Home Improvement Questions? Ask a Handyman for Answers ASAP
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It is never normal for a heater to be sparking. This sparking presents a very high risk of starting a fire and needs to be repaired and evaluated before using it again.
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Who is the manufacturer and what is the model number?
They are all about the same drawing power over long periods but can be lint or other debris that get inside and is shorting especially if you have pets inside. The resistance wire inside may be damaged. Since the unit is storing the heat at night that is the greatest amount of electricity that is being used and so the time you would expect any defects to show up and then less of a risk as the unit releases slowly the stored heat.
Anything that can cause a shorter path for the electricity when it is using more at night will cause sparks and any sparks are capable of starting a fire.
OK, just a standard off peak storage heater like all the rest. The cause is usually something getting in the unit and if you have a vacuum that can be reversed flow you can blow air thru the unit and clean out stuck debris/dust/hair which may be the cause. If it continues to spark then you will for certain need it looked out. There is no reason to risk your home and life from a sparking storage heater if it doesn't stop. Give it a good blowing out and that may fix the problem though.
Yes, while it is going to cost some money to have it completely checked out it is not worth risking your home and life over. Be safe and good luck!