Electric Fireplace Flames Inside

How To Fix The Flame On An Electric Fireplace

In Electric Fireplaces by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

The flame components are an integral part of an electric fireplace and are what helps an electric fireplace to imitate the look and feel of a real fire in your home.

Electric fireplaces are electrical appliances and so over time the unit can become more susceptible to problems or faults, such as the flame effects no longer working.

Many of the issues that can cause the flames effects to stop working can be fixed without professional help, so how can you fix the flame on an electric fireplace?

To fix the flame on an electric fireplace:

  • Unplug the fireplace from the wall or isolate the power.
  • Remove the access cover to the fireplace, typically located at the rear of the unit.
  • If the bulb(s) have blown, replace them.
  • If the motor that drives the rod has stopped working, replace the motor if possible.
  • If the flame effects are squeaking when working, lubricate the rod.
  • If the electric fireplace is not responding when the switches are used you may need to replace the electric fireplace with a new one.

As the flame effects on an electric fireplace use electrical and mechanical components they can become worn out through use and faults may develop.

One of the most common problems can simply be that the bulb(s) need replacing, but there can be other issues that may develop such as the motor or rod that help to generate the flame effects not functioning properly.

Throughout this article we’ve explained:

  • How the flame effects work on an electric fireplace, to help you identify the problem on your fireplace.
  • In more detail why the flame effects on your fireplace may not be working.
  • How to open the access cover to get to the flame effect components inside your fireplace.
  • Ways on how to fix the flame in an electric fireplace.

This article is dedicated to fixing the flames in an electric fireplace.

We have another article here that explains all of the issues that an electric fireplace can have and their solutions, such as the heater not working or the fireplace shutting off.

How Does The Flame Effect Work On An Electric Fireplace?

The flame effects on an electric fireplace are most commonly created using a light source with a rotating rod that contains an array of strategically placed mirrors.

There will be a motor attached to the end of the rod. As the rod rotates, light is reflected off the mirrors onto the front screen of the fireplace.

The mirrors are placed on the rod in such a way that when the light is reflected onto the screen it imitates the look of flickering flames.

We have an electric fireplace stove and the video below shows the flame effects working from inside the fireplace.

For more information on how the flame effects work we have a complete guide to how an electric fireplace works.

Why Has My Electric Fire Stopped Working?

There are a number of reasons why the fire in an electric fireplace stops working, but the most common can be that the bulb(s) need replacing.

It may not always be the bulbs that are the issue however, and so other reasons why an electric fire has stopped working include:

  • The rotating rod has seized up.
  • The motor driving the rod has stopped working.
  • The switch controlling the flame effects has stopped working.
  • The fuse has blown.
  • Another electrical issue.

The Bulb(s) Need Replacing

The bulb is an integral part of the flame effects inside an electric fireplace. Without this light source the flames can’t be displayed.

You can tell whether the bulb has blown because you can still hear the motor operating inside the fireplace but nothing is being displayed.

We have a guide on how to change the bulb in an electric fireplace here.

A blown bulb may not be an issue for all types of electric fireplace.

Many newer models of electric fireplace (like ours) use LEDs rather than bulbs, which are rated to last for a much longer period of time and are likely to last for many tens of thousands of hours of operation.

If your electric fireplace uses LEDs rather than halogen bulbs and your flames aren’t working then there may be another issue with the fireplace.

Electric Fireplace LED
Replacing the bulb is a common way to fix the flame on an electric fireplace, but those with LEDs typically will never need changing

The Motor Has Stopped Working

In order for an electric fireplace to generate the flames it has a motor that turns a rod on which the mirrors for reflecting the light are located.

The motor will be situated at one end of the rod. The motor from our electric stove can be seen below.

Electric Fireplace Flames
The motor located at the far left of the flame effect rod

If the light still turns on when you turn on the switch for the flames but there’s no movement then it might be that the motor has a fault.

The Rod Has Seized

The rod with mirrors is connected to the motor at one end, but at the other end it’s connected to a form of bearing that allows it to rotate freely.

If you can hear the motor trying to work when the flames are switched on but there’s no movement then it may be that the rod has seized.

Squeaking noises from an electric fireplace may also indicate a seizing rod.

The Switch Doesn’t Work

If nothing happens when you turn on the flame effects using the switch on the fireplace then there may be an issue with the switch or the electrics.

Electric Fireplace Main Switch
If the flame effects are displaying when turned on then there may be an issue with the switch

Other Issues

Not all issues with an electric fireplace flame can be accurately identified.

Some parts may be unfixable or replacements not available. In many situations it may be the case that the electric fireplace is no longer working and needs to be replaced with a new one, particularly if the fireplace is an older model.

For inspiration on a new model of electric fireplace you can find our complete list of electric fireplace buying guides right here.

How Do You Take Apart An Electric Fireplace?

In order to fix the flame on an electric fireplace by reaching the components inside you’ll need to remove the access cover.

The location of the access cover will differ between each model of electric fireplace but it’s more commonly located at the back of the unit.

Access to the inside of your electric fireplace may simply be a small cover or can be one that covers the whole back of the unit (like ours).

Many older models of electric fireplace have a small access cover that allows you to change the bulb. In order to reach the actual flame components you may need to remove more external parts of the fireplace.

Electric Fireplace Back Removed
You’ll need to remove some sort of cover to get access to the flame components inside your electric fireplace

We have a more detailed guide on how to open an electric fireplace here.

How To Fix The Flame On An Electric Fireplace

Diagnose The Issue

Before attempting to open your electric fireplace to look for any issues, try to diagnose what the problem is while it’s operating.

We’ve covered what the different issues could be earlier in this article, but in summary, if you can:

  • Hear the flames working but nothing is being displayed then it’s likely that the bulb needs replacing.
  • See your fireplace light but there’s no movement of flames then the motor might have a fault.
  • Hear the motor trying to work but there’s little or no movement (or there’s squeaking), then the rod may need some lubricant.
  • See nothing happening when switching the fireplace on then there may be a more severe problem with it.

Unplug The Fireplace

Before attempting to have a look inside your electric fireplace for any issues or to carry out maintenance on the parts, always unplug the fireplace from the electrical outlet or isolate the power to it.

Replacing The Bulb

If you can hear the flame effect components working inside your electric fireplace but nothing is being displayed then it’s most likely that the bulb has blown and needs replacing.

Most electric fireplaces have one bulb rather than two but check the instruction manual for your fireplace to confirm.

We have another article showing how to replace the bulb in an electric fireplace, but in summary you’ll need to remove the access cover to the fireplace and change the bulb with a new one.

Electric fireplaces typically use a similar type of bulb (E12) but check what type of bulb your particular model of fireplace takes before ordering.

You can find a replacement bulb here.

More modern electric fireplaces will use LEDs rather than bulbs. If yours does then they typically can’t be replaced and you’ll need to replace the whole fireplace, or contact the manufacturer if it’s still under warranty. LEDs last for a much longer period of time compared to bulbs and it can be a rare occurrence for an LED light to fail in an electric fireplace.

Replacing The Motor

If the flame light turns on when you switch on the fireplace but there’s no movement of the flame effects then there may be an issue with the motor.

If you can buy a replacement motor part for your particular model of electric fireplaces then you’ll need to access the inside of your fireplace and replace the motor.

You can find replacement motors for electric fireplaces here.

The video below demonstrates how to change the motor on an electric fireplace.

Fixing The Rod

The metal rod that houses the mirrors can be found located with one end within the motor and the other end attached to the other side of the fireplace.

Over time this bearing may start to seize through use.

If you can hear the flame effect components struggling to move or squeaking them it may be that the rod is starting to seize up.

You can use any form of lubricant (such as WD40) on the end of the rod to help loosen it up.

Be careful not to spill any liquid within the fireplace as it may affect other electrical components within the unit.

Fixing Other Issues

There may be other issues with an electric fireplace flame that can’t easily be diagnosed or fixed. Like many other electrical appliances, there is only so much that can be fixed without replacing the whole unit.

If you’re savvy with electrics you may attempt to fix any other issues such as no power getting to the unit or the switches not working.

For our particular model of electric fireplace there are no user serviceable parts, meaning that if there was an issue with the fireplace we would need to have it replaced if under warranty or get a whole new fireplace if not.

We haven’t had any issues with our electric stove so far, even after many hundreds of hours of use. Modern electric fireplaces are built to last as they now typically include LEDs rather than bulbs for longevity and energy efficiency.

If the flame on your electric fireplace isn’t working even though you’ve tried everything in this article then the fireplace may simply need replacing.

Your can view our buying guides for many different types of electric fireplace here.


The most common issues with the flame on an electric fireplace not working can be the need to replace the bulb if no flame effects are being displayed.

Issue regarding no movement of the flames or squeaking during operation may be due to a problem with the motor or the rod.

You can remove the access cover on an electric fireplace to help diagnose any problems and to replace any parts that are faulty.

Further Reading

Electric Fireplace Buying Guides

How To Change The Bulb In An Electric Fireplace

Common Electric Fireplace Problems & Their Solutions

What’s Inside An Electric Fireplace

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