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This Home Safety tip brought to you by
Home Inspections of Puget Sound

Cadet and Encore Heaters included in the CPSC recall Settlement from 1999
If you have Cadet or Encore heaters in your home, check this list and be sure to diligently maintain them as instructed by the manufacturer. 
The modern versions of these heaters have dual thermostats that have made them very safe.  
locate the style below and click the image to see if your heaters are on the list.


See the full Consent Agreement between  the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Cadet Manufacturing Company here

Quoting the Settlement:
"To date, the staff has received information alleging at least 264 instances of electrical fire or malfunction involving the Heaters"

"On January 14, 1999, the staff filed an Administrative Complaint against Cadet, The Complaint alleges that certain of the Heaters are defective and present a substantial product hazard.." " ..because their design and/or manufacture causes them to overheat, fail, and catch fire; and/or allow lint, dirt, or debris to build up within the heaters and catch fire.." ".. the Heaters can spew flames and/or burning or molten particles, or eject sparks into the living space of a home or residence, or energize the Heaters creating a risk of electric shock..."

This is the replacement unit cross reference chart from Cadet

Cadet and Encore Maintenance 
These heaters have high temperature elements that are capable of igniting and ejecting lint and dust.  Regular maintenance is key to their safe operation.  This is an excerpt from the manual from Cadet

As needed, or every six months, minimum

1.) WARNING!! Before removing grill, turn the electrical power off at the electrical panel board (circuit breaker or fuse box). 
Lock or tag the panel board door to prevent someone from accidentally turning the power on while you are working on the heater. Failure to do so could result in serious electrical shock, burns, or possible death.

2.) Turn the heater thermostat all the way up and wait approximately 30 seconds (120 seconds for some electronic thermostats). If the heater turns on, you have turned off the wrong circuit breaker at the electrical panel board.
3.) If heater does not turn on, proceed with next step.
4.) Remove screws and take off grill.
5.) Wash grill with hot soapy water and dry immediately.
6.) While holding fan (to avoid damage or bending), use a hair dryer or vacuum on blow cycle to blow debris through the top element (Do not touch element).
7.) Vacuum fan area without touching the elements.
8.) Replace grill and secure with screws.
9.) Turn thermostat to desired setting.
10.) Turn power back on at the electrical panel board.

Read the rest of the Operations, Maintenance and Warranty information here

The problems with these heaters have been address by the addition of a 2nd over-temperature thermostat.  Quoting Cadets manual;

"The heater may be protected by two temperature-limiting controls . The first is a high temperature reset switch, designed to open the heater circuit when excessive operating temperature is detected."  "Further protection may be provided by a secondary over-temperature switch, which will open the heater circuit in severe over-temperature conditions, or in the event of component failure. If this occurs, the heater must be repaired or replaced."

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