How To Clean A Thermocouple On A Patio Heater

How To Clean A Thermocouple On A Patio Heater: Easy Guide

If you’re new to using propane patio heater, you may find it difficult to know why your patio heater won’t stay lit. There is a component in all tall or propane patio heaters called ‘thermocouple.

So today we will be discussing on how to clean a thermocouple on a patio heater.

Once this important part of your patio heater get clogged with soothes, dirt or insect after you left it unused for longer time, next time you want to use it it won’t stay lit because you will need to unclog it first.

And because patio heaters provide a comfortable environment during the cool fall and winter months by raising the nearby air temperature. You have to know how to maintain them.

These heaters run on propane or natural gas, and the construction is similar to that of a gas grill.

Over the warm season when the heater is not in use, spiders and bugs can clog the gas tubes with webs and debris. These debris block the gas from reaching the igniter and requires removal for proper heater function.

What is A Patio Heater Thermocouple

How To Clean A Thermocouple On A Patio Heater
Image Credit: Firesense amazon

Patio heater thermocouple is a piece of metallic tubing that’s smaller than soda straw, it activates main control valve after the pilot light is lit.

It also allows the main gas to be released, and valve to remain open. The thermocouple is made of brass or copper.

So when not in use for longer time, it get clogged up. Therefore, you to carried out a maintenance next time you want lit your patio heater.

What Does A Thermocouple Do In A Patio Heater?

Essentially, a patio heater thermocouple is a protective device on a propane patio heater. What it does is to maintain the furnance pilot lit by sending a small electric current to a sensor at the gas valve of the patio heater.

See our articles on best kerosene heaters for indoor use.

Tools Required For Cleaning Patio Heater Thermocouple

  • Cloth Sandpaper/Steel Wool/ Dry Sponge
  • Screwdriver
  • Pencil Eraser

How To Clean A Thermocouple On A Patio Heater

There are many ways you can your patio heater thermocouple cleaned but below are the most convenient and easier way to do it.

  1. First thing is to disconnect the gas line from the heater.
  2. Then you will be able to locate the thermocouple. You can take a look at the owner’s manual of your patio heater and get a clear understanding of the location of the thermocouple. 
  3. Now you need to take a screwdriver and loosen the screws around the thermostat.
  4. Once all screws are removed, you can take out the thermocouple. You can easily pull and remove it from the pilot assembly.
  5. Now you should take a sandpaper, dry sponge or steel wool.
  6. By using steel wool, you can gently rub the thermocouple. If you are using a dry sponge, you need to make sure that you are using the abrasive side of it. Otherwise, you will not be able to complete the cleaning process effectively.
  7. You should keep on cleaning until you remove all soot trapped in the thermocouple.
  8. Now you can take the pencil eraser and start to clean areas located in between the threads of the thermocouple screw. These are the areas where the thermocouple connects with the patio heater.
  9. Reconnect the thermocouple to your patio and test it for efficiency. It was stay lit once lighted.

Source: Stuart

We have also compared electric patio heater and propane patio heater here to guide you on which is best for you depending on your needs.

Another Method

You lift the protective flame screen off the patio heater, unscrew the nut and pull out the thermocouple. With a water hose, rinse the inside of the thermocouple tube, let it air dry, then re-connect it.

How To Bypass Thermocouple On A Outdoor Patio Heater

What happens If The Thermocouple Fails?

If after removing the thermocouple you found out that it’s much corroded that cleaning it is a waste of time and energy, then consider changing your patio heater thermocouple for efficient heat output

Do not be forced indoor when you can still enjoy your outdoor moments with your patio heater.

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