Top Tips to Fix a Patio Heater

Top patio heater repair tips

Always start with the simplest causes and work down the list. One of the most common errors is to misdiagnosing a pilot with a blockage and drilling a small hole to fix the problem! Never drill the pilot light, once the hole has been drilled the burner will act like a flame thrower and is a write-off!

First check the gas cylinder has fuel and is switched on. This may be obvious but it can be hard to calculate how much gas is in the cylinder. Take the LPG hose of the regulator and turn the gas on for 2 to 3 seconds (no longer) outdoors and away from any naked flame and do not smoke while making any repairs. If you can smell and hear gas them the cylinder has fuel.

To check if the ignitor works just push the piezo red button and place your thumb on the other end. You should feel a sharp sting and hear it click, if not then the ignitor needs replacing. These are very easy to replace, just pull the ignitor lead off the rear of the ignitor and unscrew to remove. Replace with a new ignitor.

The first consumable part to wear is a thermocouple, these can last anywhere between 1 year if you are unlucky and up to 6 years depending on the use of the patio heater, storage and type. Changing the thermocouple fixes 90% of all firing problems. An easy way to work out what the parts look like and how to fix them is to view a patio heaters thermocouple on the patio heater to get a match to your type of patio heater.

Next on the consumables list is the electromagnetic valve. If a new thermocouple hasn’t fixed the lighting problem take a look at the electromagnetic valve. This sits inside the gas control valve and is accessed by unscrewing the bolt that holds the electromagnetic valve in place. When changing always use plumbers tape to reseal joints and before lighting the burner check with a leakage test. This is done by using a soap solution of one part liquid detergent (washing-up liquid) and one part water. The soapy solution is applied to the joints using a clean spray bottle or clean paint brush. Turn the LPG gas supply on but do not light the burner. Make sure the safety control valve on the burner is in the OFF position. If a leak is present, turn off the LPG gas supply. Tighten any fittings and re-test. Continue checking until all leaks and connections are tighten according the manufacturer’s instructions.

Third consumable part is a tilt switch. These can cause similar firing problems to mimic a worn thermocouple. Simple to change on most patio heaters, these are attached via two leads that push on to the tilt switch. Just unclip and swap for a new tilt switch. On some models the tilt switch is soldered on via 2 leads, if your patio heater’s tilt switch has been soldered you will need to adjust accordingly.

If all above components are working OK on your patio heater then you’ll need more specialist help. There are many cheap and cheerful tin plated patio heaters on the market and these are non repairable.