Heating Pad Flashing A Red Light While On High? (Do This!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf
Everyone loves a heating pad for their aches and pains. It improves circulation, reduces pain and stiffness, so much more effective than running a bath! today! Running one on high can be intense, however, especially it starts flashing a red light. Let’s take a look at how you can fix the connection on your heating pad when it flashes red on high.

Heating pads can make for a handy tool for a variety of reasons. For those with aches and pains, primarily back pains, a heating pad can be an invaluable tool. Constant heat can loosen tight muscles as well.

What happens when the heating pad light flashes red? The most common reason is that the heating pad is not properly connected to the control cord. The simplest fix is usually to ensure that the connection is proper. If it continues to flash, it could indicate that the heating pad’s connection is defective.

This problem can happen when the plug gets hot from your heating pad being plugged on for too long. Read our guide to see if this is why the problem is taking place.

What are the Benefits of a Heating Pad?

We know that heating pads can be good for our muscles and joints, but what can it really do? Knowing the full extent of what a heating pad can do can open a new world of possibilities, especially those with pre-existing ailments.

  • Improved circulation. When circulation is inhibited, it can have far-reaching impacts on the body. By improving circulation, the body gets oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints at an accelerated pace. That improved circulation helps with inflammation, damaged muscles, and to improve back stiffness.
  • Reduce pain and stiffness. One of the most common reasons to use a heating pad revolves around back pain. When it gets to be bad enough, back pain can be nearly debilitating. A heating pad can loosen up tense, stiff, and aching muscles, providing greater comfort and lesser pain.
  • Better than baths. Hot baths can provide all of the same health benefits of a heating pad. But you have to draw a bath, get into the water, the water gets cold, etc. A heating pad means having pain relief when you want it without all the hassle involved.

Why is My Heating Pad Flashing Red?

Though each heating pad is different, one common occurrence is to see the red light flashing. There aren’t a ton of reasons for this happening. As a matter of fact, the most likely reason is due to a loose connection with the control cord and the heating pad.

The simplest fix is to ensure that the connection is sound and undamaged. If there is fraying or the cord is incapable of properly seating, you may need to get a new heating pad. Ensure the control cord is properly seated when plugging in your heating pad for the best results.

What if the Flashing Persists?

You may have already tried reseating the cord only to find that the red light still flashes. Though this doesn’t happen often, it is still a fairly well-known problem. When that happens, you may have to reset the heating pad.

  • Check the plug. Start by making sure that the power cord is seated properly in the wall. The vast majority of the time, the simplest explanation is with an improperly seated cord in the outlet.
  • Unplug. If the cord is plugged into the outlet firmly, unplug the heating pad itself from the power cord. Whenever you work on something with an electrical component, always unplug as electric shock is no joke.
  • Open the control. Using a screwdriver, carefully pry open the control on the cord. Be careful not to gouge into the control with your screwdriver.
  • Clean the control unit. Use alcohol and a cotton swab if you have them available. If not, a microfiber cloth should do the trick. Clean the control thoroughly to ensure that there is no dust, dirt, or debris causing the malfunction.
  • Put it back together. When you are certain that the unit has been properly cleaned, put the control back on with your screwdriver. Make sure that everything has been secured properly and tightly before trying the pad again.

Why Did my Heating Pad Stop Working?

A flashing red light is bad enough. But what about a heating pad that has stopped working entirely? There are a few issues that could be at play here. The most common is that the control unit on the cord has become dirty or clogged with debris.

The simplest fix is to follow the above instructions and clean out the control unit. Make sure that any of the parts within are tight. Loose parts can result in the heating pad failing to work. If cleaning the control unit doesn’t work, it may be time for a new heating pad.

Heating Pad Error Codes

The Flashing F on a Heating Pad

In most cases, a heating pad will have a flashing red light when there is an issue. Depending on the brand of heating pad, though, it may actually be a flashing “F” on the display instead. Don’t get confused, however. It has basically the same message.

The flashing F is an indication that the heating pad’s connection has not been closed tightly enough. The control area is not properly attached to the plug that goes into the wall, preventing the heating pad from properly working.

What Does EE Mean on my Heating Pad?

Seeing “F” is pretty self-explanatory. But there are error messages on specific brands of heating blanket that can be a bit confusing. One such message that you may notice is “E” or even “EE”. This is usually to indicate an error.

When there is an error with the heating pads, the power may not be getting to the heating element. And when the heating element can’t turn on, the blanket won’t heat up. Refer to the manual of your heating pad or look to see if there is one on the internet to fix this type of error.

Check to See if Your Heating Pad is Working

Let’s say you have already taken apart the control panel and cleaned it thoroughly to no avail. Surely there is something that can be done to get the heating pad working again. Well, the first step is to check that the heating pad is actually working.

Use a multimeter to check the prongs of the electric cord. Make sure that the controller on your panel has been set to “off” just in case. A multimeter is used to test whether or not there is an electrical current in the heating pad.

The multimeter uses both DC and AC voltage and even current resistance, combining all of the functions of an ohmmeter, voltmeter, and ammeter. The resistance should read as infinite; if it doesn’t, your blank is bad and will need replacing.

Related Questions

How Can I Make a Homemade Heating Pad?

Using a heating pad can be a hugely helpful healthcare tool. But when using it frequently, it can wear down and even stop working. When you need a heating pad right away and can’t take a trip to the store, making one from scratch is helpful.

  • Paper towels. Take a couple of paper towels and moisten them with water. Make sure to squeeze out as much of the excess water that you can until they are damp but not dripping wet. If they are dripping, it is just a mess that you have to deal with and could even damage the heating pad.
  • Ziplock bag. Take one of the paper towels and put it into a ziplock bag. Don’t seal it just yet; lave it open for the next step.
  • Microwave. Leaving the bag open for proper airflow, heat it in the microwave. How long depends on how hot you want the paper towel to be. Remove carefully when it has finished heating or throw it back in to make it even hotter.
  • Apply. Your makeshift heating pad is ready to go! Keep in mind that this is a short-term solution and won’t last very long. So, unless you want to keep heating up paper towels, a heating pad is the best way to go.
Do Heating Pads Turn Off Automatically?

Having a heating pad can be really helpful, but it can be a pain in the rear to have to remember to turn it off. It can be especially troublesome if you fall asleep with the heating pad still running. That is a potential fire hazard and health risk as leaving the heating blanket on for prolonged stretches is not advisable.

Depending on the model of heating pad that you have, there may be an auto-off timer. Most of those are set for around two hours before turning off. Having an auto-off timer can be invaluable so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not the heating pad has been turned off.

How Long Should I Use a Heating Pad?

Keep in mind that everyone is different and the human body has its own unique traits. Still, there is a good rule of thumb for how long to keep the heating pad on the impacted area. If your tolerance to the heat is higher, you can keep it on a little longer.

Generally speaking, a heating pad set on the high setting should be taken off after 15 to 30 minutes in order to avoid burns. While using a low setting, the heating pad can be used for about an hour or so but should be taken off for at least a few minutes to prevent burns.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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