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I'm not sure where Ralfy has been storing this heater. The contacts and the plug pins were heavily oxidised. That makes a refreshing change from him restricting airflow and wrecking thermal trips and fuses. (My brother Ralfy and I are polar opposites in every way. He's not technical at all.)
The thermal cutouts in these cheap heaters are not rated for many cycles. They have tiny cheap contacts that are expected to break up to 8 Amps in use, and often fail after a few operations. Often arcing enough to trip themselves repeatedly.
It is very important not to bridge out the thermal fuses in these products despite the temptation of an instant fix with the fuse being fitted later (it often never happens). The next stage of failure after the bimetallic trips fail in a welded state is generally complete meltdown, and 2kW in a plastic shell doesn't end well.
The tarnishing of the cheap contacts is a sad byproduct of people "investing" in important electrical metals like copper and silver, driving the cost up and resulting in the use of cheap alloys that result in early failure.
The paper strip trick for cleaning contacts is ancient. You can still buy packs of contact cleaning strips that are very slightly abrasive and impregnated with an oil that protects the contacts from further oxidation. Do not use coarse files on contacts as it can remove important contact layers.
Note that it is sometimes easier and safer to just buy a new product when attempting to repair cheap disposable junk like these heaters. You can get better made heaters at higher cost that will last longer and are built to a safer standard.
As mentioned in the video, always be aware of whether things are plugged in when you are working on them. It's very common for people repairing home appliances to accidentally leave the device plugged in after testing or unplug the wrong appliance. The more tests you make, the higher the odds of you accidentally leaving it plugged in.
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14 thoughts on “Fixing a heater and an apology to my bro”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Hadi says:

    Thanks Clive that was a neat one. I have one of these, still working for now… looking forward to seeing it messing up with me 😉

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Josha Beukema says:

    That's why I prefer dark beamer IR bulbs, no moving parts, no noise, no contacts that can corrode, easy to replace, lower power and the heat can be directed exactly where you want it. Gives you more movement freedom than a heated blanket. 250W at 0.5 to 1m is enough down to 10⁰C to make it feel like 20⁰C. Two, one from each side is even more comfy. They can be found in most pet shops or for heating chickens etc. Heat the person, not the room!

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nuts n Proud says:

    I got through two of those heaters and went for 400 watt Halogen instead of 2 kilowatt fan. Less electricity charges.

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mimi Mi says:

    Ağbi kelin göründü

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Frizey says:

    I always find the plugs on these little heaters become a bit too hot for comfort, not sure if it's the cable that's too thin or bad contacts in the socket, I just use mine on the lowest setting to avoid too much damage. Cheep rubbish I suppose

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ㄖҜㄩ尺Ҝ卂 says:

    Ralfy probably tried to heat up his bath water with it.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Stephen Cook says:

    I've had one of these for more than 5 years. Always been fine. I use it in my electronics workshop, it's on right now. Outside is 6 C, in hear it's a comfortable 21.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rubus Roo says:

    I see you missed the hidden pcb with the logging software that records all your temperatures & sends them to China

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Arlen Moulton says:

    This is an ideal candidate for a diode in series with the element to halve the power, if he's got it under a blanket it'll warm up very quickly even on half the rated power! What I've found interesting with this one incidentally is the complete lack of a tilt switch, all of these upright style that I've owned have had a microswitch on the bottom to detect if it falls over.

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dant says:

    I have an identical looking heater, purchased from a UK retailer, except mine has a switch on the bottom so it won't operate if it is knocked over. It's concerning that some penny-pincher thought that removing a safety feature was a suitable way to retain a little more profit from these, but here we are.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mizai Slots says:

    good job

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Rubus Roo says:

    I had the same one, the bimetal thermostat fused closed so it was always on

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars David Robertson says:

    Ralphy should toss out the heater and move to the Philippines where they are not needed and while he's at it get himself a nice warm Filipina to keep his legs happy… well one 😉

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Nick Willard says:

    I've never seen a fan with just two blades before.

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