Wierd Heater Fixes

Ya’ know, I’m a pretty smart dude. I’ve done all the right stuff, spent lots of money, even missed Christmas Dinner….foolin’ around with this ‘ol Reddy Heater. You’ll never guess what I found was really the problem!

Lonnie S, from OK writes:
I have a small engine repair shop, and a customer brought in a model RHD125AT Reddy Heater. Problem- the heater would not run but a few seconds, then shut down. Not knowing the quality of fuel in the heater, we purchased 5 gallons of K-1 kerosene at a local chain-hardware store and put fresh fuel in it. The pump pressure was low, so we replaced the rotor, set the pump pressure to specs, checked for leaks, and replaced the nozzle. The runtime was extended to 5 minutes, but it would still shut down. At this point, we suspected electronics so we connected our HA1170 tester to the board, which bypassed the photocell and now the heater would run continuously.
Eliminating the board as being the problem, we purchased and replaced the photocell. The new photocell performed the same as the old one. We now had invested many hours and parts and we had successfully eliminated all operational parts as being defective. Reading on the Reddy Parts website that the photocell looks at flame-color the thought occurred that maybe the photocell was seeing a color that it disliked. So, the fuel was changed to the off-road diesel from our farm tank and immediately the problem went away and the heater will now run continuously with no issues.

Bob G from Muskogee, OK writes:
I spent countless hours in the garage working on my antique M30 Reddy Heater. It would periodically shoot a 6 inch a yellow flame out the front. The pressure was right-on factory specs, I purchased a new nozzle, checked for leaks, even installed a new spark plug, drained the tank, even put in fresh fuel. Then, while removing the spark plug bracket I accidentally noticed that the fuel line easily slid right off the nozzle adapter nipple. I pulled lifted the tubing and it easily slid off the strainer nipple. Closer inspection revealed that the tubing had swelled from age or from the fuel and the inside diameter of the tubing no longer had a tight fit around the nipples, which allowed air to be sucked into the fuel flow. Upon replacing the fuel line tubing I realized that this was the problem the entire time.

Donald R from North Alabama writes:
I blamed that new gauge you sold me! A cousin gave me the almost brand new looking Reddy Heater cause he couldn’t fix it. He was going to put it out in the junk pile, so I took it. I read the troubleshooting tips and bought a gauge from you folks. The pressure went to 9psi and I only needed 5.2. My neighbor and I ran the adjustment screw in & out but the pressure wouldn’t change. We blamed the gauge. Finally, I saw a little mud in the adjustment screw hole. I dug the mud out and found an egg or larvae that a dirt-dobber had deposited while in storage. The mud wasn’t allowing the relief valve to “relieve” the excess air, so the pressure was running WIDE-OPEN! and not adjusting. Easy fix, just tough finding.

Mr. fix-it from Texas writes:

After replacing the rotor and blades, filters, checking
motor, pump body, etc. etc., I accidentally found where a rodent chewed
holes in the air hose between the pump and the nozzle.
Now works great.

Derrick R from Petersburg, NJ writes:
don’t let the breather hole in the fule cap get stopped up with junk. the heater will run bout 20 minits then shut down. Come back ltr and it will run another 20 minutes then quit. don’t ask me how I know.

Burleigh B from Toms River NJ writes:
I work at a large manufacturing plant and we have roughly 40 heaters. Some are Reddy Heaters, Some are Master. Some are 200,000 btu’s, some are 150,000 btu’s. I’m overworked as it is and this year the boss put me in charge of repairing the ones in the conex that dont run, or stink, or smoke. I spent lots of the boss’s money buying parts, some run good now, but some still stank when I finished. I found out that sometime in the passed someone had put the fans from 150’s on some of the 200k heaters and not enough air was flowing. This was causing the fuel not to burn properly. I spent some more of the bosses money on new, correct fan blades and now they don’t stink.

Thompson from Nova Scotia writes:
My company has a RC170T heater that would only run if the wheels are elevated off the floor. We suspected water in the fuel tank. We followed your tip and beamed a flashlite into the tank. Nothing was seen. Careful thought was put into why the heater would only run with the heater elevated. Then, it occurred to us that if elevated the water would travel to the low end of the heater, allowing the tube to pick up fuel instead of water. We drained the tank and found there was roughly 8 liters of water in the tank. The flashlite did not find it because the water was a solid layer, instead of droplets rolling on the bottom as we had hoped to see.

Donald R from North Alabama writes (again):
A man brought me a R115 heater that his son had given him. It would only fire off for 5 seconds and quit. Using a flashlight I shined the tank for water- clean & very clear. I noticed a smell from the fuel I didn’t recognize and mentioned it to the customer. His remark was “my son ran it for a few hours, then it just quit.” I took his word. I found several air leaks, and replaced the nozzle. The heater still only ran for 5 seconds- then it would quit. The 5 seconds it would run – it sputtered. Thinking back about the SMELL of the fuel and smell of the exhaust, it might have been some type of paint thinner. I drained the tank and put in diesel, fired the heater up without any further adjustments and I think it would have run until out of fuel. I don’t know what was in the tank but the photocell didn’t like it!

Mark S, Columbia MO writes:
A friend bought a 50r ready heater at a auction and said it worked but only for a minute and asked me if I would take a look at it. After disassembly and fixing all of the little problems made along the way and reassembly it would still only fire for about a minute. Then I spent another day checking all of the parts individually and finding nothing I just happened to pick up the fire chamber by the fuel port and noticed something odd. It was a mud daubers nest about the size of a tennis ball just inside the chamber. After removal of the nest and final adjustments she runs like a charm.

J Athens, Massachusetts:
I bought a 1987 Reddy Heater R50A. The heater would smoke & shut down & not run at all. The pump was only putting out 2.5 psi for a few seconds & I could not adjust the level. I assumed it was the pump until I found your webpage. It was a cracked round plastic filter cover. It was a hairline crack that I was lucky to have found with your help. I used some Epoxy & it worked great! Since then I replaced it with a new cover. This is a great webpage with so much valuable info!!!
Great heaters & great webpage!!