6 Common Mr. Heater Pilot Light Problems (Explained)

Mr. Heater Pilot light problem will be big trouble especially in cold weather where no other source of heat is available.

Reasons behind the Mr. Heater Pilot light problem might be from a malfunctioned sensor, clogged pilot tube, dirty thermocouple, and many more.

Check out our guide to identify problems with the pilot heater and go along with the steps to solve them.

Reasons and Solutions for Mr. Heater Pilot Light Problem

mr heater pilot light problem

Here are the top problems encountered by most people with Mr. Heater Pilot Light.

1. Malfunctioned Sensor

Whenever the pilot light will not ignite, this signifies a problem in the device sensor. Sensors are programmed to detect heating problems.

When the sensor is soiled or recognizes some flame, the propane heater will automatically activate safety features which in consequence will turn off the device.

As a result, it will leave you in the dark without light, and exposed to cold weather.


Solving this problem will only take a few minutes of cleaning. Simply follow these steps to light up your world after.

  1. Turn off the heater source.
  2. Find the flame sensor.
  3. Unscrew the knots of the flame sensor.
  4. Disconnect the flame sensor from its frame.
  5. Grab your microfiber cloth, then gently rub the sensor rod.
  6. You may utilize an old toothbrush or any brush to remove dirt on tight areas of the flame sensor slot.
  7. Reconnect, screw the bolts, and return the flame sensor to its position.
  8. Afterward, try turning on the heater. Ensure that the sensor is already detecting the flame and keeps it well-lit.

2. Clogged Pilot Tube

If you’re still having bad issues with Mr. Heater Pilot Light, try to assess the pilot line or tubing. This part usually accumulates dirt and unwanted debris when frequently used.

Check the pilot structure of the heater by peeping the small window close to the knob. Characterize the color of the flame, once you see a yellowish color and flickering issue, this signifies the need for maintenance.


  1. Before cleaning, have a habit of turning off the heater and letting it cool to avoid the occurrence of accidental burning.
  2. Next is to look for a sharp object that can poke around the pilot tube.
  3. Gently poke the inside of the tube. Do not exaggerate because too much pressure can lead to damage to the heater.
  4. After ensuring that it’s free of dirt and debris, restart the heater and see the results.

If it does not work, your pilot tubing will need replacement. You can go to nearby stores or look online to purchase a new set of tubes. You may do it manually or consult a technician concerning this difficulty.

3. Dirty Thermocouple

Another culprit behind the troubleshooting of your heater is a dirty thermocouple. A thermocouple works by directing heater gas valves when to operate in opening and closing.

Keeping it covered with dust and dirt impedes the circulation of the gas supply. Therefore, there will be insufficient flame supply to maintain light and heat.


There’s no need to panic when this problem occurs, you just need to spend a little time cleaning the thermocouple.

  1. Shut down the heater fuel supply. The same as the other procedure, let the heater cool off before opening to avoid injury or burns.
  2. Detach the flame screen protector.
  3. Unscrew the thermocouple.
  4. Get the thermocouple then wash thoroughly with cold water
  5. Use a microfiber or soft cloth to wipe off dirt and debris.
  6. After rubbing, let it air dry for approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Once dried, reattach the thermocouple.

When the pilot heater is still lit off after cleaning, the thermocouple is likely damaged and needs replacement. But you might as well dwell first into the gas valve because it might be clogged and dirty too.

4. Damaged Gas Valve

Technically, gas valves are responsible for fueling up the heater to make it work. If this becomes damaged due to clogged dirt or debris, the heater won’t light.

Instead of a flame, you’ll only notice a spark going on when you try to turn on the heater. This should not happen, hence try the technique of cleaning or replacing the valve.


  1. First, disconnect the gas supply and do not start if the heater is still hot.
  2. Focus on the burner area of the heater. You will locate the gas valve nearby.
  3. Grab your screw and remove the gas valve.
  4. Use a dry, soft, and clean cloth in wiping the valve area.
  5. Replace the old gas valve with new ones.
  6. Attach the new gas valve by screwing it.

Do not screw it tightly or loosen too much. Just have the right rotation, because too tight screws might break the gas valve.

5. Defective Electronic Spark Mechanism

If you happen to guess that the electronic spark mechanism is defective as the blower is turned on. Well, you must reroute the wirings of the heater. And to do this, proceed to the steps below.


  1. Refer to an expert if you’re hesitating to perform the suggested solution.
  2. Before anything else, turn off the heater, and ensure it’s cool enough to be touched.
  3. Open the heater by unscrewing the bolts.
  4. Reread the manual of the pilot heater and locate the electrical diagram guide.
  5. Compare the diagram to the actual heater so you can easily identify its parts.
  6. Look into the wiring system. Reinstall the wirings based on the user manual.

Do not proceed when confused with the instructions because it might damage the heater. Better call for a friend or a heater consultant.

After following the manual’s guide, reattach the screws, and turn on the heater. Ensure that the heater stays lit.

6. Clogged Burner Orifice

When the pilot heater does not light properly, there may be a lot of reasons behind it and one of them is the dirt burner orifice. Using a heater gathers dirt and debris over time.

A dirty burner orifice results in clogged tubing and will affect the heater’s function. Therefore, you need to clean the burner at least every after use or before using the heater.


  1. Follow these steps on how to clean the orifice.
  2. Turn off the heater at least an hour before cleaning it.
  3. Identify where the burner is located. Use screws if there’s a need to open the heater.
  4. Get a soft cloth and gently rub the area of the burner.
  5. Replace the burner if you think that it’s severely damaged.
  6. Contact a local gas company for assistance in burner replacement.
  7. You can also consult a heater expert to ensure the proper placing and functioning of the burner.


There you have it! Mr. Heater Pilot light problem has been solved. Camping and adventures will surely be memorable after reading and understanding this article.

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