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Only runs for 15 seconds.

This unit sat around for years before it was given to me. I changed out the fuel, cleaned the fuel filter, cleaned the air filters, and put some fuel additive into the tank in case there was some water I missed. It starts great but only runs for 15 seconds or so. I've cleaned the injector and changed the sparkplug type ignitor. If i disconnect the photo sensor it acts the same way. Does this mean the sensor is bad or could it be the breaker?

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Check for a fuel vent line that is stopped up by a dirt dobber at the fuel adjustment screw on the back. We had the same problem.

Posted on Dec 18, 2008

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Testing a photocell is a simple procedure
How to test a photocell

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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Yearly maintenance on Reddy Heaters

If your unit is more than a couple of years old you probably need to change the filter in the back and set the pump pressure. A good indication that you need to do this is if your unit turns on, starts to heat, and almost immediately stops and blows smoke out of the end. The air/fuel mixture is not correct, probably due to a partially clogged filter. These heaters use the air pressure to determine the amount of fuel to pump. Obviously if the pressure is not correct, too little or too much fuel will be pumped. Either situation causes the unit to shut down and smoke.

Both the filters and the gauges to set the pressure can be found at along with a good explanation as to why you need the gauges. If you want your unit to run properly, and efficiently, I recommend purchasing the gauges. They make setting the units easy as well as possible.

The pressure is set by bleed air pressure and must be exactly 3.5 psig. The gauge is the only accurate way to do it. The filters clog and change the pressure. When the difference is enough the unit will not run.

Now with that said there are several other things which you should check yearly. Check the fuel tank for water. Remove any you find by draining the unit. Remove the cover on the right side, as you look at the unit from the front, and remove the circuit board. Check for cracked connections. These things vibrate alot. If you find any broken solder connections resolder them and reattach the board. Until I completely resoldered my board I kept having problems.

That should take care of the unit and get you back to making heat.

Thanks for using FixYa


on Feb 14, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Torpedo kerosene heater shuts off after 15 seconds, have to push reset and it starts again, what's the problem?

Does it light? If it does it could be the electric eye that sees the flame and keeps the unit running. It is either dirty or bad. remove the eye and clean it. It pulls straight out and has two prongs on it. Does not matter how it goes back in. It is just a switch. Replace and try again. If it still does not light replace the eye.

If you cleaned the eye and or replaced it and it still does not work there are a few more things to check...
  • Not gtting enough fuel. Check the filter. Usually a small in line filter.
  • It also could be the transformer is getting weak. The transformer produces 10,000 volts between the two electrodes that keeps the heater running. I would only change the transformer if everything else checks out.
  • The electrodes may also need adjusted.
  • The nozzle also may not be atomizing the fuel properly to keep the unit running. I recommend changing it at least once a year depending on the use.
There are some good video on YouTube that will give you some great troubleshooting ideas.

Feb 21, 2011 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

My reddy heater will start up and run for about 5 to ten minutes, then cuts out. It will restart after a 20 second cool down, but will only run for about 30 seconds at a time after that. Brian

These have a flame sensor in them that collects dirt, carbon, and occasionally an insect seeking shelter. You need to take the top half of the heater tube apart and look near the fan assembly and locate the flame sensor clean it with windex and soft terry cloth rag. While you have it apart pull some yearly routine maintenance with the fuel system, as lack of fuel can also cause this problem. Remove the fuel nozzle and inspect it they say you can not clean these but carb cleaner q-tips and tooth pick will do the job with out damaging it. Next is the screen behind the nozzle as these corrode when in storage, carefully clean and reinstall. Inspect the fuel lines for pinching,cracks, dry rot, or holes do this back to the fuel pump. Now put the top half back together and remove the side panel that the fuel line passes down thru. What you look for here is the fuel line and in line filter, remove the filter and take compressor and air gun and blow air backwards thru the filter now that it is cleaned out reinstall it and inspect lines down to the tank. Make sure the line is submerged in the fuel, now put your side panel back on and try firing it up. These are common problems with these types of heaters I do this every year before use, it is an hour well spent. Also check the foam filter on the back of the unit and clean it while you are at it. Take your time and this should get you back to heating properly.

Dec 22, 2010 | Reddy Heater-70,000 BTU Kerosene w/T'stat

1 Answer

My salamander reddy heater runs for about 15 seconds and then shuts itself off. the plug looks good w/ good spark. is there a certain number of turns in/out on adjusting the fuel/air screws on the back of...

To start with the air pump pressure must be set with a gauge. The air pump pressure is directly related to fuel delivery. There should be a label on the side of the heater designating the psi rating. Get it set right- don't guess.

Once the pressure is set and the heater is still acting up as you described, and I believe it will, because it sounds you are having an electronics problem. But if the unit starves for fuel the photocell will shut the unit down because it can't see a flame. If brought to my shop I wouls perform the following steps in this order:
  1. Set the pump pressure
  2. Check the fuel filter for a restriction.
  3. Using soapy water check airline & plastic cover for air leaks
  4. Troubleshoot the photocell
  5. Troubleshoot the Ignition Control (transformer)
Click here troubleshooting tips

Good luck!

Oct 19, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

R55B Reddy Heater won't stay running. (PMS? menopause?)

Wow! Yours is the best description of a problem I have ever seen!!! Before I read the whole thing I figured you missed the pressure check as most people do but you nailed it. This is what I would try, Replace the air filter, the fuel filter, and the fuel (to make absolutely sure there is no water in the fuel) and readjust the fuel/air mixture. If that does not do it replace the cadmium cell they only cost pennies. Let me know how you make out and good luck.


PS, I have one of these so I am pretty familiar with the problems.

Feb 03, 2010 | Reddy Heater-30-55,000 BTU Variable

1 Answer

Monitor 41 20 years old rebuilt 3 years ago. out of fuel

Hope you got this fixed. Sounds like you were having fuel flow problem.

Jan 17, 2009 | Rinnai Toyostove Direct Vent Heater: Laser...

1 Answer

It runs but it puffs smoke every 3 - 5 seconds.

I am not real familiar with the Mr Heater units, although I have been around Reddy Heaters for well over 30 years. The principal is the same, after all, Mr heater is a foreign knock-off of the Reddy Heater.
Check, in this order:
1. shine a flashlight in the tank- look for water droplets rolling around on the bottom.
2. check the fuel filter for restriction. A blocked filter will cause starvation.
3. with soapy water check for air leaks from the air pump to the nozzle. An air leak will cause reduced fuel delivery.
4. check the pump pressure, bring up to factory specs.
5. If you have turned the adjustment screw, move #5 up to #1.
6. check or replace the nozzle.
7. If the fuel delivery system checks out OK then you have an electronics problem, and I’ve been told that Mr Heater parts are rare and hard to come by.

Dec 05, 2008 | Mr. Heater MH175KT Open Flame Utility

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