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Bathroom heater: the string that turns it on came off

I have an electric heater for the room that has my bathtub, so when I take a bath I won't be cold. The heater turns on by pulling the string that hangs down from it. My wife pulled the string too hard and it came off. I opened the heater and tried to attach the string to the knob, but couldn't see how to do so. Can someone please help me on this?
Thank you

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  • shlo77 Jan 29, 2009

    Thank you for your help

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2009

    I pulled the string out of a heater also in a bathroom. Hoping I can fix it myself.

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The string is actually attached to a bead chain. If the bead chain is still there, you can replace the cord with a new one from the hardware store. If she has actually pulled the chain out of the switch, I suggest you get a qualified electrician to replace the switch. They are quite inexpensive. (the switch, not the electrician)

Posted on Jan 28, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Replacing a Bulb The ideal replacement is one from an identical "replacement" string bought at the same time as the "operating" string. Anything else is a much less desirable option. Many strings have two separate circuits of bulbs. Within each circuit, all the bulbs are wired in series. They each see the same small fraction of the line voltage, but only as long as the bulbs operate identically. Different strings can have bulbs of significantly different resistance, yet all bulbs will operate at the same voltage, as long as the bulbs are similar within a circuit. But if we place a high-resistance (typically dimmer) bulb in a generally low-resistance (typically brighter) circuit, that bulb can see far more voltage than it was designed to handle. In that situation, the bulb may simply burn out in a fraction of a second. Another issue seems to be warm-up time: All incandescent bulbs increase their resistance as they warm up. But even bulbs with the same ultimate operating voltage can warm up at different rates. And if a fast-warming bulb is placed in a slow-warming string, it can quickly see much more voltage than expected, and may blow out. It is much, much better to buy two strings to operate one string, and then use the other simply for replacement bulbs. But that requires prior planning. For existing strings, there may be an option: If two or more strings were bought at the same time, we can take one out of service, put it in a zip bag and use it for replacement bulbs. For existing lone strings, there still may be an option: Convert a 100-bulb string to a 50-bulb operating string and a 50-bulb dark replacement string. That can be as simple as taking bulbs as needed from one half of the string and using them in the other half. Of course, then we end up with half a string that looks like it desperately needs work. An alternative is to cut the string in the middle and end up with one fully-working short string plus a short string of replacement bulbs that we can keep in a bag. Typically, three wires are twisted together across most of a string, but only two are twisted at the start, middle, and end. So if we look for the two-wire section in the middle, we can cut there (after first turning the power off). On the working half, we can fold each of the two just-cut wires back upon itself and wrap each separately with tape, or separately insulate with electrical heat-shrink tubing.

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Finding the Bad Bulblights1b.gif Ideally, the bad bulb will be dark while the rest of the string remains lit. But often that does not happen. The lights in these strings are basically in series, and any open connection, whether in a wire, at a socket, or even inside a bulb, will turn off that whole circuit. Normally the bulbs have a "shunt" which shorts the bulb when it experiences full line voltage. That leaves the bad bulb OFF, and the rest of that circuit ON, which shows which bulb to replace. Unfortunately, the shunt often fails to operate, and then an entire circuit is off. One possibility is to go down the string light-by-light and remove a bulb, test it, then put it back if it tests good. But not only is that a heck of a lot of work, it has the potential to make things much worse: When the string does not light up we cannot know that we have seated a bulb properly. These strings generally have sockets that work well enough as long as we leave the bulbs in the socket. But when we put a bulb in, we may have to try several times before the socket makes contact. Only when the string lights up do we know we have been successful in seating a bulb. So if we are working on a dark string, we might find the bad bulb, and yet have the string still not light because several of the bulbs we re-seated are not making good contact.

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1. Bad wiring to the bathroom receptacle - this should be a GFCI outlet.

2. There is an overload somewhere on the same circuit - try the dryer with nothing else turned on.

3. The hair dryer may be bad or have a bad cord, plug, etc. Hair dryers can also become plugged (the air inlet screen) and overheat.

4. There could be loose or other bad wiring somewhere in the circuit.

If you are not familiar with working with electricity, it would be best to call a qualified electrician. They are the pros and can correct the problem.

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