Troubleshooting a Home Gas Heater

Troubleshooting a Home Gas Heater

When correctly installed, natural and propane gas wall and room heaters give trouble-free relaxation, and when they do error, the problem is usually easy to solve. The problems you are most likely to experience are associated with blocked gas tubes and also affordable, replaceable parts. Through the course of servicing your heater, you might need to disassemble a gas fitting, so it is a fantastic idea to have a little wrench, some pliers and a screwdriver handy plus a little bit of basic do-it-yourself experience.

The Pilot Won’t Start

Many vented and ventless heaters come with automatic piezoelectric sparkers, and if the unit doesn’t click when you press on the button, then it has to be replaced. If you’re able to see a spark, but the pilot doesn’t come on, it might be just because you forgot to turn on the gas or the gas tank is empty. If you are using the heater for the first time in the winter season, it might take some time for gas to displace the air in the pilot tubing. Be patient and keep trying, but when nothing else happens after about five minutes, it is time to imagine that a blockage in the pilot tubing. You can clear this using a part of 14-gauge wire.

The Pilot Won’t Stay Lit

On most units, you need to keep the pilot button depressed for approximately ten seconds after the pilot lights to enable the thermocouple to warm up. If the pilot goes out when you release the button, then try again; repeated failures of the pilot to stay lit indicate that the thermocouple is not heating up correctly or is not working. Check the pilot flame, and when it is less than an inch in height — and it is yellow or orange — clear out the pilot tubing using a wire or compressed air. If the pilot flame is large and blue, but it wo not stay on, the thermocouple is too far away or it requires replacement.

The Burners Go Off

Once the burners start, they should stay on until your turn them off or the thermostat cycles them off. If they go off prematurely, assess the thermostat — it might be set too low. When there’s no thermostat or the thermostat is set correctly, the problem is usually related to air circulation. If yours is a ventless heater that burns oxygen from the room, try opening the window slightly to increase air circulation. Direct-vent heaters draw atmosphere air out, and blockages in the air ports curtail circulation around the burners, so check the ports. The issue can even be blockages in the burners, which you are able to clear by poking a wire in the burner orifices.

Poor Heating

When natural or propane gas is burning effectively, the flame is predominantly blue, and it might have specks of yellow. A flame that’s predominantly orange or yellow, accompanied by poor heating operation, indicates impurities in the pilot tubing, burners or gas line. Wash the pilot tubing and burner orifices by flushing the tubes using compressed air. If the problem persists, have your pipes inspected by a certified gas professional. In case the flames in your heater are blue and constant, and you are not getting sufficient heat, it means that you want a bigger heater.

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