Why Does My Space Heater Keep Turning Off? (7 Reasons & How to Fix It)

A space heater can be your go-to comfort in the winter season, and owing to its features, it is one of the most affordable options.

Most households that do not have access to a centralized heating system have opted for this option as it is easy to use, convenient to maintain, portable, and economical. It is one of the best heat sources.

Generally, space heaters are uncomplicated, but sometimes people complain about the device shutting off too often. If your space heater keeps shutting off and you aren’t able to find a reason, this article will help.

In this write-up, we will talk about the seven most common reasons behind your heating unit shutting down by itself.

In addition, we will also drive your focus on ways to fix this issue so that you can keep your home toasty during the chilly season. So, stay intact and keep reading to understand this electronic device like a pro.

Why Does My Space Heater Keep Turning Off?

Why Does My Space Heater Keep Turning Off

Does your space heater turn off after every few minutes? Is your space heating unit turning off without any valid reason?

If yes, your device or the home power supply is at fault.

The reason for the device shutting off could be as simple as a dirty air filter, or it can also get as complicated as a faulty power supply. So, finding the cause of the problem is essential.

Let’s move ahead and read some of the most common reasons behind the unit shutting down automatically.

Weak or Faulty Power Supply

A weak or faulty power supply is one of the most common causes behind your heater turning off abnormally. In this case, your home circuit fails to provide enough power to the device, making it turn off too often.

All standard space heaters need a certain amount of power to work flawlessly. And, when the device doesn’t get the required energy, it keeps turning off without reason.

How to fix

In this case, its best to hire an electrician to get the power supply checked. The professional will measure the power available in the wall outlet to get into the root of the issue. On the other hand, if you think calling an electrician would cost you more than your budget, take the space heater to your neighbour’s or friend’s house to check if the problem persists.

Overheating Due to Dusty Air Filter

Dusty air filter is yet another cause behind the malfunctioning of your space heater. Most people complain that their electric heater turns on and off repeatedly, but little do they know that a polluted air filter can be the reason behind it.

For your information, if the device’s air filter is covered in dust, it will block the required airflow, making your heater heat abnormally. Following this, the excessive heating of the device will result in automatic shut-off.

The air filter’s clogging happens in heaters with built-in fans; not all heaters have built-in fans. Therefore, to check this, switch on the heater and try to listen to the sound of a fan.

If you hear a blowing wind sound, check for the opening from where you can pull out the air filter. In case of any confusion, you can always refer to the user manual.

How to fix

To begin with, extract the air filter out of the device and start the cleaning process. Wear your gloves (optional), and dry-scrub the dust off. You can also use an old toothbrush to clean it efficiently.

Abstain from using water to clean the dust as the filter might be filled with bacteria, and any kind of moisture will work as food for these microorganisms. So, try to keep it dry.

Once the cleaning is done, re-install the filter and switch on the device once again to check if the problem persists.

Too Many Electric Devices Used Simultaneously

This issue is a bit similar to the weak and faulty power supply. So, when you plug too many devices into your home electric circuits simultaneously, they’ll possibly overload the system, making your electric heater turn off by itself.

Technically, the power circuits in your home can provide only a fixed maximum amount of power. If you try to extract more than the limit, one or more devices will stop functioning automatically. In this situation, a fuse might blow in most cases.

The power limit of different houses is different. Most probably, the ampere ratings can range between 100-amp to 200-amp, depending on the size of the house. 100-amp power supply won’t handle electric heating, for which 200-amp or more capacity is required.

How to fix

In this situation, you should unplug a few other electronic devices used in the house.

Now, plug in your space heater and switch it on to observe the functioning of the device. If the problem continues, look out for other reasons.

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Circuit Breaker Tripping

Technically, there’s a primary circuit breaker in every household. This circuit breaker is the central point of power to your home. Besides, other smaller breakers correspond to the dedicated electrical grid in different parts of your household. These might include your kitchen, living room, bedroom, etc.

Now, if any of these small breakers trip, it will immediately obstruct the power supply to the concerned area.

For instance, if you have plugged the space heater in your bedroom and the electrical breaker connected to the bedroom trips, it will automatically shut down the devices plugged in. If you switch it on, it will automatically shut off after a few minutes.

How to fix

To supply uninterrupted power to your space heater, manually open the breaker box and fix the tripped breaker to its original position.

Loose Contact in Wall Outlet

We often ignore petty reasons and keep focusing on the big problems. As a result, we sometimes forget to check small things like loose wall outlet contact, which might be another potential reason to make your space heater turn off after a few minutes.

Fortunately, testing the space heater for this problem is too easy. All you have to do is, unplug the device and plug it into another wall outlet to see if its functioning properly.

If your space heater doesn’t turn off, plug it back again into the wall outlet you presumed to be loose. This will make you sure of the issue.

How to fix

In case of a loose wall outlet, you’ll have to call an electrician to fix the power outlet.

Placement of Heater on Uneven or Flat Surface

The modern space heaters are designed with various safety features, including a built-in thermostat, auto-shutoff, overheat protection, built-in tip-over protection, etc. The tip-over protection is one such security feature that is enabled to shut off the device as soon as it tips over.

Let’s us now understand the relevance of this feature with the issue of your space heater turning on and off on its own.

The tip-over protection is enabled through a vertical button equipped at the bottom of the heater. When this button is pressed by the floor, it makes the device work flawlessly.

When it doesn’t feel the pressure from the floor, it assumes that the device has tipped over, making the heater shut down. So, the tip-over button might not get fully pressed when you keep the space heater on an uneven surface. As a result, the device gets shut off, on and off.

Besides, when you keep your heater on an uneven surface, there are larger chances that your kid or pet might knock it off. So, to avoid these issues altogether, never keep your heater on uneven ground.

How to fix

In this case, the best is to keep the device on a flat surface and notice if the problem goes away.

Broken Internal Mechanism

Space heaters wear out and die like any other electric device. So, if your portable heater keeps turning off, chances are that your heater’s sequencers, thermostat or other internal mechanisms might be broken.

This damage happens when you have used the heater for quite a long time, or it can also be a result of some manufacturing flaw.

How to fix

In case of a manufacturing flaw, you can contact the manufacturer for replacement or repair. On the other hand, if the device has become too old to function properly, you probably have to replace it with a new one.

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Closing Words

You’re mistaken if you think you can use a space heater day and night and it will keep functioning flawlessly.

Space heaters are designed to work for several hours, after which the device will need a break. And, if you are not using your heater correctly, it is sure to malfunction.

Besides switching off your space heater at regular intervals, keeping the factors mentioned earlier in mind is also essential. Most importantly, if you believe the issue is out of your control, always hire an electrician to look into the matter.

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