How to Light an Outdoor Heater

An outdoor heater may be the perfect solution if you’re looking to extend your outdoor living space and make it more comfortable. Outdoor heaters come in various shapes and sizes, so it’s essential to choose one that is right for your needs. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about lighting an outdoor heater. We’ll also share some tips on how to stay safe while using one. So keep reading about how to light an outdoor heater!

How to Light an Outdoor Heater

Outdoor heaters are a great way to enjoy your backyard or patio during cooler months. However, before you can start using one, you need to know how to light it properly. Many outdoor heaters use either natural gas or propane as fuel. If you’re not familiar with operating these types of appliances, it’s essential to read the instructions carefully before attempting to light the heater.

Summary: Here are five tips on how to do just that: 1. Start by checking the gas valve to make sure it’s turned off. If it’s not, turn it off using the handle on the side of the tank. 2. Open the fuel cap and pour in enough fuel to last until the heater is ready to use. 3. Make sure the grill is clean and free of debris. 4. Position the heater so the flame is pointing downwards. 5. Light the match and wait until the flame is burning steadily.

A Stepwise Guide on How to Light an Outdoor Heater

Step 1: Determine the Type of Outdoor Heater

The first step to lighting an outdoor heater is to determine the type of heater you will be using. There are various types of heaters available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Gas heaters are typically more expensive than electric or propane models, but they offer a higher level of heat output.

Electric heaters are less expensive to operate than gas models, but they require a reliable power source. Propane heaters are a good middle ground between the two, offering a moderate level of heat output at a reasonable price. Carefully consider your needs before selecting a particular model.

Step 2: Check for Safety Precautions

After you’ve chosen your outdoor heater, be sure to take a moment to read the safety precautions that come with it. This might mean looking over the manufacturer’s instructions, or being on the lookout for potential hazards like flammable objects near the heater, or extreme wind conditions that could blow embers around.

Step 3: Ensure Proper Placement

When setting up your outdoor heater, be sure to place it on a flat surface in a safe location, away from any structures or combustible materials. Ideally, your heater should be at least 10 feet away from areas where people may be walking or gathering.

Heater Should Be Placed on a Flat Surface

Step 4: Check the Fuel Supply

Before lighting your outdoor heater, make sure that you have sufficient fuel to keep it running for an extended period. This will typically involve checking your gas supply if you are using a gas-powered model and ensuring that the propane tank is filled correctly if you are using a propane-powered heater.

Step 5: Prepare the Heater for Lighting

Before you turn on your heater, be sure to check that it is set up correctly. For example, gas heaters need to have the gas valves turned on before they can be lit, while electric heaters need to be plugged into a power outlet.

Step 6: Light the Heater

Once your outdoor heater is prepared for lighting, you can ignite it using the method specified by the manufacturer. This will typically involve using a match or lighter to ignite the burner on a gas-powered heater or flipping a switch to turn on an electric model.

Step 7: Check for Proper Operation

After your outdoor heater is lit, it’s essential to take a moment to ensure that it is operating correctly. This includes checking for any flames or smoke that may be coming from the unit and ensuring that the area around the heater is clear of any combustible materials. If there are any signs of flames or smoke, you should immediately turn off the heater and call a professional to service it.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Outdoor Space!

Once your outdoor heater is up and running, you can enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about the cold! Whether entertaining guests or simply relaxing in your backyard, an outdoor heater can provide a perfect touch of warmth to make your experience even more enjoyable.


  1. Read all instructions carefully before attempting to light your outdoor heater.
  2. Make sure that the area around the outdoor heater is clear of any flammable materials. This includes things like gasoline, papers, or leaves.
  3. Do not attempt to light the outdoor heater if there is any wind blowing. The flames could easily be blown out or into something else and cause a fire.
  4. Have a fire extinguisher close by in case of an emergency.
  5. Never leave the outdoor heater unattended while it is lit.
Outdoor Heater Is Clear of Any Flammable Materials


If your outdoor heater isn’t lighting, there are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the issue.

The Gas Tank Is Empty:

Your outdoor heater may not be lighting because the gas tank is empty. Make sure that you’ve filled the gas tank with enough fuel to last through your entire outdoor gathering, and check to see if there are any obstructions or leaks in the hose leading from the gas tank to the heater.

The Pilot Light Is Out:

Another issue that could prevent your outdoor heater from lighting is a malfunctioning pilot light. If you suspect this might be causing problems, turn on your heater and press down on the ignition button for several seconds until you hear a “clicking” sound, which means that the pilot light has been re-ignited.

The Gas Regulator Is Turned Off: How to Light an Outdoor Heater

In some cases, the gas regulator may be turned off, preventing your outdoor heater from lighting.

If your gas regulator is turned off, you will need to find the valve and turn it on. The valve is usually located near the base of the outdoor heater. Once you have found it, use a lighter to ignite the flame. Hold the lighter close to the opening of the valve and wait for the flame to appear.

If you can’t find the valve or are unsure how to turn it on, ask a friend or neighbor for help. Once you’ve turned on the gas, light the outdoor heater.

The Gas Tank Is Not Hooked on Properly:

If your outdoor heater is not lighting correctly, the first thing to check is the gas tank. It’s essential to ensure that the tank is properly connected and secured to your outdoor heater. You may need to tighten any loose connections or replace a faulty valve on the tank to get your unit working again.

Once you have ensured that the gas tank is securely attached, please turn on your outdoor heater and check for any leaks around its components. If you notice any leaking, shut off your unit immediately and address these issues before trying to light it again.

Finally, if nothing seems to be wrong with your gas tank or other components, you may need to dial in the right amount of fuel and oxygen by adjusting the settings on your outdoor heater. Once you have the perfect mixture, you should be able to light your unit without any problems.

Clogged Burner or Pipe:

If your outdoor heater isn’t working, the first step is to check the burner or pipe. If it’s clogged, you’ll need to clean it out. The best way to do this is with a wire brush.

Start by removing the gas canister from the outdoor heater. Next, use the wire brush to clean the burner or pipe. Brush away any dirt, debris, or rust that you see. Reattach the gas canister once you’ve finished cleaning and try igniting the outdoor heater again.

Remove the Gas Canister

Clogged Bug Screen:

If you’re having trouble lighting your outdoor heater, it might be because the bug screen is clogged with debris.

Turn off the power to your outdoor heater by switching off the circuit breaker or removing the fuse for that circuit. Make sure you are not standing in water or near any other water source while doing this.

Carefully remove the cover from your outdoor heater and locate the bug screen at the bottom of the unit. Using a soft-bristled brush or damp cloth, gently clean away any debris that may be blocking airflow through the screen. Be careful not to scratch or damage any components in this process.

Once the screen is clear, reattach the cover to your outdoor heater and turn the power back on at the circuit breaker or fuse box. You should now be able to light your outdoor heater without any problem. If you’re still having trouble, consult your user manual or contact the manufacturer for further assistance.

If you’re still having trouble getting your outdoor heater to light, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a professional technician who can identify and address any other issues that may be preventing your device from functioning correctly. With regular maintenance and care, however, you should enjoy safe and reliable use of your outdoor heater for many years to come.

Can You Manually Light an Outdoor Heater?

It is possible to light an outdoor heater manually. First, you will need to determine whether your outdoor heater has a manual or electronic ignition. If your outdoor heater has a manual ignition, follow the instructions on starting the flame in your owner’s manual. Alternatively, if your outdoor heater uses an electronic igniter, you must locate the spark button and press it briefly to light the flame.

Once you have successfully lit your outdoor heater, keep the area around your appliance clear of any flammable materials, such as dry leaves or other debris. Additionally, ensure adequate ventilation for excess gas and carbon monoxide to escape without building up inside your outdoor space.

To keep your outdoor heater running safely and efficiently, it is essential to regularly clean and maintain the appliance according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. This may involve replacing worn or damaged parts, cleaning the burner ports and flame spreaders, or simply ensuring adequate airflow around the unit.

Outdoor Heater Running Safely

If you need further assistance in lighting your outdoor heater manually, reach out to a qualified technician for expert guidance and advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Light Outside Heater With Lighter?

It is not recommended to light a lighter outside the heater as this can create dangerous flames. Instead, use an open flame such as a kitchen stove or grill.

Why is My Patio Heater Not Lighting?

Yes, you can light an outside heater with a lighter. However, it’s important to note that this is not a safe practice and should only be done if you are absolutely sure that the lighter is not going to cause any harm. If you are in any doubt, please do not attempt this.

Why is My Propane Heater Not Igniting?

The most common is that the pilot light has gone out, and you will need to replace the bulb with a new one. Second, there could be a problem with the gas line or regulator. If this is the case, you will need to take apart your heater and fix any issues that arise. Finally, if your coil isn’t firing up properly, it may require the replacement of the coil assembly. In all cases, it’s best to call an experienced technician for help before trying to fix things yourself!

Do All Propane Heaters Have a Pilot Light?

While all propane heaters do have a pilot light, not all of them are required to be used in order to start the heater. In fact, many homeowners choose to completely disable the starter using a switch on their propane tank or vent line rather than use the pilot light. This is because most pilots generate heat and are capable of starting up the heater even if there is no flame present.

Some homeowners elect to leave their pilot lit just in case they need it for an emergency flare-up, but this practice should only be done as a last resort since Pilot Lights can also create dangerous fire conditions if left burning continuously.


Outdoor heaters are a great way to extend the use of your outdoor space into the cooler months. By following these simple steps on how to light an outdoor heater, you can ensure safe and fun use of your outdoor heater this winter.

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Jennifer Branett

I'm Jennifer, and I love everything about lighting. I have spent the last two years learning all I can about how lighting affects your home, and now I'm an LED light enthusiast. My passion is helping people see just how beneficial proper lighting can be for their lives. When you're working with me, you're getting someone who truly cares about making your home look and feel its best.

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