When the chilly months kick in, patio heaters can become one of the most essential items you can have to keep you warm this time of the year. So, it is best to know some patio heater troubleshooting techniques that will ensure you of this machine’s excellent running condition. Read along and check out this guide on common patio heater issues and how to solve each.
Check for Gas at the Burner
Generally, patio heaters are simple machines with just a few components that affect their overall functioning and operation. Obviously, the most typical issue you can ever encounter with it is the lack of heat generated. If this is a problem you’ve been experiencing with your heater, then you may begin making simple checks to determine the cause of the problem and the best way to resolve it.
First, you should turn the gas on and check if there is gas at the burner. In the case of an electronic ignition system, you should look for a spark once the heater is turned on. If you see a spark, yet the heater fails to light up, then you may use a lighter just to light the gas up. You might see a flash over, particularly when you have been lighting the gas for a few minutes. It is most likely for you to see a small gas cloud near the burner area.
Replace an Empty Gas Cylinder
It is also possible that the patio heater is not working because the gas cylinder is empty. If this is the cause of the problem, then you will have to remove the empty cylinder and get a replacement for it. Although there may be instances that there is still gas remaining in the cylinder, it may not suffice to create the amount of pressure needed to operate the gas burner. So, check the weight of the cylinder, and be sure to replace it once it feels light.
Monitor the Regulator and Gas Pipe
The regulator take gas all the way up to the burner. There are some regulators that come with a flip switch, and this feature prevents the valve located at the top portion of the gas cylinder from being switched on. If your gas regulator comes with this component, then you have to check if it is in the “on” position, so you can start using the heater.
There is a possibility that the gas pipe is blocked, and this can cause the heater to not work as expected. Although this is an unlikely issue, you should be able to resolve this problem by removing the pipe from the gas regulator, as well as from the gas inlet found at the heater’s top part. Keep in mind that the pipe is pressure-fitted, and it is secured in place by clips. You can clear this part of the heater by blowing air through the gas pipe.
Inspect the Burner for Issues
Basically, the gas burner is quite simple to assemble. You may want to inspect this part of the heater by turning each of the parts off and check for blockages. Another thing – check the burner apertures, and be sure that these are set in the right way. When you look under the burner, you can find a small chamber where gas and air are mixed. Check the air and gas inlets just to be sure that these areas are clear.
Heater with a Pilot Light
For patio heaters that come with a pilot light, one common issue that may arise is failure in the thermo couple. This portion is shaped as an inverted V, and it is located in the pilot light’s flame. The temperature helps ensure the right gas supply on the thermo couple, so you will have to check if this component is in good condition. Typically, once it is broken, the pilot light tends to go out each time the heater is turned on.
If this is a problem with your heater, then you can always purchase a replacement for the thermo couple. You may buy this component on most patio heater parts stores, so it should not be a problem getting the right replacement for it.
Additional Tips to Consider
Here are a few other things you may have to check on your heater to resolve any issues you may have about it.
- Be sure there is no dust or debris on the area surrounding the burner pilot of your patio heater. It may be possible that there are insects stuck in this area, and you just have to clear this part by keeping it clean, dry and free from debris.
- Gas cylinder should have enough fuel, and check if this component is turned to the ON position at the regulator. Moreover, you need to check the regulator, which should not be worn or torn, so it could work properly. During winter, it is not advisable to use butane since heaters work best when used with propane at this time of the year.
- In case the cylinder has just the right amount and there is no need for replacement, you may check if there are leaks. This usually happens with loose connections, and a leakage test should be done when this is the possible cause of the leak. Begin by mixing one part water with one part liquid detergent. Then, apply this solution using either a paint brush or spray bottle. Turn the gas supply on, but be sure to avoid lighting the burner. The control valve found on the burner should also remain in the OFF position. If you notice any leaks, the LPG gas supply should be turned OFF.
Afterwards, all fittings must be tightened. You may use enough plumbers tape to seal the fittings, then conduct a retest. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions as you conduct more checks and tighten any connections to prevent leaks.
Just try to apply these checks slowly and more precisely to determine the problem and resolve it. If the issue persists, you may have to consult a specialist to help you address your concerns with the heater.