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Why Does My Propane Heater Won’t Stay Lit? [5 Simple Solutions!]

It’s a cold chilly winter morning, you turn your heater on but it won’t stay lit. We know how incredibly frustrating that situation is. Especially when you want a relaxing day on the patio.

What to do when the propane heater won’t stay lit?

You have to start by detecting the core of the problem. The thermocouple or the pilot might be clogged. Thus, interrupting the heating process. Moreover, there might be an issue with the pilot orifice. Therefore you’ll have to repair it. Make sure to check the gas valves as well. 

Wondering how you can repair this? Well then keep on reading, as we walk you through the solutions.

How Do You Repair A Propane Heater That Won’t Stay Lit? Solved!

There might be a few different problems that might cause this. There might be issues with the pilot, thermocouple, or gas valves.

Don’t worry, because these problems are fixable. With the right set of tools and our guidance, you can easily do it! If you’ve repaired your heater emitting cold air, you’re already a pro!

It is a trial and error sort of problem. If the first solution doesn’t work for you, move onto the next. 

Let’s Gather The Essentials 

For this problem to be solved easily, you’ll need a couple of tools. 

Here’s a list of them:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Wrench
  • Detergent
  • Microfiber Towel
  • Sponges

Gather these tools, and let’s start fixing them.

Problem 1 of 5: You Might Be Placing The Heater Where It Shouldn’t Be

These heaters might be affected by the weather. Therefore, you need to keep in mind where you place it when you’re using it. Whenever you’re not using it, keep it inside. 


When you’re using a propane heater, place it considering the weather. 

For example, if you notice that your heater is getting wet, place it somewhere dry. Maybe in a sunshade or a canopy. And when it’s windy, place it against the wall. Or place it inside your garage or shade. 

Doing this will prevent your heater from having any long-term damage. 

Problem 2 of 5: There Might Be Buildup On The Pilot

Sometimes dirt, debris, cobwebs, or oil might build up in your heater. Therefore it might interrupt the burner from heating up properly. 

This might also be the reason for the heater not working. 


For this, you’ll have to clean the heater. Start by turning your gas off. This step is crucial because there are certain risks associated with heaters!

To clean this, mix a tablespoon of water to ½ liter of water. Then soak your sponge and wipe the top of the heater with it. And then using a microfiber towel clean all the buildups.

After you’re done cleaning, wait for 30 minutes for everything to dry off. Then you can turn your heater on and it should be working perfectly!

Problem 3 of 5: Your Thermocouple Might Be Dingy

The thermocouple is the one that keeps the pilot lit. After cleaning the pilot, if it still doesn’t stay lit, we’ll have to fix it. 

It’s just like how your food burns when the pressure cooker is out of water. Your heater too won’t function properly if it’s unclean. 


To fix this problem, you’ll have to clean the thermocouple. Start by turning off the fuel supply and removing the protective flame screen. After that, remove the nut to pull out the thermocouple using a screwdriver. 

Now using a hose rinse the thermocouple. Then dry it for 30 minutes and attach it again. Your heater should be working fine after this.

Problem 4 of 5: The Pilot Orifice Might Be Clogged

At times, even the pilot orifice can become clogged with dirt. Therefore, give it a good cleaning with equal parts of water and vinegar. However, if it still doesn’t work, replace the pilot orifice.

You can choose from some of these orifices. These are some of the finest ones in the market:

Product 1
Product 2 

Try one of these out, and trust me these won’t disappoint you! Now let’s see how we can replace it!


To clean this off, first turn off the gas connection. Then use your screwdriver to remove the burner shield screws and set the parts aside. Now, pull the control knob off and remove it. After that, remove the panel behind it. 

The gas valve assembly now. Take out the bottom cover of the pilot light. Then hold the screw of the pilot assembly and remove it. After that remove the hex nut connecting the gas line to the pilot assembly. And pull out the gas line. 

After that, you’ll reconnect the gas connection placing the ignitor as far as the cable goes. You’ll then replace the control knob, set it to pilot, and then push it. If you hear a hiss-like sound, this means it’s working. 

If it doesn’t, remove the orifice and blast compressed air through its tube. After that, put all the parts back the way you took them off. And it should be working now!

If not, move onto the next step.

Problem 5 of 5: The Gas Valves Might Have A Leak

The valve on this controls the gas pressure. Therefore, it’s very important to maintain its optimum performance. 

To detect if there’s a problem, check if the valve is loose. If so, then it’s probably leaking.


To fix the loose valve, you’ll simply have to tighten the valve. Take a wrench or a plier to tighten the valve. 

These are basically what you have to do to fix your heater up. Problems like your gas dryer not staying on and your heater too are common. You’ll just have to follow the steps and it’ll stay lit!


Question: How long does it take for water to get hot after lighting the pilot?
Answer: For a gas heater the time is about 30 to 40 minutes. But for an electric one, it takes about 1-1.5 hours for the water to heat.

Question: How long does a thermocouple last?
Answer: A thermocouple will last you at least 10 years. And sometimes even longer. It is an important device for your heater. And if it breaks, your heater will stop functioning. 

Question: Can a pilot light cause carbon monoxide?
Answer: At times this is a possibility. Check if the color of your pilot light is yellow or orange. If it is then it’s producing carbon monoxide. Therefore, once you detect it, have it checked by a professional. 


That was basically all from our end. Hope we helped with your propane heater won’t stay lit problem. You’ll just have to follow our guide and you’ll be all set.

If you face any difficulty in the process, take help from a professional.

Have a great day!