Do you heat your home with affordable, clean-burning propane? This abundant, energy-rich gas offers a number of important benefits such as dependability, environmental friendliness and significant long-term cost savings.
However, a propane heating system does require occasional routine preventive maintenance to keep it operating at peak efficiency and to detect potential performance and safety issues. The following propane maintenance and troubleshooting tips can help you diagnose common propane system problems.
Lack of Ignition
A common propane heater maintenance issue occurs when the motor runs, but the heating unit does not ignite. This 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. If you experience these issues, you should contact a professional for service.
Many propane heat systems operate via a standing pilot, which is a small, constantly burning flame within most propane appliances that ignites the propane fuel at the burner. This flame is typically visible through a small opening located near the gas knob. The only time pilot lights aren’t included is when an appliance has an electric ignition instead. When needed, a pilot light is used to ignite the main burner in your appliance. Without this, your heater system, dryer, or other propane items will not have the ability to start the process of heating and lighting a flame.
A healthy flame is about one inch in height and exhibits a bluish color. A shorter flame or one that is yellow or orange in color usually indicates that the pilot tube needs cleaning. If you’re unable to keep the pilot lit and there is no noticeable draft in the room, you may need to have your system serviced.
When a pilot light goes out it’s normally due to a problem that may be occurring with your appliance or propane system. Do not attempt to relight your pilot light yourself. Call your certified Foster Fuels service technician who is experienced to handle these types of situations.
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 sends a signal to the unit’s valve to remain in the open position so the pilot stays lit.
If the thermocouple is too far away 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 have your thermocouple adjusted or replaced.
Propane Fireplace Maintenance
A propane fireplace may also require troubleshooting and maintenance to function properly. Some models include a damper to control the level of air intake into the fireplace. If your fireplace isn’t generating a 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.
Contact Foster Fuels for Your Propane Maintenance Needs
Foster Fuels is a full-service residential propane provider that can assist you with your propane maintenance and troubleshooting needs. Contact us for more propane maintenance tips or to schedule a convenient propane system inspection today.