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Will die in kerosene effect the color of flame and cause photocell not to read flame correctly

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It has to have a smooth flame without sputtering. Usually if water or moisture has accumilated in the tank during the warm months, the water is being picked up and makes the flame sputter which will make the photo eye think it is running out of fuel. Then it will shut off.

Posted on Jan 03, 2011


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1 Answer

Thermoheat dtu torpedo heater reads E1 error

These are some possible causes:
1. Wrong pump pressure
2. Dirty Air Output,Air Intake or Lint Filter.
3. Dirty Fuel Filter.
4. Dirt in Nozzle.
5. Dirty Photocell Lens.
6. Photocell Assembly not
Properly installed.(Not seeing the flame)
7. Bad electrical connection between photocell and MAIN PCB assembly.
8. Defective Photocell.

If all those check out ok, then check these:
1. No fuel in tank.
2. Wrong pump pressure.
3. Carbon deposits on spark plug and/or improper gap.
4. Dirty fuel filter.
5. Dirt in Nozzle.
6. Water in fuel tank.
7. Bad electrical connection between ignitor and MAIN PCB assembly.
8. Ignitor wire is not attached to spark plug.

Nov 29, 2013 | Protemp 125000 BTU Kerosene Forced Air...

1 Answer

My kerosene heater keeps cutting out every 11 secs when motor is connected through pcb will run ok if motor is powered dirrctly

As you know you have bypassed the safety system and the "clean air" system.
Your problem could be:
  1. a defective board
  2. a defective photocell
  3. a defective nozzle
  4. an air leak or vacuum leak
  5. water in the fuel
  6. or as simple as the air pump pressure not being within 1/4psi within factory specs- which would cause the flame to be off-color- the the board & photocell would shut the heater down because of "dirty air".
Read these troubleshooting tips

Oct 23, 2011 | All-Pro Kerosene Garage Shop Heaters - All...

1 Answer

The heater will run for about 10 to 20 seconds an stop shut off

By design, the heater's control board will shut down if the photocell does not see the color of flame that it requires. In other words, if it's running a tad rich or lean there will be a shutdown. Many things can cause this. It could be bad fuel, water in the fuel, air pump pressure not correct, or defective electronics. Read these troubleshooting tips.Then take action. Setting the pressure is simple, but some folks they can skip this part. Not so. This is the place to start if a fuel delivery problem is suspected.

Sep 06, 2011 | All-Pro Kerosene Garage Shop Heaters - All...

1 Answer

Have a reddy heater r200bt starts then shuts off 10seconds later does not appear to ignite

The heater has built-in safety measures that shut it down within 5-7 seconds if the photocell does not see a perfect flame. In your case it sees no flame, so it shuts the unit down. You must troubleshoot to find out why there is no combustion. The problem could be as simple as a broken ignitor, incorrect air pump pressure not delivering the correct amount of fuel, or you may have electronics problems.

Eliminate all possible fuel delivery problems first, before moving on to electronics. These heaters are not complicated, but you must understand the principle and be a patient troubleshooter.

Click here to Follow tips

The principle;
Here's the principle in a perfect operational heater:
  1. Plug the unit in
  2. The motor starts
  3. When the motor starts the fuel starts to flow, because the air pump is directly connected to the motor shaft (then the air sucks the fuel from the tank- at the nozzle adapter- a venturi effect and fuel/air mix in the nozzle)
  4. The ignitor (glow bar) turns red
  5. The photocell starts looking for a flame in the chamber
  6. IF the COMPLETE system is performing to factory specs then there is combustion
  7. Then, after 5 seconds the ignitor no longer glows and the flame continues to burn on it's own and it should burn until the fuel supply is gone
  8. The photocell takes over and monitors the flame for color. Too rich/lean and the flame color changes, a signal is sent to the computer and there will be a shutdown
Now, these heaters are computerized and the computer wantsto find a system that is operating at 100%. At less than 100% the system shuts down for safety andenvironmental reasons. Simply stated- the computer is looking for a reason toshut the unit down because that's its job. I am going to list some of the reasons that will cause ashutdown in the order of incidence, in our shop anyway.
  • Water in the fuel - people love to buy parts... but this is a free fix, just drain the tank. Shine a flashlight in the tank & look for water droplets & trash.
  • The pump pressure not set to specs. There is not a fudge factor here. Instructions are at . The air pumps on the old style heaters could be adjusted to suit the operator's nose. If the heater smells just adjust the pressure a little until it smells good. Not so with the new heaters- you adjust to suit the computer.
  • Air leak. If there is a crack in the plastic end cover, air line, fuel line, or nozzle adapter. These conditions create a lean mixture--poor flame color
  • Defective nozzle. Desa warns about annual replacement in their manuals. Depending on annual "hours used" this may or may not be your problem.
  • Defective control board and/or photocell. Eliminate all of the above reasons for your heater's failure before blaming the electronics.

Aug 29, 2011 | Desa International Reddy Heater R200BT...

1 Answer

What's wrong with my heater? It comes on, runs for a while at times, and then shuts off. The sensor flame light comes on. What could be causing this problem and how can I fix it?

Could be the Photocell at the back of the burner (flame sensor-try cleaning it off. Or test by jump the connectors. If it works then replace it) Photocells are easy to replace and when you install new one be sure it's pointing straight at the flame.

Feb 06, 2011 | Reddy Heater RH125T Kerosene Forced Air...

1 Answer

Heater keeps shutting off what could it be cant find manual to help

Use this manual to assist you in troubleshooting.

The manual will help you isolate the problem.

Things than can cause your symptoms:

1. Pump pressure incorrect

2. Dirty air intake, air output

and/or lint filter

3. Dirty fuel filter

4. Obstruction in nozzle

5. Photocell assembly not properly

installed (not seeing the flame)

6. Dirty photocell lens

7. Bad electrical connection between

photocell and ignition

control assembly

8. Defective photocell

9. Defective ignition control


10.Line voltage is below 108V or

above 132v

REMEDY corrosponds with 1 - 10 above

1. Fill tank with kerosene

2. See Pump Pressure Adjustment,

page 10

3. See Fuel Filter, page 11

4. See Nozzle Assembly, page 12

5. Drain and flush fuel tank with

clean kerosene. See Storing,

Transporting or Shipping,

page 7

6. Check electrical connections.

See Wiring Diagrams, page 16

7. Replace ignitor, see page 11

8. Replace ignition control


9. Check for proper line voltage

1. See Pump Pressure Adjustment,

page 10

2. See Air Output, Air Intake and

Lint Filters, page 10

3. See Fuel Filter, page 11

4. See Nozzle Assembly, page 12

5. Make sure photocell boot is

properly seated in bracket

6. Clean photocell lens

7. Check electrical connections.

See Wiring Diagrams, page 16

8. Replace photocell

9. Replace ignition control


10.Check for proper line voltage.

Disconnect power equipment

that may be used on same

Thanks for choosing FixYa,

Jan 09, 2011 | Reddy HEATER R115 115,000-BTU PORTABLE...

1 Answer

Unit will start, run about 5 seconds and

You did not state the model numbers of the heaters, so a good guess is all that I can do. Manuals might be available, but models are a must.

By your description the heaters are Hot Surface Ignitor types, opposed to the older technology spark plug heater. Right or wrong? Technology is different & troubleshooting is different.

The heaters are shutting down because the photocell is not seeing the flame, or the flame color is not absolutely correct. The photocell tells the computer to shut the heater down for safety reasons. It's going to be your job to troubleshoot and find out what's wrong.

READ these tips

Jan 06, 2009 | Reddy Heater-30-55,000 BTU Variable

1 Answer

Igniter lites up fan kicks on and within 5 sec shuts off

Dustin, The ignitor only glows for 5 seconds, just long enough to ignite the fuel. The heater is shutting down because the photocell does not see the correct flame color.
Since you say "comes on for 5 seconds", I can only assume that there is a flame. You do not specify a lack of flame. I am also assuming that you have had the heater running this heater season and the problem just started.

YOU must find out if the problem is fuel delivery related or electronics related. Start by checking the pump pressure.

Follow these troubleshooting tips

Dec 21, 2008 | Reddy Heater-70,000 BTU Kerosene w/T'stat

1 Answer


It sounds like either the photocell or control board is defective and you aren't going to like the solution. There is not much way to troubleshoot the electronic components without DESA's HA1170 diagnostic tool. The new style heaters are akin to the new style cars- Put the new part on and see if it fixes the problem.

But, don't rule out that you have a slight air pump adjustment problem, which is causing the flame to be off-color, which will cause the photocell to shut the heater down. By quickly grounding the photocell terminals, you are merely tricking the system. Watch your knuckles!

Read these troubleshooting tips

Dec 10, 2008 | Reddy Heater-170,000 BTU Kerosene Deluxe

1 Answer

Wont fire

No solution. The electronic control monitors the flame in the heater using a photocell. The ligth intensity and frequency are monitored to insure that the heater getting a good burn and therefore not emitting a high level of toxic gasses.

dirty photocell
bad fuel causing bad flame

Nov 17, 2008 | Reddy Heater-170,000 BTU Kerosene Deluxe

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