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I hear about alot of problems that people have with heaters. Some may be electric and some gas. I am going to give up a few ideas that were given to me that may help with maintenance and longjevity of your heaters.
First, Electric heaters. Just like in your home when you set the thermostats down a few degrees to save energy, you should turn the thermostat down on the electric heaters(the dial). The heater can be adjusted down just below the maximum output of the heater to protect the heater. The weakest link in the heater is a fusable link that is attached to the ends of the heating elements. By turning it down some, you give it a capacity for more power in the event of an overcurrent situation. If it is maxed out and there is a power surge, it may burn the link. Usually this means replacement. Small heaters are inexpensive enough that it may be cheaper to replace the heater than repair it unless you repair it yourself.
Seconly, Gas heaters. There isnt alot that you can do with them except clean the burner assemblies yearly and at the end of the season, wrap them in plastic and put them back in the box that it came in. This will help keep critters out and prevent spiders from building webs where they shouldnt. Alot of early service calls i get are for that purpose. Cleaning spider webs out of burner assemblies that have sat all summer. Good luck to all, If you take care of your heaters, they will take care of you.
I would definitely have the burner tube cleaned and adjusted if necessary. Sounds like a possible spider web in the tube, as well as have heat chamber blown out with compressed air if at all possible to remove soot build up. Stand back when blowing it out, or you"ll be covered in soot. You can buy a long brush for cleaning barbecue burners, that work well.
The crossover part of the burners are dirty and need to be cleaned, usually spider webs or dirt get stuck there and wont allow the gas to get to the other burners and the furnace will shut off for safety. Also the orifice that allows gas to the burners can be clogged with dirt or spider webs. If you are comfortable with working on it then you can do it yourself, however if you are not then call a hvac technician. Just remeber to turn off gas and power before working on it.
You need to start by cleaning burner tube and pilot intake , sounds like spiders have probably spun a web in there. If flame is yellowish, it's not getting enough air. You can buy a barbecue burner brush, long and flexible, and run it through burner tube to clean out web, and if pilot is yellow as well, there is a small hole in side of fitting where it attaches up near burner that needs to be cleaned out with paper clip or even better, compressed air. After cleaning burner, adjust air shutter to get nice blue flame, with just a hint of yellow at tip. The idea there is to get blue flame, but not a roaring flame that is jumping off the burner. A spider web in there will usually allow propane through, but restricts air mixture, thus causing yellow flame (rich mixture) and soot to build up.
Pull your heat tray and clean burners and check for rat nests. A common cause of this is spider webs in the gas orfaces on the supply pipe. If you remove the brass orfaces they may have small,small,small tiny webs inside them oyu can blow out or clear with a toothpic. they dirvet the gas from the main burner (the one with the ignitor) as the gas builds it will poof and start but then the other burners that have gas flow won't be close enough to let the ignitor read flame so it will cycle just like you describe. My kingdom for a toothpic. I have made a tool to do this out of a stripped wire bent just so with the end roughed up to catch the webs so I didn't have to pull the tray on heaters with this proble. You should pull the tray and see the whole problem to understand it better.. I hope this helps and good luck.
You may have spider webs in the gas orfaces. Pull the tray and unscrew the orfaces from the gas manifold then clean with a toothpic or the like, These will be very small webs and are hard to see but they dirvert gas from the burner with the ignitor and when it does light the ignitor can't reconigse the flame and it will go out. i've seen this happen after the heater is off for the summer season and I've seen it happen ovet night. This iss one of the things you can avoide by cleaning and serviceing the heater once a year. i hope this was a help.Good luck
you have to remove the burner assembly to properly clean the unit. remove the front panel there are 2 screws on the burner tray remove these and disconect the small pilot supply tube and slide the tray out to clean. use a wire brush lightly and an air compressor to cleat out the burners and the orfice.
With just the little info that you gave, I cant be sure, but as this is an outside heater, it may be possible that like a spider or wasp has crawled inside and did something that plugged the orifice or gas/air injector to the burners. A blow out with an air compressor may solve the problem, unless its way inside, then you may need to take it apart. Just recently I removed a wasp nest from a burner injector on a central package unit that had a larger diameter than a CD!!