My patio propane heater shuts off even though there is still plenty of propane, why?

April 30, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Outdoor Patio Heaters

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3 Responses to “My patio propane heater shuts off even though there is still plenty of propane, why?”
  1. Propane Guy says:

    Never NEVER EVER turn a propane cylinder upside down!!!!!!!!

    That is extremely dangerous! Have I made that clear enough?

    Domestic appliances including patio heaters are designed for vapor withdrawal. When the appliance is operating, the liquid in the tank boils to create more vapor. When it changes state from a liquid to a vapor it is expanding 277 times!!! That is how a small container with about 4 gallons of liquid propane can run a grill for so long.

    When you turn the cylinder upside down you are sending liquid to the burner orifice! With the heater running you will now have liquid coming out of the orifice, expanding 277 times into FAR more vapor than the appliance was ever designed to handle, and then burning! You will have huge flames coming out of it. The other dangerous problem with this practice is that when you shut off the gas supply, it will take several minutes for the liquid in the lines and regulator to boil off. You will basically have no control over the burner for several minutes!

    What is probably happening is that the cylinder cannot vaporize enough to supply the heater. The colder the outside temperature is the more difficult it is for the cylinder to "keep up" with the demand of the appliance. Does the cylinder become covered in frost? Does the flame slowly fade away and then suddenly shut down altogether? If so you may need to use larger cylinders.

    If it just shuts down when it’s operating normally , it may be either a faulty thermocouple or gas valve.

  2. darrell h says:

    The propane could be too cold and turn to liquid form.If you have a bottle w/ hose attached turn the bottle upside down.DO NOT take inside to warm up.This could cause the gas to expand causing an explosion.Good Luck.D

  3. imadriana says:

    The first answer was a good one, but it may also be that there is a safety feature on your heater that is shutting it off. Could be a CO2 sensor or something like that. Go to the website of the manufacturer and ask them for tips, just to be safe.

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