Taking care of your residential or commercial sauna heater is easy and will make it last for many years. For heaters with internal rocks in between heating elements, simply inspecting and re-setting rocks will help avoid costly element replacement, excessive use of high cost energy and sauna down time. After many heating/cooling cycles and having water poured over them, the sauna heater stones will shift, compacting closer together in the rock bay. Rocks will also eventually crack and crumble which causes further compaction.
Compacted sauna rocks limit proper air circulation which supplies most of the heat in a sauna through convection. Because air flow is stifled, the sauna may take much longer to heat up to temperature than it used to, resulting in excessive energy consumption and higher operating costs. At the same time, moisture is trapped next to heating elements that can cause corrosion and eventually element failure.
How to re-set sauna rocks
Turn off electrical breaker switch first. While heater is cold, remove top wire rock guard and take out all sauna heater rocks. Only discard broken and crumbling rocks. Rinse any sediment off of remaining solid used rocks and reset rocks into heater, stacking loosely and evenly between heating elements. Replace broken rocks with new high quality sauna rocks of proper type and size. Vulcanite Sauna Rocks will work for most brands of electric sauna heaters. Replace wire guard and you should notice a difference in how quickly the sauna gets up to temperature. Heater warranties are voided and damage to heater can occur if rocks are used other than supplied heater brand. These rocks are crushed to optimum size for airflow through heating elements and are of proper type to prevent damage to heating elements.
Commercial saunas should have rocks re-set every 2 to 3 months to minimize energy consumption and repair maintenance costs. Your guests will thank you for a sauna that heats up quickly and provides a better sauna experience. Residential saunas used a few times a week should have rocks re-set at least once a year.
For Sauna Heaters with rocks only in top tray and not inside heater, like Scandia / Vico brands: Remove rocks, clean and replace broken rocks as needed.
Read more about Sauna Heater Tips and Tricks
Photo shows element damage caused from compacted rocks trapping moisture.