How to Repair a Sauna Heater

propane tanks
  • 2-6 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 80-1,100
What You'll Need
Heating element

When the sauna heater is working at its best, you can enjoy hours of great relaxation within the walls of your sauna. However, there are times when the sauna heater may not be working efficiently, and your times of relaxation turn to times of frustration. If you have a home sauna and feel like the heater is not working as it should, there are some steps that you can take to repair it yourself without calling in a costly repairman.

Step 1: Determine What Problem Is

There are going to be some problems with the sauna heater that you will not be able to repair. However, certain aspects of the sauna heater will simply require replacement. Check over the sauna heater first before you start to do anything else.

Step 2: Take its Temperature

If you can not find anything obviously wrong with the sauna heater, you can then start to diagnose the problem. One way to do this is to take the temperature of the sauna while the heater is on. Use a normal thermometer, or a cooking thermometer will work very well, and place it in the sauna.

Step 3: Turn on the Sauna Heater

With the thermometer sitting in the sauna, let the heater run through its cycle as it normally would. Do not step into the sauna while it is heating or your own body heat could affect the reading. In the midway part of the heating cycle, check the thermometer and compare it to the internal thermometer of the sauna. If it is not working correctly, there is a problem with the thermostat.

Step 4: Replace Thermostat

Make sure that the power to the sauna is disconnected, or shut off from the breaker box. Using a screwdriver, remove the thermostat from the sauna and disconnect the wiring. Replace with a new thermostat. Turn the power back on and recheck the temperature of the sauna while it is running. If the temperature readings are the same, and the heat is still not enough to produce steam, you will need to change the heating element.

Step 5: Replace Heating Element

The heating element is the part of the sauna heater that will heat up the water enough to make it steam. When it malfunctions you will need to replace it. Remove the panel where the sauna heater is housed. With the panel removed and the sauna heater exposed, locate the heating element. Most of the time it is a long piece of clear tubing with a filament that produces the heat. Pull it away from the housing carefully without breaking it. Insert a new one into place. Replace the cover to the sauna heater.

Step 6: Check the Temperature Again

With the heating element changed, you should then recheck the temperature of the sauna. Turn on the heater and let it run again as you did in the previous step. Midway through the heating process, check the temperature of the sauna and the water. If it is where it should be your repairs are complete. If there is still a problem you will need to have a serviceperson check the sauna heater.