How To

How to Fix Heat Press Not Heating Up

The heat press is one of the most versatile crafting tools you can buy. You can use it for putting designs onto fabric. It can also be used for metal, glass, and ceramics. But what if it stops working? What do you do when it’s no longer heating up? 

There are a few things that might be going on. The good news is that, in most cases, it’s a fairly simple fix. Keep reading to learn what you can do to solve this problem. 

Check the Outlet

Let’s start with one of the easiest solutions first. You should remove the heat press and try plugging in another appliance. If that device doesn’t work, it means that there is something wrong with the outlet. Try looking at your fuse box, you might have tripped a circuit breaker. 

Reset the Heat Press

The next thing you can try is resetting the device. This will restore it to the original settings.  Most devices will have a reset button. If you can’t find it, look in the owner’s manual. Simply press and hold the button. You can also try switching it on and off at the wall. 

Check the Fuse

A blown fuse is one of the most common reasons why the presses aren’t heating up properly. To check this, you will need to locate where the fuse is stored. The owner’s manual can help you with this. 

After you have it, remove the fuse. Take a look at it and see if it’s blown. If it is, you will need to replace it. There are plenty of replacement fuses available online. You need to pick one that will be compatible with your heat press. After you have it, it should simply be a matter of screwing the fuse into place. 

Check for Wiring Problems

If you are still having issues, it might indicate a wiring problem in the heat press. To solve this, you should unplug it. Then, open it up and have a lot inside the machine. It can help to use a can of compressed air to get rid of any dust that might be present. 

You should look for wires that appear to be burnt. It’s also worth checking the cord. If you do see a few scorched wires, you might be able to repair the problem. Call-out an electrician and get them to take a look. You shouldn’t attempt to do any wiring yourself if you don’t have the relevant experience. This will only make a bad situation worse. 

Check the Warrant

Most heat presses will come with a warranty. When you start having mechanical issues, it’s a good idea to take a look at this agreement. If the machine is still covered by the warranty, you might be able to get the manufacturer to fix it for you. Or they might opt to send out a replacement machine. 

However, for you to claim the warranty you need to make sure that you haven’t done anything that could void that warranty agreement. For example, you might have done some wiring yourself or added a modification to the machine. 

Inconsistent Heat

Sometimes, you will find that the heating plates keep on losing heat. This means that your designs aren’t being applied to the material properly. Sometimes, this is happening because of the way you are using the device. After you finish making a print, you need to give the plates a little time to return to their original temperature. Often, this will only take 30 seconds or so. If you keep pressing, without stopping, the plates will continue to lose heat. 

Climbing to a high temperature, then falling back down again is another common problem. There are a few reasons why this might be occurring. One of the first places to check is the fuse. If not, the issue might be linked to your power supply. You could be overloading the circuits. 

This problem can also be the result of a low-quality plate. Some materials aren’t good at dispersing the heat across the plate. If you suspect this might be the issue, you can check the temperature using a heat gun. As this problem lies with the plates, there usually isn’t an easy solution. You will often need to upgrade to a new machine. 

Fixing a Smoking Heat Press

While you might be seeing smoke coming out of the press, this often isn’t a cause for concern. It’s prevalent amongst older machines. This happens when dirt and heat transfer vinyl backing builds up. It just means that you need to give the plates a clean. 

To solve this problem, you’ll need to have a burn-off in a well-ventilated room. You’ll want to set the temperature to around 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave it open for around 20 minutes. 

Get a New Machine

Sadly, many cheap press machines aren’t designed to have a long life. With one of these devices, you’ll be lucky to get three years. In this case, the repairs will be too expensive. Usually, you’ll be better off upgrading to a new machine. It’s important to do a little research to find a high-quality heat press. 

The first thing you need to do is find the right type of style for you. There are four options for you to choose from.

  1. Clamshell. You’ll need to open the top plate, place the material on the bottom plate, then close the lid. These are good for flat materials, like shirts. Plus, they tend to be compact making them easy to store. 
  2. Swing away. This is similar to the clamshell, except the plate will swing away to the right. This is a good safety feature, preventing you from getting a burn when you are laying out the material. 
  3. Draw heat. The top plate will lift up, like in the clamshell version. But you’ll be able to pull out the bottom plate. 
  4. Sublimination. This machine can come in any of the three styles. But it will be able to produce a higher heat. This ensures that the ink has a stronger bond with the fabric. This article goes into more depth about what makes a sublimination press special

While the type of heat press is important, you should also take a look at the components that make them up. Look for heat platens that are made from ceramic or Teflon. This will distribute the heat evenly. Check the warranty. Ideally, you will be able to get something that will last for around six months. This gives you some time to make sure that you are happy with the purchase. 

However, the best option is to look at the reviews. This helps you filter out the cheap crappy products. With this in mind, you should consider this heat press buying guide, put together by crafting experts. 

How Long Should a Heat Press Take to Heat Up? 

How long you should have to wait for your press to warm up will depend. Usually, it will depend on how big the plates are and how hot you want them to become. In most cases, it will take around 15 to 25 minutes before the plates are hot enough for you to start using them. If you’re waiting for longer than this, and it hasn’t reached the temperature, it could be a sign that there is something wrong. 

Most heat presses will come with a heating light. Keep the plates closed until this light goes off. This means that it has reached the right temperature and you can start pressing the material.  

Getting the Right Temperature

It’s also important to ask how hot you need the plates to be. This will often depend on the type of material that you are working with. You’ll also need to think about what color the material will be. For example, when you are working with polyester, it’s best to set it to around 270 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if you are using cotton, you will need around 380 degrees Fahrenheit. This article goes into more depth about finding the right temperature for your project. 

You will also need to decide what type of pressure you want to use. This will depend on the thickness of the material you are using. Thicker material will need more pressure to get a quality print. Usually, though, it’s best to work with medium pressures. 

Finally, you need to think about how long you want to leave the material in the press. Often, you will only need to press it for 10 to 20 seconds. It’s often best to experiment a little with these settings, finding which ones deliver the best results. 


Several factors could be preventing your heat press from heating up. Usually, this is an issue that you can fix fairly easily, like changing the fuse. After this, the heat press should be as good as new. But if there is a wiring problem, the best solution might be to replace the heat press.  

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