Question about RTO Comfort Zone Electric Portable Space Infrared 1500-watt Heater

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Thermostate not accurate switches on and off but not predictable

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I had the same problem, with a brand new unit. I wrote to the distributor, who said that I needed a new control board. They asked me a couple of questions about the unit (to figure out which control board I needed), and sent me a control board at no charge. (Your mileage may vary.) Installation took about 40 minutes with my 6yo helping me (20 minutes without the assistance), and fixed the problem.
FYI, the control board comes with the thermostat permanently attached -- I suspect that it was just the thermostat that needed replacing, but the entire control board goes with it as a single unit.
Final note: The instructions that we were provided for replacing the control board were incomplete in a couple of areas. Again, YMMV. You need to 'figure out' the information that isn't in the instructions in a couple of spots. Not rocket science, but not obvious if you're expecting the instructions to be well written and serve as an effective guide in completing the replacement.
- VS

Posted on Oct 03, 2010

  • Just Add Tools Dec 23, 2010

    So here is an update to this particular problem: The new thermostat _seemed_ to work fine at first. But that was September/October time frame. Once it really got cold outside, it was clear that the thermostat did not have very good thermal stationkeeping. So I tried my own solution -- but first two warnings:

    1. This is not a trivial solution. Well, it's trivial for a handyman, but not for the typical consumer.

    2. The solution almost certainly voids the warranty on the heater.

    The good news is that it works like a charm.

    After some inspection, it became apparent that the problem was caused by the location of the thermostat: On the back of the heater. I removed the thermostat from the back of the heater and remounted it on the front of the heater -- on the top left corner, when facing (looking at) the front of the heater. It now works perfectly, even when the outside temperature is very cold.

    I suspect that the original control board and thermostat were just fine, and it was the location of thermostat that caused the problem.


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