Mr Heater Tank Top Heater Problems [7 Easy Solutions]

The most common Mr heater tank top heater problems are

  • The burner doesn’t light.
  • Propane tank freezes.
  • The heater gives off flame instead of a glow as it is supposed to.
  • The heater shuts off when the valve button is released.
  • And the heater backfiring.

Apart from the above issues, the users also struggle with the heater malfunctioning thermocouple and problems with spark ignition.

However, with our today’s guide, you can easily troubleshoot these issues. So, sit back, relax and go on reading…  

Mr Heater Tank Top Heater Problems [7 Easy Solutions]

In this section, we’ll take an in-depth look into the causes of these issues and their simple solutions. 

1. Burner Won’t Light

There can be many possible reasons why your Mr. Heater Tank Top heater won’t light. They are-

  • Blockage or leak in the gas line
  • The gas valve may be shut off 
  • Malfunctioning thermostat
  • A clogged furnace filter or dirt in burners
  • Faulty flame sensor and broken igniter


Check to ensure that the supply tank valve is open and there is no leak in the gas line or blockage. Set the thermostat to medium, and make sure the safety shutdown is manually held open.

If all of this is correct but you still don’t smell or hear gas, inspect the burner and the heater’s air filter for dirt.

Clean them if necessary. Even now, in case the problem persists, you either have a malfunctioning flame igniter, flame sensor, or thermostat. Call in a technician to help you replace the part that needs a change.

2. Propane Tank Freezes

While in use, propane tanks can freeze. It’s usually a warning that the regulator is feeding the propane too quickly or that the humidity is too high. The fact that the tank has frozen is disconcerting, but it is not harmful.


Take the following steps to stop the tank from freezing and fire from going out because of it. 

Step 1: Wrap the electric blanket around the propane tank. Make sure the regulator and valve are not wrapped around one other.

Step 2: Use duct tape to secure the electric blanket to the propane tank. Attempt to completely cover the tank with the blanket.

Step 3: Turn on the electric blanket and set the temperature to medium.

Step 4: Open the regulator valve slowly and only as much as necessary. The regulator valve is more susceptible to freezing if it is left entirely open. Connecting more than one gas tank together to disperse the pressure is a good idea if you need greater gas pressure.

Step 5: When the propane tank is not in use, remove the electric blanket.

3. Heater Gives Off Flame Instead Of Red Glow

If you haven’t used your Mr. Heater Tank Top heater in a while and kept it outside, it could cause your heater to shoot out a flame instead of just glowing.

Spiders like to create nests in the burner orifice. Once clogged, airflow is restricted and results in a flame rather than searing heat. 


Clean up your burner orifice to solve this issue. In case this trouble persists, call in a professional for help.

4. Heater Shuts Off When Valve Button Is Released

The heaters have a glue that helps the connection on the Tip-Over switch stay tight as they leave the factor, but it can still come free.

This is most probably what happened and causes the heater to shut off.


To fix your heater and get it running again, using pliers, press the connections together tightly. Restart the heater if necessary.

In case the issue persists, contact Mr. Heater Technical Support team, and they will assist you with final troubleshooting.  You can fill up Mr. Heater’s contact us form by clicking here. 

But if you feel more comfortable with an in-person service consultation with Mr. Heater technicians, find a service center close to you. 

A unit that is still under warranty will be fixed by the manufacturer in case any servicing is needed. 

5. Heater Backfiring

This one is a serious issue that needs to be fixed ASAP. When your heater calls for hot water, the gas valves open and the gas supply is normal.

When the gas doesn’t light up as quickly as it should, the gas has time to build up. Then, the gas eventually does light up, and your heater backfires and makes a loud explosion-like noise.

Moisture build-up, sulfur build-up, dust and particle build-up, too much primary air, restricted pilot light, and other factors are all major causes of Mr. Heater’s flame problem.


Here’s a checklist that, 90 times out of 100, will eliminate the crackling and popping noises coming from your water heater. You’ll need to do the following:

  • Check to see if the pilot is ignited properly.
  • Make sure the gas pressure is correct.
  • Look over the draft.
  • Remove the burners and clean them.

One or more of the items on this list could be the source of the problem. If the delayed ignition problem persists after trying everything on the list, it’s time to seek professional assistance.

6. Malfunctioning Thermocouple

The Mr. Heater Tank Top thermocouple will not get hot enough if it is too far away from the pilot light. The gas valve will not stay open as a result, and your propane heater will not work.


Remove the emitter screen to expose the ignition housing to adjust a thermocouple that is too far away from the pilot light.

After you’ve found the thermocouple, carefully press the thermocouple and pilot tube together using pliers. Reassemble the screen.

Sometimes, the thermocouple can become coated in carbon from the propane and start malfunctioning. The carbon buildup can be removed by softly sanding the thermocouple with a tiny tooth file.

7. Spark Ignition Issues

A spark igniter (also known as a sparker) is a small electrode that ignites the pilot light to get things started on a gas patio heater.

Spark igniters wear out over time. If you can light the heater with a match or lighter, the igniter is most likely the issue.


You need to first test the spark igniter. Here’s what you need to do-

Remove the screws securing the screen around the main burner with a screwdriver (a.k.a. emitter screen). The ignition assembly which includes the spark igniter, pilot tube, and thermocouple, will be exposed as a result of this.

To visually look for a spark, hold down the ignition switch. If no spark is observed, the igniter may need to be replaced.

When replacing the spark igniter, keep in mind that it’s normally held in place by a single retainer nut that may be removed with a wrench.

It’s commonly connected to the ignition switch wire using a push-in connector that can be readily taken out by hand on the other end.

Simply reverse the method to install the new spark igniter after removing the old one. You can get a universal igniter that works with all patio heaters or one that is particular to your heater’s brand.


How long will a 5-gallon propane tank run a heater?

A normal 5-gallon tank has a capacity of about 4.7 gallons. A full tank would therefore contain 427,000 BTUs. As a result, a 40,000 BTU propane heater, such as SunGlo or Patio Comfort, can run for 10 hours and 40 minutes on high.

How long will a 20 lb propane tank last for heating?

A 20-pound propane tank with a 50,000 BTU rating will typically last between 6.31 and 8.41 hours. On a 20-pound propane tank, the most efficient propane patio heaters can run for roughly 8 hours.

Does propane go bad?

No, it doesn’t. Because propane doesn’t go bad, it doesn’t have a shelf life or an expiration date. Other fuels, such as kerosene, diesel, heating oil, and gasoline, can degrade over time.

What can I do with an empty 1lb propane tank?

Contact the supplier or visit a local household hazardous trash collection site. AmeriGas will assist you with recycling bigger grill-style tanks at no cost to you. Many local household hazardous waste disposal events accept 1-pound containers.

Can you use a propane tank indoors?

DO NOT keep propane tanks in a garage, basement, carport, shed, sunporch, or carport. Keep propane tanks away from open fires and spark-generating equipment. 


Now as you know the simple solutions for all common Mr. Heater Tank Top heater problems, you can get the heat running in no time. Enjoy the warmth!

In case you have any questions, leave us a comment below. We’ll respond soon.

About William

William is the founder of He has real life practical skills in fixing smoker & heating appliance issues. He loves to share his knowledge & helps others in fixing their appliances & saving their money. William firmly believes that anyone can repair his or her unit with the correct guidance & knowledge. See more at about us.

7 thoughts on “Mr Heater Tank Top Heater Problems [7 Easy Solutions]”

  1. My sigle tank top for 1 lb bottles is sounding like a jet engine , getting louder and louder the longer it runs . Is there anything I can do to make it quiet again?

  2. The knob on heater is extremely hard to turn on , my husband can barely turn it, I can’t, but easy to turn off. What can fix the problem?

  3. I have a single tanktop, one week old Mr. Heater.. The low-med-high regulater stays on High all the time.. It worked for a couple of days, but now stays on High , no matter what setting is chosen.. It will turn off, but low or mediun is still on high… Thank you in advanced.. Louis Ensten.. Twinsburg, Ohio..

    • Hi Louis

      To fix the issue, it would be wise to contact the Tank Top customer support center to inspect your heater to find out the issue & fix it.

      Wish you all the best!

  4. I have the MHC6OFAV …..this is third season I will be using in my woodshop. The last few times I have used it (including this morning for the first time this season), I have had an issue. It lights and operates as it should, but will only run 3-4-maybe 5 minutes before it flames out. Was wondering if there is a built-in thermostat that decides it is warm enough and initiates shut-off? Or maybe thermocoupling problem?


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