Torpedo Heater Keeps Shutting Off [9 Easy Fixes]

In case you are asking yourself “Why does my torpedo heater keep shutting off?”, we have got the answer for you.

torpedo heater

The possible reasons why your torpedo heater keeps shutting off are incorrect pump pressure, dirty air filter, dirty fuel filter, dirty nozzle, dirty photocell lens, improperly installed photocell, defective photocell, improper electrical connection, and bad control board. 

Table Of Contents

Torpedo Heater Keeps Shutting Off [9 Easy Fixes]

In this section, we will look over the causes in-depth and provide you with the simplest solutions. Keep on reading!

1. Incorrect Pump Pressure

Incorrect pump pressure can be why your torpedo heater shuts off after several minutes.

incorrect pump pressure

For your heater to operate regularly, it has to have the correct pump pressure. 


The required pump pressure varies between 3-9 PSI based on the model of your heater. Test with a full tank of petrol for the most accurate pressure reading.

When the nose cone turns cherry red and there are no extending flames from the heater, the pressure is optimal.

Turn the relief valve clockwise to increase and counterclockwise to decrease the pressure while the heater is running. You can use a flat-blade screwdriver to turn the valve. 

2. Dirty Air Filter

Dirty air filters block the passage of air. This means your heater won’t get proper ventilation. Heat can’t be transmitted to the surroundings as a result.

dirty air filter

The heater will get overheated and trigger the safety shutoff function. This function protects the heater from damage from overheating.

If you find dirt on your air filter on inspection, overheating is probably why your propane torpedo heater keeps shutting off. 


The easiest solution is to clean up your air filter. Not all air filters can be washed and cleaned, some need to be replaced each time they are dirty. If your air filter is the disposable kind, replace it. Otherwise, clean your air filter.

3. Dirty Fuel Filter

The fuel filter’s function is to separate dirt and debris from the fuel before it enters the heater’s fuel system. The filter is a very fine plastic mesh.

dirty fuel filter 

Over time the filter can break down which will allow the dirt to pass, potentially plugging the fuel nozzle. This can be why your Master torpedo heater keeps shutting off.


Replacing the fuel filter assembly is a repair that you can do yourself and we are going to tell you how.

Step1: Before performing any work on your forced air heater, make sure the heater is unplugged and that you’ve drained all the fuel from the tank.

Step 2: Remove the side cover that has the switch. Now, you have access to the fuel filter. 

Step 3: First remove the clamp and then pull the line from the filter. Unthread the fuel filter from the tank. 

Step 4: Install the new fuel filter. Carefully insert it into the tank making sure to not cut the filter. Align the tabs with the slots in the tank and then rotate the filter into place to secure it.

Step 5: Reinstall the fuel line and secure the fuel line with the hose clamp. Put the side cover in its place.

4. Dirty Nozzle

Over time, dirt may accumulate on the nozzle. Dirt in the fuel lines might cause the spark plug to become clogged.

dirty nozzle

In addition, debris in the tank filtration system may cause damage to the power switch wiring. As a result, your torpedo heater shuts off after a few seconds or minutes.


Replacing or Cleaning the nozzles at least once during the heating season is a good idea. Blowing compressed air can remove debris and dirt from the nozzle front. To dislodge any particles, immerse the nozzle in clean 1-K kerosene for a few minutes.

5. Dirty Photocell lens

A photocell is used in torpedo heaters to “see” the flame in the combustion chamber. If the flame goes out, the sensor will cut off the power, and the heater will turn off.

dirty photocell lens

If the photocell is dirty, this can cause the sensor to malfunction and turn off the heater when it shouldn’t.


Depending on the conditions, the Photocell should be cleaned at least once per heating season, if not more. Clean the Photocell’s lens with a cotton swab moistened in water or alcohol.

6. Photocell Not Installed Properly

Another possible reason why your torpedo heater keeps shutting off is that the protocell was not installed correctly. 

photocell not installed properly 


Disassemble the heater to inspect the placement of your photocell assembly. Start by replacing the side cover of your torpedo. After doing that, move to the power switch to have the switch cables disconnected.

Remove the connections from the circuit board and the photocell. Make sure to place the photocell in both brackets. Then, attach the wires to your heater’s circuit board.

7. Defective Photocell

A defective photocell can be why your torpedo heater turns on and then shuts off since it will no longer be able to detect the flame correctly. 

defective photocell 


You need to replace the photocell to solve this issue. You can DIY replace it as the process is pretty simple. 

Step 1: Make sure the heater is unplugged and that you drained all the fuel from the tank. Begin by removing the top cover from the heater. Remove the plastic cover from in front of the motor. Now take off the side cover from the heart that has the on-off switch.

Step 2: The wires coming from the photocell should be exposed. Go ahead and untie the cable tie that secures the wires. Follow the wire up to its plug and remove it. The wires for the photocell pass through the same hole in the housing as the fuel line. 

Step 3: In order to have enough room to remove the wiring harness for the photocell, unclamp and detach the fuel line. Now separate the clamp from the hose to pull the fuel line through the housing. 

Step 4: Pull the harness through the hole and housing. Remove the photocell from the mounting bracket. It’s held in place with an O-ring. Press the new photocell to the mounting bracket. Route the wiring harness beneath the fuel line and then back through the hole in the housing.

Step 5: Now, go ahead and install the fuel line back through the hole in the housing.Re-bundle the photocell wires by securing them with a new cable tie. Put all the heater components back in reverse order.

8. Improper Electrical Connection

Due to an incorrect electrical connection between the Main PCB and Photocell, your torpedo heater can keep shutting off. 

improper electrical connection


Examine the wire connection and see if any visible damage to the wire can be found. We recommend that you employ a licensed electrician to complete this task.

Aside from these five concerns, malfunctioning photocells or dirt photocells are to blame for your torpedo heater’s failure to turn off. Replacing photocells with new ones is the greatest strategy for resolving these issues.

9. Bad Control Board

A bad control board pretty much makes your entire heater dysfunctional. This can be why your heater isn’t staying on.

bad control board


You need to replace your control board. Contact the manufacturers to get a new control board. Have a licensed electrician replace it.


Can you use a diesel torpedo heater indoors?

Diesel torpedo heaters can be used indoors, but not in a home. Diesel torpedo heaters can produce carbon monoxide. So, it is better for commercial buildings or warehouses with much better ventilation.

Do you have to vent a torpedo heater?

The kerosene heater must have adequate airflow to operate safely. Burning kerosene releases co2, sulfur dioxide (so2), nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and other gasses in addition to oxygen.

Why does my torpedo heater stink?

When you have a dirty heater, a stink can come from it. When you turn on the heater, the heat will burn any dust or particles on the surface, resulting in some unpleasant odors.

Can you clean a thermocouple?

Yes, a thermocouple can be cleaned, but it should be done with caution. Disconnect the thermocouple from the heater and wipe the tip with steel wool or emery cloth to remove any buildup.

How do you bypass a thermocouple?

It isn’t a good idea to bypass the thermocouple to use your heater during an error. However, bypassing can help you detect whether the cause of an error is the thermocouple. Only bypass the thermocouple for testing purposes with the help of this video. 


Hopefully, we were able to help you figure out why your torpedo heater keeps shutting off and how to fix it. Comment below any queries you have regarding your torpedo heater. We will do our best to help.

Note: You can also read how to fix Mr heater won’t stay lit problem.

About David

David is a man who loves doing research and finding out the best solution to any type of heating appliance issues like heaters and fireplaces. Whenever he finds the perfect solutions to any issues of heating appliances after doing in-depth research, he loves to share them with his readers. In fact, his aim is to help his readers to fix the issues with their heating appliances easily.More about us .

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