8 Reasons & Solutions Why Propane Heater Flares Up!

8 Reasons & Solutions Why Propane Heater Flares Up!

Propane heaters are widely used in households. They are popular for their services. But they are also very sensitive and can malfunction easily. And such a common malfunction is the heater flaring up.

So, why does the propane heater flares up?

The heater flares up because of an irregular gas supply which can occur due to inaccurate gas pressure, sticky regulators, and supply tube blockage. Cracked and corroded burners are responsible as well. To avoid flaring up, these parts must be maintained properly.

These techniques will help you to stop the sudden flair of your propane heater. I have discussed the details of these techniques below. So keep reading!

Why Does The Propane Heater Flare Up?

The Propane heater can flare up for various issues. However, all of these issues are solvable. You will require the correct techniques just like troubleshooting the Warm Morning heater to solve these issues. 

Problem Solution
Inaccurate Gas Pressure Fuelling The Heater Correctly 
Sticky Pressure Regulator Clean The Regulator 
Insufficient Oxygen Supply Ensure Oxygen Supply 
Clogged Gas in The Air Tube Removing Obstacles from The Tube
Cracked Ceramic Burner Replace The Burner
Corroded Burner Clean The Burner
Broken Seal Replace The Sealant 
Manufacturing Defect  Change The Unit

This table is enough to get ideas about the reasons causing the heater to flare up. But you will need more detailed instructions for solving them. 

Reason 1: Inaccurate Gas Pressure

The flow of gas in the flames becomes abnormal due to inaccurate gas pressure. So, the flames will flare up suddenly and get bigger.

The propane heater runs on propane gas. And there is an accurate gas pressure for the heater just like propane furnace gas pressure

Inaccurate gas pressure is the result of over-fuelling the heater. Then more gas will be used in the firing process and the patio heater flares up.

Solution:

Fill up the heater with an accurate amount of propane gas to avoid situations like Mr. Heater’s flame being too high. The correct amount of fuel needed for the heater is available in the propane heater manual

Normally, this pressure should be between 100 and 200 psi. However, follow the manual to avoid this type of problem. 

Reason 2: Sticky Pressure Regulator

Sticky Pressure Regulator

Source: uweld.com

The regulator controls the flow of the gas. If it is sticky, the flow of gas becomes irregular and abnormal. As a result, the heater flares up.

The most common issue causing Propane heaters safety issues like flaring up is a sticky regulator. Propane heaters produce oil as a byproduct while producing heat. This oil gets accumulated on the pressure regulator after a certain period.

As a result, it does not work properly. The sticky regulator hampers the flow of gas. Then you might fail to light the heater despite knowing the correct way of lighting a propane heater.

Solution:

The gas regulator should be cleaned regularly to stop the formation of sticky materials. 

  • Mix 1/4 cup of dish soap and water in a bowl. 
  • Disconnect the hose and brush all connections with this solution. 
  • Clean the connection between the regulator and tank, the regulator and hose, and the hose and grill.

However, sometimes the regulator can get sticky and stop working despite cleaning it. In that case, replace the regulator. The price of the regulator is quite reasonable. It costs around $10 to $20. Changing it should solve the issue of flaring up.

Reason 3: Insufficient Oxygen Supply

Oxygen is a very necessary element for the burning of propane gas. Without it, the produced flame will be irregular. This phenomenon is known as incomplete combustion. And this situation can cause sudden flairs in the heater.

Mainly, the fluctuations in the oxygen supply make the fire flare up. The fire bursts into flames when the supply suddenly increases and dims again when it decreases. Incomplete combustion can also produce carbon monoxide in the room.

Solution:

Ensure enough oxygen supply in the room with the propane heater. Opening the windows should be enough. 

You can also install two carbon monoxide meters in the room. The meters will alert you if there is excess carbon monoxide in the air. Two meters are for the utmost safety in case one of them fails. 

Reason 4: Clogged Gas in The Air Tube

The pipes or tubes supplying the gas gets dirty with time. As a result, the radius of the tube decreases and consequently the supply of gas also decreases. Moreover, sometimes the tubes get clogged completely due to debris formation. 

Propane gas can not go through the pipe in such a condition. Thus, the air-fuel mixture needed for the firing gets unbalanced. That’s why the heater fire flares up and causes sudden outbursts. 

Solution:

You have to keep the gas tubes clean to avoid this type of situation. Unplug the heater and let it cool. Then blast the tubes using compressed air to remove the blockages inside the pipe. 

This will ensure proper air-fuel mixture and thus no sudden flair-ups.

Reason 5: Cracked Ceramic Burner

Cracked or broken burners will not be able to produce a normal fire. Gas escapes through the cracks and the fire flares up.

The propane gas heater comes with a ceramic burner. This burner improves the efficiency of gas combustion. The holes on the burner help to increase efficiency. However, the burner must be intact for carrying out this purpose. 

Cracked burners bring nothing but problems to the heater. Sometimes the propane heater pilot lights but not the burner due to a cracked ceramic burner.

Solution:

The only way to solve this issue is to replace the ceramic burner. The burners are easily available and the cost is also reasonable. The burners can be disassembled without any trouble. Then install the new burners and the problem should be solved.

Reason 6: Corroded Burner

Corroded burners do not have perfect holes for passing the gas. As a result, the gas supply becomes non-uniform and the flame flares up.

Oily disposals and different filths are produced on the burners of the propane gas heater. They cause corrosion and sediment build-ups in the burners. And these things clog the holes of the burner. Thus the combustion of the fuel is hampered. The propane heater not working right can be due to this. 

The fire flares up as a result of the hampered combustion. Moreover, the propane heater pilot won’t stay lit if the burners are too much filthy. 

Solution:

Keeping the heater clean is an important part of propane heater troubleshooting. The situation of corroded burners can be easily handled by cleaning them regularly. Here is a guideline for cleaning the burner. 

Required Instruments:

The following tools will be needed to solve this problem. 

Gather these instruments before starting your work. 

Procedure: 

Follow the below-given steps properly to clean your propane heater burner.

  • Turn off the heater first and let it cool for about thirty minutes. 
  • Remove the heater panels using the wrench and drill extensions.
  • You will find the burner box inside the panel. Open the box and take out the burner. Make sure to remember the placement of the burner to avoid future hassles.
  • Now clean the burners using the brass brush. Clean it thoroughly to remove dirt and filth from all the small holes.
  • Reinstalled the burner inside the heater and reassemble the panels.

You can easily clean the burner of your heater by following the above procedures. 

Reason 7: Broken Seal

The propane gas escapes from the heater if the seal is broken. This escaped gas causes the fire to flare up.

The propane heater comes with a high-temperature seal. The seal prevents the leakage of gas from the fuel tank during combustion. But this seal sometimes gets broken after continuous usage. Then the flaring issue along with other problems is observed.

Solution: 

There is no way to repair or mend the seal. It has to be replaced. This is complex and sophisticated work. So, get your heater checked by a professional in this type of case to appropriately replace the sealant. The sealant price varies between $15 to more. Make sure to get the best sealant according to your budget.

Reason 8: Manufacturing Defect 

Sometimes the propane heater flares up because of a manufacturing defect. Any error in the design or usage of faulty components in the heater will make the heater flare up.

This reason is applicable only if the heater flares up during its first operation after buying. Check all the other parameters in such a case. Make sure the heater gets enough air and the fuel tank is filled properly. If it still flares up, there is something wrong with its manufacturing and design. 

Solution: 

Since the propane heater is still new, the seller will replace it. Do not waste any time and return it to the seller with the warranty card. Also, do not try to open the heater for repairs. Doing this will void the heater warranty and the seller won’t replace your model.

Tips on Maintaining the Propane Heater to Prevent Flare Up

propane heaters shooting flames

Source: shutterstock.com

You might be thinking, can a propane heater explode due to flair-up issues? Yes, it can. So, you should be very careful about maintaining your propane heater. Then you’ll be able to prevent different issues like propane heaters shooting flames.

  • Clean the heater regularly. Carefully clean the regulator, burner, and all the other parts of the heater.
  • Check for leakages and blocks in the tubes periodically.
  • Get the propane heater checked by a professional every year. This will save you from potential accidents. 
  • Abstain from bringing flammable materials near the gas heater.
  • Maintain a distance of at least three feet between the heater and your children or pet.

These tips will help you to handle problems like kerosene smell from propane heaters and other issues. So, don’t forget to follow them!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

Can propane heater fumes make you sick? 

Yes, propane heater fumes can make you sick. Though propane fumes are not toxic, they can be harmful to you. Propane fumes replace the oxygen inside the inhaler’s lungs. Thus, the inhaler faces difficulties in breathing. However, this problem only occurs if the concentration of the fume is high. 

How do you stop a propane heater explosion?

You can stop a propane explosion by taking some simple actions. Turn off the gas valve when the heater is not in use. Check the tube connections regularly to avoid leakage. Also, keep flammable substances away from the heater flame. Lastly, remember to keep the propane gas container upright. 

What are the signs of propane poisoning?

The signs of propane poisoning are similar to suffocating symptoms. The person affected by propane poisoning will feel headache and dizziness. Nausea, passing out, and physical weakness are also common signs of propane poisoning. If you are feeling these symptoms, ask for help immediately. 

Conclusion

This is all on your query: propane heater flares up. I hope that now you would be able to solve the flaring issue easily. 

Sometimes you might smell gas or any other odd odor. Turn off the propane heater immediately because gas leakage can cause disastrous accidents. Let the gas smell fade away and then check the heater properly for problems.


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