Question about Reddy Heater-30-55,000 BTU Variable

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165,000 forced air reddy heater

Plug in, smokes, then kicks off. Will run if the top cover is off.

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It would help if I knew the model of heater because there are 2 different technologies that are used in Reddy Heaters. Having more information could affect my answer.

Generally, if a heater runs with the lid off but shuts down with the lid on, its a sign that either the air pump pressure is not to specs or the nozzle is restricted or worn out. Desa International, the manufacturer, recommends annual replacement of the nozzle, but this is arguable, depending on the age of the heater.

I am pasting a document that I've had around for awhile, that may help:

"A worn nozzle creates a spray pattern, where a good nozzle creates a fog. With a coarse spray pattern poor combustion results in an off color flame, . The photocell doesn’t like the color, sends a signal to the computer which shuts everything down. That’s the job of the electronics. On HSI heaters it is all about correct flame color , not just flame.

The part where you write "If I remove the cover again it runs fine" is a symptom of a bad, worn, or restricted nozzle. Remember- the ignitor only stays red for 5 seconds, then the flame keeps itself lit. The nozzle's pattern is a cone. Lift the lid & the pattern widens (aerodynamics) - replace the lid and the cone narrows & possibly distorts then the flame goes out.

This nozzle rule will only apply if everything is correct as far as fuel delivery applies. The pump pressure must be correct- not almost correct. Set the pressure with a low-pressure gauge that registers12-15 psi max. A gauge with a higher scale just will not read close enough to satisfy the system. If the pressure is not correct, the above rule will not apply. Instructions for setting the pressure can be viewed at

In addition, a fan can cause the same problem if damaged or mis-matched to your specific model.

I must mention that any air leaks on the pressure side (or vacuum leaks on the fuel line, for that matter) between the pump and the nozzle will create a rich/lean mixture at the combustion chamber, creating an off-color flame."

Good luck, I hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 03, 2008

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Reddy-Heater will start then run about 10 seconds then stop.

The heater has a photocell that has to see the correct flame or it will cause the heater to turn the unit off.
I would suggest checking the the pump pressure and the output filter to make sure you are getting the correct amount of pump pressure to the nozzle.

Here is a link to the actual service manual.

Oct 08, 2012 | Reddy HEATER RH170T 165,000-BTU PORTABLE...

1 Answer

Reddy Heater 170T works fine with the cover off but will not ignite with the cover on.

First, heaters with Hot Surface Ignitor technology MUST have the air pump pressure set to factory specs. The onboard computer will not allow any deviation. Proper fuel delivery depends on it.

Now, if the pump pressure is correct, there are no leaks between the pump and the nozzle and no vac leaks on the fuel line, the 90% of the time the problem is a worn nozzle. Desa recommended annual replacement of the nozzle simply because of the wear factor.

More troubleshooting tips

Oct 31, 2011 | Reddy HEATER RH170T 165,000-BTU PORTABLE...

1 Answer

Burn chamber on a Reddy Heater RH170T has a major hole in the bottom. Almost looks like a combustion type blow out. Heater turns on but smokes from chamber after shutoff after about 30 seconds. ...

Condensation when cooling and fuel dripping down will cause the rust and eventual hole. As for parts try REDDYHEAT.COM you may be able to locate the parts. If not I would find a furnace distributor with a sheet metal shop and see if they can duplicate your parts in the galvanized heavier duct work material. They have the roller to make rounds, brake to bend sharp corners and knowledge to make about anything you could possibly need.

Dec 22, 2010 | Reddy HEATER RH170T 165,000-BTU PORTABLE...

1 Answer

The unit won't run with cover on. Fan stsrts and

Its not getting enough air to burn with the cover on. See if you can figure out how to adjust the air flow.

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1 Answer

Reddy heater 165,000 runs for approx 15 to 20 min. I unplug wait 5 min. it restarts again and runs for another 15 to 20 min. and so on ....and so on purchased approx 1 year ago

There is a sensor in the tube that is a safety feture. it is a snap disc it maybe faulty, it is reading that the tube is to hot and shutting down, it cools and works again, check snap disc and also they need pleanty of fresh air.

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1 Answer

Heater just hums for a few seconds but will not ignite.The heater has not been running for some time.

When you say the heater hums is the fan turning? Providing the fan is turning remove the top cover on the heater. Turn the heater on and watch the back of the burner area. Do you see any fuel mist coming from the nozzle? Do you see the ignitor sparking or glowing. Providing you see the ignitor working check the air pressure on the back on the unit. Remove the plug on the back of the unit that does not have a hole drilled in it. Insert a gauge into the hole (1/8" pipe thread) The pressure should be 5 to 6 psi. Let me know what you find and I can tell you how to proceed from there.

Jan 02, 2010 | Reddy HEATER RH170T 165,000-BTU PORTABLE...

1 Answer

Ready heater forced air runs few minutes then shuts off

Sounds like a full services like its getting too much air,and blowing out the flame. Check your fuel filter,and add a new spark plug ,also change the vanes on the pump, thus aFuu service. these sould be performed every fall before .

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Reddy heater 110,000 btu forced air portable kerosene

try this, take off the top cover. plug in the heater and when the humming starts, rotate the fan sharply with a screwdriver. keep your fingers away from the fan. if the fan spins under power your start winding is shot. get a new motor. www dot desatech dot com

Dec 06, 2007 | Reddy Heater-30-55,000 BTU Variable

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