Question about Presto HeatDish Compact Heater
We have a one and a half year old Presto Heat Dish compact parabolic heater purchased at Costco. It heats well in one direction when it's on but has a problem with the temperature control being on all the time or off and not heating. For a long time we could set it so that it pulsed or cycled on and off which saved energy and didn't overheat the person in front of it. Now after daily use this winter, the dial (potentiometer or rheostat) for the temperature control is not working properly and we can't get it set to a place where it's "just right". It's either too hot or too cold. Called Presto and they don't offer factory service. Basically act like it's disposible (which I really resent for a number of reasons including the idea of a still functional unit going to landfill). I'd like to fix it if there's a way. Suggestions? URL for similar unit: http://tinyurl.com/yplrmg
The switch inside is a thin piece of metal that flexes as it gets warmer / colder towards a pin that conducts power. This pin is rotated towards and away from the thin piece of metal as you rotate the dial counter clockwise / clockwise. The thin piece of metal glows when in use as resistance to electricity running through it causes it to heat up. You have seen this through the vent slats under the dial on the back of the unit. The resistance the thin piece of metal provides causes the electricity usage to be lower and the reason the unit has an 800w to 1500w power rating. The thin piece of metal is failing. You can have the heater FULL power but that is blowing lots of $$ in electric and you may not need all that heat. In the end the thin piece of metal will FAIL so the heater will no longer turn on at any setting. You can bypass the switch since the heating element and everything else is still in good working order and have a heater that works on 'high' all the time when that happens. You CANNOT order just a new switch, which would take anyone less than 5 minutes install. I thought the switch design was ingenious but poor quality metal even though it is a fraction of an oz in weight (since it is so small they SHOULD HAVE used better quality metal, it would have cost next to nothing extra) is most likely the culprit here. It is sad that the Presto Heatdish has to go to the landfill due to such a simple materials error. You will see how to bypass the switch though so it is on 'full and full time'. Maybe purchase a high wattage timer for it so you can set it to turn on in the evenings and mornings for a specified amount of time? Some good timers are around $7. Stan Horstman
Posted on Mar 30, 2007
Hey everyone, I think I got it. I took a small pair of tweezers while wearing my reading glasses and bent both sides of the metal strip so they would touch when switch was on high. then I turned it on for about 10 seconds and it looks like it soldered itself together, seems to be wroking fine we'll see if it lasts. Gary Hastings
Posted on Oct 27, 2008
Hey everyone I think I got it, I took small tweezers while I was wearing my reading glasses and carefully bent both sides of the metal strip so that it would touch when it was on high. then I turned it on, it heated up and soldered itself together. seems to be working fines, we'll see if it lasts. Gary Hastings
Posted on Oct 27, 2008
If u purchased a dish at Costco....just return it.They have the best return policy anywhere.They will take it back!! doesnt help u keep warm,but u get ur cash back!! Ive worked there 17 yrs.The only heat dish that comes back usually means the end of winter....it usually works
Posted on Mar 28, 2008
I found the reasons for the failures on the switch. There is a thin metalic connector in the center of the switch that breaks down after some use. The thin metal strip does not solder because of the kind of metal used. However, when it gets hot enough, it seems to stick together by using its own heat and allowing to solder itself. I did so and the switch is on, this does not give you control of the temperature, but at least it turn it on. Now if I want to disconect it, I just unplug it. I read all of the described problems and it seems that this thin metal strip connecing the front end of the switch to the back is the problem.
Posted on Feb 24, 2008
I too am having problems with my heater. The heater will start buzzing like crazy, as if someone tipped it over. By reading these postings, I guess the only fix is to buy a new one... :-(f
Posted on Dec 18, 2007
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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