Buddy heater internal leak

Old Crow

Jan 10, 2015
South Central PA
Just a quick post to document a problem I had with one of my Buddy heaters--- the Mr. Heater "Portable Buddy". This is the 4000 and 9000 btu, single-ceramic-panel model (MH9BX).

Though I didn't realize it at the time, this started when I tried to light the heater and couldn't. I eventually realized the gas cylinder was empty. That seemed odd as I hadn't seen the heater die out the last time I had used it. Did it happen to run out of gas just as I shut it down? In any case, I just replaced the cylinder and fired it up, then stored it away.

Some time later, I noticed a very faint bad smell when I'd open the van door. I didn't associate it with the Buddy heater as it wasn't a gas smell. It also wasn't a porta-potty odor. And it wasn't a musty odor. I'd say it was more like a dead-mouse odor but very light--- barely noticeable. Just enough to say something isn't right.

I eventually realized it could be the Buddy heater and pulled it from the van and put it in a storage building. The next day I confirmed I had moved the odd smell to the storage building.

One seemingly-odd thing was that it passed the soapy-water test (of the cylinder connection). So the leak was inside the unit. But it was such a small leak that it didn't give off a gas smell and only drained down the cylinder very, very slowly.

Buddy heaters happened to go on sale shortly after that so I bought a replacement and that resolved the problem.

Edited to add--

Note: Instructions for the Portable Buddy heater include a warning to remove the cylinder when the heater isn't in use. When the heater is connected to a remote gas source by hose, instructions say to close the gas valve at the source, let the remaining gas in the hose burn off, then turn the heater control off.
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