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Calor gas butane workshop radiant heater

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Sam Longley 123/12/2020 16:08:26
939 forum posts
34 photos

I purchased a new one of these18 months ago, when I suspected that my 45 year old one was giving off fumes. It is a cabinet type with the bottle inside. has 3 burners on the face.

It is ignited by first turning on gas at the regulator then depressing the rotating dial at the top & depressing the spark ignition to light a pilot light at the front central burner. One can then select 2 or 3 burners by rotating the dial further

The first one was returned to the supplier as the pilot light just blew up in a high jet & would not ignite the burner. The current one has not been used much & out of return warranty

My problem is that the pilot light seems to be getting too much air & is roaring like a blow lamp & then goes out. If i hold a sugar stirrer over the light when igniting I can force the pilot light to burn properly at the start, but after 10 mins it will suddenly start roaring then go out. The supplier says that it is fitted with a unit that assesses the oxygen in the air, but it does this with the door open as well

So does anyone have any clues how to adjust the pilot light please? Should I be looking for an air screw. Should I alter the gas regulator on the bottle? ( old ones were adjustable) should I bend the thermal coupling?

Am I wasting my time & my £ 55-00 & need to chuck it out after little use?

Any advice greatly appreciated ( I would rather not have suggestions of - use electric, diesel etc etc- I just want to get this working like my old one which just wore out but otherwise was great)

Thanks

Sam L

Jeff Dayman23/12/2020 17:05:32
2221 forum posts
47 photos

It sounds to me like your gas valve is not working properly. A roaring pilot or one where the flame lifts off the jet is a symptom of a malfunctioning gas valve. Since you have had two of these heaters with defects I suggest there may be a design or workmanship issue with that make and model. It's a gas appliance - don't take chances with it malfunctioning, buy a better quality one. Just my opinion. Safety first.

Keith Hale23/12/2020 17:32:14
avatar
333 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Sam.

The dealer is pulling your chain!

The amount of oxygen in the air is just under 20% and, I believe, has been since God was a boy. Sounds like a piece of special kit being given away on a £50 heater. You won't get it on a propane torch no matter how much you pay. 😀

Take it back and offer to light and run it in his office!

Don't mess about with any settings or valves. If you're cold, light your brazing torch!

Regards

Keith

Dave Halford23/12/2020 17:47:17
2004 forum posts
23 photos

Normally the thermocouple should be in the pilot flame. Bending the thermocouple it's self will kill it.

The flame should light the panels. Does it, you haven't said for this one?

Pilot lights stay on normally while you hold the control down, the thermocouple when hot allows you to let go.

None of which will work properly if the gas bottle regulator has died

oldvelo23/12/2020 18:34:52
294 forum posts
56 photos

Sam

Running a gas flame heater in a small workshop producing carbon monoxide is not good for your health or for that matter your survival.

New Zealand Ministry Of Health Bulletin Gas Heater Warning

Stay Safe Take Care Kia Kaha

Eric

not done it yet23/12/2020 18:36:48
6719 forum posts
20 photos

I would suggest it is simply your pressure regulator that is defunct. Any reaction to oxygen concentration, while burning, would shut down the unit, not affect the pilot flame.

noel shelley23/12/2020 19:21:56
1278 forum posts
21 photos

I would check the pilot jet ! It sounds as if it is partly blocked causing the jet of gas to deform, not then picking up the right amount of air. If the jet can be removed cleaning will be easy, if not an air line and blow back. Be careful of using wires or prickers that will enlarge the jet. If the burner panels work OK when lit The regulator should be working. A local firm used to take these in for service. Out the back door down the road to the garage and use their airline. Job done !

The thermocouple and it's magnetic interlock is an interesting device ! it produce quite a high magnetic field in the coil. Good luck Noel

PS I don't fall for the oxygen sensor story !!!!

J Hancock23/12/2020 20:37:24
832 forum posts

You can smell the fumes, you won't smell the Carbon monoxide, you'll be dead.

If you are in a nice ,warm, unventilated workshop it will get you.

Baz23/12/2020 21:10:54
705 forum posts
2 photos

For the sake of twenty quid you could buy a carbon monoxide alarm and put in the workshop, when the alarm goes off turn the heater off and get out fast!

norman valentine23/12/2020 22:37:57
280 forum posts
40 photos

LPG heaters produce a lot of water in the combustion gases, not the best thing to have in a workshop, Stick with electric heating.

Keith Hale24/12/2020 00:46:22
avatar
333 forum posts
1 photos

Is this for real?

The guy is being fobbed off by a dealer who probably knows 3/5 of not very much of what he is selling (?)

There are a lot of them about!

Smelling fumes, carbon monoxide alarms, water in the combustion gases....

Forget that, this dealer should be offering the opportunity to turn lead into gold with this equipment. I'm off to the church roof with this heater. 😂

Regards

Keith

..

not done it yet24/12/2020 07:31:16
6719 forum posts
20 photos

If the pilot flame holds on the supply with a flame failure device is this turning off the heater? Ie fail safe?

If not the pressure regulator, I, too, would dump it - back at the supplier for a refund, after complaining to the regulating body or in a condition that it could never be used again.

Seems to me buy cheap, buy twice? As I’ve said elsewhere, only buy cheap if you can afford to throw it away.

Sam Longley 124/12/2020 08:47:49
939 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 24/12/2020 07:31:16:

If the pilot flame holds on the supply with a flame failure device is this turning off the heater? Ie fail safe?

If not the pressure regulator, I, too, would dump it - back at the supplier for a refund, after complaining to the regulating body or in a condition that it could never be used again.

Seems to me buy cheap, buy twice? As I’ve said elsewhere, only buy cheap if you can afford to throw it away.

The problem is that there is so much hassle sending back for the cost involved. Then there is the problem of knowing which one is " good quality". Like many of these one sees on the internet , there is no real way of telling. These far east things are 10 a penny & probably all from similar factories, so one just pays the cheapest price for the same product. I sent the first one back already.

If someone can give me recommendations for a good one, that would help.

As for damp - I have never really suffered from this in my workshop, even in the worst Essex winter.

As for carbon monoxide poisoning- It reminds me that I have a portable unit on my boat that I could put in my shed during the winter. Might do that.Good point.

As for using a gas heater in a shed being dangerous- well perhaps I should have died some time over the last 45 years, but still time yet so I do have the sense to open the door . The shed is very well insulated so I actually do not need the heater on for long so I heat the shed up for 30 mins then turn the heater off. That is normally enough so I have the door open for a while. It is a cheap & fairly efficient way of warming the shed which is well insulated.

But thanks for the comments everyone. It looks like I will have to put my hand in my pocket. I hope Santa delivers cash instead of socks this year

happy Xmas to one & allyes

Brian G24/12/2020 09:39:41
835 forum posts
37 photos

I got curious about how an oxygen depletion unit like this one from Hamilton Gas Products works, as it cannot be that complex if they can sell it for a tenner complete with thermocouple and spark plug. I'm still not sure, but it appears that the pilot flame itself acts as the sensor, and that at under 18% oxygen the pilot flame separates from the burner, and therefore lifts off of the thermocouple, shutting off the gas valve, which sound like what you are describing.

I would guess that adjustment instructions are not going to be generally available, and wouldn't personally consider trying to adjust the pilot other than perhaps checking for blockages, but according to this article, one reason for the flame lifting off and shutting down the unit can be high gas pressure, so perhaps changing the regulator might be worthwhile?

Brian G

Derek Lane24/12/2020 11:21:01
avatar
719 forum posts
164 photos

Having read many of the replies may I suggest that the heater is given a service which is advisable for any appliance like this, as many are used during the winter and then not run throughout the summer where dust and small insects can find small crevices to hide.

What the dealer told you is something new to me as these heaters have a simple thermo coupling device that is quite reliable, the most common failure for that part is the thermocouple magnetic valve itself which can be checked with a 1.5v battery.

The flame that you describe could simply be down to collection of dust and small foreign mater which a yearly service will sort out.

Just as a small background I spent 25 years as a tool hire mechanic and every year prier to the winter spend time checking and servicing the heaters ready for the winter months. Now you need to take them to a certified gas dealer like calor gas who are authorised to do such services

Sam Longley 124/12/2020 12:01:55
939 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by Brian G on 24/12/2020 09:39:41:

I got curious about how an oxygen depletion unit like this one from Hamilton Gas Products works, as it cannot be that complex if they can sell it for a tenner complete with thermocouple and spark plug. I'm still not sure, but it appears that the pilot flame itself acts as the sensor, and that at under 18% oxygen the pilot flame separates from the burner, and therefore lifts off of the thermocouple, shutting off the gas valve, which sound like what you are describing.

I would guess that adjustment instructions are not going to be generally available, and wouldn't personally consider trying to adjust the pilot other than perhaps checking for blockages, but according to this article, one reason for the flame lifting off and shutting down the unit can be high gas pressure, so perhaps changing the regulator might be worthwhile?

Brian G

Thanks for the link. After the (one day crying) holiday, I will have a look & see if it is possible to swap the parts over. A new pilot fitting may be the answer.

Separation of the pilot light is exactly what is happening, but I did not know how to describe it.Sometimes the unit works from the start sometimes not, which started me thinking about the regulator , which came new with the heater. It happens with the door of the shed open so it is not actual oxygen depletion, but possibly a faulty fitting. Worth a punt for a tenner & a bit of fettling. -- After I have fitted the carbon monoxide unit off my boat, along with the portable gas leak alarm

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