Need help with ventless propane heaters

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Jc05, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Jc05

    Jc05 Well-Known Member

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    My ventless propane heater keeps going out. I've blown it out the best I could, but not with an airtank, with a hand pump and a straw. I'm going to borrow an airtank today and try that. But when its on, the pilot has a nice blue flame, so I'm wondering it its the thermocouple? Or could it be something else? Anyone know of any way to test for problems? It is a 25,000btu propane Atlanta Stove. The best I can tell is that they are out of business so does anyone know where I would find parts?. .....
    Also, if I end up with a new one, Lowes sells a 30,000 btu "Comfort Glow brand".... These have the Blue Flame that looks like they burn continuously? Do these use more propane than the old kind that kick off an on?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We had a vented propane heater that done the same thing. The problem was corrosion on the end of the thermocoupler that was heated by the pilot light. I would scrape off the gray plaque like coating, and it was good to go for several weeks.
     

  3. Jc05

    Jc05 Well-Known Member

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    It does have some buildup on it, but I wasn't sure if I should be scraping around on it. I tried to wipe it off, but not much came off.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine was hard to reach, and I used a paring knife to reach in and scrape it. Done this for several years without any problem. If the pilot wasn't throwing the flame on it properly, I also used the knife to clean up the slot where the flame came out.
     
  5. Jc05

    Jc05 Well-Known Member

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    I found a troubleshooting website for another brand. Mine is pretty much just shutting off while in use and for that, it stated that it could either be low line pressure or partially clogged pilot. My tank is half full and our cookstove is on propane as well so I think my line pressure should be okay? So hopefully it is just a partially clogged pilot that an airtank will fix? But we blew it out the best we could without an airtank, it ran all night and the same thing the next night. But then last night, it would burn for a few minutes at best and then just kick off and the pilot would go out.
     
  6. Jc05

    Jc05 Well-Known Member

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    As to new ventless propane heaters, hopefully it won't come down to that, but what about the newer Blue flame type that heat with the blue flame rather than the old "glow type brick"? Are these anymore efficient ?
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When the thermocoupler isn't kept hot enough, it will shut the gas off completely causing the pilot light to go out also.
     
  8. Nette

    Nette Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have the blue flame type as a wall unit in our kitchen, and I love it. It will sufficiently heat our entire small house during a power outage. We've had it for several years, and haven't had to do any maintenance to it. On the other hand, last fall I bought an unvented cast iron heater for our week-end farmhouse, and I've been less pleased with that. It's really just gas logs in a cast iron stove firebox. It has a pretty flame amongst the hopelessly fake-looking logs. It heats fine. But...I think the propane smell is stronger than with the blue flame kind, and on this particular heater, the only thermostat offered was a remote thermostat, and that doesn't work reliably. Before the winter season ended last year, it wouldn't even come on. The pilot would light and stay lit, but the burner wouldn't come on. I got it "serviced" yesterday, and the man couldn't find anything wrong with it. Said he jiggled some of the wires in the back, and it came on. I'm not real crazy about "fixes" like that...

    Bottom line: I think I'd give up the pretty yellow flame for a blue flame.