12 Common Mr. Heater Buddy Problems & Troubleshooting Guide

Many people use Mr. Heater Buddy for camping, hunting, and during emergencies. It’s one of the best heater brands you can invest in and use both indoors and outdoors. Unfortunately, even with the excellent heating capabilities, they still experience some common problems.

Here are 12 Common Problems With Mr. Buddy Heaters and How to Fix them

  1. Heater Portable Buddy Won’t Light
  2. Pilot Flame Stays On When I Release the RED ON Button
  3. Little Buddy Heater Lights But When I Release The On button, The Pilot Goes Out
  4. Big Buddy Heater Pilot Blows Out
  5. Heater Portable Buddy Will Not Stay Running
  6. Buddy Heater Igniter not Clicking
  7. Heater Buddy Thermocouple Problems
  8. Heater Buddy Flex Won’t Stay Lit
  9. Buddy Heater Not Working With 20LB Tank
  10. Buddy Heater Flickering
  11. Buddy Heater Lights then Goes Out
  12. Buddy Heater Knob Stuck

The rest of the article will delve into what’s causing these problems and how you can fix them. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Heater Portable Buddy Won’t Light

The pilot flame is one of the most important components of any of these propane heaters. If the pilot light isn’t coming on, don’t panic.

The first thing you’re going to want to do is to ensure your 1lb propane bottle has enough fuel. This screw-on bottle should be full whenever possible to ensure the Portable Buddy works without issue. You can also double-check your propane supply tank. This should be turned on.

If you’ve installed a new supply of propane, hold your control valve down for 30-60 seconds. This guarantees your gas supply is going to make it to your supply tube.

 I Have Held Down The Red Button For Several Minutes But The Pilot Flame Still Won’t Light

If you’re holding down your heater’s control knob, and nothing is happening, your pilot tube may need to be cleaned out. This is not difficult by any means, requiring some rubbing alcohol, a couple of Q-Tips, and a steady hand.

Make sure none of the cottons come off the stick. Carefully twisting the Q-Tip two inches down to the bottom, begin a gentle process of twisting and soaking. This should get any problematic gunk, but you may need to do this twice.

2. Pilot Flame Stays On When I Release the RED ON Button?

This is another common issue among the entire family of Mr. Heater Buddy products.

More likely than not, either the TIP switch or the OFF switch will need to be restarted. While VERY GENTLY shaking the heater itself, push the OFF button at least a couple of times consecutively. This should clean your contacts in no uncertain terms.

If this doesn’t work, the ODS pilot’s assembly may require a replacement. Before going to this step, have the pilot tube cleaned thoroughly with the steps listed above. If this doesn’t work, it is time to have the pilot assembly for the ODS replaced.

3. Little Buddy Heater Lights But When I Release The On button, The Pilot Goes Out?

The first thing you should do is make certain your pilot luck hasn’t become stuck. This is more common than you might think! Rapidly pressing the OFF switch several times should work at releasing your spring.

You may also need to clean your pilot tube. If you’ve tried both of these suggestions, and nothing seems to be doing the trick, you may need to bring your Mr. Heater Little Buddy to a technician.

4. Big Buddy Heater Pilot Blows Out

There are a few different potential causes of this issue that you will want to check out.

The most apparent culprit could be that you are using a propane tank that is much too small for the Big Buddy Heater. Remember, this is an appliance that can generate upwards of 18 000 BTUs. In addition, it has a coverage area of up to 450 square feet.

Also, when the heater pilot blows out, you may notice frost along the outside of your tank.

5. Heater Portable Buddy Will Not Stay Running

The pilot may be blocked once again, so make it a point to check that out first. 

If the pilot light is not to blame, you have a couple more things you can try. The opening for fresh air to come in may not be large enough. It is also entirely possible that the TIP switch has been activated. Designed as a safety feature, sometimes it won’t take more than a slight nudge to set this off.

The regulator may require replacement. If not, both the regulator and the control valve may need to be inspected and potentially replaced.

6. Buddy Heater Igniter not Clicking

Is your igniter not clicking? This almost certainly means the spark isn’t being generated as it should. If the spark is too weak, you may need to clean or replace some heater components. You should also make sure that you have plenty of propane in the tank.

The alignment to the pilot itself might be off, as well. Consider bringing your heater in for a professional look.

7. Heater Buddy Thermocouple problems

When you let go of the ON switch, does your heater light only go out almost immediately afterward? Should this be the case, you may need to check out the thermocouple.

In case you don’t know, the thermocouple is a sensor responsible for accurate temperate measurements.

If your thermocouple is dirty, or if not enough in the way flame is getting to the thermocouple in the first place, you can try to alleviate your problem by cleaning up the thermocouple. You want to get rid of any grime or dirt which might influence its performance.

The valve requires a signal to say open. If the thermocouple isn’t working correctly, it will not receive that signal.

8. Heater Buddy Flex Won’t Stay Lit

Boasting a new design, some new features, as well as everything you already like about these heaters, the Mr. Heater Buddy Flex is a powerhouse. It can deliver up to 11 000 BTUs and is considered one of the best indoor radiant heaters on the market.

If the heater fails to remain lit, the tip switch wires could be disconnected. However, you should first check to make sure the pilot lighting is working as it should. If your pilot flame is not properly surrounding your thermocouple, you will want to check that, as well.

Finally, the pilot assembly itself may be defective. If this is true, either you or a repair expert will need your pilot assembly replaced.

9. Buddy Heater Not Working With 20LB Tank

A 20lb tank can run for upwards of 110 hours with your Buddy Heater. However, if you find that it just isn’t working as it should, you will need to address a couple of possible issues.

First, you want to make sure the hose attachment has been connected correctly. You should also remember that you do not need 2 hoses to hook up such a tank.

Only one hose is going to be needed in this situation. You can attach it to your right or left side regulator. The quick disconnect feature on the heater’s left side is also an option.

10. Buddy Heater Flickering

A flickering heater, regardless of the specific size you have chosen, can be a hassle. Fortunately, the odds are pretty good that the issue comes down to the pilot tube. You can address this easily enough by cleaning it using the steps we mentioned earlier.

Using the Q-Tip and rubbing alcohol, set about gently cleaning the area out.

If this doesn’t work, then the thermocouple is probably to blame. Of course, you can opt to fix this on your own, but it may prove wiser and less stressful to take it in for repairs.

11. Buddy Heater Lights Then Goes Out

The pilot mechanism may need to be cleaned, repaired, or even replaced. This is often the case with most propane heaters when the heater lights but doesn’t stay on for very long.

Check for any potential draft sources. If you find one, take steps to eliminate it. This is worth checking first before you set about the task of addressing the pilot tube/mechanism. 

Of course, you should also check to ensure your propane tank is not empty. It may even be completely shut off! Check this out because it is undoubtedly better to be safe than sorry.

12. Knob Stuck

Is your Mr. Heater Buddy knob stuck? You may be able only to turn it in one direction, or perhaps you can’t even turn it at all. In either situation, the solution is pretty straightforward.

Start by turning your valve counterclockwise. This should open it. Next, start turning it in a clockwise direction to close it. Finally, should you find the knob is still stuck, you can start moving the knob in a counterclockwise fashion once more. This should open the valve, and your knob should no longer be in a stuck position.