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Your Guide To Lighting A Gas Heater
Lighting a gas heater is not rocket science, but if someone has not done it before, it can be challenging. Whether you are using it for the first time or the hundredth time, you need to follow all the precautions and safety measures. Gas heaters demand special care when you’re around them. We can make the task of lighting a gas heater easy for you if you follow the following steps.
How To Get A Gas Heater Going
First, you will start by removing the cover from the heater. Generally, gas heater covers pop off, so you can remove them quickly. However, some have the body fixed in place with screws. So, you will need to do a bit of hard work in removing them.
Once the screws are removed, pull off the sheet. In some heaters, the cover is only attached temporarily with a latch. Pulling the body out in such heaters is quite easy – simply pull the door out. Removing the cover exposes all the central systems that the heater is using.
How To Effectively Light The Pilot On A Gas Heater
Gas heaters have evolved a lot with changes in technology. Modern heaters have automatic electric lighters in them. However, if you don’t have one in your heater, then don’t worry. You can use a regular long-barrelled stove lighter for this purpose. A long matchstick can also work for you if you don’t have a barrelled lighter.
The main challenge you will face is figuring out the gas pipeline. You might experience some difficulty finding out where the gas vents out. Once you figure this out, you are ready for the following procedure, which is relatively straightforward.
Steps to power on a gas heater
- Firstly, turn on the gas knob. Never leave the knob on if you turn off the flame. This might cause death by suffocation. If you find that the knob is already on, turn it off and open all the windows and doors of the room.
- Wait until all the gas has left the room. It might take a couple of hours. You can turn it on again once you are sure that there is no harmful gas in the room. This step is important because when the knob is on, and you don’t know, the heater leaks methane and propylene gas. These gases can be hazardous when you expose them to naked flames.
- Now that you have turned the gas on, you need to find the tube supplying the light. It is a hollow tube that is hardly a quarter of an inch wide. It extends the main valve a little bit outwards and then upwards.
- Use a flashlight to peek into the heater. Look for the orifice which is usually present behind the metal plate. The metal plate will have an inspection hole through it.
- Pinch and twist the control valve to “pilot.” You can line it up with a marker outside the casing.
- Now the gas is flowing smoothly through the tube. Once you are sure about the smooth flow of gas, you can put the matchstick or lighter on the top of the orifice of the gas tube.
- When you complete the pilot lighting, immediately put off the matchstick or lighter. It would help if you still kept pressing the button for at least 30 seconds to one minute. This step is to ensure the thermocouple heats up.
- You can assess whether the thermocouple has caught on by gradually releasing pressure from the top of the button.
- Check if the flame is lit even when you remove the pressure from the top of the button. It means that the thermocouple has ignited.
- If it does not heat up and the flames turn off after you release the pressure, repeat the procedure above. Light up another matchstick and press the button. Repeat the same process once again with care and attention. Make sure that you keep pushing the button for a more extended period this time.
When the furnace pilot finally lights up, you can adjust the temperature knob. Adjust it from low to very high to your liking. Twist the control knob from the “pilot” position to the “on” position.
Replace the cover that you removed at the start of the process. Place it back on its position in the exact way the manufacturer fixed it. If needed, you can add screws and tighten them.
You are now able to enjoy the best temperature according to your requirement. The procedure may seem a little bit complicated when you perform it the first time. Once you get used to it and practice it several times, it becomes second nature.
Troubleshooting Standard Gas Heaters
Lighting a gas heater is not complicated, but if you still feel that you are having a hard time, cross-check the system of the heater. There might be some issues in the appliance instead of the procedure. Make the following checks if you face any difficulty in lighting up the pilot.
Check the gas line
If you have a propane-based heater that is not working correctly, check the tank. Sometimes, there is not enough gas inside the case. For a natural heater, check whether its connections are working properly.
A heater that flickers
A flickering heater turns on and off often. If your heater is giving you such indications, it implies some blockage in the gas pipelines or places around the gas wall heater. The jam may be due to plants or furniture that is blocking airflow. Thermostat and switch issues can also cause this problem.
Fan turns on but not the heating element
When you face such a problem, your heater may be suffering from a serious issue. When the fan turns on, but the heating element does not, there might be a problem with the wiring of the heating element. It might be an indication that some cables are breaking apart in the heating system.
You will need to check the wiring by cutting off the cord. Remove the thermostat knob and the unit from the wall. Check every wire carefully for cuts or breakages. Each wire should be well-connected. You should tighten the cables connected to the heater.
Heater keeps on running without shutting off
This problem is quite common in houses where the rooms are too big for the heater. If the rooms do not have adequate insulation, then this issue will worsen. When using a heater in a huge room, try to get a more robust space heater.
As an alternative, you can add some weather stripping to the doors and windows. The external walls and doors can also get a layer of extra insulation to help conserve heat.
Burning smells from the gas furnaces signify that your heater is quite dirty. It would work better if you cleaned it as quickly as possible. It is not a severe problem; however, a clean and smell-free environment is better for you and your family.
The burning smell might be due to the dirt that the heater gathered from outside. The dirt particles burn in the flame and give off a scent. When you do not use the heater continuously but occasionally, it is likely dust particles will get stuck in the filters and burn.
Ask The Professionals For Advice
In general, to clean the heater, cut off its power supply and open the radiator. Use a vacuum to clean the dirt, debris, hair, and lint that might have solidified on the heating element. If you see that the burning smell is prolonged or any of the other issues mentioned have not subsided or do not go away after cleaning, seek professional help.