Tech Tip: Kerosene Forced Air (KFA) Portable Heaters Not Lighting Up

Posted on: December 28th, 2016 by | 4 Comments
Industrial Equipment Tips

For the Mi-T-M Pressure Washer Certified Technician.

Possible Cause #1

If you are trying to light your KFA Portable Heater and you notice little or no air pressure registering on the pressure gauge, there may be an issue with one of the following components:

1. Fuel filter

Kerosene Heater Air Pump Filter



2. Air hose

Portable Kerosene Heater Air Hose



3. Air pump rotor

kerosene heater air pump rotor


– Check to make sure the air pump filters and fuel filter are clean.

– Check for a hole(s) in the air hose that connects the air pump to the burner nozzle. If you do not find any holes, remove and inspect the air pump rotor for cracks and damage.

– Replace the air hose or air pump rotor based on the root of the cause. When replacing the air pump rotor, you must set the proper gap at the top of the carbon rotor. To do this have the rotor in place and the outer steel ring loose, then place the .004 inch gauge between the top of the rotor and the bottom of the outer ring. Tighten the bolts in the steel ring.

– Next, rotate the air pump rotor clockwise and recheck the .004 inch air gap every 1⁄4 turn from the same top location.

– Reset the outer ring if any locations are less than .004 inch.

Possible Cause #2

If the proper air pressure is registering on the pressure gauge (see heater decal for proper pressure) and the heater sprays fuel, but you still cannot light up your KFA Portable Heater, there may be an issue with one of the following components:

1. Control board

kerosene heater control board


2. Igniter (which is mounted underneath the fan pictured below)

kerosene heater igniter



Disconnect the igniter wires from the control board and check for voltage on the control board. The voltage will need to be checked within 1 – 3 seconds of turning the heater on/off switch to the on position. The voltmeter should read 120 volts AC. If there is no voltage, you will need to replace the control board. If voltage is present on the control board, that means that your igniter is more than likely the issue and you will need to replace it.


4 Responses

  1. steven carr says:

    I have a readyheater pro 155.has been completely serviced,filters air fuel,spark plug new and gapped,air psi set to 5.2 psi,checked for air leaks,new hoese air fuel,tested ign ok, new nozzel.will not fire hot (60 deg),fires cold fine(30 deg).will fire with torch held near spark plug and run fine.any ideas?

    • mitm_admin says:

      Hi Steven,
      You can contact Jeff Riesberg or another member of our service team a 1-800-553-9053. They should be able to help you out. Thanks!

  2. sam west says:

    I have a JD ac 215 for about 2 years very hard to start says E1 tried it yesterday could not get it to start ,took hood off and fan has hard spots turned it by hand (it was unpluged) when turned back on it did finaly started .Today the same thing has not had over 5 gal of kero since new.could it be air pump rotor clearance.

    • mitm_admin says:

      Hi Sam,
      Sorry for the delay in response. It’s probably best to have you get some advice from one of our service techs. Please give us a call at 1-800-553-9053 and we’d be happy to help. Thanks!

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