Patio Heater Troubleshooting Guide Posted on 19 Mar 14:07



Patio Heater Won't Stay Lit

One common issue that patio heater owners face is keeping their patio heater lit. The typical cause for this is that the pilot light flame has become too far away from the thermocouple.

Thus, the thermocouple will turn off the patio heater as it tricks the gas value in to thinking that the pilot light is out. Other potential causes are not having enough gas pressure or the pilot light/orifices are more restricted due to corrosion.

Another simple cause is that a breeze is blowing just right and is blowing out the pilot light.

The Fix

There is a way to fix this problem. Making sure the patio heater is “off”, sure a pair of pliers to gently squeeze the pilot light and the thermocouple a bit closer.

To squeeze the pilot light and sensor-bulb together, remove the top of the heater and the front control panel that covers the pilot light and control knob.

Then remove the bracket that holds the pilot light and thermocouple together to that you will get the best access. You may not need to disassemble it as much as you think, but you need to disassemble and very gently squeeze the pilot and thermocouple making sure not to crush it.

Now, the pilot light will be very close to the sensor bulb and the patio heater will no longer shut off after a few minutes. Please check out our how to guide and User Manual for easy troubleshooting https://shop.firesense.com/pages/how-to-videos

Another reason that your patio heater won't stay lit also has to do with the thermocouple. Sometimes the thermocouple gets coated with carbon from the propane. Sometimes using a small tooth file and lightly sanding the thermocouple will help to remove the carbon build up.

If the issue is not with the thermocouple the cause of the problem could be a numbers of things. It may be as simple as the gas valve on the propane tank being turned off. Simply turn the gas tank on.

Additionally, the propane tank may be empty. A full propane tank is much heavier than an empty propane tank. Take your tank and get it refilled.

Yet another reason your patio will not stay lit is that the gas valve orifice is blocked. You should clean the orifice or have it replaced. Sometimes there is air in the gas line which is blocking propane from getting to the heater head unit.

The solution for this is to purge the gas line. Open the gas line by turning the knob on the propane tank to fully open. Then depress the control knob for two to three minutes. Make sure all gas has cleared before attempted to ignite the patio heater.

Loose connections sometime cause problems. Check the regulator to make sure it is tightly connected to the propane tank. Check all other fittings as well. Make sure to use the soap and water test to determine if there are any leaks.

Ignitors sometimes get worn out and fail. You can start your patio heater with a stick lighter. If the heater will ignite with a stick lighter then replace the worn ignition with a new ignition. Sometimes the gas pressure is simply too low.

You should replace or refill your propane tank. The problem may also be in the regulator. If the gas is on but there is no gas flow then replace the hose and regulator assembly.

If your propane tank is new you will need to purge the air from the gas lines. As described before open the gas line by turning the knob on the propane tank to fully open. Then depress the control knob for two to three minutes. Make sure all gas has cleared before attempting to ignite the patio heater.

Patio Heater Flame Is Too Low

Sometimes the heater will stay lit but the flame is too low. This could mean that the gas pressure is too low. When the outdoor temperature is less than 40 degrees F and the tank is less than one-quarter full a low flame will result.

The Fix

Check to make sure the propane tank has enough fuel in it. If not then refill or replace it. 

Another potential cause for a low flame is that the gas hose is kinked. Check the gas hose and straighten it. If the hose is damaged in any way then have it replaced.

There may also be a blockage in the burner assembly. Thoroughly clean the burner and emitter screen to clear any blockages. Also check the reflector to make sure there is no carbon build-up. If there is, then clean away the carbon.