A few weeks ago our electrician friend, Mike Kaplan, spent an evening examining some of the fucked-up old wiring in our house. He’s going to be back to do some work in March, but in the meantime he advised me that the our fire hazard electric heater probably just needed a new switch.
I tracked down the part on a website called Venting Direct, and ordered it for $35 (plus $5 for shipping). I thought that was steep, but of course it’s a small price to reduce the chance of our house burning down.
At first I thought I’d have Mike do it, but today I took matters in hand and replaced the thermostat myself. It was really quite easy.
The new switch feels much more solid. It clicks into place when you turn it off. And, best of all, the heater won’t be turning on all by itself anymore. I hope.
Did a random search on this identical model (9358 by Nutone) and came across the heater story. We NEVER used the heater and in almost 25 years of living in the house it has been dormant. In retrospect it was stupid (extra stupid) to put a dresser in front of it. We are more than lucky that someone was home and smelled smoke. We are extremely lucky that the localized fire on dresser could be extinguished quickly without a catastrophic loss. Looks like after investigation my switch failed allowing the unit to turn on.