You should probably not include propane heaters among the things in your home that you try to troubleshoot and repair yourself. The heaters are highly complex and dangerous. If yours is malfunctioning, you should seek professional assistance.
Propane is a highly explosive material and its handling is subject to regulations. Most homeowners do not realize that even simple modifications to a propane heater may be not only unsafe but illegal. It will also void the device's warranty. Moreover, altering a gas system is highly complex and requires specialized knowledge, tools and instruments.
Nonetheless, there are steps you can take to ensure that a propane heater is functioning properly.
Inspect the heater's vents and remove any dirt or small insects. If you notice ice or snow buildup, call a technician to have him remove it and conduct tests to ensure that none of the piping has been damaged.
Inspect for yellow flame while the propane heater is in use. A yellow flame is an indication that the propane tank is not functioning properly and needs repair.
Have a repair technician inspect and replace any worn connectors on your propane heater. Inspection is especially important in the case of older propane heaters, warns the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Although it may not be illegal to move your propane heater, jarring movements can damage it and even cause an explosion.
Moving the propane tank also requires welding the tank to its new location. But it is illegal for anyone other than the manufacturer to weld a propane heater. Also, if the tank is welded incorrectly, it may become unusable.
Tampering or altering a propane tank is a violation of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA-58,) which regulates residential fuel systems and their proper management.
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