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Patio heater won't light

I have a propane patio heater. It's about 5 years old and just won't light. I hold down the button that clears the line for about 6 minutes, but the pilot light won't light. When I hold in the button to light the pilot, I can see that something is blowing on the lighter I am using ( I am trying to do it manually ), but the pilot doesn't light. I can smell the propane and sometimes if I let go of the pilot starter and just try to light it, it will start up and burn for 20 seconds and then go out. Starter sparks as well, but doesn't light it.

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6 Suggested Answers

Buffalo12980
  • 625 Answers

SOURCE: Patio heater won't stay lit

make/model??

Posted on Oct 15, 2007


  • 41 Answers

SOURCE: Endless Summer Patio Heaters won't stay lit

Hi ColdinSF,

You need to remove the covers from the unit and blow out the gas lines with compressed air. If you can remove the gas lines blow out the lines and what they connect to like the pilot light and main feed line to the burner. Usually they gunk up with use and just need to be blown out with compressed air to clear the lines again. Maybe you have some dirt or foreign object from your gas tank which has clogged the line. Also check the igniter electric lines as well and make sure everything is connected properly. Especially make sure you tighten the gas lines you remove. Hope this helps.

Regards
Bryan

Posted on Dec 22, 2007

hotuna
  • 288 Answers

SOURCE: windchaser patio heater

You have to hold the button down for 30 seconds at least before turning the knob to ON. If you are doing this and it still goes out after you let up on the knob, then it needs a new flame sensor, or thermocouple. Same thing different names.

Posted on Mar 06, 2008

  • 8 Answers

SOURCE: Patio Heater pilot lights won't stay lit

crappy pilot flame (not properly heating the thermocouple), bad thermocouple, thermocouple loose where it screws into the pilot safety valve, bad safety valve magnet.

One or more of those is the problem.

Oh...there is also a saftey switch...in case it tips over. It will also cause the pilot to not stay lit (if the switch or wires that go to i are faulty)

Posted on Jun 18, 2008

  • 111 Answers

SOURCE: flame out on a DCS Patio Heater

thermo-coupler (cheapest to fix) or valve

Posted on Jan 31, 2010

  • 9 Answers

SOURCE: Sunjoy L-PH018PSS Patio Heater Replacement Parts

What is likely happening is that the pilot flame cannot reach the thermocoupler. This is usually caused by corrosion or other blockage of the gas to the area where the pilot lights. Thus resulting in a small flame or no flame on the side the thermocoupler is located. Fix this by cleaning out the corrosion or other blockage in the pilot assembly. I have found that small spiders like to make their homes here which causes the blockage of the gas for the pilot. The pilot assembly has three parts to it. The ignitor electrode, the pilot light tower, and the thermocoupler. The ignitor electrode has a wire that goes from it to the push button ignitor. The pilot tower is located in the middle and has a gas line going to it from the gas valve (control knob). The thermocoupler stands next to and on the opposite side of the ignitor electrode. It also has a copper line from it to the gas valve.

Unfortunately, the Sunjoy you have, which is the same model of two I have to keep running, is difficult to service. Parts are not readily available either so be careful when you take it apart. They do not sell the individual smaller parts in this model and therefore make you buy complete assemblies.

To clean and service the pilot assembly, remove the screws holding the front plate on where your control knob is. Once that is removed you can see the back of the ignitor, it is black and has one wire coming from it leading up to the ignitor electrode. You will also be able to see the small gas line from the gas valve going up to the pilot tower and the small copper line from the gas valve to the thermocoupler. That assembly is what you need to get to, to clean.

You do that by removing the top canopy by removing the three screws holding it down. Once that is removed, remove the center nut on the heat exchanger (the part that heats up with all of the little holes). It is located on the top and in the center of the heat exhanger. Then remove the three screws that are located around the bottom of the heat exchanger that connects the collar to it. You should be able to remove the heat exchanger now. Tilt the whole heater down and prop the neck on something so you can work on it.

If you look in the top you will be able to see small metal box covering the pilot assembly. This is held onto the pilot assembly with two screws. Remove those screws and carefully remove the box. Now remove the two screws that holds the pilot assembly to the collar (located on the outside of the collar). The gas and copper lines will hold it up. If you look at the pilot assembly from the top you will see one screw holding the ignitor electrode to the pilot assembly bracket. Remove that screw, unplug the wire from the ignitor and remove the ignitor electrode from the assembly. Be careful not to break this and I am having you remove it so that you do not break it.

Now remove the nut that holds the thermocoupler onto the pilot assembly bracket and pull it out of the bracket. The copper line will hold it up and be careful not to kink the copper line. Take a piece of sandpaper and clean the outside surface of the thermocoupler. Corrosion on the thermocoupler could cause it to fail which will cause the pilot not to stay lit. I have not had one do that yet but it could happen.

Now, remove the gas line from the bottom of the pilot tower so that the tower and bracket are in your hands. Put it down and put the heater back up straight. Hook up your gas and turn the gas on. Now, press the control knob on the pilot setting to make sure you have gas coming out of the gas line that feeds the pilot. You should be able to hear, feel and smell it. If not you have a regulator problem or an empty tank. Turn off your gas, remove it from the heater and tilt the heater back down.

Take your pilot assembly, you will see a circular top to the pilot tower that is held down with really small metal ears. Carefully bend the ears back so that you can bend the top of the tower back. Only bend it back far enough to clean the inside of it with a bent wire and compressed air or something. If you look on the lower side of the bracket, above where the gas line is threaded on you will see a hole that goes all the way through the assembly. This hole regulates the pilot gas pressure and allows the gas to mix with the air before it burns. Make sure that hole is clear of debris and take wire or something and thread it through the hole up through the top side of the tower.

When you have it clean, reconnect the gas line, thermocoupler and ignitor electrode. Once reconnected and before screwing the assembly back to the collar, I set the heater back up right and reconnect the gas. I then light the pilot to make certain you have a good strong pilot light generously touching the thermocoupler. The pilot should stay lit haver holding the button in for a few seconds. Do not turn the heater on past the pilot area without the heat exchanger on or you might singe your hair. If the pilot works the way it is supposed to, turn it off, disconnect your gas, tilt the heater back down and reassemble it following the intructions in the opposite manner.

The ignitor problem:
It is probably corroded in the cap (which is also the switch) or inside the ignitor where the battery goes at the spring. Spray these areas out with WD40 which will clean the corrosion out and try it again with a new battery. If it does not go click click click when you press the button you may have to take the ignitor out. Unscrew the cap and then the little black plastic collar which secures the ignitor to the collar. This should allow you to remove the ignitor by turning and maneuvering it out of the collar past the gas valve. Put the battery back in and replace the cap. Press the button to see if it works. Be careful it may shock you causing you to squeal, cuss and likely drop the ignitor.

I just had one do this to me. For some reason the little black collar that secures the ignitor to the heater collar would not screw all the way in. This would not allow cap to fully screw on and therefore would not allow contact with the battery to the contact inside the ignitor near the spring. Tighten it up as best you can so that contact can be made when you press the button. I believe this is one part you can order from Sunjoy separately if you cannot get yours to work....Good Luck

Posted on Mar 24, 2010

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Regards
Bryan

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