How to Troubleshoot a Mr. Heater Buddy Heater

Among its lineup of forced air kerosene and propane heaters, torches, vent-free heaters and accessories, Mr. Heater's series of Buddy gas heaters encompassed four different models as of 2014: the Hunting Buddy, the Big Buddy, the Portable Buddy and the Little Buddy. While these heaters range in features and in heating power -- with outputs spanning from 3,800 to 18,000 British thermal units per hour -- they all operate in similar fashion and share common troubleshooting procedures.

Step 1

Move the heater to a more open area if it shuts off during operation. Due to built-in safety features, Mr. Heater's Buddy series of propane heaters need at least 5 to 18 inches of space on all sides, depending on the size of the model, for proper operation. They also need at least 10 square inches of ventilation if you're in an enclosed space or a semi-enclosed space; but this is for your safety, not for the operation of the heater.

Step 2

Ensure that the propane heater's control knob is completely set to the "Pilot" position -- not between "Pilot" and another setting -- and that is depresses fully if the heater produces a spark but the pilot does not ignite or if the pilot flame does not stay lit.

Step 3

Turn the heater off by turning its control knob to the "Off" position. Spray the pilot orifice with a compressed air duster to remove any debris such as dirt, lint or spider webs, which may inhibit the pilot from lighting.

Step 4

Attach a new 1-pound disposable propane cylinder to your Buddy heater if the heater sparks but the pilot does not light. Turn the heater off and ensure that it is completely cool before unscrewing the old cylinder and screwing a new one in, rotating it clockwise and tightening it by hand. Spray the threaded connection with a misting of soapy water, made with a bit of dish detergent, to check for leaks. If the water bubbles, remove and then reattach and tighten the cylinder. If you're using an accessory hose and a standard 20-pound propane tank -- which weighs about 37 pounds when full -- shut the propane tank valve, remove and reattach both ends of the hose, making sure the fittings don't bind. Make sure the hose is not kinked or even looped. Expect to have to try the pilot for up to several minutes while the propane works its way through the hose.

Step 5

Replace your Hunting Buddy heater's pulse ignition battery if the heater produces a spark but the pilot won't light. Unscrew the battery compartment's cap -- located under the heater's pulse ignition button, which you press to light the pilot -- and replace the old battery with a new AA battery. Ensure that the positive end of the battery is on the bottom and the negative end is on the top. This is the only Mr. Heater propane heater model with a battery-assisted ignition. Some models require D batteries to power their fans. If your Mr. Buddy has a fan that doesn't work, replace the D batteries, up to four of them.