Monday, April 21, 2014

Shop Heater Repair

Fix the Reddi Heater (165,000 BTU) diesel shop heater

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

I've noticed for the last couple of times that the shop heater has been turning on/off somewhat sporadic and since it was still a bit chilly today I gave it another try to heat the shop. This time the heater was completely unusable since it kept turning on and off in about 5-10 second intervals so I figured I'd rather have a look at it now when it's fairly warm as opposed to during the next winter (no, I don't want to think about snow).

There are a couple of main components:

1. Diesel tank
2. Fan
3. Ignitor
4. Photovoltaic sensor
5. Control board

At first I thought it was the photovoltaic sensor because it was a bit loose in there and I figured the vibrations of the heater moved it off the little viewport but tightening it didn't fix it.

Next thing I thought that maybe the fuel filter was clogged up but that wasn't it either. After I tried those few things I took off the top half of the barrell and observed it while it was running and I noticed that the hot surface ignitor itself was turning on and off somewhat intermittent so I figured it must be something electrical.

I took the electrical panel off the heater and had a look underneath it and noticed that the main control module was completely covered with dust. I didn't think that was the issue but a good clean couldn't hurt. After I was done I heard a little "plop" and something fell off the main board. Upon further inspection I saw that one of the capacitors had fallen right out of the soldered board.

I've certainly never seen or heard of that happening but if that was the only cause, re-soldering the capacitors "should" fix it.

Off it came and out came the soldering gun. After a few minutes it was all soldered back together. I put the control module back in the heater, turned it on and wouldn't you know it, it worked like a charm.

Easiest fix ever. Now I just hope it won't happen again and keep working.


One of the capacitor just fell off. The other one ended up coming off too
The two culprits
Close-up of the capacitors
The heater with the main board removed
A close-up of the fuel atomizer
A view from the back
Soldering the capacitors back onto the main board

Soldering gun
Air tank to blow off dust





So far so good


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