Sunbeam Quartz Heater Keeps Shutting Off? (Fix It Now!)

Dennis Howard
by Dennis Howard

Quartz radiant heaters can be a marvel for keeping you and your guests warm on your patio or in a small area inside your home. Unfortunately, if your quartz heater is not operating properly, then they are almost worthless. Why causes a Sunbeam quartz heater to keep shutting off?

All electric heaters, especially those designed for indoor use, have several safety features. If any of these safety devices malfunction, the heater may begin to act erratically by shutting itself off. Problems with the electrical connection can also cause intermittent failures to occur.

Diagnosing and remedying the problem of a Sunbeam quartz heater that turns itself off is not difficult. Understanding how quartz heaters work, the safety mechanisms involved, and what conditions or damage to look at are the keys to a successful repair. Here are our tips and a step-by-step guide for fixing a Sunbeam quartz heater that shuts itself off.

About Quartz Heating

Quartz heating is a popular term for a style of electric radiant heaters. Many people believe that quartz crystals are the heating elements. However, this is not strictly true.

Quartz tubes do enclose the metal heating elements of the heater. The quartz tubes protect the heating elements from damage and reduce the heat loss from convection.

What Is Radiant Heat?

Quartz radiant heaters emit infrared waves in near-infrared frequencies. If the infrared waves strike you, you feel the heat. Infrared is almost all heat energy. Infrared waves are affected by wind currents which makes them highly efficient for heating objects such as people.

Infrared waves travel in straight lines and typically don’t heat the air. The only things that become warm are the object that receives the infrared waves. This property makes infrared radiant heating an excellent way to keep people and things warm in large open areas such as patios, warehouses, or workshops.

What Built-In Safety Features Do Sunbeam Quartz Heaters Have?

Quartz heaters come in two styles, portable and permanently mounted. Most of us are familiar with the small quartz heaters used in our homes.

These stand-alone units are easily portable and convenient for keeping people and things warm in small spaces. Stand-alone heaters have several built-in safety features that make them safe to use in our homes.

  • Thermostats to control the amount of heat the heater generates
  • Overheat sensors to keep the heater operating within a safe temperature range
  • Tilt sensors that shut the heater off if it is in an unsafe condition
  • Some quartz heaters also have a built-in circuit breaker to prevent accidental short circuits from starting fires

We often feel but are not entirely aware of permanently mounted infrared heaters. We encounter them in outdoor restaurants, garden centers, and open working spaces. These quartz radiant heaters have the same safety features as portable heaters but are much less likely to need them.

Why Does My Sunbeam Quartz Heater Keep Shutting Off?

In most cases, the problem of a Sunbeam quartz heater shutting itself off is traceable to one of these safety features.

It may take a bit of detective work to determine the exact cause of the problem. A step-by-step process can help. These are our suggestions for diagnosing the problem of your Sunbeam quartz heater shutting itself off.

Quartz Heater Can Get Too Hot

Anytime you are working on an electrical appliance, you must use extreme caution. Never leave the appliance plugged into an outlet if you have the covers off of the unit. Avoid probing inside an electrical device that has power connected.

If you need to turn on your Sunbeam quartz heater, be careful of the glass tube and heating element. Both can reach temperatures that can cause severe burn injuries or damage. It is best to always replace any safety guards on the Sunbeam quartz heater before starting it to test your repairs.

Make Sure the Thermostat is Turned Up

If the thermostat on your Sunbeam quartz heater is not set high enough, the heater may cycle on and off or refuse to start at all. Consult your user manual for the proper way to set the thermostat on your Sunbeam quartz radiant heater.

Examine the Heaters Electrical Cord

Many times damage to the electrical cord of your Sunbeam quartz heater can cause intermittent operational problems. A damaged plug or damage to the wire itself can be a problem. If you find a damaged plug or wire, you should replace the entire electrical cord immediately.

Never cut and splice a new plug onto the old power cord. If the wire itself is damaged, the only safe fix is installing a new power cord for the electrical current the quartz heater requires. Damaged wires and plugs are fire hazards.

Check for Proper Air Flow Through the Sunbeam Quartz Heater

Sunbeam quartz heaters need adequate airflow through the heater to operate safely. If enough air is not circulating through the heater, the overheat sensor will shut off the Sunbeam quartz heater.

Your Sunbeam quartz radiant heater has slots at the top and bottom to allow air to circulate inside the heater housing. Make sure that these openings are clear of any obstructions. Many times dirt, lint, and debris will clog these openings. Without the airflow inside the heater, temperatures rise and the safety features come into play.

Make Sure the Heater is Sitting Upright on its Stand

One of the safety features of your Sunbeam quartz radiant heater is an anti-tilt switch. If your Sunbeam heater is accidentally tilted or knocked over, this safety device shuts the heater off to prevent damage or fires. To operate properly, your Sunbeam quartz heater must be sitting upright and in a stable position.

If your Sunbeam portable radiant heater has fallen over or is not level, you may need to reset the system before the heater restarts. Consult the owner’s manual for instruction on resetting the anti-tile safety system.

Is My Overheat Sensor Working In My Quartz Heater?

As we have already mentioned, your Sunbeam quartz heater has an internal temperature sensor. This sensor shuts the heater down if the temperatures inside the heater go above a preset limit. However, these temperature sensors can fail, which can cause your Sunbeam quartz heater to operate erratically.

Our recommendation is to take your Sunbeam quartz heater to a qualified Sunbeam repair technician if you suspect that the over-heat sensor has a problem. A trained technician can test and repair these temperature sensors and return your heater to full operational status.

Bad Control Board

Many Sunbeam quartz radiant heaters have an onboard computer that monitors the heater’s operation and the safety systems. The entire job of this small computer is to look for unsafe conditions. If the control board is damaged or fails, the heater may operate incorrectly and unsafely.

If you suspect a problem with the control board of your Sunbeam electric quartz heater, immediately take the heater out of service. Never operate a heater that may be compromised. Have your Sunbeam quartz radiant heater checked out by a qualified Sunbeam repair technician before using it again.

Maintaining Your Sunbeam Quartz Heater

Your Sunbeam quartz radiant heater should give you years of trouble-free service if you treat it properly. Here are a few tips to get the most service from your radiant quartz heater.

  • Unplug the heater before performing any maintenance. Safety first is always the key.
  • Check the electric cords and plugs often. If you find a damaged electrical cord or plug, replace it immediately. Never try to splice or repair a damaged electrical cord. If you aren’t sure how to replace the electrical cord, seek the services of a qualified Sunbeam repair technician.
  • Clean the surface of the heater with a microfiber cloth. Microfiber tends to collect small dust particles, lint and debris that can cause problems with your Sunbeam quartz radiant heater.
  • Unscrew the heaters cover if it has a removable outer housing. Use a compressed air duster to blow any dust or debris from the inside of the heater. Pay particular attention to the temperature sensors and the control board. A build-up of dust on these components can lead to early failure.
  • If the heater is completely cool, wipe the quartz tube that protects the heating element with a dry microfiber cloth. Do this carefully to avoid damaging or scratching the quartz tube.

Keeping Your Sunbeam Quartz Space Heater Running

A heater that won’t run properly is not a heater. It is just another thing in your home to gather dust. Sunbeam quartz radiant space heaters are great additions when you have spaces that need extra heat. Keeping them operating is a matter of regular maintenance and proper use.

If your Sunbeam quartz heater is shutting itself off intermittently, you can often diagnose the problem. Following our tips and step-by-step instruction can help you get your heater back into operation. We hope that this article helps you keep your Sunbeam quartz heater operating for many years with little trouble.

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Dennis Howard
Dennis Howard

Dennis is a retired firefighter with an extensive background in construction, home improvement, and remodeling. He worked in the trades part-time while serving as an active firefighter. On his retirement, he started a remodeling and home repair business, which he ran for several years.

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