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How to Troubleshoot Storage Heaters

Updated February 21, 2017

Storage heaters are cost-saving home appliances that use cheaper, "off-peak" electricity to heat a highly insulated metal element. Heat is then gradually released from the heater during the day as required without using expensive "peak" electricity. Troubleshooting your malfunctioning storage heater helps you identify and correct the cause of the problem without returning the appliance to the manufacturer. The heater's electrical supply, its location in your home and control panel settings are often the cause of problems.

Examine the storage heater's controls to ensure that they are set correctly. Ensure that the thermostat control dial is in a position that will provide enough heating for the room. Move the selector switch, if fitted, to "Auto" or "Manual" position, ensuring that the heater isn't turned off.

Confirm that the heater's timer is correctly configured; the heater might not be turning on at the right time of day. Some storage heaters use a dial-based timer into which plastic "Start" and "Stop" wedges are inserted. Check your heater's instruction manual for precise timer instructions.

Ensure that the wall plug and convector switches are turned on. Some storage heaters receive power through a small switch box, similar in shape to an outlet on a nearby wall. Ensure that all of the switch boxes connected to your storage heater are turned on.

Consider the heater's environment. Don't use the heater with windows open or furniture blocking the heater; keep items at least 12 inches away from the air outlet grid at all times. Never cover the heater with wet clothes or other upholstery; heat builds inside the appliance and causes a malfunction. Allow 4 inches of room on all sides around the heater.

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