Torpedo Heater Not Igniting [5 Easy Solutions]

The reasons behind your Torpedo heater not igniting are faulty pilot, thermocouple difficulties, electrical spark, dirty nozzle, and obstructed air circulation. Read the article till the end.

You will discover how to fix the Torpedo heater ignition issue.

Torpedo Heater Not Igniting [5 Easy Solutions]

Torpedo heaters must be maintained regularly to make sure they run efficiently and ignite properly. But when it fails to ignite, look for the following reasons and fix your heater issues ASAP.  

1. Pilot Light Issue

To ignite the fuel, kerosene or propane torpedo heaters may use a pilot light. When it’s working, the flame should be solid blue with a bit of yellowish. Otherwise, if it is not in a stable mood that may cause your torpedo heater to not ignite. 


If your torpedo heater has a pilot light, it should be visible near the fuel supply system nozzle. It should be visible via a narrow hole or opening next to the control knob. The pilot is about an inch tall and ultimately blue.

The pilot tube must be cleaned if it is flashing, damaged, undersized, orange, or yellow in color. You may clear it out by first shutting off the gas and carefully putting a syringe into the bottom of the pilot barrel. Its minimum depth is 100mv to keep the pilot lit.

2. Thermocouple Difficulties

The thermocouple might be the cause of the problem. The thermocouple is a heat-sensitive safety device that prevents unburned gas from being released. The pilot’s first flame burns the thermocouple, signaling the valve to remain open and keep the pilot lit and the propane heater running.


If the thermocouple is very far away from the flames, the pilot will go out, and the torpedo heater will not ignite suitably. This can be solved easily by repositioning the thermocouple closer to the flame. When you find the thermocouple is defective or worn out, you need to replace it with a new one.

Purchase a new one, unclip the bulb, detach the wire from the gas valve, remove the old one, and replace it in the exact location. As a precaution, always switch off the gas.

3. Electrical Spark Mechanism Issue

A problem with the electrical spark mechanism might be the source of the problem. When you turn on the blower, you should see a spark in the burner chamber.


If you don’t, get an electrical diagram of the unit, which usually comes with the owner’s manual, and you will be able to figure out what is causing the problem. 

If your propane heater ignites but does not light, the gas cylinder supplying it may be empty, or the gas supply may have been turned off. Check again, and if the issue persists, gently clean the gas valve with a needle. 

4. Air Circulation

To heat, the igniting flame needs air, and too much air will absorb it. Airflow entering via a door or an open window may prevent you from lighting it.


The pilot will not be able to receive enough oxygen if he does not ventilate. The obstacle is most probably at the ventilation entrance, and it should be cleared. It is feasible that it will ignite when the heater is switched on.

5. Dirty Nozzle

Dirt may cover around the nozzle over time. If dirt gathers in the fuel lines, it may block the spark plug. Furthermore, dust in the tank filtration might damage the power switch wiring.

As a consequence, your kerosene-powered torpedo heater may fail to ignite. Or sometimes, you may find it ignites but within a short time, your Torpedo heater will keep shutting off


Fuel may not reach the spark plug due to a dirty fuel filter or nozzle. It is a good idea to clean or replace the nozzles at least once throughout the heating season, and fuel filters should have been cleaned regularly.


How do you start a torpedo heater?

Connect the cable to a three-prong grounded electric cord, which can then be connected to a GFCI grounded outlet or generator. Set the thermostat device to the desired temperature and push the start button. Until the heater bursts into flames, never leave the heater on if you are not supposed to be there.

How do you test a photocell?

Use a digital multimeter to test a photocell. Turn on the meter and choose the resistive settings. The representation of the greek omega is often used to represent resistance. If the multimeter does not auto-range, set the knob to an extremely high value, such as megaohms.

Is it possible for a photocell to fail?

If your light continues to burn, the photocell has failed, and the entire unit should be replaced. The life duration is dependent on how often and for how long it was switched on, although it normally lasts 10 years or more.

Why isn’t my dusk to dawn light bulb turning on?

First and foremost, turn off the lights. The second step is to turn it off for a split second. Finally, turn the light back on. That is all there is to do when it comes to resetting your dusk to dawn lights.

Do light sensors go bad?

If your post bulb is 120-volt or low-voltage, most feature a dusk-to-dawn sensor built into the light. This may often fail, leading the light to remain on or off despite the time of day.


This article should have given you a clear understanding of how and why the Torpedo heater would not ignite. If you have any questions, please let us know. Leave a comment below, and we will get back with an update soon with our best responses.

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.

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