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Space heater burnt smell #4951309 12/13/18 08:13 PM
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BossMoss Offline OP
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I have an electric space heater that heats up oil inside it, and it started smelling kinda bad when I turned it on. It made me feel physically sick. I had to open a window.

Is it the dust on it that is burning a bit?

Last edited by BossMoss; 12/13/18 08:13 PM.
Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951322 12/13/18 08:35 PM
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gathermewool Offline
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You tell us. Clean it and try again.


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Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951330 12/13/18 08:50 PM
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Oldtom Offline
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An oil filled space heater should not get hot enough to create a smell that bad. Sounds like a connection is arcing. Unplug it and look at the line cord connection where it goes into the heater.

Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: gathermewool] #4951336 12/13/18 08:57 PM
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Linctex Offline
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Originally Posted by gathermewool
You tell us. Clean it and try again.


That's about the only honest troubleshooting advice you can expect to receive.


"The evidence demands a verdict".
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Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951371 12/13/18 09:53 PM
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Oildudeny Offline
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Those oil filled heaters are usually fail safe with thermal over heating protection. They do emit somewhat of an odor while heating up but shouldn't be sickening.. did anything spill and dry on the unit that's now cooking off? Check the cord and plug end for any damage and does the cord feel warm or hot when the units powered on.

Did you buy it new? I've seen 2nd hand heaters where the previous owner bypassed the thermal fuse. Big No No and throw it out

Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951388 12/13/18 10:18 PM
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JamesBond Offline
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I have one of those radiator looking ones. It seemed to kind of smell the first few times I used it every year.

Was it the first time that you used it this season? If not, try it again and see what happens, but don’t leave it unattended.

Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951423 12/13/18 11:05 PM
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SuperDave456 Offline
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+1 clean it well.
I use Windex on mine when I use them. Anything, including dust, will make them stink as it burns off slowly.
I used to use them every winter in the cheapo apartments. I'd only heat the room I was in and turn the rest of the apartment to ~60-65

They do smell a little the first few times you use them, but it shouldn't be nauseating.
BTW they take about 30-45 minutes to reach temp. I'd run mine at about 50% of the first setting, one heating element. After an hour they are very hot.
Please mind that I wouldn't leave my room for hours at a time and this was a small bedroom for a small apartment.

Anything more than that, maxxed out of the 1st setting, or even the 2nd setting (2 heating elements), it gets VERY hot and kind of scary after about an hour.
These are not kid friendly.

I've seen one of these units pop a new 20 amp breaker by itself on full blast number "3" setting which is all the heating elements on high, so be careful.

Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951488 12/14/18 01:42 AM
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Warstud Offline
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The cord on my mothers heater was burnt from turning it up to 1500 watts and using her microwave at the same time. Be careful using them.

Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4951528 12/14/18 04:20 AM
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Char Baby Offline
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Is this one of those radiator type electric space heaters? i.e., like this:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mainstay...OrP6e3wIVBwppCh2sFgbLEAQYASABEgK50fD_BwE

Is this space heater a new one(new to you) that you are noticing has a smell?
Or is this an older one that you've had for some time that is now starting to smell?

My experience with these type of heaters is that, the painted surface gives off a smell while the heater is warming up but then the smell goes away during its usage cycle. And this happens each time I turn it on.


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Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4953451 12/16/18 02:38 PM
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gathermewool Offline
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Also, this is why I keep the box for all of our space heaters.

Come Spring, all three go back in their box until they're needed again. When they're fired-up, no unusual smells.

I can't say the same for our electric base-board heat. For our bedroom, we prefer to use the portable heater with LED read-out to maintain temperature, instead of the wildly inaccurate thermostat for the baseboards...


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Re: Space heater burnt smell [Re: BossMoss] #4954466 12/17/18 08:20 PM
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BossMoss Offline OP
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Yes, I bought it new a few years ago. It really was the dust on it burning up and smelling bad.

Yes, a radiator type. The dust built up after a couple years. I rarely use it in California winters.

I wish I kept the box. A plastic cover will have to do from now on.

This one is nice. It comes with a power saver option that intermittently heats up so it’s not on 100% of the time.

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