Saturday, August 27, 2011

Noma Room Heater Model APH209W

The heater pictured below was a roadside find. It's remarkably clean, and appears to be in working order. Someone must have decided they had one heater too many, I suppose. I'll open it up for an inspection and a compressed air dust blow-out. 'Can't hurt to have a spare heater on hand.

The two feet are each attached by an M4x16mm wing screw. Removing the feet reveals a couple of truss head sheet metal screws that secure the end caps.

Then there's an M4 machine screw in each end cap's handle recess. The one at the control panel end is quite long (22mm). That's so the end of the screw reaches in to nudge the control panel's housing over as far to the right as it's supposed to sit.

The screw heads are all No. 2 Phillips recess. I quite like how this thing is constructed -- no concealed mystery clips or fastenings that you need x-ray vision to figure out. The end caps can just be pulled straight off once the screws are out.

Remove nine truss head sheet metal screws to free the rear cover, then there's a tabs/slots affair at the rear edge of the control panel. Slide the control panel to the left a bit and you can free the rear cover from the control panel's tabs.

And there we are; the unit is fully opened up. You can see in the above shot the tabs/slots I mentioned earlier.

I'll blow out what dust there is, and straighten a bent loop I see in one of the heating element's coils. The fan spins fine.

It's unlikely that you could get parts for one of these heaters. (Replacing any electrical component would necessitate cutting off 'top hat' crimp connectors and replacing them with wire nuts.) I think the idea is that if the heater fails, you toss it in the landfill and go buy a new one. That way, the poor wretches in the factory in China will have steady work. (Can you imagine assembling these things all day long every day, with a supervisor eying your 'numbers'? I'd last part of one shift before I went postal with a vengeance.)

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Anyway, it's all done and back together. The two feet fit poorly. It never ceases to amaze me what shabby dimension control some mass-produced goods can exhibit. I can do better in my basement workshop.

This heater has a feature I haven't seen before on a portable electric space heater -- the fan has a separate on/off switch.

It appears you have the option of operating the unit as a silent convection heater, or as a fan-forced heater. That's a new one on me.

I'll give it a thorough trial the next time I have need of a heater, and make certain that it exhibits no bad behaviour that would account for it having been left out by the road.

Something to be mindful of on high current appliances like this heater is the molded plug right where the line cord joins it. It's normal for them to warm up there a little while operating, but if they run noticeably hot, something's wrong. Either strands of wire have broken inside the cord from flexing, or the spot-welds where the wires join the plug's prongs were poorly done. Whatever the case, no good will come of ignoring it. If the rest of the line cord is ok, cut the plug off and replace it with a screw-terminal type of plug. And then continue to be mindful of that area, and retighten the screws periodically. A 1,500 watt appliance draws a lot of current, and it needs sound, low-resistance connections to draw it through.

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