Troubleshooting Your Propane Torch: Why It Won’t Stay Lit

Propane torches have a variety of uses. 

While common for tradespeople to solder copper pipes, anyone can use them for household tasks, from dealing with difficult weeds to sanitizing livestock cages- and even just getting that caramelized or toasted finish on a favorite dish!

Propane torches have become a much safer tool for home use over the years. 

However, a thousand house fires a year are still caused by propane, and care should be used when storing and using propane. 

But what can you do if your propane torch won’t stay lit? 

Possible Reasons Why Your Propane Torch Won’t Stay Lit

It can be difficult to troubleshoot with so many makes and models of propane torches today, but generally speaking, here are some common reasons that a propane torch may not stay lit:

  1. The igniter fails to make a spark, so gas is released without a flame forming
  1. Gas is not released from the cylinder, so the flame won’t stay lit
  1. There is a blockage between the fuel cylinder and the tip of the torc, so the gas cannot pass through steadily  

Sometimes it can be easier to light a torch when the gas is on a low setting. 

Turn the gas down to the lowest possible setting, and see if you can get it to light before increasing the level of the gas. This may help if lighting the torch is the issue! 

Propane Torch Won’t Stay Lit: 5 Quick Fixes

Before getting started, it’s vital to always keep your safety in mind first. 

When working on these fixes, make sure that you are outdoors, and away from anything flammable. Make sure the gas-release valve is turned tightly to the left to stop any propane from leaking out. 

In this section, we’ll go through the possible areas of the issue, starting with the most likely. 

Related >> How to Stop a Propane Tank from Leaking (An Easy Fix!)

Clean the Torch

If you’ve been using your torch for a while, it may have become dirty or rusted in the process- especially if it’s not been properly maintained! 

Any dirt, debris, or corrosion in the tip or the tube of the torch will block the flow of the gas, causing the torch to not stay lit. 

To fix this:

  1. Look down the tip of the nozzle and see if any blockage is apparent.
  1. Remove the torch tip from the cylinder. 
  1. You can then use compressed air or a soft pipe cleaner to remove debris from the tip and down the nozzle. A stiff brush may damage the more delicate parts of the torch, and as such should be avoided. 

Test the Igniter 

Due to the moving parts, this is the part of the torch that is most likely to malfunction. 

To test if this is the issue, open the valve inside your fuel cylinder and remove the torch tip from the cylinder. 

Now, you can press the ignitor and watch for a spark. If there is no spark, you will need to go ahead and replace the ignitor. 

Manual ignition torches: Some torches do not have built-in igniters. 

Instead, you would use a spark lighter made specifically for propane torches. You should easily be able to see if the lighter is creating a spark. If not, simply replace it! 

Fuel Cylinder 

First things first: check if the safety cap is still on the cylinder. This will stop the flow of the gas, as it needs to be removed prior to use. 

Obviously, if your torch was working and has stopped, this will not be the case, but it bears mentioning as it is the most straightforward reason. 

Check that there is enough fuel in the cylinder. If you are not sure based on the weight of the torch, one trick you can use is to run water down the side of the tank. 

Stand the tank on a flat surface (on the concrete outside or on your deck) and pour water over on the side. 

Then, feel the tank. It should feel cold where the propane is sitting in the tank, and warm where it is empty. 

You will not be able to tell exactly how much is in there, but it will give you a rough idea if you are dealing with an empty, full, or half tank. 

If there is fuel in the tank, ensure the tip is properly attached to the cylinder. Make sure it is not loose, but also do not over-tighten it as this will restrict the gas flow. 

Lastly, check that the valve is open. There should be a release when the valve is turned to the right. 

Contact Customer Care

If you have followed the steps above and the issue is not resolved, contact the customer care department of the maker of your specific torch. 

It can be difficult to troubleshoot without knowing the specifics of the model, and they will have more detailed information. 

Buy a New Torch

If you have exhausted all other options, then it may simply be time to replace your existing torch! 

The Bottom Line

A propane torch is great to have around. DIY enthusiasts, garden lovers, farmers, and fabulous home cooks will all find it a handy tool! 

It’s important to safely store and maintain your torch to keep you safe, and to keep the tool working well. 

Please remember before cleaning or working on your propane torch that proper ventilation is essential, so work outside! Also, make sure you aren’t near any flammable substances or materials. 

When your torch stops working, see if you can find the specific user manual for your product. If you no longer have the paper copy, search online. 

If our quick tips weren’t helpful, the next step is contacting the customer care support department for the product. 

If your product is not under warranty and can not be fixed, it may simply be time to replace it. 

If the cylinder still contains propane, make sure to dispose of it safely! Contact your local propane dealer about where it can be properly recycled. 

Related >> How to Hook Up A Propane Tank to Your Grill

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Shawn Hill

Hey, I'm Shawn and I love this site. With a wife and 7 kids, I get most of my grilling practice from feeding my own family. I'm here to help you learn more about grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ! With almost a decade of manning the grill and helping over 25,000 aspiring grill masters, you're in great hands! I've tried just about every type of grill, accessory, and gadget you can imagine. Because of that, I am here to help guide you to the best of the best and help you save time and money by avoiding the junk.

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