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How To Fix A Patio Heater That Won’t Stay Lit How To Fix A Patio Heater That Won’t Stay Lit

Outdoor Furniture

How To Fix A Patio Heater That Won’t Stay Lit

Written by: Ethan Hayes

Learn how to fix your patio heater that won't stay lit and enjoy your outdoor furniture all year long.

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Outdoor furniture brings life to our outdoor spaces, allowing us to enjoy the beauty of nature while relaxing with family and friends. One essential item for outdoor comfort is a patio heater, which provides warmth during cooler evenings or chilly seasons. However, it can be frustrating when your patio heater refuses to stay lit, leaving you in the cold.

Before you think about replacing your patio heater or calling in a professional, there are several possible causes for this issue that you can investigate and fix yourself. In this article, we will explore the common reasons why a patio heater won’t stay lit and provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to fix it.

By following the troubleshooting tips and guidelines outlined in this article, you can potentially save time and money by resolving the issue on your own. So, let’s dive in and discover how to bring your patio heater back to life!

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t let a patio heater that won’t stay lit leave you in the cold. Troubleshoot and fix common issues like gas supply, ignition system, and weather conditions to enjoy cozy outdoor gatherings.
  • Regular maintenance, including cleaning burner ports and inspecting components, can prevent patio heater issues. When in doubt, seek professional help for safe and efficient repairs.

Possible Causes for a Patio Heater Not Staying Lit

When your patio heater fails to stay lit, there could be a variety of reasons behind this frustrating issue. Understanding these potential causes will help you narrow down the problem and find the appropriate solution. Here are some common culprits:

  1. Gas Supply Issues: One of the most common reasons for a patio heater not staying lit is a problem with the gas supply. This could be due to an empty or low propane tank, a faulty regulator, or a blockage in the gas line. Inspect the propane tank to ensure it has enough fuel and check for any kinks or obstructions in the gas line.
  2. Ignition System Problems: If the ignition system is malfunctioning, it could be preventing the patio heater from staying lit. The igniter electrode may be dirty or worn out, preventing it from creating a spark, or the thermocouple might be faulty and not sending the proper signal to the control valve. Cleaning or replacing these components may solve the issue.
  3. Thermocouple Issues: The thermocouple is a safety device that detects whether the pilot flame is lit. If it senses that the flame is not present, it shuts off the gas flow to prevent any risk of a gas leak. A dirty or malfunctioning thermocouple can cause the patio heater to shut off prematurely. Cleaning or replacing the thermocouple may resolve the issue.
  4. Wind and Weather Conditions: Strong winds or adverse weather conditions can affect the performance of a patio heater. Wind blowing out the flame or rainwater entering the burner assembly can prevent the heater from staying lit. Consider relocating the heater to a more sheltered area or using a windscreen to protect it from the elements.
  5. Blocked Burner Ports: Over time, dirt, debris, and spider webs can accumulate in the burner ports, obstructing the flow of gas and disrupting the flame. This can cause the heater to shut off or produce a weak flame that fails to stay lit. Cleaning the burner ports thoroughly can help restore proper functionality.

By examining these possible causes, you can start troubleshooting your patio heater and work towards finding a solution. In the next section, we will outline the tools and materials you will need to fix the problem.

Tools and Materials Needed for Fixing a Patio Heater

Before you begin troubleshooting and fixing your patio heater, it’s important to gather the necessary tools and materials. Having these items on hand will make the process smoother and more efficient. Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Adjustable wrench: This versatile tool will come in handy for loosening and tightening various connections on the patio heater.
  • Screwdriver set: A set of screwdrivers with different sizes and types (flathead and Phillips) will enable you to remove panels and access different components of the patio heater.
  • Wire brush: A wire brush is essential for cleaning dirt and debris from the burner ports and other components of the heater.
  • Compressed air canister: Using compressed air can help clear out any blockages in the gas line or burner ports.
  • Multimeter: A multimeter is useful for testing electrical components, such as the igniter electrode and thermocouple, to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Replacement parts: Depending on the specific issue with your patio heater, you may need to have certain replacement parts on hand. This could include a new igniter electrode, thermocouple, or regulator.
  • Protective gloves: It’s always a good idea to wear protective gloves while working on your patio heater to prevent any potential injuries.

In addition to these tools, you may also need the following materials:

  • Propane or butane gas refill: If your patio heater is running low on fuel, you will need to refill the propane or butane tank.
  • Clean cloth or rag: Having a clean cloth or rag nearby will help you wipe away any dirt, grease, or debris as you work on the patio heater.
  • Soapy water solution: This solution can be used to check for gas leaks by applying it to the connections and watching for any bubbles indicating a leak.

Now that you have gathered all the necessary tools and materials, you are ready to start fixing your patio heater. In the next section, we will provide a step-by-step guide to help you troubleshoot and address the issue.

Check the thermocouple for dirt or damage. If it’s dirty, clean it with a soft cloth. If it’s damaged, replace it with a new one. This could be the reason why your patio heater won’t stay lit.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fixing a Patio Heater that Won’t Stay Lit

Now that you have your tools and materials ready, it’s time to begin troubleshooting and fixing your patio heater. Follow these step-by-step instructions to help you address the issue:

  1. Inspect the gas supply: Check the propane or butane tank to ensure it has enough fuel. If it’s low or empty, refill or replace the tank as needed. Make sure the gas valve is fully open, and check for any kinks or obstructions in the gas line.
  2. Check the ignition system: Examine the igniter electrode for dirt, corrosion, or wear. Clean it carefully with a wire brush or replace it if necessary. Test the igniter by turning the control knob to the pilot position and pressing the ignition button. If the electrode sparks properly, the ignition system is functioning. If not, check the wiring and connections for any issues.
  3. Inspect the thermocouple: Make sure the thermocouple is positioned correctly in the flame of the pilot light. If it’s not in the flame or if it’s dirty, carefully remove it and clean it with a wire brush. If cleaning doesn’t solve the problem, the thermocouple may need to be replaced.
  4. Consider wind and weather conditions: If windy conditions are causing the flame to go out, try moving the patio heater to a more sheltered location. You can also use a windscreen or create a barrier to protect the flame from strong gusts. Ensure that the burner assembly is free from any moisture that may have entered during rain or snowfall.
  5. Clean the burner ports: Use a wire brush to gently clean the burner ports, removing any dirt, debris, or spider webs that may be obstructing the gas flow. Ensure that the ports are clean and clear before reassembling the heater.
  6. Test for gas leaks: Mix a solution of soapy water and apply it to all the connections, valves, and hoses. Turn on the gas supply and observe if any bubbles form. If you notice bubbles, there may be a gas leak, and you should tighten or replace the affected connections.
  7. Replace faulty components: If you have identified that a specific component, such as the igniter electrode or thermocouple, is faulty and cleaning it hasn’t resolved the issue, you may need to replace that part. Ensure you have the correct replacement part for your patio heater model and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.
  8. Reassemble and test: Once you have cleaned, repaired, or replaced the necessary components, reassemble the patio heater and ensure all connections are secure. Turn on the gas supply, follow the lighting instructions, and test whether the patio heater stays lit as expected.

Remember, safety is paramount when working with gas-powered appliances. If you are uncomfortable or unsure about any aspect of fixing your patio heater, it’s always best to consult a professional technician to ensure proper repairs and maintenance.

By following these steps, you should be able to troubleshoot and fix the issue that was causing your patio heater to not stay lit. In the next section, we will conclude our article by summarizing the key points and emphasizing the importance of regular maintenance.


A patio heater that won’t stay lit can be a frustration, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve the issue on your own. By identifying the possible causes, gathering the necessary tools and materials, and following a step-by-step guide, you can bring your patio heater back to full functionality.

Remember to check the gas supply, inspect the ignition system and thermocouple, consider wind and weather conditions, clean the burner ports, test for gas leaks, and replace any faulty components. By addressing these areas, you can overcome common issues that may be preventing your patio heater from staying lit.

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your patio heater working efficiently. Clean the burner ports regularly to prevent debris buildup, inspect the ignition system and thermocouple for wear or damage, and ensure proper gas supply and connections. By taking these preventive measures, you can avoid future problems and extend the lifespan of your patio heater.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable with any aspect of troubleshooting or fixing your patio heater, it’s always recommended to seek the assistance of a professional technician. They have the expertise, knowledge, and tools to handle more complex repairs and ensure your safety.

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge and know-how to fix a patio heater that won’t stay lit, you can enjoy the warmth and comfort it provides during your outdoor gatherings. Don’t let a minor issue dampen your outdoor experience – get your patio heater back in working order and continue enjoying the great outdoors!

Frequently Asked Questions about How To Fix A Patio Heater That Won't Stay Lit

Why does my patio heater keep going out?

Your patio heater may keep going out due to a variety of reasons, such as a dirty or clogged burner, a faulty thermocouple, or a problem with the gas supply. It’s important to troubleshoot and identify the specific issue before attempting to fix it.
Can I fix my patio heater that won’t stay lit on my own?

Yes, you can fix your patio heater that won’t stay lit on your own in many cases. Simple issues like cleaning the burner or adjusting the thermocouple can often be resolved with basic tools and some DIY know-how.
What should I do if my patio heater won’t stay lit after following the manufacturer’s instructions?

If your patio heater still won’t stay lit after following the manufacturer’s instructions, it’s best to reach out to their customer support for further assistance. They may be able to provide specific troubleshooting steps or recommend a professional technician.
How often should I clean and maintain my patio heater to prevent it from going out?

It’s a good idea to clean and maintain your patio heater at least once a year, preferably before the start of the outdoor season. Regular maintenance can help prevent issues that may cause the heater to go out unexpectedly.
Are there any safety precautions I should take when trying to fix my patio heater?

Yes, there are several safety precautions to keep in mind when fixing a patio heater. Always turn off the gas supply and allow the heater to cool down before attempting any repairs. Additionally, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and use protective gear when necessary. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional.

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