Is there anything more frustrating than electrical appliances or favorite consumer electronic product malfunctioning — especially at the moment you need it most?

Whether it’s a small device such as a smartphone or a large electric fireplace with mantel located in your living room, troubleshooting can be an exhausting and potentially a major undertaking. In this post, we hope you will learn tips for troubleshooting your electric fireplace insert. This includes identifying the problem, possible cause, and corrective action. 

We’ve put together fireplace troubleshooting categories below that include various manufacturer owner’s manual considerations, experience with fireplace technology, and tools. As a result, these observations can be used to streamline your time (and hopefully limit financial investment in repairs) to increase your family quality of life and keep money in your pocket.  

Electric fireplaces are fairly straightforward devices. There are several areas to think about when a heating element or flame effect may not be working. Some areas to understand as a first step include the main source of malfunction. 

As a few examples, is the power button on/off switch enabled with power cord securely plugged in? Does the remote control have fresh batteries or does the smartphone have enough battery life? 

Step 1: What exactly is the problem?

Getting to the bottom of an electric fireplace issue can feel like playing a game of 20 questions, so it’s critically important to ask the right questions first to discover the root problem quickly. 

  • MagikFlame electric fireplaces have VIP customer service with white glove technical support. Speak with the owner directly or a member of the tech squad to help diagnose issues upfront. 
  • When speaking or emailing with someone, listen or read carefully and take notes. When they are done, ask close-ended questions that have either a yes/no answer (E.g. Does this require a phillips screwdriver? Should I call an electrician?
  • What should you ask? The main questions start with “who, what, when…” for the problem.
  • Once you have a sense of the issue, try summarizing your understanding of the problem so everyone is level-set or on the same page. 

Now that you have a basic understanding of the issue, we can look deeper into technical details for a streamlined solution.

Step 2: Gather more details, eliminate variables

In many instances, what was reported as a general issue (E.g. power supply is down) is actually something very particular, such as the flames not working or heat not warming up the room temperature (E.g. thermostat setting or temperature setting). The best way to find out? Ask those pertinent questions and then dig up more information from various sources 

  • Consider using language from the owner’s manual or installation guide that could include details such as normal condition, model number, serial number along with any conversation from the technician. 
  • Be sure to check warranty terms as replacement parts may be needed and could fall under limited warranty although unlikely with MagikFlame. 
  • Can you provide a screenshot, image, video from your smartphone as supporting information that can help assist in the troubleshooting process?

Step 3: Develop a hypothesis of the root problem

Great job so far — this is not an easy process. Now that you have background information, it is time to get hand-on with the problem. Reproducing an issue simply means verifying or recreating the same error. This can be done on your electric fireplace while on the phone with technical support. 

Once you encounter the same error(s) or issues, start to develop theories as to the root cause based on the observations, then start taking steps to fix the issue.

Here are some common problems and solutions for mechanical fireplaces

  • PROBLEM: Heater is on, but no heat is coming out.
  • SOLUTION: Turn all switches to the “off” position and unplug the unit from the wall for five minutes. After five minutes, power everything back on.

 

  • PROBLEM: The flame is on, but no warm air is blowing out.
  • SOLUTION: Check the thermostat is on the appropriate leveling. If needed, adjust the temperature settings and blower to ensure the thermostat is set higher than the current room temperature for proper air intake.

 

  • PROBLEM: The ember bed is glowing, but there is no flame.
  • SOLUTION: For traditional, mechanical electric fireplaces, check whether the spinner spindle is connected to the motor and ensure the flame generator drive motor is running. If not, be sure to contact the manufacturer’s customer service. MagikFlame electric fireplaces do not have this issue as the Holographic Technology displays video illusion to generate the most realistic electric fireplaces. Therefore, mechanical parts and motors that breakdown would not be an issue of concern.

 

  • PROBLEM: The circuit breaker trips or blows a fuse when turned on.
  • SOLUTION: The wire has short-circuited. Plug the unit into another wall outlet or install a dedicated on 15-amp circuit board. Use extreme caution to avoid electric shock.

 

  • PROBLEM: The unit turns off by itself.
  • SOLUTION: Replace the remote control after checking the batteries. Possible other considerations include unit overheating (temperature and mechanical motor breakdown) and a reset has been triggered due to overheat.

 

  • PROBLEM: The logs, ember beds or flames are glowing, but very dimly
  • SOLUTION: Check the wiring for loose connections and replace, if necessary. Press the flame button several times for resetting.

 

  • PROBLEM: There is excessive noise coming out of the heater.
  • SOLUTION: The heater is either dirty or defective. Ensure the intake louvers and log cavity are free from dirt and dust.

 

  • PROBLEM: Motor is moving, but can’t see the flame
  • SOLUTION: Light bulbs should be replaced when you see a dark section of the flame. Care must be taken when removing the log set as the log set contains LED’s and wires.

 

  • PROBLEM: The power cord gets warm
  • SOLUTION: Check your heater cord and plug connections. Faulty wall outlet connections or loose plugs can cause the outlet or plug to overheat. Be sure the plug fits tight in the outlet. Heaters draw more current than small appliances, overheating of the outlet may occur even if it has not occurred with the use of other appliances. During use check frequently to determine if your plug outlet or faceplate is HOT! If so, discontinue use of the heater and have a qualified electrician check and/or replace the faulty outlet(s).

 

Step 4: Gather more details, eliminate variables

The evidence gathered should have narrowed down possible root causes and positioned everyone to help fix the issue. At this point, focused experimentation is the name of the game. Call the electric fireplace manufacturer or retailer where you purchased the unit for more support. 

Together, try tweaking settings related to the problem or swapping out parts until the problem is solved.

Still stumped? 

Try considering an upgrade from a mechanical or water-based electric fireplaces to a luxury Holographic, MagikFlame electric fireplace. See electric fireplace buying guide for more specific details. 

A holographic fireplace has the visual details of a real wood burning fireplace or gas burning fireplace without creating an actual fire — so there is no danger, mess or hassle.

It works differently from other mechanical or water-based fireplaces. Rather than relying on your mechanical effect to make its flame, it uses video of actual fires to create the basis for the flame aesthetics. 

Problem Solved? Prepare for future issues.

No matter what the underlying technical issues are (E.g. cheap parts, motor burnout concerns, halogen light bulbs and frequent replacement parts, etc.), the steps we provided should assist your approach to streamlining electric fireplace troubleshooting and understanding how to reset your unit.

We hope that you have found this post to be helpful as well as relevant to assist you. This content has been written in coordination with fireplace insiders and manufacturers who know the industry inside and out and are experts on the subject matter. If you have any questions relating to purchasing of a MagikFlame electric fireplace as an alternative to water-based or mechanical fireplaces including their benefits, features or installation, please contact a fireplace expert at MagikFlame.com