WAZIPOINT Engineering Science & Technology: What to do When Your Tubular Heater Fails?

Thursday, January 18, 2024

What to do When Your Tubular Heater Fails?

Tubular heaters are efficient, versatile, and highly useful heating components found in various applications across industries. But like any equipment, they can sometimes fail. This article provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on what to do when your tubular heater fails.

Tubular Heater
Fig-Tubular Heater

The bad influence if not repaired in time

If your tubular heater fails and is not repaired in time, several consequences may occur:

1. Loss of Heat. The most immediate consequence is the loss of heat. Depending on your circumstances, this could be merely an inconvenience, or it could be a serious problem, especially during colder months.

2. Potential Damage to the System. Continuous operation of a faulty heater can lead to further damage. This could include damage to other parts of the heating system, potentially leading to more extensive repairs or even full system replacement.

3. Increased Energy Costs. If the heater is still operational but not working efficiently due to the fault, it could lead to increased energy use and higher utility bills.

4. Safety Risks. Certain types of heater failures can lead to safety risks. For example, if the heater's safety controls are not working, it could lead to overheating and potentially cause a fire. Also, electric heaters with damaged wiring could cause electric shocks.

5. Decreased Lifespan. Continued operation of a heater with faults can reduce the overall lifespan of the unit, leading to earlier-than-expected replacement.

6. Comfort. Without the heat provided by the heater, the indoor environment might become uncomfortable. This could particularly be an issue in colder weather.

7. Possible Pipe Freezing. In extremely cold conditions, if the heater was being used to prevent freezing of pipes, a failure could result in frozen pipes which can then burst and cause significant water damage.

To avoid these potential problems, it's always a good idea to repair a faulty heater as soon as possible. Regular maintenance can also help to identify and fix potential issues before they result in heater failure.


What should you do?

If you are still not sure, follow the next steps to do it.

Identifying the Issue

Often, the first sign of a tubular heater malfunction is a noticeable decline in performance. You may observe that the heater takes longer to heat up or fails to reach the desired temperature. In other cases, the heater may stop working entirely.


Here's a guide to help you determine why your tubular heater might not be working:

1. No Heat at All. If the heater is not producing any heat, it's probably not receiving power. Check your circuit breaker, and make sure it's not tripped. If it has, reset it and see if that solves the problem. If not, you might have a problem with the heater's power cord or the heater itself.

2. Insufficient Heat. If the heater is not providing enough heat, it could be due to a problem with the thermostat. Make sure it's set to the right temperature. If that doesn't solve the problem, your heater's heating element may be failing.

3. Overheating. If your heater is too hot or smells like burning, turn it off immediately. It could be due to a blocked air intake, a failing fan, or a problem with the heater's thermal cutoff switch.

4. Noisy Operation. If your heater is unusually loud, it could be due to loosen parts, or a problem with the fan. Check for loose screws, and see if the noise goes away when the fan is off.

5. Frequent Cycling. If your heater turns off and on too often, it could be due to a problem with the thermostat. Try adjusting the thermostat's sensitivity, and if that doesn't work, you may need to replace it.

6. Physical Damage. Look for any visible signs of damage like cracks, dents, burns, or broken parts. These can indicate serious issues and might require immediate attention.

Remember, always consult a professional if you're unsure of what's causing your heater's problems. Working with electrical appliances can be dangerous if you're not knowledgeable and experienced in the field.

Safety First

Before attempting any repairs or inspections, always prioritize safety. Ensure the heater and any associated equipment are switched off and disconnected from the power source. Allow the heater to cool down to prevent burns.

Preliminary Checks Faulty Tubular Heater

Check the heater for visible signs of damage. This could include discoloration, deformation, or broken wiring. If these are present, it could indicate overheating, mechanical damage, or an electrical fault.


Here's a more detailed step-by-step process for these initial inspections:

1. Power Down. Before commencing any checks, it's important to ensure the heater is disconnected from its power source to prevent electric shocks or further damage. If the heater is hot, allow it time to cool down to avoid any potential burns.

2. Physical Inspection. Start your preliminary checks with a comprehensive physical inspection. Look for signs of damage to the heater's external casing, such as cracks, dents, or any signs of wear and tear. This also includes checking for discoloration, which could indicate overheating or burns, and deformation, which might suggest a physical impact or an internal issue causing excessive heat.

3. Wiring Check. Next, inspect the wiring of the tubular heater. Look for any signs of frayed or broken wires, which could interrupt the electrical flow to the heater. Also, check for loose connections that could cause inconsistent performance.

4. Terminal Inspection. Check the terminals of the heater. Any signs of burns, corrosion, or loose connections could imply an electrical problem affecting the heater's operation.

5. Insulation Check. Inspect the insulation around the heater. Degraded or damaged insulation can lead to inefficiency in heating and may also pose a safety risk.

Remember, while preliminary checks can identify visible issues, some malfunctions may not be evident upon initial inspection. If the heater continues to malfunction despite no visible damage or issues, it's recommended to seek the help of a professional technician for a more thorough examination and diagnosis.

Inspecting the Thermostat of Faulty Tubular Heater

If the preliminary checks do not reveal any physical damage, the issue may lie with the thermostat. Ensure the thermostat is correctly set and functioning. If not, you may need to replace it.

1. Check the Thermostat Setting. Start by checking whether the thermostat is set at the desired temperature. Sometimes, inadvertent changes to the settings can lead to heating issues. Make sure it's not set too high or too low for your needs.

2. Test the Thermostat's Response. Gradually adjust the temperature setting on the thermostat to see if the heater responds. Listen for a click sound when you change the temperature above and below the current room temperature. This click indicates the thermostat is communicating with the heater.

3. Check the Thermostat Wiring. Inspect the thermostat wiring for any loose connections, breaks, or signs of burning. Any of these issues can prevent the thermostat from effectively controlling the tubular heater.

4. Use a Multimeter. If you're comfortable with advanced checks, use a multimeter to test the thermostat. Remove the thermostat from the wall and check the resistance of the thermostat. When the thermostat is turned up, the resistance reading should drop to nearly zero, and when turned down, it should rise to near the thermostat's resistance rating. If the readings do not align, the thermostat might be faulty.

5. Professional Consultation. If you're unable to identify any issues with the thermostat or if replacing the thermostat doesn't solve the problem, consider consulting a professional. A heating engineer can perform a more comprehensive diagnosis to pinpoint any complex issues that may be disrupting the heater's functionality.

Remember, always prioritize safety when dealing with electrical appliances. If you're unsure or uncomfortable with any steps, it's strongly advised to seek professional assistance.


Testing the Heating Element of Tubular Heater

A multimeter can be used to check the resistance of the heating element. If the resistance reading does not align with the heater's specifications, it could indicate a faulty heating element.

Checking the Power Source

Issues with the power source can cause heating problems. Verify that the heater is receiving adequate voltage. If not, there may be an issue with your electrical system.

Professional Assistance

If the problem persists after these steps, it's time to seek professional help. Contact a heating specialist to diagnose and repair the issue.

When your tubular heater fails, there are several steps you can take to diagnose the problem. It's important to approach this process systematically to rule out any potential causes.


Here's how to check the power source:

1. Safety First. Before starting any electrical work, make sure to turn off the power at the main switch or circuit breaker. This is the first and foremost step, as working with electricity can be dangerous if not done properly.

2. Check the Fuse or Breaker. The issue might be as simple as a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. If the fuse for the heater is blown, replace it. If the circuit breaker has tripped, reset it.

3. Test the Outlet. If the heater is plugged into an outlet, test the outlet by plugging in another device that you know works. If the device works, then the problem is likely with the heater itself. If the device does not work, there might be a problem with the outlet or the circuit.

4. Inspect the Wiring. If you can, inspect the wiring of the heater. Make sure there are no obvious signs of damage, such as fraying, burns, or cuts. Also, check the connections to ensure they are secure.

5. Use a Multimeter. To accurately check if power is reaching the heater, you can use a multimeter. This device measures electrical voltage, current, and resistance. Please refer to the multimeter's user manual or find a reliable guide online on how to use it.

  • Set the multimeter to measure voltage.
  • Place the probes on the power source terminals.
  • If the multimeter displays the voltage that matches the power source (110-120 volts in the U.S.), then power is reaching the heater.

6. Consult a Professional. If you're not comfortable working with electricity, or if these steps do not resolve the issue, it might be time to call a professional. A trained electrician or a heating system professional will have the tools and expertise to diagnose and repair the issue.

Remember, always prioritize safety when working with electricity. If you're not sure, it's always better to consult with a professional.


Conclusion About Faulty Tubular Heater

In conclusion, when your tubular heater fails, it's essential to approach the issue methodically. Start by identifying the problem, conduct a series of checks, and if necessary, seek professional assistance. Preventative maintenance can often help to avoid these issues, so regular checks and servicing of your heater are highly recommended.

This step-by-step guide aims to help you navigate the process of troubleshooting a failed tubular heater. Remember, if you are not confident in performing these steps, always turn to a professional.

Disclaimer: Working with electrical appliances can be dangerous if not handled with care and proper safety precautions. This guide is intended as a general guide. If you're unsure or uncomfortable with any steps, it is strongly advised to seek professional assistance.


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