Lasko ceramic heaters are very reliable. All the more surprising it is when your Lasko heater suddenly shuts off on its own. And after turning it back on, it doesn’t take long until it shuts off again.
What is happening here?
Luckily, the issue is, in most cases, very simple to fix.
Why Lasko Ceramic Heaters Shut Off On Their Own
Last ceramic heaters shut off on their own when they overheat.
Overheat protection is a safety mechanism that prevents fires when your Lasko heater gets too hot internally.
Although there can be other reasons for your Lasko heater shutting off as well, the overheat protection is the most common case.
If it’s not a triggered overheat protection, then likely it is a loose contact in the electronics or a similar electronic issue.
How to Fix Your Lasko Ceramic Heater That Keeps Shutting Off
Because it’s by far the most common cause for a Lasko heater to keep shutting off we’ll focus on fixing the overheating first.
And only if that doesn’t work, I’ll tell you where else to look.
But in 9 out of 10 cases, the issue is the overheat protection.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Remove Dust to Prevent Overheating
Over time, your Lasko heater accumulates dust. The dust inside the heater prevents air circulation, which prevents your heater from blowing out the hot air.
Additionally, the dust covers the ceramic heating element and insulates it, which causes it to get way too hot.
In most cases, the overheating that causes the shut-offs is due to dust buildup inside your Lasko heater.
To fix the overheating, you need to remove the dust inside your Lasko heater.
Disassemble your Lasko Ceramic Heater
First, you have to open up the back side of your Lasko heater.
Make sure your heater is unplugged!
This differs for every Lasko model, but usually, there are simple screws on the back that you can unscrew with a screwdriver or an Allen key.
Take off the back panel of your heater.
In most models, you’ll find a temperature sensor attached to the back casing.
You should now see a squirrel cage fan, with its motor.
The ceramic heating element usually sits below the blower motor. So, unscrew the blower motor from its base to uncover the heating elements.
You should see a thick layer of dust now.
Clean the Heating Element
Now, remove all the dust from the heating element. Oftentimes the dust is dense enough, that you can pull it off with your bare hands.
The cleaner you get your heating element, the longer it takes for dust to build up again. So, it makes sense to do this thoroughly. Dust attracts more dust.
Ideally, you use compressed air to blow out the dust. Or you can use a vacuum. But make sure not to damage the heating coil.
In one video, I saw someone clean his heating element with a wire brush … I doubt this is a good idea.
Clean the Squirrel Cage
This may vary between Lasko models, but usually, they have a squirrel cage blower. You can take off the squirrel cage from the blower motor.
In my case, it’s a dual-mount, with one squirrel cage sitting below, and one above the blower motor.
Then, you can rinse the squirrel cage (or squirrel cages) with water.
Dry them off thoroughly. Humidity and dust do not combine well. You’ll never get rid of the smell otherwise.
When they are dry, mount them back onto the motor axes.
If you can’t take off your squirrel cage, your fan blade (or whatever blower mechanism there is inside your Lasko heater), just dust it off while it’s mounted. The rinsing is not needed. I just recommend it for a thorough cleaning.
Don’t use any chemical cleaners for any of the cleaning steps. These only harm the electronics, and, when you turn your heater on the chemical residue can turn into unhealthy gases.
Reassemble your Lasko Ceramic Heater
Once the internal components of your Lasko are dust-free, reassemble it.
Mount the blower back onto its base. Then, mount the back cover back onto the rest of your Lasko heater.
Test whether the Heater Shuts Off
Turn on the heater using the power button. Set a high temperature.
You should immediately notice better airflow.
Also, your heater should not shut off on its own.
The problem is solved!
2. Check your Heater for Electronic Issues
If removing the dust inside your heater doesn’t help, you’ll need to re-inspect what’s going on.
So, disassemble your Lasko heater again.
Make sure, you did not miss dust any hidden dust-buildup spot initially. There might still be an overheating due to dust, you just don’t see it.
That’s why I recommended compressed air earlier. It blows out from cracks you don’t even notice.
Once you’re sure your heater is dust-free, check it for electronic issues.
Visually Inspect the Circuitry
I worked in the electronics repair department of an electronics manufacturer once. And almost all issues that are fixable are visible with your bare eyes.
Many people think they need to know how to voltage probe parts to be able to troubleshoot electronics. In most cases, they don’t.
Here’s my advice:
Set a 5-minute timer and stare at the electronic circuitry for 5 minutes. Just look at it. Use a bright light to help you see better.
Look out for:
- Disconnected / open / loosely connected connectors
- Burn marks
- Blown parts
If there is an electronic issue that causes your Lasko heater to keep shutting off, you will see it.
Fix the Electronic Problem
Once the problem is spotted, fix it. Firmly connect any loose or open connections.
And replace blown or burnt parts.
You should be able to find a matching replacement part in an electronic online store.
If you can’t find it, try to get a matching replacement circuit board, or harvest it from an old defective Lasko heater.
If you know electronics well, you can also solder in a different part from another old device, ideally with a similar specification, and see if that works.
Your Lasko heater should not shut off on its own anymore.
3. Check the Thermostat Setting
If your Lasko heater is dust-free and there is no visible electronic problem, please have another look at your Lasko heater’s thermostat setting.
The thermostat controls the temperature. On the front panel of your Lasko heater, you set the target temperature of your heater. The target temperature reflects your desired room temperature.
Your Lasko heater outputs hot air until the target temperature is reached.
If you set a target temperature that is close to the current room temperature, the thermostat will shut off the heating quickly.
So, make sure you set the highest possible temperature for this troubleshooting!
If you set a too-low temperature that’s what’s causing your Lasko heater to shut off on it’s own.
But to be precise, in this case, it should also turn on on its own again once the room temperature drops below by certain threshold below the target temperature.
What to do if you can’t fix your Lasko heater?
Oftentimes, Lasko heaters that keep shutting off are simple to fix. But sometimes, the cause of the issue is not evident at all.
And sometimes, you just don’t have the time, the skills, and the tools to repair your Lasko heater on your own.
In this case, I highly recommend saving yourself all the trouble. Instead of spending hours troubleshooting the self-shutoff issue, you might as well buy a new heater.
A new heater costs you money, yes. But it saves you potential headaches and a ruined day wasted on fruitless troubleshooting.
Space heaters are not expensive. Oftentimes, just buying a new heater is the best way forward.
The automatic shut-off problem does not occur in all space heaters. Usually, the issue is in ceramic heaters with a built-in blower.
Recommended heater that never shuts off on its own
If you want to avoid self-shut-offs in the future, I recommend getting an oil-filled radiator.
My favorite oil-filled radiator is cheap, reliable, and never had a single electronic issue.
Oil-filled radiators work without blower fans, and no moving parts at all. So, they don’t break down over time.
They are maintenance-free for decades!
These 3 fixes should cover most Lasko heaters shutting off on their own.
If none of the fixes above did it for you (which is unlikely), have a look at this article:
It covers additional potential causes, such as a triggered tip-over protection, power problems in your home’s electric circuitry, and wall outlet problems.