Oil filled electric space heater. Pelonis model HO-0250H

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I turned the unit off from the high setting and internal arcing began immediately followed by flames and acrid smoke coming from the upper vent. The unit burned for approximately 1 minute before going out.

7 Responses

  1. Robert A. Diaz September 22, 2013 / 11:55 pm

    On September 17, 2013 I acquired an aforementioned Pelonis HO-0250H oil-filled space heater (date of manufacture listed as 07-12) from a friend who said it stopped working abruptly: it emitted a large arc, a puff of smoke from the top vent and the unit refused to work after that. Upon disassembly, the 4-way rotary power switch (0, I, II, III) was removed and disassembled; major heat damage & arcing was observed inside, along with melting of the switch shaft which bears the copper-plated current cog. The case, disc and spring terminals retained their integrity, albeit the switch could not be made to function again for testing. The heater’s wiring was studied at length: the red (“hot”) wire was temporarily connected to a heavy black wire leading to the heating element and the remaining two wires (white to the element and black to a neon bulb) were temporarily capped off. Upon plugging the heater into a wall receptacle, it functioned normally yet had no way to be turned off aside from unplugging the unit from the wall receptacle.

    The 4-position rotary power switch was manufactured by Foshan Shunde Yuanfeng Hardware Electrical Appliances Co., Ltd. (“YuanFeng”) of Shunde, China , model YX2. The switch is listed to be “widely used in home appliance such as toaster oven,slow cooker and so on” (site information: http://fsyuanfeng.en.ec21.com/YX2_Rotary_Switch–8059096_8059153.html). Its operation is as follows:

    Position 0 = off.
    Position I = power to neon bulb & heating element black wire.
    Position II = power to neon bulb & heating element white wire.
    Position III = power to neon bulb & heating element white AND black wires.

    In my opinion, the 4-way rotary power switch is unsuited for this particular task: although rated for 13 amps at 125VAC, it nonetheless failed. Reading another owner’s worse experience with this heater (http://www.saferproducts.gov/ViewIncident/1316869) confirms this opinion. Further searches of the Internet yielded no suitable replacement for the switch. Barring the discontinuation of use of this heater or even its disposal, it is urged that any users of this heater avoid using its “III” setting; this should prevent overload damage to the switch and consequently avoid smoke, severe heat, fire and possible electrical shock. It is also advised for anyone having issue with this model to contact Pelonis and inform them of their issue. I believe a recall by Pelonis is in order for this product.

  2. Rich Taylor December 20, 2013 / 9:47 pm

    I had the broken switch as well, opened the case and the switch had broken in two, and the bottom (looking at the switch mounted in the case) two wires had fallen out. I found and ordered the replacement switch (interestingly the order taker asked what color the switch I removed was [it ws pink], and the replacement was blue). I paid $10.00 for this (literally $.02 switch, and was quoted $10.00 for shipping, which was reduced to $7.00 upon me complaining. Now, I can’t find the wiring diagram anywhere. These heaters are still being sold (Walmart, Home Depot) and if you do a search, the switch is a very common failure item, which doesn’t seem to be covered by the warranty anyway. Buyer beware! Better yet, Buyer avoid!

  3. Manny Tavares January 25, 2014 / 3:29 pm

    I too bought this heater HO 0250 at walmart. Paid 30 something for it. It had great reviews. Since it was cheaper than others I bought it . It was for an enclosed porch where I have some pets. Exotic birds….after a month of use the on / off switch started to act up. It started to smell like burned wires. I told my wife that it must have been because it was NEW or because of the oil. One late afternoon we turned it on and it started to smoke from the vent. We shut it off from the power outlet and I opened it to see what was going on. The on / off switch fried completely. The red wire was burned to the crisp including the little square switch that the red wire is attached to. A very poor on / off mechanism. I’m just glad this happen in our porch and at the time we turned it on. It could have been inside the house and start the fire during the night . I call on palonis (the manufactor) to pull these things from the market. Walmart played stupid with me and wouldn’t return it because I didn’t have a receipt and the box. I guess from now on we need to save everything for months and months just in case they go bad ….I will never buy anything of worth value from walmart. It’s not worth the hassle ……..

  4. jd vandeberg January 26, 2014 / 10:57 pm

    I’ve got a year old pelonis heater as well. It’s always worked pretty well for me, but I’ve had the same problem as other posters. Burnt electrical smell and some minor smoke. It appears to be the switch as well.

  5. M Freeze February 4, 2014 / 3:45 am

    Just had a horrible smell come from our Pelonis. Havent taken it back to complain but wow is this NOT as expected.

    The switch just turns. Totally broke

  6. Terry February 22, 2014 / 11:13 pm

    I have owned 8 of these heaters over the last few years. I love them but I too have had a problem with the switch in one of them. Arcing and a burned smell. my husband found a suitable replacement switch. I operate two on the second floor bedrooms and three on the main floor. Only one had a faulty switch and the other two my husband gave away because the wheels were broken. Sure wish we could find a factory replacement switch though.

  7. Willard Gaby April 29, 2014 / 6:25 pm

    I have a Pelonis ceramic disk heater, model LT101A. This unit has a switch problem as well, but with the safety (tilt, turned over) switch in the bottom of the unit. I can jumper the wires and use it without the safety switch, but I’d rather not. Problem is, I have not been able to find a place where I can buy a new switch. If I can’t find one, I guess I will jumper the switch and use the heater, but only on surfaces it cannot ignite if it is tipped over (e.g., stone, ceramic tile, etc.). Due to the cube shape of this heater, I believe it is unlikely to tip over, but I guess it could happen.

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