Is Your Electric Fireplace Not Working? 7 Fixes For You To Try

Did your electric fire fizzle out? The good news is that there are 7 common reasons why a fireplace will stop working and each hiccup has a remedy!

  1. The rotating rod has seized.
  2. The motor has stopped working (or is experiencing problems).
  3. Bulbs need to be replaced.
  4. The fireplace fails to turn on.
  5. The switch has stopped working.
  6. The thermostat malfunctioned.
  7. The electric fire overheated.

Let’s explore each issue and find out what ails your electric fireplace. Once you have identified the problem, your home will be warm and toasty again in no time.


1. The Rotating Rod Has Seized

An electric fireplace tries to mimic the look and feel of a traditional log-burning fireplace. To create the flames that you see in an electric fireplace, the fireplace uses mirrors attached to a rod that turns so that the mirrors can replicate flames. This rod is connected to a motor at one end and a bearing on the other end which allows it to turn freely.

If you can hear the motor working but the flames aren’t projecting, then chances are that the electric fireplace rod had seized. Another indication of this is a squeaking sound coming from your fireplace.

Try lubricating the rod and the bearing with machine oil. If the bearing is broken, however, it’s best to get a replacement. Since weird noises can also be a symptom of other problems, don’t forget to check our article on from squeaking. Check out our post on How To Fix A Noisy Electric Fire.


2. The Motor Has Stopped Working (or Is Experiencing Problems)

If the light in your electric fireplace is burning but the “flames” are not moving, then a malfunctioning motor is probably the culprit. A faulty motor often draws too much power, causing the circuit breaker to trip and shut down the fireplace.

A motor needs to be checked by a professional but they are relatively easy to replace. Before you decide to replace the motor, the first check should be for loose wiring as this can cause the same issue. Only replace the motor if the wires are in good condition and not the cause of the problem.


3. The Bulbs Need to Be Replaced

If your electric fireplace is heating up but refuses to display any light, the bulbs or LED lights have probably blown. Very often, this problem is simple to fix. You just replace the bulbs or LED lights and your artificial flames will lick at the wood in no time!

How To Replace Bulbs

  • Unplug the fireplace.
  • Allow the fireplace to cool down completely.
  • Access the rear panel of the electric fireplace.
  • Locate the bulb housing.
  • Screw in the bulb.
  • Screw back the rear panel of the fireplace.
  • Plug the fireplace in and switch it on to see if the bulb works.

4. The Fireplace Fails to Turn On

An electric fireplace is switched on/off by a remote or a switch. If your appliance fails to activate, either way, check for faulty wiring, the plug, and the power supply to the fireplace. More often than not, when an electric fireplace still doesn’t turn on, the fault lies with the electric voltage or the power outlet.

When dealing with electricity, it’s best to call an electrician. If your fireplace turns on but deactivates itself, head on over to our explanation of the top 3 reasons Why Electric Fireplaces Keep Shutting Off.


5. The Switch or Remote Has Stopped Working

If nothing happens when you turn on the fireplace, the switch may be faulty. Unplug the electric fireplace and grab a multimeter, setting it at the lowest ohm setting.

Remove the switch and touch its terminals to the pins of the multimeter. If the reading isn’t zero, the switch is faulty and needs to be replaced.

A faulty circuit board on the remote can also cause the fireplace to act up. If this is the case, a new circuit board from your local hardware store will fix the issue.


6. The Thermostat Malfunctioned

When this happens, the flames of your electric fireplace will flicker but there’s no heat or the appliance can only manage a low temperature.

Your electric fireplace probably has sensors that can detect the temperature of the room and automatically shut off when your desired temperature has been reached. Check the thermostat setting just to make sure the heat isn’t set below room temperature.


7. The Electric Fire Overheated

Your fireplace has a safety feature that turns it off in case the whole thing overheats. If the electric fireplace turns on and runs for a while and then suddenly turns off, chances are that your fireplace may be overheating.

The most common cause is restricted airflow. Lint can get stuck in the electric fireplace, trapping air and heat. To fix this problem, first, check for foreign objects that might be obstructing the airflow and remove them. Check for lint build-up and remove it with a dry cloth or a vacuum cleaner.

If none of these tips works, check the wattage on the bulbs. High wattage can cause overheating.


DIY or Call The Electrician Guy?

Some people have experience when it comes to crabby electrical appliances. But always remember that these appliances are dangerous to fix at home. Never hesitate to contact a certified electrician who can safely and quickly repair your fireplace.

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About the Author Harry Thompson

Involved in home renovations throughout his life, Harry is an expert in everything to do with home and garden DIY. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and tending to his garden.