How Do You Fix A Patio Heater Igniter? Quick Steps To Follow
A patio heater can be a great addition to your outdoor space, providing warmth and comfort during cooler evenings. However, patio heaters can develop problems over time, like any other appliance. One of the most common issues with patio heaters is a faulty igniter. Fortunately, fixing a patio heater igniter is a relatively straightforward process that can be done with a few simple tools. I take a closer look at how to fix a patio heater igniter.
Step 1: Check the Gas Supply
Before you start troubleshooting the igniter, it’s important to ensure enough gas in the tank. If the tank is empty, the igniter will not work. To check the gas supply, turn off the gas valve on the tank and disconnect the regulator. Then, lift the tank and shake it. If you can hear gas sloshing inside, the tank has gas. If you can’t hear anything, the tank is empty and needs to be refilled.
Step 2: Clean the Igniter
If the tank has gas, the next step is to clean the igniter. Over time, the igniter can become dirty or corroded, which can prevent it from sparking. First, clean the igniter, turn off the gas valve and disconnect the tank from the heater. Then, remove the access cover that covers the igniter. Use a small brush or a toothbrush to clean the igniter’s tip gently. Remove any dirt, debris, or corrosion that may have accumulated on the igniter.
Step 3: Check the Spark Gap
If cleaning the igniter does not solve the problem, the next step is to check the spark gap. The spark gap is the distance between the igniter and the burner. If the gap is too large, the igniter cannot create a spark. To check the spark gap, remove the access cover that covers the igniter and the burner. Then, use a screwdriver to adjust the spark gap. The gap should be about 1/8 of an inch. Once you have adjusted the gap, replace the access cover.
Step 4: Replace the Igniter
If cleaning the igniter and adjusting the spark gap does not solve the problem, you may need to replace the igniter. First, turn off the gas valve and disconnect the tank from the heater to do this. Then, remove the access cover that covers the igniter. Use a screwdriver to remove the old igniter and disconnect the wires from the back of the igniter. Then, connect the wires to the new igniter and screw them into place. Finally, replace the access cover.
Step 5: Test the Heater
Once you have completed the above steps, it’s time to test the heater to see if the igniter is working properly. Turn on the gas valve and ignite the heater. If the igniter sparks and the heater ignites, then the problem has been fixed. If not, you may need to repeat the above steps or call a professional to help you troubleshoot the issue.
Why Is My Patio Gas Heater Not Igniting?
A patio gas heater may not ignite due to a variety of reasons. Here are some common reasons why a patio gas heater may not ignite:
- Empty Gas Tank: The most common reason for a gas heater not igniting is an empty gas tank. If the gas tank is empty, the heater will not ignite. Check the gas level in the tank and refill it if necessary.
- Gas Pressure: Gas pressure is another common reason for a gas heater not igniting. Low gas pressure can prevent the heater from igniting. Check the gas pressure and adjust it if necessary.
- Faulty Thermocouple: The thermocouple is a safety device that detects the presence of a flame. If the thermocouple is faulty or dirty, it may not detect the flame, and the gas heater will not ignite.
- Dirty Burner: A dirty burner can prevent the gas heater from igniting. Dirt and debris can accumulate on the burner over time, blocking the gas flow to the igniter.
- Faulty Igniter: A faulty igniter is another common reason for a gas heater not igniting. The igniter creates a spark that ignites the gas. If the igniter is faulty, it may not create a spark, preventing the gas heater from igniting.
- Air in the Gas Line: Air in the gas line can prevent the gas heater from igniting. To remove air from the gas line, turn on the gas valve and allow the gas to flow for a few minutes before igniting the heater.
Do Patio Heater Igniters Have Batteries?
It depends on the type of patio heater igniter. Batteries power some patio heater igniters, while others are powered by piezoelectricity.
Piezo-electric igniters generate a spark by striking a crystal with a small hammer. These igniters do not require batteries as they generate their electricity through the mechanical action of the hammer striking the crystal.
On the other hand, battery-powered igniters use a battery to generate a spark. These igniters usually have a small battery located inside the igniter housing.
If you’re having trouble with your patio heater igniter, it’s important to check the battery (if applicable) and replace it if necessary. It’s also important to ensure that the battery contacts are clean and make good contact with the battery to ensure proper igniter operation.
Can You Manually Light A Patio Heater?
Yes, you can manually light a patio heater if the automatic igniter is not working or if the heater does not have an automatic igniter. Here’s how to manually light a patio heater:
- Turn off the gas supply valve: Before attempting to light the patio heater manually, turn off the gas supply valve located near the heater.
- Locate the pilot light assembly: The pilot light assembly is usually located near the bottom of the heater. You will need to remove the access panel to access the assembly.
- Turn the gas knob to the pilot: Turn the gas knob to the pilot position and press it down to allow gas to flow to the pilot light assembly.
- Light the pilot light: Use a long lighter or match to light the pilot light. Hold the flame to the pilot light assembly while pressing down on the gas knob for about 30 seconds.
- Release the gas knob: After 30 seconds, release the gas knob. The pilot light should remain lit.
- Turn on the heater: Turn the gas knob to the on position to ignite the main burner. The heater should now be lit.
If the pilot light does not stay lit after releasing the gas knob or if the heater does not light after turning on the gas knob, turn off the gas supply valve and consult a professional to troubleshoot the issue.
Fixing a patio heater igniter is a simple process that can be done with a few basic tools. Following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your patio heater works properly, providing warmth and comfort during cooler evenings. Always turn off the gas valve and disconnect the tank before performing any maintenance on your patio heater.