How to Prevent a Space Heater From Blowing Its Fuse: 5 Effective Tips

Josh Miller

Josh is a contributing writer to the site and former HVAC specialist.

Last Updated on May 26, 2021

Premium-grade space heaters are ergonomic and functional, and they run on electricity from the power outlets in your home. When you invest in a space heater, you must take care not to overload its fuse with too much electrical power. If you fail to do this, the metallic ribbon inside the tubular device melts, and your machine stops working.

A blown fuse or short circuit can also lead to an electric arc or spark in your home’s wiring, which can cause a small explosion or trigger a dangerous electrical fire. So, it’s crucial you understand how to prevent your space heater from blowing its fuse.

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Table of Contents

What is a Space Heater, and Why Does it Sometimes Blow its Fuse?

Before learning how to prevent a space heater from blowing its fuse, you should know how these appliances work. Space heaters are small, portable units that serve as supplementary heating for people who don’t want to waste money and time installing and running central heating systems.

Most space heaters are powered by electricity. You plug them into an electrical outlet, and when this electricity flows through the machine’s resistor, the current is converted into thermal energy. This energy heats the resistance wires.

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If you have a convection space heater, its integrated fan pulls cold air in so that it flows over the heating coils before circulating the new hot air back out into the room. If you have a radiant space heater, the air naturally moves into the unit at its base, then out of the unit at its top section.

Whether you have a radiant or convection-based space heater, you’ll need to use electricity to power the heating unit. If you plug the machine into a power outlet that’s already overloaded with other devices or that doesn’t have the capacity to power the heater effectively, this can lead to the unit blowing its fuse.

In these instances, you’ll waste time and money replacing this fuse with an alternative override electronic safety device. In extreme cases, a blown fuse can cause an electrical fire.

How Do You Prevent Your Space Heater From Blowing its Fuse?

When considering how to prevent a space heater from blowing its fuse, it’s useful to know there are several effective methods. Follow these tips, so you don’t have to deal with any nasty skin burns from touching the scorching hot surface of your space heater unit when the fuse blows.

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1. Avoid using extension cords

When you plug your space heater into an extension cable, it’s likely the cord won’t be able to handle the electrical load of your heater. When this happens, the extension cord heats up, overloads the fuse’s capacity, and melts the metallic strip inside this safety device.

Try not to plug appliances that require a lot of electrical power into an extension cord. These cords aren’t designed to support large electrical loads, and they tend to become worn down after extensive use.

If the power outlet is too far away from your heater’s cable, move the heater closer to the outlet instead of using an extension cord to try to get around the problem.

2. Get an electrician to check your household’s wiring and circuits

It’s always a good idea to ask a licensed electrician to check the state of your home’s wiring. Damaged and outdated writing often leads to a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse.

If the electrician notices stains and burn marks around your power outlets or on parts of your appliances, this could be a sign of an overloaded wire or short circuit. This professional also inspects the wiring behind the outlets and inside the walls, checking for frayed or broken wires, breaker faults, ground faults, and issues with terminal connections. All these factors could lead to your space heater blowing its fuse when you plug it into one of your home’s electrical outlets.

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3. Unplug the heater at the wall whenever you’re not using it

A simple way to decrease the load that’s passing through your space heater’s fuse box and to limit the risk of a blown fuse or a melted metallic ribbon is to unplug the unit at the wall whenever you’re not using it. If you constantly keep the appliance plugged into an outlet, then there will always be a relatively large electrical load flowing through the unit, even when you’re not using the machine to heat your living space. This puts pressure on your unit’s fuse box for no reason.

4. Check for exposed or frayed wires 

If you’re worried about your space heater blowing a fuse, you should inspect the wires attached to the unit. If you notice any of these wires are frayed, chewed, or damaged, you should return the heater or call an electrician to fix the problem. Damaged or loose wiring can commonly lead to the electrical current flowing beyond its circuit and along a line that offers no electrical resistance. This can lead to a blown fuse or a minor explosion in your appliance’s circuitry.

5. Don’t overload your circuits

Another simple way to prevent your space heater from blowing its fuse is to make sure that you’re not overloading your circuits. The most common cause of a blown fuse is an overloaded circuit. This is when you’re plugging too many fixtures, lights, and machines into a singular electrical circuit that doesn’t have the capacity to hold the power necessary to run all these appliances at once. When this is the case, your space heater’s fuse will blow.

If you notice that various light fixtures around your household are flickering every so often, this is a sign you’re overloading your circuits. Also, run your hand over your outlets. If they feel warm, this could also mean that you’re putting too much pressure on your home’s circuit and wiring.

Make sure you’re reserving specific circuits to use for devices that require a lot of power. For example, use a dedicated circuit for a dishwasher, or a hot tub, or your space heater. This is a simple way to avoid the dangerous issue of overloaded circuits around your household.

Prevent Your Space Heater from Blowing its Fuse and Limit the Risk of Electrical Fires

There are excellent ways to save on utility costs during the winter months, and one of them is Investing in a convection or radiant space heater. However, you must ensure that you take the steps necessary to prevent the space heater from blowing its fuse. If you don’t follow these tips, you may find yourself having to deal with an electrical fire as a result.

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