse box for blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. Replace the fuse or reset the circuit breakers if necessary. Plug the electric heater back in and turn it on.

Step 2

Reset the auto safety shut off feature by moving the power switch to the off position if your electric heater does not turn back on. Unplug the heater and let it cool down for about 10 minutes. Plug it in again and turn the power switch to on.

Step 3

Turn off the heater and unplug it if it does not come on after resetting the auto safety shut off feature. Check for any external or internal obstructions that may prevent the electric heater from turning on or oscillating. Remove the obstacle, plug the heater back in and turn it on.


Step 4

Set the thermostat switch to a higher level, and keep an eye on the heater to ensure that it does not switch off due to overheating.

Step 5

Move the electric heater to a place where it will not be blocked, accidentally tipped or tripped over or exposed to water.


Unplug your electric heater when you are not using it.


Do not open the front grille if the heater will not turn on. Take the heater to a service repair person.



Mary McNally

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.