Do you heat your home with affordable, clean-burning propane? Propane, renowned for affordability, cleanliness and versatility, is an essential fuel for many homeowners. This abundant, energy-rich gas offers several significant benefits, such as dependability, environmental friendliness and significant long-term cost savings.

However, a propane heating system requires routine preventive maintenance to optimize efficiency, mitigate safety issues and streamline operational performance. This propane maintenance guide will assist you in keeping your system operating safely and efficiently.

Lack of Ignition

A common propane heater maintenance issue occurs when the motor runs, but the heating unit does not ignite. This ignition failure could mean the igniter wire is disconnected or the igniter needs replacing. If a spark is present, it could indicate the lack of sufficient propane supply or that components of your system require replacement.

Leak Tests

propane leak test is crucial after any service interruption or system modification. National Fire Protection Association standard 54 mandates these tests to ensure your system’s safety and efficiency. 

During a leak test, professionals check for any leakage and confirm that the system has adequate pressure. They will also ensure that the pipe joint compound hasn’t retracted or expanded, which could lead to leaks. Whether performed after a new installation or during a routine check, leak testing is vital to propane tank maintenance. 

Pilot Issues

Many propane heat systems operate via a standing pilot. The standing pilot is a small, constantly burning flame that ignites the propane fuel at the burner of most propane appliances. This flame is typically visible through a small opening located near the gas knob. Pilot lights aren’t included when an appliance has an electric ignition. Where applicable, the pilot light ignites the main burner in your device. Without the ignition to light a flame, your dryer, propane items and heater system will not be able to start heating.

A healthy flame is about 1 inch in height and exhibits a bluish color. A shorter flame or one that is yellow or orange usually indicates that the pilot tube needs cleaning. If you cannot keep the pilot lit and there is no noticeable draft in the room, you may need to have your system serviced.

If you notice your pilot light go out, it’s typically because of a problem with your propane system or appliance. You should not relight your pilot without professional help, so contact Foster Fuels for assistance. One of our certified service technicians will handle the situation safely and quickly.

Check out our pilot light guide for additional information.

Thermocouple Issues

A thermocouple is a temperature-measuring device that operates much like a thermostat. A properly functioning thermocouple is an essential safety feature, as it prevents the release of unburned propane gas. The flame from the lit pilot heats the thermocouple and signals the unit’s valve to remain open so the pilot stays lit.

If the thermocouple is too far from the pilot or no longer functions properly, it will likely cause the pilot to extinguish. If your pilot continues to extinguish, you may need to adjust or replace your thermocouple.

Propane Fireplace Maintenance

A propane fireplace may also require troubleshooting and maintenance to function correctly. Some models include a damper to control the air intake level into the fireplace. If your fireplace isn’t generating sufficient flame or heat, try adjusting the damper to regulate the air intake.

If you have trouble keeping your propane fireplace lit, another potential cause could be air in your gas lines. This issue commonly occurs right after refilling a propane tank. To correct the problem, you may need to pull apart the gas lines to remove the trapped air.

Why Is Propane Maintenance Service Important?

Propane maintenance services deliver various benefits:

  • Enhanced safety: Professional maintenance service includes thorough checks of critical components. During these checks, professionals can identify and proactively address potential problems, like propane leaks, before they worsen.
  • Boosted efficiency: Routine maintenance optimizes the performance of your propane systems and appliances. Technicians clean and replace faulty components, leading to energy savings, decreased fuel consumption and your system operating at peak efficiency. 
  • Increased cost savings: Well-maintained systems are more fuel efficient, translating into significant savings with time. Plus, regular checks help catch minor issues for early correction, preventing costly and inconvenient system breakdowns.
  • Extended system longevity: Consistent propane maintenance extends the working life of your equipment and systems. Professionals mitigate wear and tear from everyday use, keeping propane appliances operational for extended periods.
  • Established peace of mind: When professionals inspect your propane system, you can rest assured the system is reliable and running as it should be, giving you peace of mind.
Propane maintenance services deliver various benefits

Contact Foster Fuels For Your Propane Maintenance Needs

Foster Fuels is a full-service residential propane provider that can assist you with propane maintenance, troubleshooting and leak testing. Since 1921, we’ve focused on delivering superior quality service and products at competitive prices. We will ensure your propane system is operating safely and efficiently and that you get the maximum longevity out of the system and your appliances.

Contact us online if you have any propane-related questions or want to schedule a propane system inspection.