Question about Marvin Quartz Radiant Heater

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Loud buzzing after heating up

I have a Marvin Quartz Radiant Heater that makes a sudden loud buzzing noise after being turned on for about a minute or two.  When this starts, the heating elements seem to be fine and the fan also seems to function properly, but it's as if an internal buzzer has sensed a tip over or high temperatures etc. and goes off.  I can rotate the temperature dial on the top of the unit to a lower number which stops the heating and fan functions and the buzzing will also stop.  When the dial is turned back to a higher number, and all the functions resume, the buzzing starts again.  Before I opened it up, I wanted to ask about it first.




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I believe the sudden loud buzzing is caused by the "overheating" or "tipped heater" sensor. Once the heater is turned off and cooled down or placed in an upright position the sensor should reset. But it doesn't.

Note: Do not confuse the "sudden LOUD buzzing" with a more gentle and "normal" buzzing that many quartz electric heaters heaters emit when they are warming up.

Digression: I seem to recall that an older Marvin Brand vertical quartz tube heater had a small "reset" hole on the top surface that could be actuated with a paper-clip or similar object. (perhaps I dreamt that...) anyway - the current Marvin Heater I have does not have that feature and I can't seem to locate the owners manual AND the company "W. B. Marvin" site is shut down, offering no help. "No Longer in Business. Thank you for your patronage." Couldn't they come up with a few thousand dollars to operate the web site for existing customers for a couple years? "Irresponsible" and "rude" are two adjectives that spring to mind.

Solution that worked for me: Unplug it and gently hit it on the sides or top until it stops buzzing when you turn it on. That is what worked for me.

Elaboration: The first time this happened I dismantled the heater and cleaned the dust off the fan / motor assembly and put a drop of oil on the motor shaft. It may have over heated due to the fan motor not operating - it did have moderate usage for a year or two. This procedure enabled the fan to start turning again. Don't dissemble the unit unless you are reasonably handy and sure you can reassemble it properly to ensure the original safety features still function correctly. Also make sure you pay attention to how the wires are routed (away from the fan assembly) After reassembly the unit still had the same loud warning buzz.

If you can get the unit to stop buzzing, operating the unit on only the 750 watt setting may reduce the chance of the "overheating / loud buzzing" problem recurring.

It may be that the fan is too small to keep the unit cool enough or the overheating sensor is "too sensitive" both of which would result in activation of the "overheating sensor" It could be a design flaw or a "tired fan motor / maintenance" problem. Don't leave space heaters of this type unattended - especially with children or pets around.

Good luck and thanks for the forum fixya.

Posted on Jan 04, 2009

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The buzzing is normal.  there is an element inside the quartz tube much like a filament in a light bulb.  as this heats up it starts to move.  where you have electrical energy you also have magnetism produced. metal objects vibrate when they are in or within a magnetic field. the element is tungsten wire and vibrates off this magnetic field.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007


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