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trouble with a vented propane wall heater

I have a 3 yr old vented Propane wall heater that is not working properly. The problem started with an occasional weak pilot causing the unit to shut off. Now the pilot is weak all the time and will not stay lit. If I bypass the pilot circuit and light the burner manually, it operates normally. Other things I have checked are the thermocouple. It works and will hold the pilot circuit open if heated with a small flame on a torch. Also, checked the pilot tube and orfice. The tube is clean, and I can put a .02 mm calibration wire through the orifice. I'm pretty good at engineering type issues, but this one has me stumped. Housewarmer (heater brand) tells me a new controller is around $200. Really don't want to go there if possible, especially since I'm not sure that is the problem. Anyone have an idea?
Thank you so much for your time.


  • JcDc2017
    JcDc2017 Member Posts: 4
    It sounds like the pilot flame is not strong enough to heat the thermocouple properly. Dust is a big problem for standing pilot systems. Be sure to clean the whole pilot assembly not just the pilot orifice. A good thermocouple reading would be in the 20 millivolt range. Also the flame should be all blue no yellow like a candle. Sometimes you can notice a little orange in the tip of the flame and that is normal for propane unlike natural gas. The flame should be well formed and not lazy. I hope you find this to help. Joe
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    could be a regulator issue. With LP you need 11" water column on your supply in.
  • JcDc2017
    JcDc2017 Member Posts: 4
    I agree. Not having the proper supply gas pressure would cause a poor pilot flame aswell.
  • newagedawn
    newagedawn Member Posts: 586
    pilot flame adjustment , or thermocouple
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • BenRestin
    BenRestin Member Posts: 3
    How in the world are you jumping the pilot operation to manually fire the heater?

    There are some strange systems on there on some small heaters, one pipe for L.P. one pipe for natural, selectors in very strange places, some with pilot generators, for control and thermocouple for safety shut down. And on some the tube the pilot shoots thru needs to be clean of dust, and yes it does! Oh and spiders, they love pilot burners almost as they loved the air tubes on the old Tappan heat pumps. Up there above on the thermocouple/pilot generator
    control, they both have to be in near perfect working order to operate.

    Ben Restin