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Electronic fireplaces are designed to function much like portable space heaters, supplying your room with hot air during the cold season. However, sometimes these faux fireplaces make a clicking noise when they are turned on. One question that I continuously have to deal with is: Why does my electric fireplace make a clicking noise?
Although it is not common, an electric fireplace can make a clicking noise when you turn it on because of the expanding heating coils. This may also occur when the thermostat dial is set to the existing room temperature. And if the room temperature goes above or below what has been set on the thermostat, your fireplace is likely to make a clicking sound.
Since there are many reasons why your fireplace could make a clicking sound, the easiest way to identify the cause of the problem is to understand the meaning of each sound. In this article, I will discuss how you can easily troubleshoot your electric fireplace when it makes a clicking noise.
How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?
An electric fireplace is the greener version of the traditional wood and gas fireplaces. Its growing popularity is based on its flexibility and cost-effectiveness, especially since it can be placed anywhere in the room and it doesn’t require venting or specialized installation. It is designed to draw in cool air and heat it using the internal heating coil.
The warm air is then blown out into the air by an internal fan, creating the same heating effecting produced by the traditional wood and gas fireplaces. Other more advanced electric fireplaces use infrared technology to heat the surrounding objects. Both options will give you supplemental heating without filling your room with dangerous gas and smoke.
Electric fireplaces come in different sizes and designs to match different user preferences. But the standard ones like the Touchstone Sideline Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplaces are meant to supply heat to approximately 400sq. Ft. They also have a control panel to allow you to control the heating and flame effects.
Causes of a Clicking Noise in Electric Fireplaces
#1 Contraction and Expansion of the Heating Element
Every electric fireplace has a heating element that could either be a coil or a cable that produces heat like a filament lamp. The electric current makes this heating element to glow red hot, converting the electrical energy into heat. During this process, the heating element contracts and expands spontaneously, causing the fireplace to make a clinking noise.
#2 Rise and Fall of the Room Temperature
If the room temperature rises above or falls below the selected temperature on the thermostat, your fireplace might make a clinking sound. The same problem might occur when you turn up the thermostat dial to the existing room temperature.
#3 Worn Out Motorized Components
Every electric fireplace comprises several motor-powered components that produce heat. Some models have separate motors for producing heat and the flame effect. Just like any other electronic device, these motorized parts will wear out over time, causing your fireplace to make a clicking sound when it is turned on. For instance, if the blower motor is damaged, the unit will make a clicking sound when the heating function is activated.
A new fireplace should run almost silently. The only audible sound should come from the blower. So, if the noise persists, you might have to replace the motors.
#4 Loose Components
Every so often, an electric fireplace will start making a clicking sound because of loose components. This type of noise occurs particularly when the heater or the flame component is loose. You should also ensure that the fan’s motor is not loose. If the fans are loose, the blades will rotate in a sluggish movement that causes the parts near the access panel in the back to vibrate.
As a result, the nuts, bolts, and screws will come loose, causing the clicking sound. So, it is important to check regularly if all the components of your fireplace are tightly fixed.
#5 Poorly Lubricated and Clogged Components
If the rods for the heating and flaming components of your electric fireplace are not properly lubricated, they will cause a clicking noise when the unit is on. They will also cause the clicking sound if they are clogged with dirt or dust. This problem can easily be fixed through regular cleaning and lubrication of these components.
#6 Defective or Dirty Blower Fan
As the blower fan draws in air, it can easily suck in dust or other fragments that will get stuck inside the fireplace. This dirt will eventually affect the smooth running of different components, thereby causing a clinking sound. So, it is important to check the fireplace once in a while to ensure the blower is working properly and there are no fragments stuck inside.
#7 Damaged Flame Rod
An electric fireplace has a flame rod that connects to the flame motor. Its main purpose is to coordinate the visual and audio features of the fireplace. If this rod is damaged, it will rub on other components when the unit is running, causing a clicking sound. Replacing the defective flame rod will fix the problem.
Fixing the Clicking Noise in Your Electric Fireplace
- Clean the Blower
If the clicking noise is because of a clogged blower, then you can simply vacuum the entire unit. Start by turning the fireplace off and unplugging it from the power outlet. You can access the blower by opening the front grill or pulling it from the rear side of the fireplace.
- Replace the Heater Assembly
If the clicking sound persists after vacuuming the blower motor, you should consider replacing the heater assembly. To access the assembly, remove the anterior cover, or pull the unit from the rear side of the fireplace. Some hearths require you to remove the front glass, the light bulbs, and the firebox in order to access the heater assembly.
Then, unfasten the assembly by removing the screws. Detach the quick-connect cable connectors from the damaged assembly and connect them to the new one. Reverse the disassembly process to assemble the replacement heater assembly.
Watch the following video for a more comprehensive guide.
- Replace the Flame Rod
If the clicking noise occurs when the flames are moving, the problem could be the flame rod. So, you need to replace it immediately. Start by disconnecting the power for safety purposes and remove the firebox rim by grabbing it and pulling in your direction to loosen the holding clips. Remove the firebox and place it on a flat surface facing down.
Depending on the type and model of your electric fireplace, you might have to remove the screws holding the bottom cover and the glass. Then disconnect the flame motor and flame rod from the fireplace by removing the clips, cables, and connectors. Make sure you note their original configuration before disconnecting them.
Remove the flame assembly’s bracket screws and remove the flame rod. Reverse the disassembly process to assemble the replacement flame rod. After replacing the rod, switch the fireplace on to test the results.
This video will guide you.
There are many reasons why your electric fireplace could make a clicking noise. But with the right knowledge and tools, you can easily troubleshoot and fix the problem yourself. However, if you are not sure what the problem is, seek help from an expert.