Aren’t they just beautiful!
“Oh snap! The flames on my electric fireplace aren’t working!”
If this is your current situation, you must be feeling frustrated and lost if you’ve no idea how to make things better.
Nothing brings life to a cold day in the winter like a fire, whether real or not. An electric fireplace brings the log fire effect without the hassle of smoke.
It’s tempting to start worrying, or maybe you're already panicked, wondering if you need to call in the electrician. Or worse still, you could be thinking about how you need to replace your electric fireplace.
You’re justified in your worrying because there’s no telling what’s wrong with your fireplace or why the flames won’t work.
But what if I told you that you could resolve the issue without incurring the extra costs of hiring a professional electrician?
Sounds pretty great, right?
Here’s how you can get your electric fireplace flames working as good as new again without picking up the phone.
Step by Step Guide to Fix Electric Fireplace Flames
Electric fireplaces have lower maintenance costs when compared to traditional log or modern ethanol fireplaces. You can even DIY your way around most problems with your electric model.
Diagnose the Issue
You can't fix a problem if you don't know what it is. So, the first thing you need to do is identify what’s wrong with your electric fireplace flame settings.
Plug in your fireplace and observe it while in action.
If you can hear the flames crackle, but you cannot see them, the problem might be the bulb or the LED lights.
Are the glowing flames there but don’t move? Then the problem could be in the motor.
“What if there’s flame motor noise, but no glowing flames?”. It could be that your fireplace’s rotating rod needs some lubrication.
If you cannot see or hear anything, then your fireplace could have a severe problem.
Before you repair your unit, tick off the following checklist:
- The power flow is okay
- The remote control is in perfect condition
- The flame settings are set right
- The brightness settings are accurate
- The on/off switch is flipped on
You can confirm if your power flow is okay by plugging your electric fireplace insert in different electric sockets. It could be your fireplace power outlet that’s faulty.
Check if the batteries in your remote control are working. If the problem persists, try tuning your electric fireplace manually.
Most electric fireplace inserts have a control panel you can use to adjust the settings if your remote control isn’t working correctly.
Electric fireplace inserts have different heat and flame settings. Are they set right?
You can use the flame button on your remote control or use the fireplace control panel.
Check your brightness settings. They could be set too low so you can’t see the flames.
Perhaps it’s the last thing on your mind, but maybe you’ve not switched on the power. The switch on most electric fireplaces is located on the back. Check and flip it on.
Check if the heater in your fireplace is working properly. If both the heater and light aren’t functioning, the problem might be more serious. Contact a professional to help you with your unit.
Expert Tip: Read your fireplace’s troubleshooting guide. It may have tips on what you can do to rectify the problems you diagnose.
If you’ve cross-checked the checklist and the flames are still not working, you need to open up your fireplace. But before that, check your warranty.
Check the Warranty
If your electric fireplace is still covered by a warranty, you need to read it before opening it up. Here are a few things to go over:
- Will your warranty still be usable if you open the electric fireplace on your own?
- Which parts does the warranty cover?
- What are the terms and conditions for invoking the warranty?
The problem in your fireplace could have affected the heating elements or other internal parts. However, you need to be sure that you can still use your warranty if you open the unit.
If the manufacturer advises against opening the fireplace on your own, call them for assistance.
Before opening up your unit, remember that an electric fireplace is powered by electricity, and you need to take precautions.
Make sure your hands are dry, and you have no water on your body.
Disconnect the power supply, and if the fireplace is detachable, move it away from the electricity supply and from pets and children to prevent accidents.
Keep all the necessary tools close to you and well organized, within arms reach.
Open the Fireplace
Unplug the electric fireplace from the power and open it up to have a closer look at things.
Different fireplaces are opened differently. You should check your manual for how to open yours without damaging it.
Check the Circuit Breaker, Fuse Box, and Loose Cables
After confirming that the power outlet doesn't need any repairs, the next place you need to survey is the circuit breaker and fuse box.
Check the circuit board and other electrical components to see what isn’t working right.
All the fuses and breakers in your electric fireplace should have clear labels on what goes where and how they work. If your unit doesn't have them, you might need to set a date and hire a professional to help you mark them.
If the fuse is damaged or not working properly, replace it with a quality one.
The circuit breaker might have tripped, causing the motor flame problem in your unit.
The solution to this problem is as easy as flipping it back on.
After checking the circuit breaker and fuse, move on to other parts of the electric fireplace.
Check if there are any loose connections with the cables. Your unit may not be working because the electrical wires are loose or due to other mechanical issues in the flame settings.
Replacing the Bulb
Your next checkpoint is the bulb. Is it lighting, or do you need to replace it?
If you can hear the flame effects but cannot see the light, your bulb is likely damaged.
Most fireplaces have one bulb, but you can check the settings in your unit to see if it requires more.
Remove the access cover and replace your bulb. Most fireplaces use the E12 bulb but confirm with the manual of your unit.
Most modern electric fireplaces use LED lights on the ember bed. These have a longer lifespan than bulbs but aren't infinite.
If your LED light is faulty, you might have to replace the whole unit, as replacing them could be more costly than buying a new fireplace.
If you’re still within the warranty period, you can contact your manufacturer to replace your unit.
Replacing the Flame Motor
If you can see the flames on your electric fireplace but cannot see movement, your motor could be faulty.
Call your manufacturer to replace the flame motor if you’re still within the warranty period.
If not, you can replace it yourself. Buy one online or at a store and install it to get your flames working again.
Fixing the Rotating Rod
Can you hear the flame motor trying to move but can’t see the flames?
The rotating rod in your electric fireplace may not be working.
Most electric fireplaces have a rotating rod with fins or reflecting mirrors that create the flame effect. These are coupled with sound effects to imitate the crackling sound of burning logs.
If the rod in your electric fireplace isn’t moving as it should, the flames won’t show.
One end of the rod is fixed on the flame motor, and the other one is on the other side of the electric fireplace.
You can use any form of lubricant, such as the WD40, but check your unit’s settings first.
NB: Don’t spill any liquids on other parts of the unit, or you’ll damage them.
Still Not Working?
If you still haven’t rectified the problem in your electric fireplace or aren’t too confident in your electrical skills, it might be time to get help from a professional.
If nothing seems to work, invoke your warranty and get the manufacturer to repair or replace your flame motor.
If the LED lights on the ember bed of your fireplace are destroyed, it is time to get a new unit for yourself.
Get the Flames Dancing Again
Nothing relaxes you like watching the flames in your fireplace dance as you sip on a glass of wine or cuddle under a warm blanket.
Without the flame feature, your fire is as good as dead.
The great news is that you can repair or replace some components in the flame settings to get your unit working as well as new. If not, it’s time to call for help.
Get your interior design groove back with a properly functioning electric fireplace.