Question about RTO Bernzomatic Brushed Nickel Patio Heater

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I have been trying to ignite heater but it will not light. I removed the gas line going from the tank to a brass valve and then opened the valve on the propane tank and smelt gas.I then reconected the line and disconected the lines going to the pilot and the burner and got no gas smell.The control knob on top was also opened. I can hear a clicking noise when the knob is turned to ignight. What do you think? Can you help?

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I had the same problem and fixed it with a small piece of Aluminum foil, an adjustable wrench, and a #2 screwdriver... If you're "handy", this is an easy 30 minute fix. I included a picture that may help you visualize the "fix" before attempting. In short, I'm not certain what happened or why/how it broke, but if you remove the valve/manifold you can blow air into the gas inlet (with your mouth) and adjust the knob and you will see that only when it's all the way pushed down you can blow air through the valve, otherwise n air/gas can not get through. Thats why the pilot will light, and when you let the knob out the flame goes out. If that is your problem, this fix will work. After I put the foil (explained below) to extend the brass pushrod that allows gas to enter the manifold, it worked as expected allowing air/gas to enter only when on "light" and through the LO to High sweep.

Step 1) Shut off gas and remove tank.

Step 2) Remove the black gas On/Off knob (pulls off)

Step 3) Remove the three on thumb screws inside the tank storage area to allow the entire top/heater mesh to slide down (like intended to store it, or how it came shipped in the box). Sliding this down will expose the bracket the manifold/valve mounts to.

Step 4) Remove the spring clip and washers from the stem on the valve. Remember the order, and dont lose any parts as this works your igniter. (I usually take a picture with my phone on these types of things, so I can recall how they went.)

Step 5) Carefully remove all the gas lines from the valve and the grounding wire at the rear of the manifold.

Step 6) Remove the two small Phillips screws that hold the valve to the bracket.

Step 7) Remove the valve from the unit.

Step 8) Remove the two small #2 Phillips screws that hold the aluminum and the brass parts together on the valve.

Step 9) Give a slight tug and the two pieces will come apart easily. A small aluminum part may fall out; this is okay as it only goes in one way.

Step 10) Take a small piece of aluminum foil 1 1/2 inches by 7 inches or so, and wadd it tight into a ball. I used pliers to get it tight and small (bigger than BB, but smaller than the end of a pencil eraser) You will see that it needs to go inside the channel where the brass stem will slide in and out of the "slotted" tube on the stem.

Step 11) Put it back together and try the "blow test" again to see if the aluminum ball was the right size to make it work ...again. I had to do this a few times to get the right size "extension". Also, be sure to blow into the "main" gas inlet and adjust the gas control knob through the push in and "light" the pilot mode all through the Hi/Lo sweep.

Reverse your steps and give it a try. Mine lights every time and works perfect. ...actually better than new, as it was always a task to light.

Hope this was helpful, as this was my first post...
I have been trying to ignite heater but it will - 7a355e5.jpg

Posted on Dec 15, 2009

  • 4 more comments 
  • Snewt Jun 21, 2011

    FANTASTIC! Thank you for posting these detailed instructions.

    I can ADD: I tried the aluminum foil ball, but struggled to find the right size. So instead it dawned on me that I had a package of some of those small, white replacement mechanical-pencil erasers. Cylindrically - they were the perfect diameter to fit inside the brass channel, and I could also trim-trim-trim it down to find the perfect length. Also, I was able to taper one end with an X-acto knife to match the brass end piece, and drilled a tiny bit out of the other end to meet the silver "pin" of the knob stem. (ie: male-female ends)

  • nickmo81
    nickmo81 Oct 16, 2012

    I CANNOT get the control knob back together so that the knob will turn. It took me forever to get it to push in. What am I doing wrong?

  • nickmo81
    nickmo81 Oct 16, 2012

    I CANNOT get the control knob back together so that it will turn to adjust the heat. What am I doing wrong? I have been working on this fix far too long now...

  • nickmo81
    nickmo81 Oct 16, 2012

    I cannot get the stem back together so that the control knob will turn. What am I doing wrong?

  • john Farrugia Nov 11, 2012

    I am also having the same issue. I understand the units have a shut off if the unit is tipped too far. I read a while back that this can cause problems even after it is upright. Does anyone (nickmo81) have any ideas on this. I cannot even get the pilot to light, I have gas coming from the hose off the tank, Once I reconnect this fitting everything stops......

  • nickmo81
    nickmo81 Nov 28, 2012

    John, we finally got our put back together properly. It all has to fit just so and it took two pairs of hands to get it back together. Were you able to get yours back together? My control knob is actully a little tight now, but works.

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