You should be concerned when your fan heater sparks. It is a sign something is wrong with your appliance. To understand what could be happening and how to fix such a problem, we researched to provide you with the following information.
To avert any potential danger, do the following when you notice your fan heater is sparking:
- Don’t touch your heater
- Disconnect power from the main circuit
- Let the heater cool down
- Find out why your heater was sparking
Continue reading to learn what you should do when your fan heater sparks. Included is information on what is causing the problem and how to fix it. We have also informed you how to use your heater safely and maintain it in good condition.
What To Do When Your Fan Heater Sparks?
It is normal to see sparks coming from your heater once in a while. However, you should be concerned when the sparks continue fizzing for a long time or a large spark surges out of the electrical outlet.
A spark with an odor like something burning or melting is a sign of a serious problem.
It’s essential to ensure everyone stays safe as soon as you notice your heater is sparking. It can be hazardous if it is your appliance that has malfunctioned. Thus, be extra cautious when handling such a situation.
The following are steps to take when your fan heater starts sparking:
Don’t Touch Your Heater
Don’t rush to touch your appliance after you see sparks coming from it or the electrical outlet. If you can control your appliance remotely, then use the remote to switch it off.
If yours does not have a remote, you’ll have to cut off the power supply using another method.
Disconnect Power From The Main Circuit
It can be risky to switch off your appliance from the socket. You’ll have to stop the flow of current from the circuit breaker. Turn off the power from the circuit that feeds the heater, and pull out the plug from the socket.
Let The Heater Cool Down
After disconnecting the power to your heater, allow it to cool down. That way, you are safer to check what is wrong with it.
Find Out Why Your Heater Was Sparking
It’s a good idea to know why your heater is producing sparks. If you don’t have the skills to troubleshoot, take it to a professional to find out what is wrong. We have explained the possible causes in the next section.
Why Does Your Fan Heater Spark?
Several reasons can cause your fan heater to produce sparks, including:
Sparking As You Plug Or Unplug The Heater
Sparking as you plug in or unplug your heater is normal. However, do not confuse a normal spark with a bad spark.
When you are about to plug in or while you are unplugging, sometimes an electrical current can ’jump’ from the socket to the metal contacts of the plug.
As it jumps, you’ll briefly see a small, odorless spark, which is normal and should not alarm you.
As mentioned earlier, you should be alarmed if the spark takes a long time to fizzle and produces a smell like rubber or plastic is melting or burning. If the spark is yellow or white instead of blue, you need to call an electrician immediately.
These sparks can happen due to short circuits, worn electrical parts, over-burdened outlets, or improperly installed outlets.
An electrical fire can break out if these issues are not attended to promptly. This can lead to a disaster because fire can start behind your walls without you noticing.
A malfunctioned heater can spark due to the following reasons:
Plugging Into An Extension Cord
An extension cord cannot handle the high electrical current your fan heater uses. The smaller low-quality extension cords are even more susceptible to potential fire hazards.
Instead, plug it directly into the electrical outlet on your wall. But, if you must use an extension cord, use a heavy-duty cord.
Circuit Has Multiple Appliances
A spark can be created if you plug your fan heater with many other electrical devices. This is because the circuit can be overwhelmed. To solve this problem, unplug a few of the appliances.
Old Or Worn Fan Heater
A short circuit can occur when there are worn electrical components in your heater or if it is damaged or old. This causes too much current to flow within the circuit, causing a spark.
An electrician can fix this problem after examining the appliance and identifying the problem. If the device is too old, your electrician may advise you to replace it instead of repairing it.
If you bought your appliance recently and it keeps sparking, it could have a fault. If you have a warranty, you can use it for a free repair or replacement.
Humidity In Your Environment
Water vapor from the humidity in your surroundings can cause your heater to spark. A leaking pipe can also be the cause of your heater sparking.
How To Safely Use Your Fan Heater
A fan heater is a portable appliance that you use to heat a small area like your bedroom. You need to observe safety measures when using this type of heater. They include:
Keep It Away From Flammable Items
A space heater can ignite a fire if flammable objects are too close to it. Examples of such things are papers, tablecloths, or curtains, which should be 3 feet away from the heater. Also, place it on a firm, flat surface whenever you are using it.
Switch Off The Heater If Not Using It
It’s tempting to leave your heater unattended, especially when you think you will not be gone for long. But, this can be a risky affair. That is why before you sleep or go into another room, turn it off.
Keep It Out Of Reach
Curious children or pets may play with the heater, creating a potentially dangerous situation. Keep it high up where the children cannot reach it. Pets such as cats can maneuver in almost every corner of a room. In such a case, you may use a well-ventilated barrier.
Ensure Your Fire Alarm Is Working Well
Even though you are extra careful, things can go wrong, and your heater can start a fire. But, a fire alarm helps to detect a fire early.
Ensure It Is Still Functioning Well
Have a keen eye on your heater. As earlier seen, sparks can signify something is wrong with your appliance.
Some sparks are harmless, but watch out when a burning or melting smell comes from your appliance. Look out for large or lengthy sparks. They could indicate there is trouble.
How To Maintain Your Fan Heater In Good Condition
Your fan heater can last between 15 and 20 years. To last that long, it’s paramount that you maintain it well, which is not difficult to do.
Keep checking your heater for any discoloration or damage; if there is any, take it to a technician. Ensure the cord and plug are in good working condition.
You can also clean it regularly by following the steps below:
Turn Off Your Heater
Switch off your appliance and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Allow it to cool completely.
Wipe The Surface Of Your Heater
Use a microfiber cloth to wipe off the dust from the surface of your heater. Next, dampen a sponge, wipe the surface, and let it dry. Never spray water on the surface or the inside of the heater.
Remove The Cover
Unscrew and remove the cover from the heater. Spray a compressed air duster on the inside to loosen and collect dust. You can vacuum dust that is difficult to come off by attaching a narrow nozzle to target the hard-to-reach areas like the crevices.
You can also attach a soft brush to the vacuum to clean the interior, taking care not to damage the fan. Afterward, you may wipe the interior surfaces with a damp cloth and allow the heater to dry completely.
Return The Cover
Vacuum brush the cover and screw it back onto the heater.
A fan heater is an excellent gadget for heating small spaces. It’s portable; therefore, you can move it around with you. But if it sparks, you should stop using it immediately. Disconnect power from the circuit, and then take it to a technician.
Some sparks are normal, and others are a sign something is wrong with your appliance, which you need to address quickly. Lastly, there are safety measures you need to observe when using this appliance to prevent any potential fires.
For further reading on heaters, click on our previous posts below: