Restarting furnace after running out of propane

Restarting furnace after running out of propane

Your propane-powered furnace may, on rare occasions, fail to light after you have refilled propane (after running out of the fuel) until you restart it.
If you didn’t know, this happens most often when there’s still some air in the gas pipes (restarting it helps discharge the air and it should turn on without problems once air is expelled).

If this is what you need to do to reclaim your much-needed warmth, follow the steps below to restart your furnace after it has run out of propane (step-by-step).

Restarting furnace after running out of propane (step-by-step instructions)

For most owners, restarting a gas furnace is one of the easiest and safest procedures.

In seven simple steps, here’s how to restart a propane furnace after your tank has been refilled:

preliminary considerations

Make sure there are no open flames before you begin.

Furthermore, make sure your hands are dry; some pieces, like as the breaker, should never be handled with damp hands for obvious reasons.

The steps for restarting a furnace after it has run out of propane

Step 1: Find and turn off the breaker.

Turn off the breaker for your heating system by finding the breaker box.

Simply flip the switch off to turn it off.

Step 2: Turn off the furnace’s power.

After that, turn off the furnace’s power switch.

Step 3: Turn on the pilot light on the unit.

You’ll now need to remove the panel that allows you to access the pilot light. You’ll be able to simply access this crucial section as a result of this.

Remember that the panel on a few models is usually designed to be lifted before being removed.

There are some models that need you to remove the panel from the furnace.

Step 4: Turn off the propane.

The propane furnace gas control valve should be visible when you look inside.

This may be a round knob on top of a wall furnace, whereas it is at the bottom (of the furnace) for floor furnaces (still a round knob).

The first step in re-starting the furnace is to turn it off (you want the control to be at “Off” position).

Allow around 5 minutes for the gas to completely dissipate.

Step 4: Restart the propane burner.

Return propane gas quickly—please do it quickly to avoid propane accumulating for an extended period of time (this is an important fire safety precaution).

Step 5: If you have an older furnace, re-ignite the pilot light; if you have a modern one, omit this step.

Set the pilot light alight once more — you may use a barbeque lighter for this (Just grab the lighter and proceed to hold it there up until the pilot light lights).

Remember that this procedure only applies to antique furnaces (Newer furnaces do not have pilot lights).

Quick Tip: After re-igniting the pilot light, it may not stay lit. If this happens to you, don’t be alarmed. Try to relight it and see whether it stays lighted this time.

Step 6: Re-energize the circuit breaker.

Return to the circuit breaker panel and turn it “on” again at this point.

Step 7: Restart the propane furnace.

You should now use the power switch to turn your furnace back on.

Keep an eye on it for a few minutes to make sure everything is in working order.

If you’re happy with the results, replace the access panel.

If, on the other hand, your furnace is still not working, it could be a sign of a larger issue that has to be diagnosed and repaired by a professional.

To restate, make sure the valve (at the tank) is open before proceeding with the procedures below. Just to be sure, double-check.

Alternative method for restarting a furnace once it has run out of propane

There is another option worth trying before calling a service.

Those who believe the preceding technique is too complicated might think about this.

Here’s how it works:

Turning on the gas on a stove is an alternative method.

Turning on a stove is an alternative approach for filling your empty gas lines that typically works.

Here’s how to do it.

First, turn off the gas.

Turn off the propane tank’s gas valve.

Step 2: Turn on the stove.

Light one stove burner once it has been turned on.

Step 2: Allow a minute for the burner to burn (or so)

Allow one minute for the burner to burn (waiting for a minute helps clear any air and residual propane out of the gas lines).

Step 3: Restart the furnace by turning on the gas valve.

After that, cautiously open the propane tank’s gas valve and try to restart the furnace.

Quick Suggestion:

If it does not restart successfully after your first effort, don’t give up. Repeat the process (and keep trying) because completely purging the lines may take several attempts.

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Bonus suggestion

Even if you try one of the two alternatives, keep in mind that you don’t have to do anything all of the time.

To be honest, once gas starts flowing properly in the system, the furnace may come on.

Of course, you’ll need patience to try the ignition sequence numerous times (cleaning the lines of polluted gas/air often takes multiple ignition attempts).

In short, don’t be surprised if the problem appears to be resolved on its own.

Propane Furnace for Cabin


After recharging propane (the method restores propane to your furnace) or exchanging tanks, your furnace should light up after one or two restarts.

However, advanced troubleshooting may be required at times; it’s possible that another major issue is causing your furnace to not turn on after a refill.

If these measures don’t work, it’s recommended to seek the advice of a heating contractor.

If you’ve attempted the methods described but haven’t had any luck, go ahead and make that crucial call.


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