7 Likely Reasons your Electric heater is Turning itself On

We expect the heater to stay off when the switch is in the off position, and for the most part, it works as designed.

With that said, if you’re reading this it’s probably because your electric heater is behaving otherwise – it turns on by itself.

It is not only spooky but also a cause for concern as depending on the heater, it could potentially burn down your RV, house, or cabin.

If you find yourself in this situation, read on as this post has tips and suggestions to fix your electric heater.

Quick Tip (What Checks you Can Do)

It may sound obvious but always confirm that indeed the heater was switched OFF. Repeat your normal sequence of actions and check if the heater still switches itself on.

Next, disconnect the heater from the wall outlet or switch it off from the breaker. Turn down the thermostat to the lowest temperature and the circuit breaker back on to restore power to the heater. Does the heater still automatically come on? Confirm that you’ve actually moved the switch all the way to the off position.

If the heater still comes on on its own then there’s a fault that needs to be attended to.

Note: Extreme heat from the thermostat can cause a fire. Unplug the heater or switch it off at the breaker to stop it from heating if you’re not able to control it at the thermostat while you investigate the possible causes of it turning on in the first place.

Why the Electric Heater Turns itself On?

If the heater keeps turning itself on, it might be because:

#1. If the heater has an inbuilt switch then it is possible that the ON/OFF switch or knob may be faulty or not correctly fitted. You may need to check and confirm that the knob or switch for the knob is fitted properly and without a defect such as being loose or broken.

In some cases, corrosion build-up in the switch can make the switch malfunction. Use an electrical contact sprayer to remove dirt or any residue from the switch contacts that may be causing the switch to malfunction.

Check if this fixes the problem.

If it is a faulty knob or switch, look up a replacement part for that particular make and model.

Before replacing it, make sure to disconnect the heater from the wall outlet and or switch off the circuit breaker to avoid the risk of electric shock.

#2. It could be a case of a short in the wiring between the thermostat and the heater. Inspect the wiring between the thermostat and the heater for any damage.

It could be that there’s a short along the wires that’s in effect switching on the heater.

Replace the faulty wiring and check if this clears the problem.

#3. The Electric heater thermostat may be faulty and turning on the heater when the controls indicate otherwise (that the heater is off). This may be caused by a short in the thermostat.

Connect the heater to another thermostat and check if the heater automatically comes on.

If faulty, replace the thermostat with another.

Related Posts

What Causes the Electric heater or Furnace to Turn itself On (after Replacing Thermostat)

If the heater still turns itself on even with a new thermostat, it might be that the thermostat is wired wrongly (confirm that it’s wired correctly).

Do not hesitate to contact a qualified technician.

Closing Thoughts

If the electric heater turns on by itself, it could be a fault in the wiring, thermostat, or heater’s ON/OFF switch.

Do not hesitate to contact a qualified technician.

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