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That's normal. It's the correct way to allow the the Thermocouple and/or Thermopile to fully heat up. If you have been turning the pilot light OFF after each use and then relighting it when you want to use the heater, that's really not necessary. Leaving the pilot lit during the heating season is a better way to go. If you think you're saying gas by turning the pilot light OFF and then relighting it again, when you want heat, you're really not saving a significant amount of gas or money. The pilot burning continuously, uses very little gas.
From what you have described, it sounds like the Thermocouple is going bad and needs to be replaced. As far as not being able to relight the pilot right away is concerned ... that's a safety feature. The control has to reset itself, before you can relight it, if the pilot goes out on it's on. As it did in your care. It usually takes about 2 - 3 minutes for the control valve to reset itself.
As far as replacing the Thermocouple is concerned, it's somewhat of a specialty item, because of it being in a tall patio heater. However, armed with the Model # of your Charmglow Patio Heater, you can probably purchase one from the manufacturer, Chamglow.
First turn the dial on the hot water heater to the off position and wait for 5 minutes. Then turn the dial on the water heater to the pilot position. Press in the dial and use a gas grill lighter, long wooden match, or similar device to light the pilot. Once the pilot is lit, continue to hold in the dial for about 1 minute then release and turn the dial to the temperature setting that's comfortable for you.
Many times the knob to turn the gas on on the valve is also the pilot knob. Turn it to pilot and hold it down while you light the pilot. Hold it for up to a minute and release. If the pilot stays on then turn it to on. If not you need a new thermocouple.
First thing and this is very important turn the thermostat off. When you are in front of your furnace remove the top cover to expose the burners and pilot light. You will see a gas valve that has a knob, lever, or some kind of switch on top of it. It will have off pilot and on in raised letters on top of it. Now move the knob to pilot position and if you have a long lighter or maybe fireplace match something long enough to reach back into the unit about 10 inches or so. Depress the knob hold down reach back with lite match, lighter and get close to pilot and there it will lite. Hold knob down for about 30 seconds and let go. Did the pilot stay on? Good if it did. Turn the knob to the on position and go to the thermostat and turn on the furnace. Now if you are nervous about lighting the pilot light you could call the gas company in your area and explain your situation and they should come out and do it for free. let me know how it turns out. ken