One of the most common problems that customers face while using space heaters is the blowing of fuses.
It can be a frustrating and costly experience, and can even pose a safety hazard.
A fuse blows when there is too much current flowing through it, which can happen when a space heater draws more power than the electrical circuit can handle.
Preventing a space heater from blowing a fuse is essential for two reasons: safety and cost.
When a fuse blows, it can cause damage to your space heater, electrical wiring, and potentially even start a fire. It can also be expensive to replace fuses frequently.
By taking some simple precautions and following the tips that I will share with you in this article, you can ensure that your space heater operates smoothly without any risk to your home or your wallet.
In this article, we will cover the following topics:
- Why space heaters trip circuits and how to solve it
- What can cause the fuse of your space heater to trip?
- How to fix tripped circuit breaker from a space heater
- How to prevent a space heater from blowing a fuse in 6 safety checks
- Repairing your space heater after blowing a fuse
What Can Cause the Fuse of Your Space Heater to Trip?
Understanding why fuses trip is important to prevent your space heater from blowing a fuse. Here are some common reasons why fuses trip:
Overloading the Circuit
Each circuit in your home is rated for a certain number of amps, with common ratings being 15, 20, 30, and 40 amps, with 20 amps being the most common.
- 15-amp circuits: These are commonly found in residential settings and are typically used to power small appliances, lighting fixtures, and electronic devices. They are often wired with 14-gauge wire, which is suitable for handling loads up to 1,800 watts.
- 20-amp circuits: This is the most common amperage for household circuits and is typically used for powering larger appliances, such as kitchen countertop appliances, hairdryers, and vacuum cleaners. They are usually wired with 12-gauge wire, allowing them to handle loads up to 2,400 watts.
- 30-amp circuits: These circuits are designed for more substantial electrical loads, such as electric dryers, air conditioners, and water heaters. They are typically wired with 10-gauge wire and can handle loads up to 3,600 watts.
- 40-amp circuits: These circuits are used for heavy-duty appliances and equipment, such as electric stoves, ovens, and larger air conditioning units. They are often wired with 8-gauge wire and can handle loads up to 4,800 watts.
|Circuit Amperage||Common Uses||Wire Gauge||Maximum Wattage|
|15 amps||Small appliances, lighting, electronic devices||14-gauge||1,800 watts|
|20 amps||Kitchen countertop appliances, hairdryers, vacuum cleaners||12-gauge||2,400 watts|
|30 amps||Electric dryers, air conditioners, water heaters||10-gauge||3,600 watts|
|40 amps||Electric stoves, ovens, larger air conditioning units||8-gauge||4,800 watts|
If the wiring in your space heater is faulty or damaged, it can cause a short circuit and trip the fuse. It’s essential to inspect the wiring in your space heater regularly and replace any damaged parts.
To minimize the risk of electrical fires caused by faulty wiring in space heaters, follow these tips:
- Regularly inspect the space heater’s wiring, looking for signs of wear, fraying, or damage.
- Replace any damaged parts immediately and avoid using the heater until repairs are completed.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for usage and maintenance.
- Avoid overloading circuits by using a space heater on a dedicated circuit when possible.
Malfunctioning parts in household appliances, including space heaters, can pose safety risks and lead to reduced efficiency or even complete failure of the device.
Identifying and addressing malfunctioning components is crucial to ensure the safety and longevity of your appliances.
Some common issues related to malfunctioning parts in space heaters include:
- Thermostat problems: A faulty thermostat may cause the heater to overheat or not maintain the desired temperature. In some cases, the heater may not turn on or off as intended, leading to energy wastage and potential safety hazards.
- Damaged heating elements: Over time, heating elements can wear out, become corroded, or break. This can result in uneven heating, reduced efficiency, or even the complete failure of the heater.
- Fan issues: Many space heaters rely on fans to distribute warm air throughout the room. A malfunctioning fan can lead to poor heat distribution, increased noise, or overheating of the device.
- Electrical connections: Loose or damaged electrical connections can result in intermittent operation, reduced performance, or even electrical hazards such as short circuits or fires.
Repairing Your Space Heater After Blowing a Fuse
How to Replace a Blown Fuse in the Space Heater
If your space heater blows a fuse, the first step is to unplug it from the electrical outlet. Locate the blown fuse by checking the fuse box or the space heater manual. Replace the blown fuse with a new one of the same type and amperage.
When to Seek Professional Help for Repairing the Space Heater
If your space heater continues to blow fuses, it may indicate a larger problem with the wiring or electrical system in your home. It’s best to seek professional help from an HVAC technician or electrician. They can inspect the wiring and diagnose any underlying issues that may cause the fuse to trip.
The Importance of Using Only Recommended Replacement Parts
It’s essential to use only recommended replacement parts when replacing a blown fuse or any other part of your space heater. Using incompatible parts can cause further damage to the space heater and pose a safety hazard.
Tips for Maintaining the Space Heater to Prevent Future Fuse Blowouts
To prevent future fuse blowouts and maintain the longevity of your space heater, it’s important to perform regular maintenance.
This includes cleaning the space heater, inspecting the wiring, and replacing any damaged parts promptly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, avoid overloading the circuit, and use the space heater responsibly.
How to Prevent a Space Heater from Blowing Fuse in 9 Safety Checks?
To prevent your space heater from blowing a fuse, here are six safety checks that you can follow:
#1 Always unplug when not in use
Always unplug your space heater from the socket when you’re not using it. This not only prevents the space heater from blowing a fuse but also saves energy and reduces the risk of fire.
#2 Never leave unattended
Always monitor your space heater when it’s turned on and never leave it unattended. This reduces the risk of the space heater overheating, which can lead to a blown fuse or even a fire.
#3 Keep away from water
Never use your space heater near water, as it can pose a safety hazard and potentially cause a blown fuse. Keep your space heater away from wet areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
#4 Use lower heat settings
Using your space heater on lower heat settings reduces the amount of power it draws, preventing the fuse from blowing. This also saves energy and reduces your electricity bill.
#5 Avoid extension cords and connectors
Avoid using extension cords and connectors to connect your space heater to the electrical outlet. These cords can overheat and cause a fire or damage the wiring, which can lead to a blown fuse.
#6 Use a different outlet
If you have other appliances or devices connected to the same circuit as your space heater, consider using a different outlet on a separate circuit. This reduces the chance of overloading the circuit and blowing a fuse.
#7 Clean the space heater regularly
Dust and debris can accumulate on your space heater’s air vents and cause it to overheat, leading to a blown fuse or even a fire. Therefore, it’s important to keep the space heater clean by regularly wiping it down with a soft cloth and removing any dust or debris from the air vents.
#8 Place on the ground
Place your space heater on the ground to ensure proper air circulation and prevent overheating. Never place it on furniture or carpets, as they can block the air vents and cause a blown fuse or even a fire.
By following these six safety checks, you can prevent your space heater from blowing a fuse and ensure safe and efficient operation. Remember to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and perform regular maintenance to prolong the lifespan of your space heater.
#9 Buy a Space Heater: Special Features
Consider buying a space heater with special features such as an automatic shut-off, tip-over switch, and overheat protection. These features can prevent the space heater from overheating and blowing a fuse and ensure safe and efficient operation.
Why Space Heaters Trip Circuits and How to Solve It?
If your space heater keeps blowing a fuse, it’s important to understand why space heaters trip circuits and how to solve the problem.
Here are four common problems and their solutions:
A. The Circuit is Overloaded
Overloading the circuit means that you’re drawing more power than the circuit can handle. This can cause the fuse to blow or even start a fire.
To avoid overloading the circuit, unplug any other appliances or devices that are connected to the same circuit as your space heater. Also, don’t use high-wattage appliances such as hair dryers or vacuum cleaners on the same circuit as your space heater.
Using a dedicated circuit for your space heater ensures that it has enough power to operate safely and efficiently. Consider having a new circuit installed for your space heater by a qualified electrician.
B. The Circuit is Overheating
- Explanation of why circuits overheat
Circuits can overheat if they’re damaged, overloaded, or have loose connections. Overheating can cause the fuse to blow or even start a fire.
- How to avoid overheating the circuit
To avoid overheating the circuit, make sure the electrical system in your home is maintained and inspected regularly. Have any damaged wiring or loose connections repaired by a qualified electrician.
- The importance of maintaining the electrical system in the house
Maintaining the electrical system in your home ensures that it’s safe and efficient, and can prevent the circuit from overheating and causing a blown fuse or fire.
C. The Space Heater Shuts Off Wherever You Put It
- Explanation of why this happens
If your space heater shuts off wherever you put it, it may be because it’s not placed on a stable and level surface. This can cause the safety switch to activate and shut off the space heater.
- How to solve the problem
To solve this problem, place your space heater on a stable and level surface. Don’t place it on furniture or carpets that can block the air vents and cause it to overheat.
- The importance of using a stable and level surface for the space heater
Using a stable and level surface for your space heater ensures that it’s safe and efficient and prevents it from shutting off unexpectedly.
D. The Heater is on an Extension Cord
- Explanation of why using an extension cord can be problematic
Using an extension cord with your space heater can cause it to overheat and trip the fuse. Extension cords are not designed to handle the high wattage of space heaters.
- How to avoid using an extension cord
Avoid using an extension cord with your space heater. Instead, plug it directly into a grounded outlet.
- The importance of using a grounded outlet for the space heater
Using a grounded outlet for your space heater ensures that it’s safe and efficient, and prevents it from overheating and causing a blown fuse or fire.
How to Fix Tripped Circuit Breaker from Space Heater?
If your space heater trips the circuit breaker, it’s important to know how to reset it safely. Here are some steps to follow:
A. Steps to reset a tripped circuit breaker
- Turn off all appliances connected to the circuit: Before you reset the circuit breaker, make sure all appliances and devices connected to the circuit are turned off. This will prevent the circuit from overloading again when you reset it.
- Locate the tripped circuit breaker: Look for the circuit breaker panel in your home. The tripped circuit breaker will be in the “off” position and may be labeled as “tripped” or “off.”
- Reset the tripped circuit breaker: To reset the circuit breaker, switch it to the “on” position. You may need to push it firmly to reset it. If the circuit breaker trips again immediately, it may indicate a larger electrical problem and you should call a professional.
- Turn on the appliances: After resetting the circuit breaker, turn on the appliances and devices that were connected to the circuit one at a time. This will help you identify if any of them are causing the circuit to overload and trip again.
B. When to seek professional help
If your space heater continues to trip the circuit breaker even after resetting it, or if the circuit breaker trips frequently, it may indicate a larger electrical problem that requires the expertise of a professional electrician. Do not attempt to fix any electrical problems yourself unless you have the proper training and experience. An electrician can diagnose the problem and provide a safe and effective solution.
Here are some additional references that may be helpful:
- The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides safety tips for using space heaters and extension cords: https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Heating/Safety-with-portable-heaters-and-extension-cords
- The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) offers information on electrical safety, including tips for using extension cords safely: https://www.esfi.org/resource/extension-cord-safety-tips-478
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidelines for the safe use of extension cords in the workplace: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/2019-03/electricalhazards.pdf
These resources can provide additional information and tips for safe use of extension cords with space heaters or other electrical appliances.