Protect your fuses from blowing with this guide to keeping your electrical load low this winter.
In the winter months, there’s nothing quite so cozy as a space heater warming your room. Despite their small size, they’re still surprisingly effective at warming a space rapidly, and they’re super-portable too.
Yet, just like most other electric appliances, they may also prove to be harmful to your home or to you if handled carelessly.
A common problem that many owners report is that their space heater keeps tripping the breaker. This can not only be annoying but can even be dangerous.
If your heater fuse keeps blowing, you need to understand why this is happening so that you can take action to stop it from happening and being a potential hazard in your home.
Here, we’ll take a look at the reasons for space heater fuses blowing and we’ll also look at how to prevent a space heater from blowing a fuse.
You’ll soon know exactly what you can do to stop this from happening in your home again.
The Problem of Blown Fuses
If multiple space heaters are plugged into the same electrical circuit, the fuse can blow. This happens because the connections and wires begin to heat up because of the overload and then trips the circuit.
When the fuse blows, your home can be damaged, so you need to be sure to take care if you’re using a space heater in your home.
Around 25,000 fires in the home are started every year in the USA because of space heaters, and they are the cause of 300 deaths.
If those statistics weren’t worrying enough, about 6,000 people get sent to the emergency room every year because of burns that they received from touching a heater’s hot surfaces.
These incidents take place because of poor awareness and carelessness. So, here we look at how these issues can be prevented.
Recommended Reading: We take a close look at the most efficient small space heaters in this guide.
Check Your Heater’s Wires
The first step you can take to prevent a fuse from blowing is to check the space heater’s wires.
Examine it before use to determine whether there are any exposed wires, cuts or damage of any kind.
If you spot any problems don’t use the heater again until it’s repaired. Never overlook the smallest damage as it could easily result in a significant problem.
Unplug Your Appliance If You’re Not Using It
It’s important to remember to unplug appliances whenever you’re not using them since this reduces the load on your electrical circuit.
When a device is plugged in, the current will pass through it, even if it isn’t switched on.
Therefore, you should always check to ensure your space heaters are unplugged if not being used.
Install a Protective Device
It’s fair to say that space heaters are dangerous if not used correctly. If you’re unable to smell heated wires or see any smoke (for example, if you’re asleep), you’ll be unable to prevent anything serious from happening.
Installing a protective device like a smoke sensor in your rooms will help as they will alert you to any potential problems so you can take action quickly and avoid severe damage.
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Add New Outlets
You can avoid overloading your circuits by checking how the load is currently distributed on your existing circuit. If necessary, you can add a brand new outlet for your space heater.
This will avoid excessive pressure being put on the other circuits so your other appliances can work effectively with no damage.
Don’t Use Extensions
You should never use an extension cord to plug in your space heater since it isn’t designed to handle such a heavy load. Extension cords can rapidly become hot then a fire can occur.
Recommended Reading: Don’t miss our article on the space heater safety features you need.
Inspect Your Home’s Wiring
Before winter comes around, it’s important to call in an electrician to inspect your home’s wiring.
If the wiring is not done correctly, you’ll have a greater chance of tripping the circuit breaker.
Choosing a Heater With Safety Features
There are also many features of space heaters that can keep you safe. When you’re making your purchase, look out for the following:
- An automatic shut-off. If a space heater with this feature senses overheating, it shuts down.
- A GFCI plug. A Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter plug will prevent electric shocks.
- Safety certification. The majority of heaters have safety certification from a recognized body. Make sure to check that yours does.
- A sturdy cord. Never use an extension cord for your space heater. Your appliance should come already equipped with a sturdy long cord that’s capable of bearing the load.
Related: How do you know how much electricity a space heater uses? Find out in our guide.
Extra Safety Hints
- Remember that you should always ensure that you have placed your space heater on a flat, level surface before use.
- Make sure that it is also kept well away from flammable surfaces like curtains or furniture to prevent fire hazards.
- A minimum distance of 4 feet from flammable materials is recommended.
- Never use a space heater in a child’s room. If you absolutely need to have one, always make sure it is inside an enclose that keeps pets and children a minimum of three feet away.
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Preventing Accidents With Space Heaters
As you might imagine, most accidents that involve a space heater will occur during the winter months. Although it’s lovely to have a comfortable, warm home, you should never risk your life or your property to achieve this goal.
Luckily, if you follow the precautions outlined above, your space heater should never blow a fuse and should also be safe from causing any unfortunate accidents.
A circuit breaker or fuse is installed for safety since it prevents the overloading of your circuits. Once the fuse has blown, never use it again since the piece of metal which will keep you safe and allow the fuse to service its purpose will have melted.
On the other hand, the circuit breaker can be used several times even after having been tripped.