Mr. Heater Problems

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bradyg
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Joined: Tuesday, October 16, 2007 - 8:19pm
Mr. Heater Problems

I just bought a Mr. Heater cooker/heater the other day with a Mr. Heater 5 ft. propane hose to hook to a larger tank. My dad and I messed with it all day. I finally decided to hook up a 1 pound directly to the heater and it worked fine, but when I tried to light the heater using the big tank, my heater didn't seem to stay lit. I called Mr. Heater all day and didn't receive any help at all. I was so frustrated with the whole situation I am considering buying a heater/cooker from another company. Any recomendations on alternative brands or problems anyone has had with the Mr. Heater company/products?

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StevePike
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Joined: Friday, January 4, 2002 - 12:00am

Sounds more like the big tank and/or hose could be the problem. Do you have anything else you can hook them up to (lantern, stove, etc)? Is the big tank full? Can you borrow a buddies or try another tank?

You can't aim a duck to death.

sond0045
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Joined: Tuesday, December 26, 2006 - 12:10pm

ive had this problem before too its like the line is vapor locked. i unhook the hose from the heater and then turn the tank on quick and off and then hook up seems to do to the trick for me

bowman1969
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Joined: Friday, February 24, 2006 - 1:05pm

to much pressure you need a regulator so you can adjust the pressure

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Horsager
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Joined: Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 12:00am

I never seemed to have this trouble until they went to OPD tanks. Now it seems that if you open up the valve on the tank too quickly the problem you described is what happens. When you do get a tank that works well don't do the tank-swap thing just go get that one filled as necessary. The good ones that'll let you use up all the fuel in the tank and have OPD are darned hard to find.

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StevePike
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Joined: Friday, January 4, 2002 - 12:00am

Will Cenex (or anywhere else) refill the Blue Rhino tanks or do you have to swap them?

You can't aim a duck to death.

DonC
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Joined: Saturday, July 6, 2002 - 12:00am

From another site.

You have two hookup options with your Big Buddy heater.

You can use the low pressure hose with the quick disconnect and tie it directly into you RVs LP system AFTER the main regulator (you just "tee" into the main line somewhere). This is what I did with mine. The hose is coiled up in a cabinet near where I use the heater.

You can use the low pressure hose with quick disconnect that has a regulator on the end (available from Mr Heater) and hook it to a seperate 20# tank (that is outside, of course).

DO NOT USE A HIGH PRESSURE HOSE to hook up your heater inside! High pressure propane indoors is DANGEROUS (and illegal). A burst high pressure hose will fill your RV up with propane almost instantly giving you no time to escape, low pressure gives you plenty of advanced warning (smell and LP detector). I don't care how many people say they "do it all the time" with their Portable Buddy heaters, it is STILL a ticking time bomb. The ONLY high pressue propane that should ever be used indoor is the small 1# bottles DIRECTLY hooked to the device.

I was testing my Big Buddy once in my living room with a high pressure hose when I first bought it. The seal on one of the connectors blew (small leak, not like a burst hose). The connector caught on fire (which I was fortunate enough to be able to blow out) and it continued to spew out gas for a FULL FIVE MINUTES after I shut off the valve on the tank. DON'T USE HIGH PRESSURE PROPANE INDOORS!

Also, I can say this enough times even if you DON'T use a portable propane heater. CO alarm, CO alarm, CO alarm!!! I have TWO of them in my rig. THAT is what will save you life if ANY propane device (fridge, stove, water heater, furnace, etc) malfunctions.

Hook up your Big Buddy heater using one of the two methods I described above. Always FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS about proper ventilation, and you will get many years of SAFE use out of it.

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weimardogboy
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Joined: Saturday, May 5, 2007 - 11:11pm

DonC. I think you missed the part that it was a Mr. Heater Cooker. I'm just sayin' is all. On your topic, I bought a Mr. Heater Buddy, (single,) and used it for one season and it pooped the bed. What to do 'bout dat? It's still up in the rafters in the garage. Won't spark, doesn't sound like it's even getting gas. Sure liked it when it worked though. I've fallen back on Mr. Heater Cookers. I've got 3 or 4 of them in various stages of scavenged parts, to make 2 working ones. Never had a problem with the hose on any tank, swapped nor refilled. I use a 20 lb tank usually.

76bronc
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Joined: Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 9:02am

had problems with mine staying lit last year i took it apart and theres a little valve thing insid the igniter botten it has a spring on it and is suposed to shut the heater of if it gets cold so it doesnt give u carbon poisning take of the thermo copler from the area the tank goes in and take the little ruber stoper of the sprng thing it will over ride the thermo copler put youre heeter should work just remember the heater will not shut the propane of because that peace is gone u have to turn it of with the knob

Oldfisherman
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Joined: Tuesday, January 15, 2002 - 12:00am

Stevepike; The answer is yes. I just had one filled there last week At the Minot Cenex. It was a Blue Rhino.

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rutn4fun
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Joined: Friday, October 28, 2005 - 12:57pm

Steve,

I also had my Blue Rhino tank filled at Cenex in Mandan.

There's no bag limit on happiness.
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bobkat
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Joined: Sunday, December 16, 2001 - 12:00am

If you use a 20 pound bottle you must use an in line filter or it won't stay lit. You don't need the filter if you use a small bottle, for some reason.
Filters are available in any sporting goods store and just screw them in the line somewhere. Takes 17.58 seconds to install.

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cynical
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Joined: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 - 12:00am

bobkat, is the .58 seconds for reaction time? I hear reaction time goes up exponentially with age.

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rudabaux
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Joined: Wednesday, December 19, 2001 - 12:00am

I've had the Mr Heater cooker for 3 years now. Got a 20lb tank with 6 ft Mr heater hose. Unless there's a filter in the hose, I don't believe I have a filter and it has worked without problems forever.

walifan
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Joined: Monday, January 23, 2006 - 6:38pm

It is most likely a vapor lock from the OPD tanks. Try lighting the heater without turning the tank on. Then turn the tank on slowly and then try lighting the heater.

You have a built in regulator in your heater so that shouldn't be the problem since the 1# bottles work fine. I have never used an in line filter either.

Lane
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Joined: Saturday, April 20, 2002 - 12:00am

I have a new type tank on my grill,real good luck for the first 1/4 tank then nothing,re filled tank and talked to a few people who sugested just turn on about 1/3 turn,I have been doing that and it seems to work.

huntinboozinfishin
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Joined: Sunday, July 22, 2007 - 8:22pm

my mr heater is about 4 years old so it just might of seen its better days but mine seems to have the same problem the button you push to get it started works but when the heater gets red and i let the button go it dosent keep giving propane so i have to use my boot lace to tie on there to keep the button in so it keeps running

Hardwaterman
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Joined: Wednesday, November 6, 2002 - 12:00am

huntinboozinfishin, your thermo coupler is either bent to far away from the flame or plain bad. The bypass valve only needs to be used to start them.
The problem being asked about earlier is one common with OCD tanks. Seems that some connections do not fully depress against the valve to allow the gas to pass through. Buddy of mine had this issue a couple years back. We solved his problem by changing the O-ring on the end of the connection. New ones sometimes are not set into the groove well and stop the nipple pushing the internal valve open on the OCD tanks!

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Indiana Lou
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Joined: Saturday, January 21, 2006 - 8:57pm

Hardwaterman, Just got a re-fill of my 5# tank that I use for icefishing. Hooked to the Mr.Heater/cooker and when I pushed the by-pass button nothing comes out. It worked fine yesterday until my tank ran out. Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated. Lou

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layemdown
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Joined: Saturday, April 30, 2011 - 1:14pm

Had the same problem two weeks ago with the big buddy heater I bought. Worked fine with the 1 lb tanks but when i hooked it to the 20 lb and turned both burners on it slowly died out. I borrowed a friends hose and hooked it to my same 20lb tank i had been trying and it worked fine. Think theirs a problem with the hoses not the heaters.


Indiana Lou
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Joined: Saturday, January 21, 2006 - 8:57pm

As per my previous post and after reading some of the others, I tried connecting my heater to a 1# tank and it worked. So I presume I have a hose issue. It's been really cold and I'm thinking it might have some liquid  propane that got in to it. As my tank was running down I held it upside down above the heater. It helped keep the heater going but it may have screwed up the hose.  I brought the hose inside to let it warm up. Any thoughts?    Lou

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johnr
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Joined: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 12:00am

layemdown Said:
Had the same problem two weeks ago with the big buddy heater I bought. Worked fine with the 1 lb tanks but when i hooked it to the 20 lb and turned both burners on it slowly died out. I borrowed a friends hose and hooked it to my same 20lb tank i had been trying and it worked fine. Think theirs a problem with the hoses not the heaters.

Same problem I had this summer for my little Q220 weber, only worked with the little bottles, the hose would never let the gas through. I bought a new hose and it works just fine. You would think a new hose is just going to work, turns out some are bad from the get go.

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guywhofishes
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Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

Here's the deal - and it happens with my sunflower too. Hors is right -it's the OPD and maybe an additional widget of some sort.

They put the OPD valve thingy inside the tank. It keeps from overfilling AND on some tanks it also appears to stop you from being able to crack a tank open with nothing attached and let the gas flow above a certain rate (having flamethrower fun at a camp fire Big J style for instance).

In other words if you try to crack open a tank really fast or with no hose/backressure source attached you can hear a subtle "pop" or "tink" as the ball or whatever it is inside the tank gets lifted up or held against a spring by the initially rapidly flowing gas into some feature that blocks the flow down to a tiny tiny flow (just enough to burn your eyes with that noxious NO or whatever it is, not stay lit, etc.) It happens with grills too as johnr mentioned.

So when you first put an empty hose and heater on the tank the space in the hose is not under pressure. This allows that quick rush of gas into the hose - lifting that dang blocker thingy (listen carefully) and blocking the flow down to a trickle. Now you are screwed.

The solution is to SLOWLY crack the tank valve - making the main valve act as a flow limiter for a few seconds (slowly equalizing the pressure on both sides of the ball/BB). You are slowly pressurizing the hose with propane. After a few seconds of low flow the hose is now pressurized enough that there won't be that initial rush - and the heater's regulator doesn't allow enough flow to lift that ball either. So you can now crack it wide open. After the hose has been "primed" you can then turn the valve open quickly because a full pressured hose won't allow the initial rush of gas like an empty one.

If you've screwed the pooch though the key to recovery is to close the valve and wait a while and then, slowly but surely, that ball or whatever it is seems to drop out of the limiter throat. THEN you can open the valve really really slowly again - and you won't hear that "plunk" sound of the BB blocking the flow.

I've played with this in the comfort of my home and found it to be true and reproducible. I can get the flow rate limiter to lock in by cracking the main valve quickly... and yes - get irritating low flow, but then recover full flow with the method described.

I can also hook up an empty hose and get it to work the first time by opening the valve really really slowly.




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Tacoman
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Joined: Monday, February 13, 2006 - 3:56pm

Thats great to know, you guys are so smart.  I have had my grill not work proper before too and it was probably due to opening the valve to quickly.

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johnr
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Joined: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 12:00am

guywhofishes Said:
Here's the deal - and it happens with my sunflower too. Hors is right -it's the OPD and maybe an additional widget of some sort.

They put the OPD valve thingy inside the tank. It keeps from overfilling AND on some tanks it also appears to stop you from being able to crack a tank open with nothing attached and let the gas flow above a certain rate (having flamethrower fun at a camp fire Big J style for instance).

In other words if you try to crack open a tank really fast or with no hose/backressure source attached you can hear a subtle "pop" or "tink" as the ball or whatever it is inside the tank gets lifted up or held against a spring by the initially rapidly flowing gas into some feature that blocks the flow down to a tiny tiny flow (just enough to burn your eyes with that noxious NO or whatever it is, not stay lit, etc.) It happens with grills too as johnr mentioned.

So when you first put an empty hose and heater on the tank the space in the hose is not under pressure. This allows that quick rush of gas into the hose - lifting that dang blocker thingy (listen carefully) and blocking the flow down to a trickle. Now you are screwed.

The solution is to SLOWLY crack the tank valve - making the main valve act as a flow limiter for a few seconds (slowly equalizing the pressure on both sides of the ball/BB). You are slowly pressurizing the hose with propane. After a few seconds of low flow the hose is now pressurized enough that there won't be that initial rush - and the heater's regulator doesn't allow enough flow to lift that ball either. So you can now crack it wide open. After the hose has been "primed" you can then turn the valve open quickly because a full pressured hose won't allow the initial rush of gas like an empty one.

If you've screwed the pooch though the key to recovery is to close the valve and wait a while and then, slowly but surely, that ball or whatever it is seems to drop out of the limiter throat. THEN you can open the valve really really slowly again - and you won't hear that "plunk" sound of the BB blocking the flow.

I've played with this in the comfort of my home and found it to be true and reproducible. I can get the flow rate limiter to lock in by cracking the main valve quickly... and yes - get irritating low flow, but then recover full flow with the method described.

I can also hook up an empty hose and get it to work the first time by opening the valve really really slowly.


So you are saying that original hose that I thru in the garbage was likely still good, it was all a pateince thing that I for some reason lack?

There's a whole generation of Americans that have no idea about the truth of the Clintons, particularly Hillary 


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guywhofishes
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Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

It's been "reproducible" for me ever since my brother's grill did that crap and ruined a steak grill fest about 10 years ago. We started "digging for answers". We vowed to never let a good drunk end with boiled wieners ever again.

After much angst, a couple cold fishing trips, and some serious experimenting to get to the bottom of it, I've never suffered from "low flow" since.

OK, hot dogs after a lot of beer wasn't a total failure... but it weren't steaks!




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johnr
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guywhofishes Said:
It's been "reproducible" for me ever since my brother's grill did that crap and ruined a steak grill fest about 10 years ago. We started "digging for answers". We vowed to never let a good drunk end with boiled wieners ever again.

After much angst, a couple cold fishing trips, and some serious experimenting to get to the bottom of it, I've never suffered from "low flow" since.

OK, hot dogs after a lot of beer wasn't a total failure... but it weren't steaks!


HAHAHA


The innuendo's are awesome

There's a whole generation of Americans that have no idea about the truth of the Clintons, particularly Hillary 


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guywhofishes
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Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

By the way - this is why you always should turn off the grill and/or heater valves BEFORE turning off the main tank.

Also, always make sure your grill/heater valves are OFF before re-opening the main tank.

Both of those habits keep your hose "plumped up" and resistant to the low-flow syndrome - something you guys can appreciate I'm sure.

But I've gotten used to cracking the main open very slowly every time cuz the wait for the BB to drop back is irritating.




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Tacoman
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guywhofishes Said:
By the way - this is why you always should turn off the grill and/or heater valves BEFORE turning off the main tank.

Also, always make sure your grill/heater valves are OFF before re-opening the main tank.

Both of those habits keep your hose "plumped up" and resistant to the low-flow syndrome - something you guys can appreciate I'm sure.

But I've gotten used to cracking the main open very slowly every time cuz the wait for the BB to drop back is irritating.


Taking a steak off the grill and finishing it in a pan or the broiler is absolutely atrocious!

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guywhofishes
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Enslow Said:

guywhofishes Said:
By the way - this is why you always should turn off the grill and/or heater valves BEFORE turning off the main tank.

Also, always make sure your grill/heater valves are OFF before re-opening the main tank.

Both of those habits keep your hose "plumped up" and resistant to the low-flow syndrome - something you guys can appreciate I'm sure.

But I've gotten used to cracking the main open very slowly every time cuz the wait for the BB to drop back is irritating.

Taking a steak off the grill and finishing it in a pan or the broiler is absolutely atrocious!

Yes, it takes days to recover from the depression. You want to throw your grill in front of a train at that point.

Being an idiot and forgetting to refill your tanks sucks too. That is why I am buying a natural gas ported grill (mines getting to be 10 years old) and tapping her into my house's natural gas this summer. No more refills. YES!



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The Goose
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Joined: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - 2:20pm

Yep what Bowman said.... need a "GOOD" regulator..
Just had this problem and come to find out the regulator had rust in it from condensation through the summer and the spring and valve seat were rusted...Bought a new one and presto chango it works awesomely...Tore the old one apart for the heck of it and found the rusty spring and seat...

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guywhofishes
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Joined: Friday, May 4, 2007 - 7:41am

I run without a regulator on the hose. Not very smart, but it's how I was raised, so it's not my fault.



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johnr
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Joined: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 - 12:00am

guywhofishes Said:
I run without a regulator on the hose. Not very smart, but it's how I was raised, so it's not my fault.

Bush's fault?

There's a whole generation of Americans that have no idea about the truth of the Clintons, particularly Hillary 


iieyes
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Joined: Friday, February 25, 2011 - 10:30am

had the same thing happen with my bigbuddy.  had the wrong hose went and bought a new one with the right PART NO. that it calls for and now works great.......

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ICENUTT14
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Joined: Saturday, April 16, 2011 - 8:03pm

 I bought a new Heater/cooker this winter and had the same problem. The the Spring inside the valve on the heater was bad. I took it back and got a different one and it works great. Not sure why it would work good with a 1lb bottle.

 

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Madbig1
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Joined: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 9:23pm

Hey, everyone...I have owned many sunflower heaters (Mr. Heaters)..and have hooked them directly and with the hose....Have never had any problems.

I own a little buddy...and currently use little green bottles......I have been refilling the little green tanks using a 20 lb bottle and an fill adapter I bought at Runnings....Don't have to throw them, refill them.

Madbig1

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Jig4Pig
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johnr Said:

layemdown Said:
Had the same problem two weeks ago with the big buddy heater I bought. Worked fine with the 1 lb tanks but when i hooked it to the 20 lb and turned both burners on it slowly died out. I borrowed a friends hose and hooked it to my same 20lb tank i had been trying and it worked fine. Think theirs a problem with the hoses not the heaters.

Same problem I had this summer for my little Q220 weber, only worked with the little bottles, the hose would never let the gas through. I bought a new hose and it works just fine. You would think a new hose is just going to work, turns out some are bad from the get go.

Had the same problem on my Q grill.  It worked OK most of the time, a bit weak but worked.  It performed worse in the cold.  When I put on a 1# tank it worked perfect, warm or cold.  The 20 pound tank was a little cross threaded in the male end.  I tightened it up real tight and it worked better, not perfect, but better.  This went on for a while and eventually a good tight screwing wasn't  good enough.  It would sputter and kind of sometimes workish.  Not to mention the intermittent vague smell of gas I would get/air gushes.  I finally had enough.  I went to return it 5 years after the purchase, so I thought after a good clean up I better check it out good.  I hope this comes out right, on the male end of the connector hose there is a little female part, it has a bushing type seal in it.  The male part of the female connector on your unit seals there.  Well the seal was pulled out of the female part of the male end of the connector hose, resulting in crappy seal and intermittent working.  The 1# bottles always have good seals and they work.  Replaced the hose and it works good since.

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SHORTHAIRSRUS
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Joined: Wednesday, November 24, 2004 - 12:00am

big buddys have two regulators built in on each side.   I have run mine for years and then all of a sudden it kept shutting off.   I listened to all the bs on fbo -- but the bottom line was the regulator was shot --- i put the hose on the other side and no problems.   YOu should be running a hose without a regulator and a filter connnected to the regulator.

EOS

Stay thirsty my friends