How to Fix a Broken Electric Space Heater: A Comprehensive DIY Guide

When your electric space heater suddenly stops working, it can be a frustrating experience, especially during the colder months when you rely on it for warmth. However, with the right troubleshooting steps and a bit of DIY know-how, you can often fix a broken electric space heater yourself, saving you time and money. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the common causes of electric space heater failures and provide detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to diagnose and repair the issue.

Identifying the Cause of the Problem

The first step in fixing a broken electric space heater is to identify the root cause of the problem. Common issues that can lead to a malfunctioning space heater include:

  1. Power Supply Issues: This is the most common cause of an electric space heater not working. Check if the heater is properly plugged into a functioning electrical outlet by testing it with another appliance. If the outlet has power, the issue could be a blown fuse or a faulty thermostat.

  2. Internal Wiring Faults: If the heater is not producing any heat, it could be due to internal wiring problems, such as wear and tear, loose connections, or damaged wires. This type of repair typically requires some basic electrical knowledge or the assistance of a professional.

  3. Mechanical Issues: Inconsistent heat output from the space heater may be caused by a faulty thermostat or blocked airflow. Ensure the heater is well-ventilated and clear any obstructions to allow proper airflow.

Troubleshooting Power Supply Issues

how to fix a broken Electric Space Heater

  1. Check the Power Cord: Inspect the power cord for any visible damage, such as fraying, cracks, or loose connections. If the cord appears to be in good condition, plug the heater into a different outlet to ensure the issue is not with the power source.

  2. Test the Outlet: Use a voltage tester or plug in another appliance to confirm that the outlet is providing power. If the outlet is not functioning, you may need to reset the circuit breaker or replace the outlet.

  3. Inspect the Fuse: Locate the fuse box and check for any blown fuses. If a fuse is tripped, replace it with a new one of the same amperage rating. If the fuse blows again, there may be an underlying electrical issue that needs to be addressed.

  4. Verify the Thermostat: If the power supply and fuses are working correctly, the issue may be with the thermostat. Use a multimeter to test the thermostat’s continuity. If the thermostat is faulty, it will need to be replaced.

Repairing Internal Wiring Faults

  1. Disconnect the Power: Before attempting any repairs, ensure the space heater is unplugged from the power source to prevent the risk of electrical shock.

  2. Remove the Outer Casing: Carefully remove the outer casing of the space heater to access the internal components. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific disassembly process.

  3. Inspect the Wiring: Examine the internal wiring for any signs of damage, such as fraying, loose connections, or burnt spots. Use a multimeter to test the continuity of the wires and identify any faulty connections.

  4. Replace Damaged Components: If you find any damaged wires or connections, carefully replace them with new components of the same type and rating. Ensure all connections are secure and properly insulated.

  5. Reassemble the Heater: Once the repairs are complete, carefully reassemble the space heater, making sure all components are properly aligned and secured.

Addressing Mechanical Issues

  1. Check for Airflow Obstructions: Ensure the space heater is placed in a well-ventilated area and that the air intake and exhaust vents are not blocked by furniture, curtains, or other objects. Clear any obstructions to allow for proper airflow.

  2. Test the Thermostat: Use a multimeter to check the continuity of the thermostat. If the thermostat is not functioning correctly, it will need to be replaced.

  3. Replace the Heating Element: If the space heater is producing inconsistent or insufficient heat, the ceramic heating element may be faulty. To replace the heating element, disconnect the terminal leads and carefully remove the old element. Install the new element, ensuring it is properly positioned and secured.

  4. Clean the Heater: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate inside the space heater, affecting its performance. Unplug the heater and use a vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle attachment to thoroughly clean the interior of the unit.

Safety Considerations

When working on an electric space heater, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Always start by unplugging the heater and allowing it to cool completely before attempting any repairs. Wear protective gloves and avoid touching any hot components. If you are not comfortable working with electrical appliances or lack the necessary skills, it’s best to consult a professional electrician to ensure the repairs are done safely and effectively.


Fixing a broken electric space heater can be a manageable DIY project, but it’s essential to approach it with caution and the right troubleshooting techniques. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can diagnose and repair common issues with your space heater, saving you time and money. Remember to prioritize safety, and don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance if the problem is beyond your skill level.


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