Why Your Electric Fireplace Stopped Working

Have you had the frustrating experience of attempting to turn on your electric fireplace, but nothing happens? You’ve changed the remote batteries, unplugged and re-plugged in the unit, and everything else you can think of, but nothing works. What’s going on here? Why did your electric fireplace stop working? Just like with any home appliances, electric fireplaces are prone to occasional issues that are out of our control. Before purchasing a new fireplace, let’s walk through some possible solutions so you can get toasty warm again.

Holly & Martin Cypress Electric Fireplace
Customer photo sent in by William S from Ohio

Frozen Flame

Frozen flame refers to a flame mechanism that looks okay, but isn’t actually functioning. There are several causes for this. Luckily, this is usually easily remedied. Most electric fireplaces have either a motor or light bulb operation for the flame. Newer electric fireplaces tend to use candelabra lightbulbs. Learn how to replace burnt light bulbs in your fireplace here.

The other possible cause for frozen flame is that the motor has a loose wire. Check all wiring (with fireplace unplugged) to make sure all connections have good contact.

Look for exposed, frayed, or misplaced wires.

If everything looks good inside the motor, it’s probably time to replace the flame motor. Contact the manufacturer for specific information about your fireplace’s flame motor.

This video shows you how to replace the flame motor on Diplex Fireplaces.

Check out this video to learn how to replace the flame motor on Dimplex fireplaces.

Fireplace Won’t Turn On

Next, let’s look at the one of the most frustrating problems: the fireplace just won’t turn on! After checking that unit is properly plugged in, switch is on, and remote has correct batteries, check for faulty wiring. *See above for wiring issues

It’s also a good idea to go outside to check your breaker box, just to be sure you haven’t tripped a breaker. Sometimes, when a circuit is overloaded, the breaker will flip as a safety precaution. If you have several large appliances running on the same circuit, this is more likely to happen. Try moving your fireplace to a different outlet or room.

So you’ve done all that, and the fireplace still won’t turn on? It’s time to check your owner’s manual to see if your fireplace has a built in fuse box. From there, determine if burnt out fuses are the problem.

After checking the fuses, the next spot to check is the circuit board. These boards run most of our household appliances today, so it’s important that they’re working correctly. Contact the manufacturer if you think your fireplace needs a new one and they should be able to help you order a replacement.

Electric Fireplace Not Heating

Flame but no heat? Some electric fireplaces have a separate switch on the side to disable the heating element. Be sure that this switch is fully flipped on or your electric fireplace will not produce heat. If the switch is stuck, try cleaning it carefully with a cotton swab.

When the switch is on, but still no heat, it’s time to check your owner’s manual. The heating element may have burned out. Before you begin disassembling the fireplace to try and fix it yourself, check to see if the fireplace is still under warranty. The warranty may be void if you disassemble the fireplace.

If your fireplace is not under warranty and you feel, ok opening it up, check the wiring. Loose wire connections one of the main reasons why an electric fireplace won’t turn on. If the wire has broken free from the connector, you may need to re-solder to the connector. This is a fairly easy fix, if you’re the DIY type.

Try this basic soldering video to get you started.

Find a Replacement

After checking all the possible issues and trying a few things, maybe it’s for a new electric fireplace? Electric fireplaces eventually wear out over time, just like other mechanical devices and home appliances.

Fortunately, at PortableFireplaces.com, we carry fireplaces and fireplace inserts to suit your unique home décor and fit your budget. Save those pennies by shopping our frequent sales! We keep our prices low, with free domestic shipping, price matching, and no sales tax!*

Learn More About Fireplaces and Heaters