Patio Heater Igniter Troubles: Simple Ways of How to Fix It

Patio heater igniter troubles usually start with it not clicking and could be due to several reasons such as low battery charge, disconnected wires, failure to push in the control knob, or damage caused by water or other factors.

We enjoy spending refreshing summer evenings outdoors, but patio heaters allow us to relish the outdoors throughout the year.

If you notice you are having patio heater igniter troubles, a sure sign is that it won’t click. Although it’s a frequent problem, what triggers it?

If you suspect that your patio heater has an ignition problem, keep reading to learn how you can confirm the issue and find some common causes and solutions.

Fortunately, patio heaters are simple in their design, meaning that solutions to any problems are usually straightforward.

Related Reading: Top Picks Unveiled: The Best Pyramid Patio Heaters to Elevate Your Space

Patio heater close up making it easier to see patio heater igniter troubles.

Related Reading: 7 Common Patio Heater Problems and How to Best Fix Them

Patio Heater Igniter Troubles-Check the Igniter

It’s possible to identify whether your patio heater is not lighting up due to the spark igniter, but it’s always better to double-check to avoid wasting your time, energy, and resources on something that may not be the root cause of the issue.

Your patio heater’s spark igniter, also known as a sparker, ignites the pilot light.

The easiest way to determine if your spark is the issue is by turning on the gas and attempting to ignite it with a different light source, such as a long-necked lighter.

Be careful not to have the propane on for too long before igniting as it may cause a large flame from the gas buildup.

If you are unable to start your patio heater, it may be due to an empty propane tank. If you can start a fire using an external flame, the issue is likely with your spark igniter.

I put a fuel gauge on the propane connection that shows the amount of propane in the cylinder.

This saved me from finding a propane exchange location at the last minute when I was ready to use the heater.

Before purchasing a new sparker, remove the casing to check for sparks and listen for clicking noise.

Correctly Using the Control Knob

To address common patio heater igniter troubles, we refer to the owner’s instruction manual (sample Fire Sense manual).

If the igniter is not working, it could be because the control knob was not pushed in before the red igniter button was pressed.

To ignite the main burner, push the control knob first, then the red igniter button.

Repeat these steps until the burner ignites.

This is a common step you can miss, but the full initial list of steps you should take are:

  1. Turn your control knob to the “OFF” position.
  2. Make sure your LP cylinder valve is fully open.
  3. Turn the control knob halfway between the small and large flame symbols.
  4. THEN push in the control knob.

If the gas fails to ignite, wait at least 5 minutes for the gas to disperse before trying again to avoid a flash explosion.

Batteries Need Replacement

Most heaters require batteries to power the spark igniter.

If you are unsure about the location of the battery, it is usually situated behind the red ignition button.

To insert the battery, simply unscrew the red button along with its black attachment, and insert the battery with the positive side closest to the button.

Finally, screw the button back on to complete the process.

The cause of your ignition problem could be as simple as incorrectly inserting the battery.

Disconnected Wires

Your spark igniter consists of a long wire tube connected to the head of the igniter on one end, and connected to a small black tube with a push-in connector on the other end.

It’s quite simple for the bottom end to come out of the push-in connector, and even a slight bump can cause the wires to disconnect.

If you’re aware that your patio heater may have been knocked over or hit by something, it’s worth checking the connection.

It will be easy to locate where the connection should be fixing your patio heater igniter troubles.

Wet Igniter

Patio heaters are typically protected by their wide covers, so encountering patio heater igniter troubles due to rain or wind is not common.

However, if it’s a particularly rainy or windy day, or if the heater is pushed over into the water, it’s possible for the igniter or wiring to get wet and prevent the ignitor from working properly.

Starting the flame won’t work well if everything is wet.

Instead of waiting for the moisture to evaporate, it’s recommended to take a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and rub it along the ignition.

This not only accelerates the evaporation process of the moisture but also cleans the igniter’s head of any contaminants that might have been preventing it from sparking.

This could be the problem if you notice clicking and sparking, but weak sparks.

Replacing the Igniter

If you have followed all the troubleshooting steps and the igniter is still not clicking or sparking, then it’s time to consider replacing the entire igniter.

Additionally, if there is any damage or cracking on the igniter or its casing, it will have to be replaced.

Please note that using any spark igniter won’t solve the issue.

If you are experiencing a problem with your patio heater’s igniter, you will need to purchase a spark igniter specifically made for your heater.

Once you have obtained the correct replacement, you can follow the steps below to replace the faulty one.


Heater Off and Regulator On

When dealing with a broken igniter in cold weather, it’s important to resist the urge to rush and replace it immediately.

Precautions must be taken to avoid any accidents.

To ensure safety, turn off the gas before attempting to work on the igniter, even if you are certain it’s not functioning properly.

This is a simple project.

You’ll only need your hands, a pair of needle nose pliers, and a small wrench that fits the nut attaching the igniter to the head assembly.

Unscrew the Igniter Head

To remove the spark igniter, first, use your needle-nose pliers to hold onto the nut on the side opposite the head of the igniter.

Then, using a wrench, unscrew the nut on the other side.

Once you’ve loosened the nut, you should be able to unscrew it by hand.

Repeat the process on the other side until both nuts are removed.

Disconnect the Old Igniter

The other end of your igniter’s wiring will be connected to a small black tube next to the main pipe.

Pull it off.

Install the New Igniter

To attach the bottom of your new igniter to the black tube, start by threading it through the holes from which you just removed the old igniter.

Then, screw on the nuts on both sides of the spark igniter and tighten them.

After that, reattach the small metal panel that was covering the ignition.

Finally, insert the other end of the igniter into the black tube.

Continue Reading: Replacing Patio Heater Parts: Discover the Best Options and Tips

Final Thoughts

I hope that the article provided today has helped you find a solution to your ignition problem.

However, if you are still encountering difficulties, check with the customer support team for your heater.

They will assist you or guide you to the right person who can help you identify the issue.

I had success in talking with customer service professionals when dealing with patio heater igniter troubles.

You can check online with Quora, Reddit, or other forums as well. Surprisingly, others have had similar problems and offer solutions.

Good luck with your heater!

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!