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Heating mantle with issues


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I was recently gifted this defective heating mantle. It is like this one from ebay (looks the same)



Anyway, cheap garbage no doubt, so I tried testing it and it pulls about 195 watts (I put a meter on it) regardless of knob position, and will not heat a 2 litre vessel of 1 litre of water above 60 deg C (took an hour to confirm this) , it is rated for 450 watts and max temp of 350 deg C


Was wondering if there may be a way to fix it. My analog electronics is a bit rusty but I can manage component level replacement and soldering. Just hesitant to take it apart unless needed.


Or maybe I am doing something wrong?


I would expect the wattage to increase to a max of approx 450 at position 100 and go down to about 45 watts at position 10, as the wattage remains constant regardless of control knob I am thinking it may be a hint to the problem.

I should add the heating element is within the fabric mesh that holds the boiling vessel. I have a spare but have no idea if its the mesh or the controller.



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THIS is why you should be extremely careful when buying equipment on eBay, I finally thought maybe this is a 110-220 issue, so I popped off the variac housing and voila, sure enough the controller is rated 220-250v and it simply has a standard US plug attached.


Unbelievable. Good news, it probably works if I had a 220 source, better news, I can probably find a 110 replacement part, bad news, some scammy dick on eBay could have killed someone.



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