Portable gas heater

Portable gas heaters have something in common with gas water heaters. They both depend on a thermocouple. When the thermocouple reaches a certain temperature, it signals the valve to open and let the gas flow to the burner. So if you have a gas heater that's difficult to light or the gas shuts off for no apparent reason while it's running, you most likely have a bad thermocouple. It's easy to take off various shields to access it and remove it. Take the old thermocouple to the home center or hardware store and match it up with one that has the right length copper line. A little long is OK. Install the new one and most likely your heater will work as good as new—for less than $15.


You can learn how to replace a water heater thermocouple in this do it yourself project from The Family Handyman.


— Travis Larson, Senior Editor