The Propane Heater in the Cottage

Glade Cottage, our guest house, is heated by a propane heater.

I installed the programmable thermostat all by myself.
I installed the programmable thermostat all by myself.

It is hooked up to a programmable thermostat which I installed many years ago, even before I started the blog in 2011.

After a broken pipe in the attic caused a mess we were careful to heat the Cottage above freezing or drain the pipes.
After a broken pipe in the attic caused a mess we were careful to heat the Cottage above freezing or drain the pipes.

It has always worked well keeping the Cottage warm enough to prevent frozen pipes.

We think the blower is not working.
We think the blower is not working.

Charlie diagnosed the issue and discovered that the pilot light was on and the burner fired up.  However, the fan/blower which distributes the heat was not turning on.

The fan seemed to move easily in the casing when Charlie moved it with his hand.
The fan seemed to move easily in the casing when Charlie moved it with his hand.

After reading the “trouble shooting” list he fiddled with the fan blades which were moving easily in the housing.  So he ruled out that the fan was jammed.

When a flames was held to the switch it clicked then the fan began to turn slowly.
When a flame was held to the switch it clicked then the fan began to turn slowly.

The next check was the switch that turns the fan on.  He talked to a technician from a local company who told him to check the switch by lighting a match right near it:

  1.  If you hear a click and blower comes on you know it’s the switch;
  2. If you don’t hear a click then it’s the switch; or
  3. If you hear a click but the fan/blower doesn’t come on then it’s the blower.

Our outcome was number 1 above so we ordered a new fan control switch (about $20) and were getting ready to switch it out when we discovered the burner may not be firing (the thermostat was set to 52 and the room temperature was 32).

Blower switch.
Blower switch.

More research needed.

Do you dabble in areas where you know nothing?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

9 thoughts on “The Propane Heater in the Cottage”

  1. yes, I’m still controlling my boiler with a toggle switch until I figure out what my zone valves are doing, and I’m in this mess because I wanted to save 50 dollars and skip a control panel that would have done the wiring for me

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