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Reddy Heater Troubleshooting & How-to Guide

Reddy Heater Troubleshooting & How-to Guide

When temperatures drop, portable space heaters become a helpful home appliance that warms up the rooms fast and efficiently. Reddy has a variety of affordable and durable heaters such as; outdoors-man heaters, vent-free garage heaters, and portable forced-air heaters.

Even with the impeccable reputation of durable machines, Reddy heaters are susceptible to breakdowns and problems, usually due to improper use or inadequate maintenance and terrible storage practices. This article will help you with troubleshooting techniques of the most commonly occurring issues.

How to set up a Reddy Heater

Unpacking: Remove all the items from the packaging and check for any shipping damage on all the parts. If you notice any damage, you should contact your Reddy dealer immediately. Keep in mind that different Reddy heater models come with different package components. The package will come with:

  • Handle(s)
  • Wheel support frame
  • Two wheels
  • Wheel spacer
  • Axle
  • Axle washers
  • Washers
  • Cap nuts and bolts

Assembly: The package will come with wheels, handles, and mounting hardware, which you need to assemble.

Tools you’ll need

  • Medium Phillips screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Adjustable wrench


  • Place the axle under the wheel support frame, then install the wheels on the frame using a wrench. Make sure the extended hub of the wheels points towards the wheel support frame.
  • Insert the cap nuts and gently tap with a hammer to secure them.
  • Position the heater on the wheel support frame and align the fuel tank holes with the wheel frame’s holes.
  • Position the handle(s) on the fuel tank flange, insert the screws through the handle holes, fuel tank flange holes, and wheels support frame holes.
  • Attach the nut and tighten loosely. After inserting all the screws and nuts on all sides, go back and tighten the nuts firmly.

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Operation: Always use the Reddy heater in a well ventilated area to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. For each 100,000 BTU/hour of heater rating, you should allow an open space of three square feet. To start the Reddy heater:

  • Open the fuel cap and fill the fuel tank with only the fuel on the heater’s data plate; kerosene, grade one /two diesel, JET A JP-8 fuel.
  • Replace the fuel cap.
  • Turn the thermostat knob clockwise to the highest position.
  • Connect the heater’s power cord to a grounded three-wire extension cord that must be at least six feet long (1.8m).
  • Plug the extension cord into a standard 12- volt/60 hertz, 3-prong grounded outlet.
  • Power the heater by pushing the ON/OFF switch. Models that have no ON/OFF switch, the ignitor will preheat for five seconds, and then the heat will start.
  • Adjust the thermostat until the heater cycles to your desired setting.
  • After using the heater, turn off the power switch and unplug the heater from the power source.

Why does my Reddy heater keep shutting off?

Usually, a heater will shut itself off as a safety mechanism. The computer communicates that something is wrong and therefore shuts down to prevent further damage to other components. Here’s how to troubleshoot it;

  • Check for water in the tank. Shine a flashlight inside the fuel tank and check for water droplets and dirt. Fuel contamination will cause a heater to keep shutting off. Drain the fuel, make sure there is no debris left then refill with clean fuel.
  • Check the fuel filter. If the fuel was contaminated, the fuel filter is likely to be clogged. To clean the fuel filter;
    • Remove the side cover screws with a nut driver, and then remove the side cover.
    • Remove the upper fuel line from the fuel filter neck.
    • Carefully wiggle and pull out the bushing,  fuel filter, and lower fuel line from the fuel tank.
    • Wash the filter with clean fuel, gently tap it to remove any stuck debris, and then put it back in the heater.
    • Reconnect the upper fuel line to the fuel filter neck and then replace the cover and screw it shut tightly.
  • Check the breather hole in the fuel cap and make sure no dirt and debris are clogging it. If it is, you have to blow decompressed air into the outlet end of the nozzle. If you notice signs of defect on the nozzle, you will have to replace it.
  • Check the pressure pump. Every heater has a specific pump pressure setting that allows it to function correctly. Any changes in the pressure will affect fuel delivery. You have to set the pump pressure to the recommended pressure for your model.
  • Check the photocell lens. When the photocell lens is dirty or is defective, the heater shuts off automatically. Check for soot or dirt on the photocell lens, and wipe off any dirt with a clean damp cloth.
  • To test if the photocell is defective, remove it from the heater and connect an ohmmeter on the 1000 Ohm scale. Hold the photocell with the lens facing any light source. The reading on the ohmmeter should be less than 500 Ohms. Place a thumb over the photocell’s opening to block off the light; the reading on the ohmmeter should be high. If there is no change, then the photocell is defective, and you will need to replace it.

What does a photocell do in a Reddy heater?

The photocell in a Reddy heater is part of the safety control circuit. The photocell senses the presence of light inside the combustion chamber and varies its electrical resistance according to the light rays that come into contact with its lens.

When the heater is in optimal function, the photocell senses the proper color or amount of light. It increases the resistance forcing an electrical current to flow through the trigger circuit. The electricity flows into the circuit breaker and heats a metal bar causing it to warp. The warping releases the spring-loaded reset button, therefore breaking power to the heater. 

Reddy heater not igniting

Here is to troubleshoot a Reddy heater that is not firing;

  • Confirm that the Power switch on the heater is in the on position.
  • If the heater has a thermostat, you may have set it too low. You have to turn the thermostat knob to a higher setting.
  • Check all the electrical connections between the motor and ignition assembly or the ignition assembly and the power cable.
  • Disconnect the heater from power, disconnect the black and red wires connected to the safety control.
  • Push the reset button.
  • Check for continuity with an ohmmeter on the terminals where you disconnected the wires. The ohmmeter should read zero.
  • Check the power cord’s condition, and if there are frayed or broken wires restricting current flow, you will have to get a replacement power cord from a Reddy dealer.
  • Check the reset button on safety control. The reset button should be fully depressed. Open the heater and visually inspect the black reset button on safety control.

Reddy heater adjustment guide

Here’s how to adjust pressure using the pump pressure adjustment guide.

  • Remove the pressure gauge plug from the filter end cover and install a pressure gauge.
  • Start the heater and allow the motor to reach its maximum speed.
  • Adjust the pressure by turning the relief valve to the right to increase and to the left to decrease pump pressure.
  • Confirm with the data label on your heater and adjust the pressure for HSI heaters using the chart below
BTU RatingPump Pressure

Reddy heater fan is not working

Here is how to fix a heater fan that is not turning:

  • Turn off the heater and unplug it for safety.
  • Pour some lubricant on the bearing on the fan end of the motor.
  • Check for any physical damage to the fan and replace the fan if any damage is present.
  • When the pump pressure reads zero psi, then the rotor may be broken and preventing the heater from starting.
  • If the rotor is damaged, you will have to replace it.
  • Check for any signs of lubrication. The rotor and blades must be clean and dry for optimal operation. Also, turn the rotors manually and make sure all four quadrants have adequate clearance using a feeler gauge.

Reddy heater photocell bypass guide

We do not recommend bypassing the photocell sensor. If the photocell sensor is faulty, you must replace it because it is a safety control. Running the heater without the photocell can be dangerous. Here is a simple guide on how to replace it.

  • Turn off and disconnect the heater from the power.
  • Drain out all the fuel from the heater’s fuel tank.
  • Remove the top cover to the lower housing by removing the screws.
  • Remove the fan guard from the lower housing.
  • Carefully remove the side covers as it is attached to the circuit board by switch wires. Do not overstretch these wires.
  • Use wire cutters to disconnect the photocell from the circuit board.
  • Pull the photocell from the mounting bracket with an O-ring.
  • Insert the new photocell into the mounting bracket and press it firmly to ensure it seats securely in the O-ring.
  • Put back the photocell into the lower housing by routing the wiring beneath the fuel line and reattach the wire to the circuit board.
  • Reassemble the side and top covers of the lower housing.

How do you clean a Reddy heater?

Cleaning your Reddy heater periodically ensures that it runs smoothly and prevents frequents breakdowns. If you notice improper fuel input, smoke, or a foul odor coming from the heater, it means that it requires a deep clean. Here’s is how to clean your heater for maintenance thoroughly.

Fuel tank  

  • Drain all fuel from the fuel tank by removing the drain plug on the fuel tank’s underside. Some heater models do not have a drain plug, so you will have to empty the fuel tank through the fuel cap.
  • Make sure all the fuel comes out.
  • Pour some clean fuel and rinse out the fuel tank to remove any debris that may have settled on the fuel tank’s bottom.
  • Refill the tank with clean fuel.
  • Replace the fuel cap or drain plug.
  • You must change the fuel every 150-200 hours or as necessary.

Air intake filters

  • Remove the air filters from the heater.
  • Gently wash them with mild detergent and water.
  • Allow them to air-dry overnight.
  • Reinstall them in the unit.
  • It would be best if you cleaned the air intake filters every 500 hours or when necessary.

Fuel filter

  • Remove side cover screws with a cross-slot screwdriver
  •  and disconnect wires as necessary.
  • Pull the fuel line off the fuel filter neck.
  • Turn the fuel filter anticlockwise 90 degrees, pull, and remove it from the heater’s shell.
  • Wash the fuel filter with clean fuel and replace it in the tank.
  • Attach the fuel line to the fuel filter neck.
  • Reinstall side cover.
  • Clean the fuel filter annually or as necessary.

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Photocell sensor

  • Remove the top cover and the fan.
  • Remove the photocell from its mounting bracket.
  • Clean the photocell lens with a cotton swab or a cotton cloth.
  • Clean the photocell annually or as needed.

Fan blades

  • Open the upper shell.
  • Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the fan blades.
  • Blow compressed hair to remove any dust on the other components inside the shell
  • Reassemble the shell cover.


If any problems arise with your Reddy heater, you can always use this article to diagnose and troubleshoot it. However, with proper use and maintenance of your Reddy heater, you will have fewer issues, and the machine will serve you efficiently for years.