Why Does My Torpedo Heater Keep Turning Off? {Reasons & Resolutions}

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A torpedo heater is a must-have to warm up your home or workshop during the freezing chilly season, making it comfortable to stay or work in. You can adjust the heater to your desired direction according to your needs. These portable forced air heaters operate by pulling air via a long tube, using different fuels. Regardless, kerosene and propane are the most commonly used fuels.

However, torpedo heaters require regular maintenance to ensure efficiency and burn smoothly. Otherwise, they can shut off unexpectedly. Now, the reasons for failure could be many. It can be due to improper fuel, defective control board, or faulty pump.

This article will discuss all the possible reasons your torpedo heater keeps shutting off and the best remedies to solve it. Have a look!

How Does a Torpedo Heater Work?

How Does a Torpedo Heater Work

If you want to troubleshoot your heater’s problem, you need to know the way torpedo heaters work. They are equipped with a fan that drags air via a long tube. The basic function is similar to almost all torpedo heaters.

Different fuels may employ different techniques to operate. However, torpedo heaters are built of many essential elements, including

1. The Heating Component

Torpedo heaters consist of a heating component. For example, kerosene heaters come with a pre-heater and wick to aerify the fuel for letting it burn. On the other hand, a propane torpedo heater consists of a jet to drive the propane inside the air stream.

2. Motor and Fan

Motor And Fan

Every torpedo heater is equipped with a motor and fan that efficiently transmits the air through the heater. An electrical connection usually acts as a power source for the motor driving the fan.

3. The Igniter

While an electric heater does not need an igniter, it requires kerosene or propane. And the source of ignition can be anything from a hot surface igniter, electronic igniters, or a pilot light.

4. Control and Safety Systems

Torpedo heaters from top manufacturers feature various added control and safety functionalities, including thermostats, automatic shut off, tilt sensors or overheat sensors. As a result, they protect users from unsafe situations.

Now, the fact is –

These components can suddenly break down in your torpedo heater, resulting in shut down.

Whatever the issue might be, you will find an effective resolution in this article. So let’s dive into the details.

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My Torpedo Heater Keeps Turning Off: Top Reasons & Resolution

My Torpedo Heater Keeps Turning Off Top Reasons & Resolution

The reasons can be many. And while some of the things you can solve yourself, others will need a technician.

Reason 1: Low Air Pressure

Wrong pump pressure or low air pressure can be responsible for the shut down of your heater. The device may turn on, but the main PCB assembly can close it down after a short time.


You have to adjust the heater’s pump pressure to fix the problem. First, however, it is essential to run your device on its high setting.

  • First, adjust the BTU control switch to high.
  • Now take off the plug of the pressure gauge from the End Filter Cover
  • Then, set an auxiliary pressure gauge fitting your torpedo heater.
  • Now, it’s time to switch on the heater to achieve its peak speed.
  • Take a flat blade screwdriver and customize the pump pressure.
  • Turn the relief valve clockwise to enhance the pressure.
  • On the contrary, set the valve anti-clockwise to minimize the pressure.
  • Shut off the heater finally.

Reason 2: Wrong Installation of the Photocell Assembly

It could be an issue with the photocell installation. Your heater will keep shutting off if the photocell installation hasn’t been done properly. The only way to keep it operating normally is to install them correctly. 


  • First, disassemble your device and look for the problem
  • Unscrew the heater’s sides employing screwdrivers
  • The switch wires should be disconnected from the main power switch, photocell, and the circuit board
  • Set the photocells in every bracket and join the wires to the circuit board.

Reason 3: The Fuel Filter Might be Dirty

The Fuel Filter Might be Dirty

Another reason your heater is closing down could be a dirty air intake or fuel filter. The fuel filter tends to accumulate dirt after somedays usage. Eventually, it blocks the fuel line and causes damage to the wires of the power switch. This affects the normal functioning of the heater, shutting it off and never turning it on again.


Thus, you should clean the filter after some days to avoid this issue. Check out the process below

Step 1: Use a screwdriver (preferably Philips) and detach your device’s side cover, unscrewing it.

Step 2: Cut the connection between the switch wires and the main switch. Then, put it aside, removing the cover.

Step 3: Isolate the fuel line from the filter neck

Step 4: Now, you need to clean the fuel filter thoroughly. If required, you can replace it too.

Step 5: Rejoin the fuel neck and filter neck

Step 6: Then connect the switch wires to the power switch

Step 7: Put the side cover as it was.

Reason 4: Dirty Lint filter, Air Intake, or Air Output

The lint filter, air output, or air intake can also be dirty. It is recommended to clean these parts after every 500 hours of using the torpedo heater.


Step 1: Take a bucket of water and add soap to it

Step 2: First, dismantle the air intake

Step 3: With a Philips screwdriver (medium size), remove the screw from both sides of the heater.

Step 4: Separate the fan guard and the upper shell from the heater

Step 5: Now, start washing the air intake system

In washing the Lint Filter or Air Output, the air pressure gauge has to be turned count-clockwise and then removed. Next, open the end filter cover using the same Philips screwdriver. Finally, wash both the Lint Filter and the Air Output. After it gets complete, reassemble the device.

Reason 5: Electric Connection is Poor

The issue can be between the main PCB and the photocell connection, so check it. A faulty wire connection can be responsible for the consistent shutting off of your heater.


Hire a professional electrician to check the wire connection. They will quickly identify if there is any damage to the wire.

Reason 6: Using the Wrong Fuel

Using the Wrong Fuel

If your heater operates using the wrong or low-quality fuel, it can keep shutting off. It affects the working of orifices that cause debris blockage and accumulation of dirt. It can gradually block the burner, and the heater will shut down in the end.


If you are using a kerosene tank, check whether or not there is water on the fuel tank, as it can affect the quality.

However, in the case of a propane-fired heater, the fuel level can be low in the cylinder. Thus, you need to check whether the fuel level is adequate. On the contrary, one of the heater’s parts can also malfunction. Therefore, to inspect the cylinder’s valve, the delivery hose, or the assembly of the regulator.

If there is any issue with the parts, you have to repair them. However, if you regularly maintain and check these things, you can avoid these issues.

Reason 7: Issues with the Control Board of Your Heater

A control board in every torpedo heater ensures smooth operation without challenges. So it’s obvious that your heater may malfunction if there is an issue with the control board. The heater will keep breaking down. So how to resolve it?


You will need specialists to detect the issue on the control board as it’s like a computer. Then, they will replace the board if necessary.

Reason 8: Tilt or Heat Sensors

Torpedo heaters are equipped with tilt or heat sensors that make them safe to use, protecting them from accidents. The overheat sensor automatically shuts off the heater when it reaches the pre-set temperature level.


However, overheating of the torpedo heater demonstrates an underlying issue that requires diagnosis.

On the contrary, the anti-tilt sensors protect the heater from accidental damage by shutting down the fuel. Then, once it detects everything is perfect to operate again, it turns on the heater.

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How to Maintain a Torpedo Heater?

How to Maintain a Torpedo Heater

A torpedo heater can operate smoothly for a long time if maintained regularly. Here are some of the valuable tips to ensure the proper functioning of your heater for years. Have a look!

  • The fan blades need to be cleaned at least once each year. Clean the dirt or debris using a damp cloth.
  • Check the spark plug after the heater has completed 600 hours of operation. You can clean the plug with a wire brush. However, make sure to inspect the gap in the middle of its terminal. Each terminal should have a 0.140-inch gap.
  • Wash the fuel filter at least two times every heating season. Employ 1-K kerosene to clean the fuel filter.
  • Check whether the dirt has accumulated in the photocells or not.
  • Furthermore, the nozzles should be cleaned at least once each year. Compressed air can remove the debris and dirt from the nozzles.


Whether it’s from Craftsman or Mr. Heater, torpedo heaters can keep turning off due to any reason. It can be due to poor wire connection, defective photocells, or dirty air intake. Simply apply the solutions mentioned in this article to resolve the issues. At the same time, make sure to keep your torpedo heater under regular maintenance to enjoy the freezing winter being warm without any sudden intervention.