Things You'll Need
Vacuum around the heater occasionally to prevent dust buildup. The dust can present a fire hazard.
Wall heaters are of relatively simple construction, but if they are not maintained properly, they can possibly pose a fire threat. They are durable and they are good for zone heating control. Wall heaters all have their own thermostat, so rooms that do not need to be heated can have their thermostat turned off. Even though they are durable, they do occasionally develop problems.
Check the thermostat to make sure it is turned high enough if the wall heater is not coming on. Check the breakers if the wall heater does not come on after turning the thermostat.
Turn the breaker off and remove the cover of the wall heater by removing the screws with a screwdriver and pulling the cover off. Visually check the wires and connections. Look at the heating element to see if there are any breaks in the element.
Remove the wire on the thermostat that leads to the heat element. Test across the two terminals of the heat element with an ohm meter and there should be a reading, if not the element is bad and must be replaced.
Unscrew the terminal ends at the base of the heat element, remove it and lay it in a straight line on the floor. Stretch the new element, which should be the same wattage, to the same length as the original.
Wrap the new element around the core in the grooves and reconnect the terminals. Replace the grille, turn the breaker on and test the heater.
Replace the wire on the thermostat if the element reads good, and turn the breaker back on. Test for voltage with the meter set on volts, where the line wires coming from the breakers enter the heater enclosure.
Touch the leads of the meter across the terminals of the wires and there should be a reading of 120 volts or 240 volts, depending on the size of the heater. Call an electrician if there is not a voltage present, as there is a problem with the line wires.
Finding a voltage on the line wires,turn the thermostat all the way up and check across the heat element terminals with the voltmeter. Reading voltage at this point indicates the thermostat is bad.
Turn the breaker off, remove the screws mounting the thermostat, and install the new thermostat. Replace the wires from the old thermostat. Put the grille back on, turn the breaker back on and test the heater.
Now residing in Hendersonvile, Tenn., William Misch started his writing career in 1994. His articles have appeared in the "Daily News" in Bowling Green, Ky., as well as newsletters for several national companies. Misch holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Western Kentucky University.