Repair of a gas heater: common breakdowns and methods for eliminating them

Vasily Borutsky
Checked by a specialist: Vasily Borutsky
Author: Alexander Artemyev
Last update: September 2019

It is convenient to heat household objects such as a garage, greenhouse, basement using portable and compact gas heaters. They are used as an additional and safety heat source. Over time, any equipment wears out and requires maintenance. Repair of a gas heater can be carried out independently.

In the article we presented, the options for restoring the performance of popular models in everyday life are examined in detail. We will tell you how to determine the cause of a malfunction. We will show you how to prevent damage and extend the life of the heaters.

The feasibility of self-repair

There are many reasons why a heater malfunctions. Among the main ones, the improper operation of devices, the supply of unsuitable fuel to the equipment, the placement of a heat generator in a room with an aggressive climate and high humidity, ignoring preventive maintenance are highlighted.

Initially, the owner of the device needs to decide what parts can be replaced. It is important at the first stages to figure out which breakdowns are easy to fix on your own, and with what it is better to contact a repair shop employee.

The main danger that the user will encounter is a potential gas leak. Therefore, the first and main task in identifying a heater breakdown is to shut off the gas tap.

Leak search
Never attempt to detect a gas leak with any kind of fire. This is extremely dangerous and could result in fire.

If you find that the burner near the gas heater does not burn, and the fuel is supplied, then in addition to blocking the pipe or cylinder valve, you urgently need to open a window to ventilate the room.

If you discover a leak with a characteristic gas odor, do not use anything that can generate a spark: matches, a lighter. You can’t also light a light; it can provoke an explosion.

Manufacturers of portable heaters in the instructions for the devices recommend that if equipment breaks down, carry it to the workshop where they repair the equipment. This requirement is in accordance with safety regulations.

However, not every user wants to spend serious money on fixing. Following simple instructions, most problems can be easily fixed on their own with the help of improvised materials and tools. A home craftsman will have to acquire some parts and accessories. In any case, it will be cheaper than repairing a heater in a workshop.

Do not dry clothes
Do not dry clothes on the heater. This reduces the efficiency of its work, increases the humidity in the room and can lead to overheating and damage to equipment. Hot and humid air suffocates. It also fogs the glass and sprouts fungi on the walls and other material.

Before you understand the principles of repair of street gas heaters and appliances for heating garages you need to determine what types of data devices produce.

There are three types in total:

  • Infrared gas heaters. Such devices are used for heating rooms and open areas: sports fields, verandas, terraces, restaurants. The principle of operation is the emission of infrared waves. Warming is not due to the dispersal of warm air, but due to the heating of objects, which then radiate heat.
  • Convectors without exhaust pipes. They are devices that distribute warm air over the treated space. They are installed only in open areas, since decay products are released during operation.
  • Thermal gas guns. The principle of operation is to create heat in the constructive unit of the gun and supply warm air to the heated elements due to the very powerful air flow. They are used both for targeted heating of construction sites and for processing large commercial facilities.

A variety of infrared outdoor appliances and portable heating burners are catalytic heaters. Like the listed varieties, they are able to propagate both thermal waves and the luminous flux, although insufficient for proper lighting. Their difference lies in the principle of action - flameless combustion is carried out due to oxidation processes.

Among the most common malfunctions of heaters, the following are distinguished: the burner does not light up, the device does not turn on, the device turns off a few minutes after turning on, the burner flame changes color, the heater emits an unpleasant odor.

Mobile indoor gas burner
Sometimes it is quite difficult for the user to find the right part for replacement. In this case, you need to write down the exact part number and contact a repair shop that repairs the advising equipment models

Anyone who started repairing a gas heater for their summer residence should first familiarize themselves with the instruction manual for their device. Each type of heater has its own set of typical faults. In addition, to maintain the device in working condition, it must be looked after in accordance with the instructions for use.

To determine the cause of the problem and how to resolve it, you must visually inspect country gas heater and diagnose it. It is advisable to prepare for repairs at home in advance and acquire the appropriate tool and parts: a screwdriver, a screwdriver, wrench, suitable accessories.

In the event of large-scale breakdowns, in some cases it is advisable to contact the master from GorGaz or RemBytTehniki, who has experience in working with the restoration of gas equipment.

Subtleties of problem definition

There are situations in which the user is not clear what exactly broke in the gas heater.In such situations, the first thing to do is turn off the device and turn off the gas supply.

Then you need to inspect it and visually identify the problem. If during the initial examination the cause of the malfunction is not found, then it is necessary to proceed to the second stage - diagnostics.

Mobile gas liquefied gas heater
Some models of gas heaters provide for the possibility of changing the fuel used. When some changes are made to the gas supply system to the combustion zone, it is possible to switch from natural gas to a liquefied gas mixture

Before turning on the gas heater the next time, you need to find out the cause of the problem. Otherwise, it is better not to do this, since there is a high risk of gas leakage. Some heaters are equipped with a security system. The mechanisms of this system allow you to avoid leaks, turn off the device in the fall and allow you to control power.

Diagnostics are usually carried out in accordance with the instructions for the device. However, there are also complex emergency situations that require detailed disassembly of the device and verification of the health of various components of the device.

Malfunctions of infrared heaters

Quite often, users face the following problem: the heater has stopped working. It happens that this is just inattention. It is worth checking the presence of gas in the cylinder. Perhaps this problem can be solved by simple replacement of the cylinder.

Room heating with an infrared gas device
Infrared heaters are distinguished by their durability and are considered almost indestructible. During operation, these devices retain the initial oxygen volume in the room

Before replacing it, let the unit cool completely to prevent burns. It is strictly forbidden to disable gas reducerwhile the heater consumes gas from the cylinder. After turning off the heater, you must disconnect the gas reducer from the cylinder and remove it from the holder on the body. Replace.

Common startup problems

When starting an infrared heater, the following problems may occur:

  • Heater refuses to turn on;
  • The device switches itself off after a while after a successful switch on.

We will analyze in more detail each of the situations.

The heater may not ignite due to a malfunction of the piezoelectric igniter. It is necessary to check the operability of the device. When starting, you should hear a characteristic sound and crackle, as well as a spark.

Before starting, it is also worth checking the capacity of the tank with gas. The gearbox with pressure gauge should indicate the current cylinder pressure. You can also shake the container to make sure that it contains liquefied gas. The cylinder must be correctly connected to the device, and the gas supply valve must be unscrewed.

If after installing a new gas bottle If the device does not ignite, then you need to check its temperature. Maybe it's too cold. In this case, you need to wait until the cylinder reaches room temperature.

Sometimes, when the device is first started up, there is air in its pipes. For this reason, the device may not start. It is necessary to turn on the gas supply and wait until the air exits the system, gas flows and the main burner ignites.

Gas heater in the country
The gas heater must be located in a place where it will be protected from moisture, dust and shock. Any of these actions will sooner or later cause the device to break down.

Spontaneous shutdown of the device after long work is admissible. This happens due to burner extinguishing due to air flow. A special sensor must turn off the gas supply in this situation.

If the device turns on again, there is no problem. If the device turns off immediately after start-up, then a possible reason is the lack of sufficient gas in the cylinder.

Infrared heaters are equipped with sensors that serve the presence of oxygen in the room. If there is not enough oxygen, the device turns off. To solve this problem, you need to open a window and ventilate the room or turn on the ventilation system.

Faults and steps to resolve them

If you encounter problems with the operation of the device, you must turn it off and not turn it on before repair work. Among the main malfunctions encountered during the operation of infrared gas heaters, the following are distinguished.

The automatic ignition of the fuse does not work. This problem in most cases arises from the absence of a spark on the interelectrode gap of the piezoelectric device.

To solve it, it is necessary to diagnose the operation of the piezoelectric switch. If a visual inspection reveals a defect in this part, then it is necessary to deal with its elimination.

Travel Rules
The switched on device must not be moved or covered. Also, at a distance of half a meter from it should not find flammable objects

Problems with piezo ignition are of the following nature. The user presses the button and clicks are heard, but arson does not occur. A possible problem is the lack of gas in the cylinder. If no clicks are heard, then it is necessary to check the wiring that leads to the piezo igniter. Perhaps she was killed. In this case, it is necessary to change the wires.

If, when a button is pressed, the electric machine switches off, this indicates a circuit in the network. In this case, it is necessary to check the heater wires for a short circuit.

If in the case of verification it is found that everything is in order with the wiring, and the piezoelectric switch is working properly, then the user should try to light a fuse using a match. If ignition is carried out successfully, then the cause of the malfunction is most likely the incorrect location of the spark in relation to the gas stream.

To solve this problem, you need to adjust the location of the ignition electrodes so that they are emitted along the gas stream.

The next common problem is the heater turning off when the control knob is released. This happens due to the fact that the electromagnetic valve closes while the device is turned on. The cause of this problem is the displacement of the thermocouple sensor from the fuse zone or its breakdown.

Correct connection of the thermocouple to the valve is necessary to correct the malfunction in case of displacement. In the event of a valve or thermocouple breakdown, these parts must be inspected, broken, repaired or replaced.

Gas cylinder in an insulated box
Do not artificially warm gas cylinders. Explosion can occur from the thermal expansion of the gas inside a closed container. If necessary, it is better to transfer them to a heated room and leave there to achieve operating temperature. But it is strictly forbidden to place gas cylinders next to heat-generating equipment

A common problem when using the device for a long period is a decrease in the burning force of the burners. If the user selects the maximum power mode, then all the fuses of the burner are turned on, however, it becomes noticeable that one or more of them burn with insufficient power.

This problem appears for three main reasons:

  • Clogged nozzles delivering gas to the burners;
  • The pipes supplying the gas heater are dirty and clogged;
  • There is a gas leak.

Solving this problem yourself is not difficult. To do this, carefully remove the pipes and check for clogging. If a blockage is found, it must be carefully removed with a small brush or a homemade cleaning structure. It is important not to damage the nozzle when cleaning. Before reconnecting, remove any remaining water.

Supply pipes are cleaned in the same way. It is undesirable to squeeze these parts with pliers, as they are made of easily bendable material. After cleaning, the supply pipes must be returned to the same position.

The strong odor of gas is a clear sign of leakage from gas hose or tubing connections. To determine the leakage, a soap solution must be applied to the gas pipe connections. Instead of a soap solution, you can use a foaming dishwashing liquid.

A sign of leakage is the occurrence of soap bubbles. In case of their appearance, it is necessary to shut off the gas and restore the tightness of the connection.

Heat-resistant mastic for stoves and fireplaces
Sometimes during an arson burner explosions and pops are heard. This is due to the presence of through holes in the burner through which air is sucked in. You can close these openings with mastic for fireplaces and stoves.

When operating some models of infrared gas heaters, the problem arises of switching the position of the handle, which adjusts the power of the device, from a low fire to a stronger one.

Typically, the reason for this is the location of the heater when the air flow blows against the direction of radiation of the burner flame. There is also a situation where the fuse is shifted.

In the first case, you can fix the problem simply by changing the location of the heater. It must be moved to a place where a draft will not blow on it. In the second case, you need to open the device cover and adjust the fuse. The flame should be closer to the lower corners of the gas supply pipes.

In the event of an unpleasant burning smell coming from the device, you must disconnect it from the electrical network. Then you need to check the presence and integrity of the ceramic plates. Often, a burnt odor is a sign of a lack of plate. Checking should be done only after the device has cooled down.

It is necessary to examine the perimeter of each of the plates, to determine the place where the parts are missing. Plate repair is carried out using a solution of refractory cement. After stirring the solution, it must be carefully applied without damaging the internal elements of the heater to the damaged plate. Thus, the missing or damaged part of the plate is sealed.

You can turn on the device 24 hours after applying the solution.

Location of the cylinder inside the gas heater
One of the main reasons for the failure of heaters is the heavy propane-butane mixture. The use of such a mixture leads to blockage of pressure regulators, nozzles, valves. If low-quality fuel is detected, refueling is necessary.

If during the inspection of the fuse it is found that it burns bright red, then do not be scared. The reason for this is the presence of dirt in the gas pipe. The problem is solved by blowing and washing the nozzle with compressed air.

Sometimes users find spots or traces of burning on ceramic plates. The reason for the appearance of spots is usually dirt in the gas vents, as well as soot accumulated on the ceramic plate, within which flameless combustion occurs. Troubleshoot easily with a can of compressed air.

The presence of soot on the walls of the device and on the burner usually indicates that low-quality gas is used as a resource for the unit. During operation, only high-quality gas must be used.

Heater Maintenance

Maintenance of an infrared gas heater, like any other equipment, must be carried out at regular intervals. This will help to avoid malfunctions during operation of the device.

A large layer of dirt increases thermal insulation, which significantly reduces the effect of thermal waves transmitted by the heater into the treated space. As a result, the operating efficiency decreases, which negatively affects the functioning of the unit.

Manufacturers indicate the need and regularity of cleaning in the instructions for the device. Usually this should be done once a year or as needed. In this case, you must turn off the device and wait until it cools.

Heating gas burner
The location of the heater in close proximity to the wall can lead to overheating of the device and melting of plastic parts. Plastic covers the heat sensors and causes a violation of thermoregulation. It is necessary to restore not only the case, but also the sensor

Cleaning is carried out with a damp cloth, which must be moistened with soapy water. So you can wash the heater body and the location of the cylinder with gas mixture. Complex contaminants can be removed using chemicals and brushes.

For internal cleaning of the heater, compressed air is usually used whenever possible. With a stream of air you need to walk along the surfaces of the burner and ceramic plates until completely cleaned. The procedure must be carried out carefully so as not to damage the fragile structure of ceramic parts.

Using compressed air, the spark gap of the arrester and burner openings are also cleaned.

After cleaning the device, wipe it dry. The area of ​​the burner and spark gap must be dry before starting.

Outdoor gas stove
Do not use abrasive cleaning. Blasting can cause severe damage to the equipment coating, resulting in malfunctions.

Before the next reuse of the heater, check the equipment connection for leaks. All connections of the pipeline supplying gas to the device and gas hoses are checked with a soap solution.

If a leak is detected, the device must not be started. Before starting, make sure that the leak is fixed.

Performing preventive cleaning of the device and its inspection will significantly extend its service life.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

UFO Heater Repair:

Repair infrared ceramic panel:

Despite the high quality of work, gas heaters have a certain shelf life and must be serviced in a timely manner. If the device began to junk and malfunction, then it must be repaired in order to avoid such negative consequences as the expansion of the scale of damage and harming the health of users.

Among the frequently encountered malfunctions of heaters, breakdown of the automatic ignition system for igniter, gas leakage, and destruction of ceramic tiles are distinguished. Independent repair work must be carried out strictly in compliance with safety precautions.

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