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WalleyeSpinner

Help! Big Buddy Problem???

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I just bought the big buddy yesterday. I used it for the first time last night. I should also mention I am running it off an 11 pound tank with the 5ft. hose and fuel filter. The pilot would light right away. When I would turn it on low it would take a long time to light the tile. confused.gif When I would turn it on medium it would also take a long time to light the tile and when it did it would only burn for maybe ten minutes and then it would go out. I couldn’t get it to run on high barely at all. After it burned it self out the pilot would light right away and I could burn it on medium for another ten minutes and it would go out. The other thing I noticed was the pilot flame would flicker the whole time it was going from a large flame to a small flame and the tile would go from bright orange to a dull orange. I know it wasn’t a ventilation problem because it was in the portable and we had the vents opened with a good wind blowing fresh air in. I’m wondering if it was some kind of pressure problem. Has anyone had this problem? Or known what could try to solve this problem?

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I had an issue that the Tank was too cold, I had to place it up on the chair next to me and warm it up in order to get it too light correctly, Is this the first fill on the tank?

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Don't know if this will help, but one thing I discovered when using my Mr Cooker with the bigger tanks, is that I have to turn off the valve at the heater to turn it off. If I close the tank valve and let it burn off, I get a vapor lock and no matter what I try, it won't stay burning when I try to relight it.

The solution is to make sure the tank valve is closed and the heater valve is off, disconnect the hose from both the tank and the heater to release any pressure. Now, reconnect the hose to both, SLOWLY open the tank valve, then turn on the heater valve and light.

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Yea Shawnny it was a new tank and was filled a couple of hours before I used it. The pilot would light fine but the heater would not stay light on any of the setting low, medium, or high. But if I just had it on pilot it was fine.

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I had alomost the same problem, I purchased the big buddy last weekend when it was cold as heck. I got it on the ice with 2 new 1lb tanks and it would light up andrun fine on all settings except high (and it was cold enough to need high that day mad.gif) Every time I would set to high the heater would just shut off after 5 min or so. I tried it again on thursday night and it did the same thing. So I returned to Fleet Farm yestereday, To my surprise they were on sale for only $99 so I exchanged it and they gave me the difference back for the sale price smile.gif. I haven't tried the new on yet but I hope it works.

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After doing a search about purging tanks I don't think they did it. What should I do if they didn't purge the tank?

Dieguy if you could when you use your new one let me know how it works. Maybe I got a bad one. Yea I got mine at Gander they matched the Fleet Farm price of $99. I guess they match any price advertised. I never knew that before.

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Walleye-

I would contact an RV place or somewhere that knows a little more about filing tanks than your local Gas station. They will have to drain the tank totaly and then make sure it is actualy empty then fill it. Also make sure that the Ceramic plates are fully against the back of the plate of the heater. I know mine have come out a bit when traveling between destinations. I usualy just use the end of the Ice scoop and push it back.

Hope this helps

ShawnnYB

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I had the same problem as Dieguy, Someone told me to turn my tank valve [20lb] on slowly to keep some ball from sticking , so that's what I've been doing and it works fine now.

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Quote:

I would contact an RV place or somewhere that knows a little more about filing tanks than your local Gas station. They will have to drain the tank totaly and then make sure it is actualy empty then fill it.


You do not need to completely drain it. All the purging process does is removes the air trapped in the cylinder!

It is more desirable to do this with an empty tank as it also helps to remove moister. Just bring it to a place that has a purging device and they will get you squared away.

I would make sure to let the business know what happened if this indeed fixes the problem. The propane supplier, i'm sure, would also like to hear about it. Wasn't there a sticker on the valve that basically say "Do not remove this cylinder must be purged yada, yada, yada"?

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There was some kind of warning sticker over the valve on the tank now that you mention it. I didn't read it before I had it filled. I wish I would have now! frown.gif The guy that filled the tank removed the sticker and just filled the tank. I even told him it was a brand new tank. At the time I didn't even know what purging was so I didn't know he was doing anything wrong. This was the first new tank I have ever purchased. I called the local bait shop where I had it filled and they told me to bring it in this afternoon so they can purge it. I hope it didn't hurt anything as far as the tank goes.

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its just air that was trapped while the tank was manufactured. It won't have any affect on how the tank performs after it is eventually removed. These tanks can sit on the self for years with just air in them before they are finally purchased and filled.

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I took it back to them to purge and the guy said when he picked it up that it felt like it was full and there was no need to purge it. I told him I wanted it done so he put some fitting in the valve and opened the valve. After 5 minutes there was still gas draining but he closed the valve took off the fitting and refilled the tank. When I got home I didn't have much time but I tried the heater and it was no better. Is this the proper way to purge. He seemed like he didn't know what he was doing! Later I will try with 2 one pound or a 20 pound cylinder.

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Thats fine. All you want to do at this point is get the air out. This is the way we use to do it back in the day. As long as the gas was comming out of the valve and not the set screw your fine. 5 minutes was more than enough time to get any air that was in there out.

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The big buddy is not wind friendly what so ever! I have had one for 2 years now in my portable it works good if house is banked (I have frabill magnum flipover). But if the slightest little wind gets under flap it will go out. Also since I have had mine since day one. I have to tip the heater forward so the pilot light will hit the ceramic tile for it to light. I have never had a problem with it burning out in permanent house. But early ice it can be a big pain in the rear when there is no snow to bank house. Other than that I do like the clean heat it does put out.

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You know Ive never had a problem with the wind, now if its a strong wind yes, but I have left my clam flip over up and tended a tip up and came back and the pilot was still lit. I have had the lil buddy heater since it came out and never had a problem with it. I have now had the big buddy heater for about 4 months and not a single problem that wasnt caused by myself or a fishing partner (except the extream cold that helped...hmm...well it make the propane not want to turn to gas as nice as usual) I even have a cracked ceramic plate and it still lights no problem and the wind doenst bother it!

Also, remember that if you have a bad experience you will tell 10 people, but if you have a good one you usualy dont tell anyone. If your thinking about buying one I would say do it, you only have a month or two left of some good solid ice fishing, if it dont work out you got your 30-90 day exchange policy in most stores.

ShawnnyB

ShawnnyB

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I've heard of a ton of "problems" with the Big Buddy heaters and I must say... I am a bit surprised. I have one of, what I believe is, a first issue unit and can't recall any problems at all...

One thing I have noticed is a common thread with all these problems is the 5ft. screw-on hose and filter. I've always used the longer hose with the heater side quick connector and the tank side regulator. Other than the unprotected pilot light, I have yet to have an issue with the heater. Lights fast and burns clean on all three settings.

Has anyone used this quick connect hose and still had these problems? confused.gif

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Quote:

You know Ive never had a problem with the wind, now if its a strong wind yes, but I have left my clam flip over up and tended a tip up and came back and the pilot was still lit.


I never had a problem with the wind also. The only time I "bank" the portable is when it is really cold! This last weekend we where moving around quite a bit. I fliped open the house moved it about 20 feet then when back for the heater. As I was walking back I could feel my hand getting warm, I looked and sure enough the thing is still lit and running on medium. Its always held its own against the wind/drafts!

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I bought a Big Buddy this year. I had the same problem as you it would go out after 5-10 min. Brought it back and got a new one and havent had any problems with it since. I think the o2 senser was malfunctioning. I would bring it back and make sure your hose is clear.

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I did have a small problem with mine this year.It would only burn on MED. the second I turned it to high, it would go out.I cleaned out the pilot tube with a Q-TIP and rubbing alc. its working great again!!

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Hey Shawnny I called Mr. Heater Friday and they told me to try it on two one pound cylinders to rule out hose and filter problems. It worked great on the one pounders. So then I hooked the filter and hose back on and tried a 20 pound tank. It worked great with the 20 also. Now I know it is the brand new 11 pound tank causing the problems! I then hooked a sunflower onto the 11 pound tank. It was acting really weird it was fading in and out like it was going to die and then all the sudden it was shooting flames a foot high above the sunflower. shocked.gif I'm not sure what would be wrong with the tank. confused.gif I know I will not be using that tank anymore. Has anybody ever seen or heard of this before?

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Your new 11-pound tank wasn't purged well enough when filled and has some air in it. Burn off, or just release, a good amount of the LP/air in a safe area, outdoors.

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I bought one about 2 months ago. When it stays lit I love it! However Friday fishing in a banked house it went out over 50 time. Had to relight about every 5-10 minutes. I also used it a few time in my garage and had to relight every so often.

going to return it today for a new one. Hopefully that will solve the problem. When working I feel it is one of the best heaters on the market for Versatility. I question if it really is hotter than the sunflower heaters but for its purpose I really like it.

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