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How to Easily Troubleshoot a Malfunctioning Propane Torch

How to Easily Troubleshoot a Malfunctioning Propane Torch

Propane torches are typically used to weld metal objects together. Plumbers and other craftsmen use them frequently as portable tools that are convenient to bring along.

I find myself reaching for them often when getting rid of pesky weeds or even cooking something!

However, the torch’s convenience reduces substantially when it stops working as it should.  There are a variety of propane torches, but any design can experience issues that are difficult to troubleshoot.

When you have a propane torch that won’t stay lit (or doesn’t light at all), then there are multiple approaches you can take to fix the problem.

Heads up! If you’ve tried everything and would just rather replace the torch, we recommend this FRCTL model from Amazon (affiliate link). It’s highly rated and has multiple nozzles to choose from.

Potential Issues

Some of the potential problems with a propane torch are relatively simple to look into and figure out. It may also be something as simple as reducing your gas flow so that it is only slightly open. Propane torches tend to light better like this. 

However, if you have already tried this and it still doesn’t light or stay lit, there are several other potential issues. You can easily work through them and rule them out as you go. The primary causes for a propane torch reducing to light include:

  • The igniter has ceased to spark and cause a flame.
  • The fuel cylinder has malfunctioned and doesn’t allow a flow of fuel through to bit lit.
  • The torch tip or the tube are not clean enough to allow a solid stream of flame from the propane torch.

Each of these have steps you can follow to fix it yourself.

Check one at a time and make sure to observe safety measures throughout each process. Doing the job outside and keeping yourself away from anything that is flammable is a great way to start.

Then, turn the gas-release valve to the left to keep it closed and stop propane from escaping.

Steps to Follow to Troubleshoot

Clean the Torch

Cleaning your torch, or any tool for that matter, is one of the best ways to ensure it continues to work properly. If you continue to use it repeatedly without cleaning it out, it can become dirty and corroded.

Start your troubleshooting process by examining the tip of the lighter and the tube. If they appear to have any debris in them, then try cleaning them out by shooting air inside the nozzle with your air compressor.

Another method that allows you to be more fine-tuned is to get a soft pipe cleaner.

First, thread this through the tip and then the tube. It should grab and more gently clear the debris from other structure.

Using a hard bristle brush or anything else can damage the delicate wires or fan set inside of some of these torches.

Fix the Igniter

The igniter tends to be one of the more common issues when a propane torch won’t light. It is one of the primary moving parts and has a higher tendency to experience faults.

Automatic and Instant On/Off Ignitions

  1. Open up the valve inside of your fuel cylinder.
  2. Inside, you should see the torch tip and be able to unscrew it.
  3. Manually press the igniter and check if there is a spark.

If you see a spark, then go ahead and replace the tip. his is where the problem lies and following replacement, it should light again.

To ensure a thorough job, also check the fuel cylinder for any faults.

If there is not spark, then you need to go through all of the options on this list. Once those have been exhausted, the likelihood lies in manufacturing or misuse.

If this is the case, call your product’s customer service team to straighten it out.

Manual Ignition Torches

  1. Open up the valve for your fuel cylinder. This means that there should only be a light flow of gas when applied.
  2. Use a lighter to create the spark for the flame. There are specific spark lighters for propane torch and similar lighters.

Fixing the Fuel Cylinder

Before looking through the rest of the fuel cylinder, check to see if there is a safety cap that has not been removed prior to use. It needs to be removed for the torch to be viable.

If the cap has been removed, follow it up by checking there is enough fuel in your fuel cylinder and that the torch is properly attached to the propane tank.

It should be threaded on, but only lightly. Over-tightening it can restrict it too much and not allow enough movement.

You have checked both of these and they are an affirmative, verify that the valve is open.

If you work through all of these and the problem does not resolve, read the instructions and then then contact customer care for the product. It can be a deeper issue that you should not try to resolve, such as a fault in the pressure of the tank. Finally, if you’re at the end of the rope, it may just be time to get a new torch (like this one).

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