Saturday, October 12, 2013

Heater Woes

Well, the electric heater anyways, haven't tried the forced air furnace yet as been told they sound like jet engines taking off.  Am sure will get the opportunity in the nearish future.

Unmodified switch

 The thermostat on fan was acting up the last several days, not turning on/off or doing any sort of thing.  Today it just finally stopped working. Figured the fan can't be fully bad as it's a fairly new fan.  Purchased it at a second hand store (from people who clean out forclosed homes or from estate sales) in Moses Lake, WA.  When got the fan it was fully hidden underneath a camo coating of dust and who knows what else.  I think this contributed to the thermostat wigging out on me.

Testing by crossing the bridge
Tried using a multi-meter but that was giving me flaky readings.  Even though it was set to auto believe it had problems figuring out what was what..

So, went the old fashioned way (thank you Dad).  Used a pair of pliers, but a screwdriver works just the same (for pictures).  The idea was to connect the two contacts to see if the fan turned on, which it did.  So Step 1was complete.

Front with knob removed
One thing to note, is see the little scorch mark, well, didn't get that testing piece from my father, happy to report.  I didn't pay attention and the pliers touched right there while also touching the live wire.  So some noise and big flash of light, and pop of the GFI outlet. OOOPS... Reset outlet, and was on way again, more careful now.  The metal frame is connected right to the ground wire, so sent all the electricity to ground, which generally is not considered good.

There is another small black mark above the switch on the inside.  Believe this is an indicator that the thermostat is actually bad and got fried somehow.

Working, Jury rigged for the night
Removed the front knob with a flat headed screwdriver, and removed the little nut with pliers to remove the thermostat for replacement hunting.

Here is the fan, with the two wires joined, and taped for safety, and front cover put on, for safety also.  Can barely tell the fan blades are spinning and the lighted switch indicates it's on high (1500 watts).

Have been unable to locate a thermostat for the fan, as it seems like they want us to buy a new heater instead of fixing the existing one.

Soon as get a soldering iron, will dig through the parts I have and rig up my own thermostat using a relay or something.  That part have to figure out yet.

I do take full responsibility if something bad were to happen, but would really like to be able to find the parts needed to fix this most simplest of things..  Could use a toggle switch easy enough but that is also problematic, just not as problematic as always having it "on" when plugged in as it is now.


  1. Hope you find the heater "Gremlin"! Or, just sleep with your socks on :)

  2. I am having a similar problem but with my air conditioner. I do not have a wall unit, I have a moveable one. I like it a lot because it is extremely effective in whatever room it is in. What I am not such a big fan of is that all of a sudden it will not switch temperature levels.

    Ambrose @ Brown & Reaves Services, Inc.