Question about Bionaire BH3900-U Oil Filled Radiator Heater

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Switch bad? Our Bionaire Bh3900 u has a control switch for off, low and high.  The switch no longer clicks in at these settings.  With a little adjustment, you can get the heater to come on in between these two settings, but it is only working in the 'low' mode.  Can the switch be repaired by my husband?  The item is out of warranty.  Obviously the heater function is still operable.

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Re: Switch bad?

The switch has gone bad. the switch cannot be repaired but can be replaced

Posted on Jan 12, 2008

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Dust on the inside of the unit can cause the overload switch to shut many vornados down. Blowing the dust out of the unit with compressed air or a blower may help.

Another problem that causes vornados to stop working (light on - no heat no fan) is when one of the bearings starts to go bad in the unit. This causes the fan to be slower and less effective and the unit’s inability to move the heat away from the thermal overload switch again causes it to shut down.

Though you could remove the front and rear bearings and try to get replacements if it's even replaceable ... Once the bearing starts to go bad there is little that can be done ... HOWEVER, here is one solution to get more life out of the unit.

First, use a blower to blow all the dust out of the unit.
Then, because it is typically the front bearing that goes bad first, lay the vornado on it’s back (so the unit would be blowing air up toward the ceiling), this will relieve the front bearing somewhat and rely more on the rear bearing which tends to last longer.

The vornados I’ve had are all thermistor units ... that is, they don’t just turn on and off when the set temp is reached but in fact slow themselves down (both heat and fan) to keep some level of air circulation in the room. This is a good thing by the way.
There are usually two toggle switches .... one is a heat switch - usually Low & High .... the other is the thermistor switch (this sometimes is labeled “fan”) - usually Auto & High.

Once the unit is on its back ... Now, change the settings as follows:
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Turn the dial (with the temperature in degrees on it) to the lowest setting - which is somewhere around 60’ish.

Now turn the unit on and it should stay working.
Three things that could cause it to turn back off ...
You turn the Fan switch back to Auto.
You turn the Heat switch back to High
You turn the temperature selection dial too high ... though, you can cautiously turn the dial up a few degrees at a time ... the unit will start shutting down again when you set the temp too high ... then just dial it back down ... unplug for a couple minutes, then turn back on.

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The heater has a safety switch that prevents the unit from working if it is not upright. If the heater was stored for any length of time on its side, the safety switch might have stuck in the off position. Unplug the heater and with the heater upright, try shaking it or slapping it firmly with your hand to se if this fixes the problem.

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