Counting on the warmth from your space heater? Then you’ll definitely be disappointed when it keeps tripping the breaker and does not work as expected
If you are not sure what to do next or even why it is tripping the breaker then look no further.
This post lists several reasons and fixes to look into that may explain why a space heater keeps tripping the breaker which may be useful in getting your heater working consistently again.
If the circuit breaker keeps tripping when a space heater is plugged into a wall outlet and switched on then it might be an electrical fault with the space heater or the electrical connections supplying power to the heater. The next section explains the checks you can do to identify the cause faster.
What Checks to Do?
If the circuit breaker for your space heater’s electric circuit keeps tripping check if:
#1. Whether the heater trips immediately or after a few minutes?
Does the space heater trip the breaker immediately after it is switched on or after several minutes? If it trips immediately then there’s likely a short in the heater, its connections, or wiring.
#2. The heater trips even at the low thermostat setting
If the heater has a thermostat, does it trip at the low setting too? If it trips at the high setting but not the low setting then it might point to the circuit being overloaded.
#3. Is there a burnt electrical smell?
Does the heater have any burnt rubber or electrical smell? Inspect its power cord for any burn marks. If there are no burn marks or electrical smell then the fault is more likely to be in the wiring or electrical connections.
Why the Space Heater May Be Tripping the Circuit Breaker (+Fixes)
#1. The circuit to which the heater is connected to may be overloaded. Compare the amperage of the space heater against that of the electrical heater. If they are about the same then there’s a possibility of an overload.
If the heater is plugged into an electrical circuit to which other appliances are connected, switch them off and leave only the heater connected. Check if the breaker still trips.
Confirm that the space heater is connected to an electric circuit with an amperage as recommended by its manufacturer. if connected to a shared circuit, depending on its amperage draw you may need to connect it to a dedicated electric circuit.
Lastly, you can also consider using a heater that draws less power (watts) as a solution if it can meet your heating requirements.
#2. There might be a short in the wiring, the power cord, or the electrical circuit to which the heater is connected. To check if it is short in the wiring, disconnect the heater from the wall outlet and check if the breaker still trips with the heater still disconnected.
If it does then it points to a short in the wiring leading up to the space heater. If it only trips with the heater connected and the amperage of the electric circuit is sufficient for the electric heater then there is probably a short in the heater.
Inspect the power cord for damage to the insulation of the wire connections for short circuits.
Why the Space heater Keeps Blowing Fuses (+Fixes)
If the heater blows the fuses because the current draw by the heater exceeds that of the fuse that is intended to protect the wiring.
This may be caused by a short in the heater or might be the case of overloading the electrical circuit. What’s the power consumption (watt) of the heater? How much power draw can the electrical circuit handle? If it exceeds the current handling capacity then the fuse will blow.
DO NOT use a higher amp-rated fuse in an attempt to stop the fuses from blowing. Doing so can result in a fire. Stick to the recommended fuse ratings by the manufacturer.
Why the Space Heater Plug Gets Extremely Hot?
Some space heater models draw significant amounts of power when switched on and the maximum power rating is selected.
As a result, the plug may warm up during use. To avoid accidents, make sure that the circuit that it is plugged into has the amperage recommended by the manufacturer. Use the recommended heavy-duty plug that can handle the current draw as cheap low quality plugs can easily melt.
Avoid using an adapter or an extension and instead, plug the heater directly into a wall outlet for a solid firm connection to avoid sparks that contribute to heat build-up in the plug.
Lastly, inspect the plug and the wall outlet to confirm that the wire connections to the prongs and the wall outlet terminals are firmly connected. Loosely connected wires lead to sparks in the wall outlet or plug which then heats up the plug and the wall outlet.
If the space heater keeps tripping the breaker, it might be that there’s a short in the heater, the wiring, or even it could be that the circuit to which it is connected is overloaded.
Consider each of these options as they may apply to your situation. Do not hesitate to contact a qualified electrician.