Heating Pad Repair

Ah! There’s nothing like a heating pad to soothe away aches and there are a few things you can check before buying a new unit. This Fix-It Guide on heating pad repair tells how a heating pad works, what often goes wrong, how to identify a heating pad problem, and what parts and tools you will need to fix it. It then directs you to simple step-by-step instructions on electrical cord repair and appliance controls repair.

How Does an Electric Heating Pad Work?

A heating pad is a small electrical device with a continuous electrical wire encased in a plastic pad. Heating pads include a removable fabric cover; wet heating pads also have a sponge-like liner that holds moisture to pass heat.

What Can Go Wrong with an Electric Heating Pad?

Most heating pads are relatively maintenance free. But the electrical wire within the heating pad can be broken, causing the pad to heat intermittently or not at all. The thermostat can malfunction. Often the best solution when a heating pad malfunctions is to replace the entire device. Before doing so, however, identify the cause of the problem. Maybe you can fix it yourself.

Fix-It Tip

Small appliance repair shops typically won’t repair heating pads because they are so inexpensive to replace.

How Can I Identify an Electric Heating Pad Problem?

Heating Pad Repair

To test conductivity of a heating pad, attach a multimeter to the electrical cord prongs with the controller off. The reading should be infinite resistance (in ohms).

  • If the heating pad won’t come on at all, make sure power is on at the outlet. You can test the electrical cord, but you still may not be able to determine if the problem is inside the pad itself.
  • If the unit goes on and off as you manipulate the pad, the problem is probably a broken wire within.
  • If the unit works on some settings and not others, the problem is probably in the thermostat; if you can open the thermostat, follow the instructions for repair in the Appliance Controls Fix-It Guide.

Fix-It Tip

The most common fix to heating pads is cleaning out the control unit on the cord. Unplug the heating pad, then use a screwdriver to open up the control unit. If parts are loose, tighten them. Otherwise, you may need to invest in a new heating pad.

What Do I Need for Heating Pad Repair?

 Heating Pad Repair

Next, turn the controller on. There should be some, but not infinite (1), resistance to electricity.

Again, there are few parts to a heating pad so finding replacements may be difficult. You’ll need instructions for testing the cord and thermostat, noted above, and a couple of tools to test the unit yourself:

  • Screwdrivers
  • Multimeter