How to fix a Dyna-Glo Heater not lighting

Only a few parts can cause a Dyna-Glo heater not lighting. Typically, they are the parts that ignite and measure the pilot light.

Luckily, a Dyna-Glo heater not lighting is usually easy to fix.

Let’s look at all the possible problems and how you can fix them.

How to fix a Dyna-Glo heater not lighting

Your Dyna-Glo heater is not lighting. So, to find out the cause of your issue, we have to trace the path of ignition, starting with the tank, followed by the propane hose, the igniter, the pilot light, and the thermocouple.

Any ignition fault in a Dyna-Glo heater must be in one of those components. There is no way around it.

Let’s have a look at things in order, starting with the tank.

Quick answer: Dyna-Glo heaters usually don’t light when the pilot light is clogged, the thermocouple is dirty, or when the igniter doesn’t spark. Clean all of those parts with rubbing alcohol and a Q-tip. Then, check each part of those parts individually. Also, use the right gas compatible with your Dyna-Glo heater. And use a new gas hose.

Natural / Propane gas tank issues

There are two things about your gas tank that cause issues.

Gas tank empty

The most obvious issue is an empty gas tank. When there’s no gas inside the tank, it, obviously, won’t light.

The simplest way to check whether your gas tank or gas bottle contains gas is to lift and shake it.

You should hear the sound of liquid splashing around inside the gas tank.

Alternatively, you can touch the sides of the gas tank. If there is gas inside, the lower part of the tank should feel a lot colder than the top (assuming a partially filled tank).

This is because your hand’s warmth evaporates the gas inside. The evaporation wicks away heat from your hand which makes the bottle feel cold.

If you find your gas bottle is empty, then recharge it or exchange it with a full bottle at a hardware store.

Gas leaking from hose or tank

Of course, once you know your gas tank or gas bottle is empty, the cause of why your tank is empty might still be there.

To check for leaks, set up your Dyna-Glo heater and connect it to the gas tank. Open the gas valve.

Then, apply a soapy solution (water + soap) to the gas valve and to the gas hose.

Do bubbles form anywhere? Or can you smell gas?

If you find a leak in your gas tank’s valve, I’d suggest replacing the entire gas tank.

And if there are any leaks on the hose or on its connectors, replace the hose with this Natural Gas / Propane hose (click here to view it on amazon).

Wrong gas used

Many Dyna-Glo heaters are compatible with both natural and propane gas. You can’t connect a propane gas hose to a natural gas heater and vice versa unless you have a conversion kit.

Some Dyna-Glo heaters, however, are only compatible with one of the gases. So, if you use the wrong gas with them (with a conversion kit you already had at home), your Dyna-Glo heater won’t light.

This is a very unlikely issue. But I still wanted to mention it.

Double-check your Dyna-Glo heater’s box or manual and see which gas you can use it with.

If you don’t have these things anymore, check the serial number on the case and look for the specs online.

Pilot light issues

Pilot light issues are the most frequent issues in Dyna-Glo gas heaters. The pilot light is a small test flame that your heater uses to verify that the gas burns properly.

The pilot light’s gas line is branched off the main gas line. 

A Dyna-Glo heater checks the pilot light’s temperature using a so-called thermocouple. The thermocouple is a very simple electric thermometer that can withstand very high temperatures since it is made of metal only.

So, thermocouples are perfect for measuring flame temperatures.

Only when the pilot light burns properly, your heater turns on the main gas line, which you need for heating. This both a safety and an energy-saving mechanism.

Improper burn causes toxic carbon monoxide emissions. And, on top of that, it produces a lot less heat than an ideal burn.

So, not only does it save your life, but it also saves your money. Perfect.

propane mr heater buddy pilot light
That’s what the pilot light in gas heaters looks like. In this case, the flame is too short to reach the thermocouple (opposite the flame), which causes the main gas line to not open.

Pilot light orifice clogged

Does a flame come out of the pilot light orifice when you light your Dyna-Glo heater? If yes, that’s good.

But if you are not able to even light the pilot light, then your pilot light is likely clogged.

A clogged pilot light is the most frequent issue in propane heaters!

Pilot lights clog with time from oil coming out of the gas hose. The most frequent cause of this is that you use your gas tank without a filter.

To fix it you need a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Soak the Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and clean the oil and grease in the pilot light orifice.

Additionally, to prevent this from happening in the future use a gas line filter. I recommend this propane gas line filter (click here to view it on amazon).

Some Dyna-Glo heaters (I don’t know if all) have a built-in fuel filter. So, actually, you don’t need to buy an additional filter. But you can just to make sure.

For now, you can test your Dyna-Glo heater with the cleaned orifice. Does it light now?

Pilot light flame not hot or large enough

The thermocouple constantly monitors the temperature of the pilot light’s flame. Too-short flames, or flames that do not burn properly usually cause the thermocouple to close the main gas line, and, therefore prevent your heater from lighting.

Here, the first thing to do is also to clean out the pilot light with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.

If that doesn’t fix the issue, check the hose.

There might be a pressure drop somewhere in the hose, causing the flame to not get enough gas. This could be due to oil buildup inside the hose or due to leaks.

Ideally, you should cross-check this with a second gas hose.

If you think the hose is the issue, then get a new gas hose (such as the one I recommended earlier).

Igniter defective

Another possible issue that can cause your Dyna-Glo heater to not light anymore is a broken igniter.

Normally, igniters are very durable and last a long time. But there is a slim chance that yours is broken.

The igniter sits next to the pilot light orifice and creates a spark when you turn on the heater.

You can easily test for a broken igniter by trying to light your heater. See if the igniter sparks.

If it doesn’t spark, it is broken.

Also, to eliminate any other problem, try lighting the pilot light with a regular lighter. Either use a lighter with a long head, such as those you use for wood stoves. Or remove the Dyna-Glo protection grid if you use a regular lighter.

If only the igniter is not working, then your heater should turn on when you light it using a regular lighter.

So, if you’re lazy you can stop here and always light your Dyna-Glo heater with a lighter. Or you can replace the igniter.

I recommend getting these replacement spark plugs (click here to view them on amazon).

They are generic and should fit most Dyna-Glo models.

Just to make sure, you can already disassemble your Dyna-Glo heater and see whether the igniter (or spark plug) inside looks similar.

The replacement is very simple. Just unplug and remove the built-in spark plug (which is attached to the case with one screw) and replace it with a new one.

This should take 5-10 minutes at most.

Thermocouple broken

When the thermocouple is defective, it can’t signal the main gas line to open. Typically, when your pilot light lights and it burns with a blue color, the cause for the rest of the heater not turning on is a broken thermocouple.

Normally, thermocouples don’t break. They are very durable metal parts. They don’t move, so they don’t wear down due to friction. And they can withstand very high temperatures.

And that’s why most gas heaters use thermocouples instead of other electric thermometers.

Thermocouples can only break upon impact, wrong reassembly (e.g. a wire not properly connected), or due to corrosion, especially when the heater is placed outside.

The first fix I’d suggest is to clean the thermocouple. There may be grease or dirt on it which prevents it from picking up the correct temperature.

To clean it, use rubbing alcohol (or, actually, any cleaner you like), and rub the thermocouple clean. It sits in front of the pilot light orifice, so you have to remove the protection grid of your Dyna-Glo heater to access it.

Then, try lighting your Dyna-Glo heater and see if it works.

If it still doesn’t work, the thermocouple is likely broken. I’d suggest replacing the entire thing. Thermocouples are cheap to get!

To fix it, get this Dyna-Glo replacement thermocouple (click here to view it on amazon).

Unscrew and unplug the broken thermocouple and replace it with the new one.

Test your heater. It should work now!

What to do if your Dyna-Glo heater is still not lighting?

Cleaning the pilot light, and the thermocouple, and ensuring a proper gas supply should fix most Dyna-Glo heaters that don’t have severe defects.

If you still can’t get your Dyna-Glo heater to work, there might be a bigger issue.

In this case, you can either hire someone to troubleshoot your Dyna-Glo heater in person.

I’ve also written an article about propane heaters that keep shutting off. Maybe you can find one or two useful tips there that point you in the right direction.

Or you can just get a new heater and save yourself time.

I recommend getting this 30,000 BTU Dyna-Glo heater (click here to see it on amazon).

Alternatively, if you are not happy with Dyna-Glo anymore, then you can also try another brand.

Personally, I really like my Mr. Heater propane heaters (although they are not wall-mounted). Here’s a review if portable heaters are an option for you.

And for (mostly) wall-mounted propane heaters, here’s a list of the best ventless propane heaters.