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It should automatically restart.....BUT what happened is that when you unplugged it, you cut off the blower at the same time you cut off the heat element(s). The way it is supposed to work, is the thermostat cuts power off to the elements and the fan continus to run for a per-determined amount of time to remove al the heat from the elements. Then another 'fan control switch' shuts off the fan once the 'residual' heat is removed from the heater. Without that 'cool down' cycle, the hot element had enough 'residual' heat in it to trip off the 'thermal overload' in the circuit. The 'thermal overload'... or...'hi limit'...or...'hi temperature control' is resposible for shutting power off to the element(s) in the event that the blower fails.
UNIT SOUNDS LIKE ITS SHUTTING DOWN ON A LIMIT SWITCH IN HEATER. THEY LOOK LIKE ROUND BUTTONS OF DIFFERENT SIZES. THE HAVE 2 WIRES GOING TO THEM AND THEY ARE A NORMALLY CLOSED. THERE IS A FAN DISK NORMALLY OPEN TO UNTILL IT GETS HOT AND CLOSES TO TURN ON FAN. IF THE FAN SWITCH TAKES TO LONG TO CLOSE THEN LIMIT OPENS TO PROTECT FROM OVER-HEATING
about the only way I can figure is to let the room get very cool and adjust the thermostat to its lowest setting. now turn on the unit. monitor the heat until the stat just opens. the thermostat bimetal will be closed and will open when the bimetal expands and opens its contacts. another way is to hitch up a chart recorder to measure temperature with its output connected to the heater. [too expensive for you or the DIY to accomplish]
most fan forced wall heaters do not move a lot of air. check the cfm rating on the heater. the fan sucks in air from the bottom and forces it up to the top where the element is. broan and nutone have good air flow.
You can be assured that the element is 240 volt. The fan motor is also rated at 240 volt. the wires you have black - black are the connections you make to the line. Use a 12/2 with ground. Use a double pole 20 breaker in your panelbox. The green wire is the equipment ground - connect this to the bare wire from the 12/2. On the 12/2 cable - there will be two colors, one black and one white. Wrap a couple of turns of black tape on the white wire both at the heater location and on the white in the panelbox. connect the 12/2 to your 2 pole breaker, the black wire and the taped white to the breaker.