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Common Sauna Problems.

A well-crafted sauna will give you years of trouble-free use. Solid wall construction, proper insulation, a durable vapor barrier, and quality carpentry will help your sauna last a lifetime. Proper care and maintenance, discussed on page 99, will also ward off problems before they occur.

Assuming you have a well-built sauna, any problems you encounter are probably going to be related to the heater, controls, or electrical system. The following table presents some problems and solutions, but if the situation gets dire, youll probably need to call in a licensed electrician.


There is no power. Cords are unplugged. Check the connections to make sure they are secure.

Circuit breaker has tripped. Check the breaker box and flip the switch if needed.

The breaker or fuse box is tripping. Amperage is wrong. Make sure that the amperage for the breaker is the same as the amperage for the sauna.

The circuit is overloaded. Make sure that the circuit is not overloaded. The sauna should have its own circuit with nothing else connected to it.

The heater isnt working. Overload switch is tripped. Press the reset button for the overload switch. The owners manual for your heater will indicate where the switch is located.

Thermostat is set too low. Adjust the thermostat.

The heating element is burned out, theres a short in the electrical circuit, or the control panel is malfunctioning. If the heater isnt working or isnt generating the high temperatures it once did, call in a qualified electrician to inspect the unit. Dont attempt to take apart the heater or the electrical box yourself, unless you have the tools and training to make heater repairs.

Rocks are disintegrating. The rocks are old. Expect to replace the heater rocks every 5 to 10 years. Periodically remove all stones from the heater and clean the trough. Look for any cracked or broken rocks. Do not allow broken rocks to remain in the trough. Over time, the grit they produce can damage the heater.

Rocks are dirty.

Light is not working.

The wood is discolored.

Something other than clean water was spilled on them.

The bulb is burned out.

If the light is connected to the control panel, it may have been manually turned off.

The sauna has darkened with age.

The wood is stained.

Clean the rocks after they have completely cooled. Soak them in a soapy (light detergent) mixture of warm water. Wash them off with a sponge, then rinse them in clean water and allow them to dry before placing them back in the heater. Meanwhile, clean the heater of the foreign substance. Gradually build heat in the sauna to totally dry the rocks.

Disconnect the main power supply from the sauna and change the lightbulb.

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