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Old 04-05-2004, 08:28 PM   #1
SuperPanga
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Default Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

I reccommended A Mr. Heater to a friend of mine, based on what I had read on this site last year. He used it on his 19 Sea Ranger yesterday and had nothing but trouble. The heater constantly shut off and had to be re lit. He called the factory today and was told that the heater is not suitable for boat use due to the sensitivity of the tip over switch and that the slightest rocking motion or bumping will shut it off. Does that sound right? Any one else have this problem?

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Old 04-05-2004, 08:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Mine doesn't shut off like that, it is four years old. My fishing buddies does shut off like that. It is 1 year old. I guess they increased the sensitivity of the shut off switch between mine and his. It is a pain in the keister.

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Old 04-05-2004, 08:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

I too had a Mr.Heater.Used it in hunting tent and RV trailer. Also had the very same trouble,wouldn't stay on.
Worked a little better with the bulk tank and hose adapter.

Took it back to the dealer in Pendleton, and they gave me a brand new one, no questions asked. They said it was the O2
sensor that was haywire. This was also after having the defective one for about seven months. They new one works great,even used it all steelhead season in my Reinell 25
even though it has an enclosed cabin, sometimes when the door is open if the wind is blowing it will shut down.

I think it is a great product, and very safe to use inside,
but we still keep a window cracked open just a little to be safe.
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Old 04-05-2004, 09:11 PM   #4
Gus Orviston
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

I got one,, and it is pretty sensitive - darn annoying actually. Mine goes off when bumped..lightly, does ok in the drifter until to tag a rock and that is about every few hundred hards if you are lucky. My 15K BTU is too hot for the close quarters up front, and would bake the zoletone. I wish it was much more forgiving. I looked at the schematic and am thinking about maybe disabling that switch. Before the safety police come running, I will say I use the heater the same way I have use my single burner 15K BTW and my double 30K BTU, and those don't have a switch. If I did so, it would never be an indoor unit that is it advertised to be.

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Old 04-05-2004, 09:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Hey, have a possibility for some of you. I have one, and worked flawlessly for 3 seasons in the boats. Then, a season ago, had a problem lighting. Then when lit, would shut off really easy (sound familiar?). What I did was take the scensor that you see out front (may be the O2 they're talking about) and bend it out a bit. I looked at the other one I had (same reliability) and found that the scensor was actually sitting closer to the heat then it was before. Once I bent it out, worked great again and haven't had a problem one with it. So try bending that out a bit (don't go to overboard) and try lighting it. May be the problem.
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Old 04-05-2004, 11:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Thanks SH69- I'll have to try that! Mine worked great for the first season, bit now it won't stay lit either.
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Old 04-06-2004, 06:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

same problem here after 3 years with my Mr heater..... bought utility one at Harbor Freight for $70 that hasnt given me a lick of trouble...hotter too

Mike
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Old 04-06-2004, 06:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Unless the newer ones are way different, I believe that sensor is a heat sensor and keeps the gas valve open while the unit is hot. Flame blows out, sensor gets cold then the fuel shuts off. It's why we have to hold the little button for 10 or 15 seconds, it allows the sensor to heat up. When my heaters are hard to keep lit I usually replace the sensor assembly and that fixes the problem, but they are the older models.
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Old 04-06-2004, 07:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

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Old 04-06-2004, 07:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

I assume you are talking about the Mr. Heater "Portable Buddy" (looks like a big lunch box). I had similar problems with the first one had. I called Mr. Heater and they said to just take it in and exchange it. (Joe's did so without question )

The 'little thingy' you are referring to is called a thermo-coupler and yes it is used to prevent propane from leaking out when the pilot light goes out. As long as this is 'suitably' close to the pilot light, you shouldn't have a problem in average conditions (rocking/windy). I can run my for a full 1# bottle without a problem. If it is windy, the pilot light will go out, or allow the thermo-coupler to cool to the point of shutting off the gas flow.

I love the little thing, but it is certainly not as hardy as the bigger units. IMO I think they are great for forward helm boats, as they take up limited space and provide adequate heat.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

When the wind blows hard my heater goes out.sometimes you think your out of propane but you are not. Were the propane come out the hole above the button was pluged clean it out with a peace of wire and its running fine.Love cooking hot dogs on it.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:05 AM   #12
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

A thermo Coupler! Wow! I used to work at a factory in high school, in Aurora called Aristo Aire, making Thermo Couplers and I had NO clue what they were! :smile:

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Old 04-06-2004, 12:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

The therocoupler and the safety switch are two different things.

The TC gets heated up when you prime the burner the fact that it is hot open the propane valve below. It is hollow copper with inert gas inside so it transfers heat fast and cools quickly. When the flame goes out the TC cools off and shuts off the propane flow.

The tip over switch is what is motion sensitive and is buried inside the unit. You can see it on the blow up diagram that comes with the Mr. Heater.

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Old 04-06-2004, 12:39 PM   #14
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Wind is more of a problem than motion. I put some al. foil along the bottom of the cage, to act as a windbreak, and it seemed to help.
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Old 04-06-2004, 01:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Ditto the wind problem. A couple weeks ago my Mr. Heater wouldn't stay lite. I closed my drop curtain and zipped it up and no problem with the Heater anymore. It really didn't take much of a breeze to make it shutoff.
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Old 04-06-2004, 04:22 PM   #16
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

For what it's worth..If you have to replace the Mr. Heater..get a Coleman...1,000 times better at dang near the same price. Push button start, no flame-out in the wind...even while you're blastin upriver in your open sled. In addition, if you get up against it..it won't melt your raingear (will burn fleece if you get it in the heater tho..right ******?) and methinks they put out more heat too.

Mark
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Old 04-06-2004, 08:14 PM   #17
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

remove the overheat/underheat bulb and hose, pure gas to the head and never another problem. I do it to all of mine.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:31 PM   #18
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

I had a problem with mine and took it to the Gas Connection on 82nd and they fixed me up on the spot.

Pretty reasonable, and it works like a champ again.

If you go there it's close to another large sporting goods store and a Krispy Kream!

Good luck.
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Old 04-06-2004, 09:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

Same as Lured-In.

Today I took the defective Buddy Heater back to GI Joes for an exchange, hopefully this one will stay lit. From what the Return Desk gal said to me, it sounds like they've seen a lot of these come back.
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Old 04-08-2004, 02:43 PM   #20
Gus Orviston
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

CAUTION! Make this modification under your own risk!

Well, I tweaked my buddy... up under the left side of the Portable Buddy there is a level switch. Two copper wires one coming from the thermostat and one from the regulator. The switch is a thermal transfer level switch. If the unit gets off canter so many degrees or is bumped the connection is broke in the thermostat path thus cutting off the flow of propane. If you are annoyed with yours like I am, you can solve it by shunting the switch. I used a copper tab between the two copper wires, I think a small piece of wire wouldn't do the trick very well since it has to transmit the heat, not electricity.

Caution...this would disable the tip over feature all together, and in my testing the unit will not go out if laid over or blown out. Actually it can be blown out, but it will take a sustained wind since the unit will relight itself of the burner now instead of going out. If it does get blown out and doesn't relight the propane will flow for 10 seconds or so.

My unit will be used outside only and in the same manner my other propane heaters are used. Those burners do not have tip over switches and I didn't buy this one for unattended use. I will be adding a caution note to the unit, so future users (If my wife sells my stuff in a garage sale for some unforeseen reason :depressed: will know about the modification). Or BOE takes it from my garage.

take care, gus
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Old 04-08-2004, 03:01 PM   #21
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

yes I had that problem. that coupled with an insufficient amount of heat and the high price resulted in my returning that heater.

El
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Old 04-13-2004, 06:04 AM   #22
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Default Re: Problem with Mr. Heater propane heater

I wrote to Mr. Heater, and pointed them to this topic, to help out.

Here is the reply I received:

Quote:
Jennie
Thanks for the heads up. Couple of thoughts, first our heaters are not
certified or recommended for marine use. Second there seems to be some
confusion regarding the two different types of products. They are
talking about tank tops and the Portable Buddy at the same time. They
are two totally different technologies and perform different under the
same conditions. The tank tops are high pressure and intended for
outdoor use in the wind. The Portable Buddy is operated with low
pressure and is susceptible to blowing out in the wind. They both use a
thermocouple or flame safety devise. If the flame goes out the gas flow
will be shut off by the valve. The thermocouple on the Tank Tops does
need to be replaced it, and over time this may happen, it can be
obtained at local retailers or on our website, www.mrheater.com. Please
make sure your readers do not ever try to change or alter the units.
They must be operated as designed and defined in the operator manuals.
Again thanks for bringing the issues to our attention. You have a great
website!!
Jeff

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