Propane Patio Heater Troubleshooting

Having a propane patio heater ensures that you are able to enjoy your outdoor patio year round. However, like anything, they may give you some issues from time to time. Normally these are easily fixed and you will not have to purchase any parts or materials to get them back in working order. Below are some hints and information on how to tell what is wrong with your propane heater, and how to fix it accordingly.

Tank Problems

Your propane tank may freeze up in any kind of weather. If you notice that your patio heater is freezing up, then you need to be sure that the tank is level. If this problem persists, you will need to get a new propane tank.

If your pilot won’t light then that could mean that the tank may be malfunctioning or has a leak. The pilot could also be clogged. Be sure that the cylinder valve isn’t completely closed. You will need to open it if it is, but be sure that it is not fully opened. Attempt to light your heater manually. If you are able to get it to light manually, this means that you will need to try to service the igniter switch. It may also need to be replaced.

No air should be in the gas line. You should open the gas line and press the control knob all the way in for no more than a minute or two, or when you begin to smell gas.

Pilot Lighting Issues

If your pilot will light, but immediately goes out regardless of it is turned on low or high, this could mean that the cylinder has a leak or is completely malfunctioning. This could also mean that the burner ports have been clogged. If this is the case, you will need to be sure that the cylinder is working properly and is at least filled two thirds of the way.

If after the pilot lights, it goes out after being switched into the ‘on’ position, this could mean that there is a blockage in your pilot. Bugs or spiders often get into the pilot assembly and cause this problem.

Check the connection in between your pilot assembly and the gas valve, these could be loose. If they are, be sure and do leak checks after you have tightened them. Cleaning the pilot assembly is sometimes the easiest and quickest fix.

Flame Burner

If your flame burner is low, this could mean that the gas pressure is low. Before you do anything, check to see if the hose is kinked or bent in any way. If this is not the case, be sure that the cylinder valve is in the off position, then replace the cylinder itself.


The best way to keep your propane patio heater working like new for as long as possible is by doing maintenance on it on a regular basis. The better care you take in checking up on your propane tank, the better chance you will have of not having as many problems with it in the long run.

With these tips, your propane patio heater should endure many barbecues. This means you and your guests will be warm and enjoying the deck all year!