Written by Larry Cook

Electric Heater Basics and Repair

Basic in terms of components and operation, electric heaters are usually easy for electricians to troubleshoot and repair. The following will discuss how electrical heaters function and what can go wrong. If you are having problems with yours, the safest approach is calling a licensed electrician for help because a faulty electric heater can be a fire hazard. Make sure nothing flammable is inside or nearby!

How an Electric Heater Works

Mounted at the base of a room wall and controlled by a thermostat, a baseboard heater typically has one or more horizontal heating elements. Electrical elements heat air drawn in via the bottom. The heated air then rises and circulates around a room.

Known as a forced-air heating device, an electrical wall heater is wall installed and circulates air warmed by an electric heating element with a fan. Controlled by a thermostat, wall heaters are often used for supplemental heat in bathrooms, laundry rooms, and other areas.

Portable space heaters are designed to warm a small area and come in two types. The convective heater heats air with one or more heating elements, and a fan blows it into a room. Using elements, a radiant heater warms a liquid that radiates heat into a room.

Considered a convective heater, a ceramic heater utilizes a larger ceramic element that permits the heater to function at lower temperatures, which makes it safer than other types of convective heaters that use conventional elements.

A typical electric heater will feature elements, control switches, a thermostat, and a motorized fan. Portable heaters usually have a tip-over switch, a safety feature that shuts off the heater if it falls on it side and a thermal cutoff, that deactivates an overheating unit.

Typical Electric Heater Problems

Although composed of only a few components, each could make the heater stop working if faulty. Heating elements eventually burn out from normal usage. Issues caused by thermostats, switches, and heating elements are most common. Moreover, higher-watt heaters can blow a fuse or trip a circuit breaker, cutting off electricity to the circuit.

Electrical Peace of Mind

Providing professional electricians since 1988 in Maryland, Cook Electric is the company you can rely on for all your electrical service needs, including:

  • Commercial & Residential Electrical Installations
  • Marina & Residential Pier Wiring
  • Electrical Service & Repair
  • Specialty Electrical Services

For knowledgeable, fair, honest, reliable, and conscientious service, call Cook Electric today at 410-266-9040. They will be very glad to help you.

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