Why is iron not heating up? (Explained)

There are a few things you can check, such as making sure that the iron is plugged in and that the power switch is turned on. Next, inspect the power cord or switch for damage and replace it if necessary. Another possibility is that the heating element inside the iron has burned out or may have been damaged.

Key Takeaways

  • Clothes iron contains an electric heating element that produces heat when electricity passes through it.
  • The heat is regulated by a built-in thermostat inside the iron.
  • Over time, it’s possible for irons to break down due to several reasons, and repairing the bigger issues may not sound feasible.
  • In most cases, iron may not heat due to common reasons such as a faulty power cord, tripped breaker, broken thermostat switch, or burned-out heating element.

How does iron generate heat?

Clothes irons use electricity to generate heat with the help of a heating element inside.

These heating elements are usually made of steel, chromium, or iron.

The iron typically uses a process known as “thermo-coupling” to generate heat.

In short, this means that the iron has two metal plates that are connected together using a conducting material.

When electricity is passed through the plates, it causes them to heat up, which in turn heats up the material between them.

The heat is then transferred to the soleplate (the flat, metal surface that comes into contact with your clothes).

Finally, this heat is then transferred to the clothes that you are ironing.

What regulates the heat in an electric iron?

Most clothes irons have a thermostat that regulates the temperature of the electric iron.

Usually, the thermostat is near the tip of the iron and has a small knob or switch to control it.

When you set the temperature on the thermostat, it adjusts the amount of power going to the coils.

If you set it too high, the coils will get too hot and could damage your clothes, likewise, if you set it too low, your clothes won’t get ironed properly.

So basically, when you plug in the iron and turn it on, the coils inside the iron heat up.

That’s because electricity flows through the coils to create heat.

Here, the thermostat is a temperature-sensitive switch that controls the flow of electricity to the coils.

When you turn on the iron, the thermostat allows electricity to flow to the coils.

But as the iron heats up, the thermostat gradually cuts off the flow of electricity.

Once the desired temperature is reached, the thermostat turns off completely, as does the iron.

Why won’t the iron heat up?

It is very annoying to have a pile of clothes that need to be ironed, but the iron won’t heat up.

As a troubleshooting step, you can start by checking the basics.

Power supply

  • Check if the iron is correctly plugged into the power outlet.
  • Inspect if there is the availability of a power supply to the source by plugging in another device such as a mobile phone charger. Additionally, you can test it with an electrical tester.

If the above steps don’t work out, you can proceed below for further inspection.

Power cords

Unplug the iron and thoroughly inspect the power cord for wear-outs.

If you notice wear and tear, you may have to get it replaced.

Heating Elements

When used for a long time, the heating element may get broken or burn out.

If the heating elements are not working properly, they will not be able to heat up.

At times, it may be difficult to repair or replace the heating element on your own.

And, in some cases, you may have to replace the entire iron as a whole.

Faulty Thermostat

Another factor could be a faulty thermostat that regulates the heating.

Additionally, it could be due to an internal fuse or electrical wires that may have become faulty.

As an additional troubleshooting step, you can unplug the iron and leave it to cool completely. Try using it again after a few hours and see if that helps.

If you have tried everything yourself and it still isn’t working, then it’s time to call a professional.

Repairing major flaws may not seem worthwhile, and thus replacement becomes the wise option.

But before you decide to buy a new iron, you should check to see if it is still covered by the warranty.

Faulty Switch

Another issue that could be causing your iron to not heat up is a faulty switch.

The switch may have become damaged or worn out over time due to frequent usage.

If the switch is not working properly, it can stop the current from passing through the coils and prevent them from heating up.

In this case, you will have to replace the switch with a new one.

Just make sure to check the wires that connect to the switch for any signs of damage before narrowing down the issue to a faulty switch.

Faulty temperature control button

The last issue that could be causing your iron to not heat up is a faulty temperature control button.

If the button is not working properly, the iron won’t heat up to the right temperature.

In this case, you will have to replace the temperature control button with a new one.

Incorrect Settings

It is important to make sure that the settings of your iron are correct.

If you set the temperature based on fabric type and the heat setting is too low for that fabric, it won’t be able to heat up properly.

So, make sure to check if the temperature setting is correct before moving on to other troubleshooting steps.

Check for limescale buildup

A limescale build-up on the soleplate is a common reason why your iron isn’t heating up as much as it should.

The buildup clogs the plate and hinders its steam production.

So, try to clean the limescale off the soleplate with a damp cloth before using the iron again and see if that helps.

Check the pump

Your iron may also not be heating up if there is a problem with the pump.

If the pump isn’t working properly, it won’t be able to provide enough steam for the iron, resulting in poor heat production.

In this case, you may have to replace the pump.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the main reason why your iron is not heating up could be due to a faulty thermostat or switch or even worn-out heating elements.

Inspecting and replacing any of the above components may help you get your iron back in working condition.

Understanding why your iron won’t heat up is essential in order to find a suitable solution for it.

To make your iron last longer, use it with the right settings and take care of it regularly.

You can always talk to a local repairman to find out how bad the problem is and then decide whether to fix it or buy a new one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of electric iron?

Electric irons can last up to 10 years and more; however, due to technical upgrades, people tend to trash outdated irons before time.

Is it worth repairing an iron?

Minor flaws in external wiring or cords can be repaired affordably. However, faults in the internal components may not sound worth repairing.

What would you do if your flat iron did not heat up?

Start by checking if the appliance is plugged in properly, then inspect the adjustment knob. If the problem keeps coming back, look for signs of damage on the thermostat, switch, and heating elements. If all else fails, replace the iron with a new one.