How to Troubleshoot Propane Heaters

Propane heaters possess sensitive controls to regulate gas flow and also keep a room comfortable, but when one malfunctions, the fault is infrequently with those controls, but with all the gasoline or ignition system. The problem is often a clogged gas pipe, a standing pilot that flickers or goes out or a digital spark that doesn’t spark. Even though the gasoline controls seem daunting, the repair might not be as complicated as you think.

Average Heater Operation

When you turn up a heater’s thermostat, it sends a small electric signal to the gas valve, prompting it to open and then send gas to the burner, where the pilot ignites it. The thermostat stops sending the sign once the room temperature reaches the chosen value. It sends it when the temperature falls below a preset value. To ignite the gasoline, the pilot has to be continuously burning or it has to spark whenever the valve opens. Most heater malfunctions may be traced to a faulty pilot, and that, then, may be because of clogged gas pipe.

Rank Terrain Issues

If your propane heater includes a standing pilot, then you need to be able to see it through a window or opening beneath the gas control knob. It should be about one inch high and mostly blue. If it’s very little, it flickers, it is split or it burns yellow or orange, the pilot tubing needs cleaning. You can usually do this by turning off the gas and poking a needle into the tip of the pilot tube. If the pilot will not stay lit, it may be because there’s a draft, but more frequently it is a issue with the thermocouple.

Fixing and Replacing the Thermocouple

The thermocouple is a heat-sensitive device much like the one in the thermostat, and it is a security measure that prevents the discharge of unburned gas. When you light the pilot, then the flame heats up the thermocouple, and once it gets hot enough, it signals the valve to stay open so that the pilot stays lit. The pilot will go out if the thermocouple is too much away from the flame, and you can usually fix this by simply pushing it closer. If the thermocouple wears out, replacing it is a matter of unclipping the bulb, unscrewing the cable from the gas valve and also changing the procedure to install a new one.

Electronic Spark Issues

If your unit has a blower, you might notice a clicking sound whenever the blower switches on. That’s the noise of the digital spark mechanism, and if you have a look in the burner chamber, you need to be able to see the spark. If you do not, there is most likely a faulty electrical connection to the igniter. To fix it, you need an electric diagram of the unit, usually supplied with the operator’s manual. If the heater sparks but doesn’t light, the gas cylinder supplying the unit might be empty or the gasoline might be shut off. If you are certain the unit has gasoline, clean the aperture of the gas valve with a needle.

See related