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Ammeter check of electric furnace (C) Carson Dunlop Associates How to Repair Electric Heat, Staged Electric Furnaces, Backup Heat & Other Electric Heater Problems

  • ELECTRIC HEAT DIAGNOSE REPAIR - CONTENTS: How to Diagnose & Repair Electric Heat that Has Stopped Working or is Not Hot Enough - how to diagnose loss of or insufficient electric heat in buildings. Staged Electric Furnaces Using Sequencers to Control Heat or backup heat for heat pump systems. Test & Diagnose Procedure for Electric Furnace Heating Elements - how to test a staged electric furnace. Simple Field Test of Electric Wall or Floor Heater Operation
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about electric heating systems: buying, installing, diagnosing & repairing electric heat and electric backup heat systems
  • REFERENCES
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Electric heat diagnosis & repair; here we explain how to diagnose & repair electric heat that has stopped working - testing the heating elements in an electric furnace or electric boiler.

We describe how to troubleshoot electric furnaces, boilers, or electric backup heat staged furnaces. We define the operating sequence & test procedures for staged electric furnaces that use sequencers to turn on and off individual heating elements.

We include simple inspection & test procedures for these & other electric heaters such as electric furnaces, boilers, electric baseboards & wall or floor mounted electric heaters. This article series answers most questions about all types of heating systems and gives important inspection, safety, and repair advice. Sketch at page top courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.



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How to Diagnose & Repair Electric Heat that Has Stopped Working or is Not Hot Enough

Explanation of Staged Electric Furnaces Using Sequencers to Control Heat or backup heat for heat pump systems

Staged warm air furnace schematic (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

For economy, as Carson Dunlop's sketch shows, electric furnaces often use a gang of electric heating elements that are turned on in stages rather than all at once.

As temperatures fall and more heat is needed in the building, more heating stages turn on.

By leaving individual heating elements (heating stages) turned off when not needed, we reduce electrical consumption and thus we cut the building's heating cost.

On a staged electric heating furnace each heating stage typically provides about 5,000 watts (5KW) of heating energy.

The fan limit switch [Image] that controls an electric furnace may have a built-in delay so that on a call for heat the blower fan won't turn on until the heating element(s) have warmed up.

We discuss fan limit switches in more detail
at FAN LIMIT SWITCH

If you don't know what kind of heat your building uses, we explain how to figure out the answer
at HEATING SYSTEM TYPES.

Test & Diagnose Procedure for Electric Furnace Heating Elements

Ammeter check of electric furnace (C) Carson Dunlop Associates Checking an electric furnace temperature rise (C) Carson Dunlop Associates

What do we check if our electric heat is not working? There are a few basic things to check yourself. Other steps require an expert. Sketches courtesy of Carson Dunlop.

Simple Field Test of Electric Wall or Floor Heater Operation

A simple test procedure if an electric floor or wall heater appears not to be working.

Watch out: shock and electrocution hazards are present. Do not attempt to work on live electrical equipment unless you are trained and qualified to do so.

Check the electrical connections for the electric heater first, visually looking for signs of overheating. Then with a VOM and power on (if you are qualified and thus won't get electrocuted)

See these electrical inspection and test articles:

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Continue reading at ELECTRIC HEATER RECALLS CADET & ENCORE or select a topic from closely-related articles below, or see our complete INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES below.

Or see NIGHT STORAGE HEATERS & HEAT SINK RADIATORS

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INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES: ARTICLE INDEX to ARTICLE INDEX to ELECTRIC HEAT

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