Cooling And Heating
Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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Is your fireplace showing you no love and warmth? Here’s how to find out what causes this chilly disconnection.
When an electric fireplace shuts itself off, three things are normally causing the disruption. These reasons include overheating, problems with the thermostat and motor malfunctions.
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Electric fireplaces have perks. You don’t have to slog around with real logs. There are no real flames that might burn the Labrador’s curious snoot (or the kids). Electric fires also do not produce smells as a real fireplace might. However, these appliances have their fair share of hiccups.
The frequency with which these faults occur normally varies depending on the quality of the individual electric fireplace that you are using. If you own a high-quality model, the chances of frequent faults are usually quite low. On the other hand, you may be just unfortunate to land a brand or model prone to faults and breakdowns.
One of the most common issues occurs when it shuts itself off. When this happens, you can normally quickly find the problem by looking at three things.
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Electric appliances certainly make our lives easier. But these items live under a special dark cloud - they can and do overheat. This situation is potentially dangerous because it can, at best, destroy the appliance and at worse, cause a house fire. Electric fires can, regrettably, also overheat.
But the good news is that most electric appliances today has overheating protection. If your fireplace suddenly disconnects, the chances are that this safety feature kicked in because the heater was becoming too hot to operate safely. This is actually one of the most common reasons that owners experience for a fireplace that shuts itself off.
The biggest culprit that causes an electric fireplace to overheat is airflow. More precisely, the lack thereof. To operate properly, the electric unit needs a sufficient amount of airflow around it. Sometimes, this is caused by too much lint gathering in the unit or the surroundings are blocking a healthy flow of air. The result is too much heat building up and the inevitable shutdown.
If overheating is the cause, the fix is relatively simple.
Let’s say that you have tried these fixes but they failed to solve the problem. The electric fireplace might be experiencing issues with thermostatic control or a bad motor.
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Most electric fireplaces that are manufactured today have a four-position switch. This dial allows the user to turn the fireplace off or choose heat settings such as low, medium, and high. Some electric fireplaces sense when the room has reached your preferred temperature and will then automatically switch itself off. However, sometimes the problem lies with the bulbs within the unit. For some reason or the other, they might have a very high wattage and the higher temperature settings might result in overheating and automatic shut-off.
If automatic shut-off is a part of your unit’s design, then there is not much you can do. Some electric fireplaces are created to stop producing more heat than the setting you chose - and this is very normal. Your fireplace is working as it should. But if you suspect that the bulbs might be the problem, you can let a professional electrician have a look at your unit to see if they can be replaced.
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When electric fireplaces experience problems with the motor, things get more complicated. But first, here’s a quick explanation of why it shuts off the unit. Most often, a faulty motor draws too much power and it trips the circuit breaker, shutting off the electric fireplace.
Here is where it gets more complicated than the previous two causes. Fixing the motor of an electric fireplace is not in the reach of those who have little to no DIY experience with electrical appliances. These fireplaces are complicated appliances and nowhere more so than the motor. Attempting to fix this at home could temporarily fix the problem but might cause a fire (a real fire) later on.
When in doubt, the best course of action is to consult someone who knows what they are doing. Choose a reputable repair company with great reviews and explain the issue that you are having. You can also contact your manufacturer if the electric fire is still under warranty.
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