MHUniversity Buddy Family

North America's Most Popular Portable Propane Heater! These patented radiant propane heaters connect directly to a 1 lb. cylinder or may be connected to a larger fuel source via a hose.  The expertly engineered size to BTU ratio is designed to give this heater family maximum output while retaining a minimalistic footprint.  With the Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off you can be sure that you will enjoy years of comfortable indoor* safe heat.  Excellent for use while camping, ice fishing, or working in your garage.  These heaters are portable, convenient, and safe.

*Restricted from all indoor use in Massachusetts and Canada. Restricted from use in dwellings in California.

Little Buddy FAQs

Little Buddy - Operation and Accessories

Please watch the below video for information on operation and proper use of accessories for the Little Buddy Heater.  Thank you!

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Little Buddy - Cleaning and Maintenance

Please watch the below video for information on the cleaning and maintenance for the Little Buddy Heater.  Thank you!

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My pilot flame will not light.

Be sure you have fuel in your one pound screw on propane. When starting the heater after installing a new propane tank, you will need to hold the red start valve down for 30 to 60 seconds to allow the gas supply to reach the pilot tube.

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I have held down the red start button for minutes but the pilot flame still won't light?

You might need to clean out the pilot tube using a cotton q-tip and soaking it in alcohol and by making sure the cotton doesn't come off the stick and twisting the q-tip to push it into the pilot tube and being sure to go the full two inches to the bottom, let it soak and twist as you are removing the cotton swab. This may take a couple of times but if the pilot flame doesn't light something is blocking the gas flow out of the pilot tube.

Little Buddy Cleaning Pilot Tube

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Why doesn't my pilot flame stay on when I release my RED ON button?

Either your TIP switch or OFF switch need to be reset by lightly shaking the heater side to side and pushing your off button a couple of times to clean it contacts. If these suggestions don't work, your ODS pilot assembly might need to be replaced.  First clean out the pilot tube and test the unit.  If it still does not function, then replace the ODS assembly.

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Why does my heater work for 5 to 10 minutes and then shut off?

Your regulator or your pilot assembly that includes a Thermocouple may need to be replaced. If the pilot flame SHRINKS before going out, the regulator is bad. If you hear a CLICK and the pilot flame goes out, the ODS pilot assembly needs to be replaced.

Little Buddy Diagram

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Why does my Little Buddy light but when I release the On button, the pilot goes out?

First check if the off button is stuck. If it is, rapidly depress the off button 5-10 times to release the spring that is stuck. Next, the thermocouple may be dirty and need cleaned with steel wool or emery cloth. If this does not resolve the issue, then the pilot tube may be clogged and need cleaned (if there is not enough flame reaching your thermocoupler it will not send the signal to the valve to stay open). If all the above does not work, then please contact Technical Service for a Technician to walk you through additional troubleshooting.

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Do you need to order parts?

For your convenience please enter your serial number below to access Mr. Heater’s interactive schematic & parts ordering system. This system will allow you to browse your specific product schematic to order the correct service parts as well as download a complete manual for your make & model year.  If your product was produced any year prior (2011 and earlier), please call our Service Department at 1-800-251-0001, where our technicians will gladly assist you.


Don't see your question?

We try to make our FAQs as comprehensive as possible but sometimes things are missed!  We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you contact us so we may assist you.  You have multiple options to get a hold of us:

1. You can click the "No" below to the question "Was this helpful?" and that will send your question to our Technical Department where someone should respond within one business day.

2. You can call us at 1-800-251-0001 (USA & Canada) during our business hours (standard 8AM EST - 5PM EST but vary during seasons and holidays).

3. You can fill-in the Contact Us form on the Contact Us page and someone should email or call within one business day.

We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback and help us imrpove our site!

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Portable Buddy FAQs

Portable Buddy - Operation and Accessories

Please watch the below video for information on operation and proper use of accessories for the Portable Buddy Heater.  Thank you!

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Portable Buddy - Cleaning and Maintenance

Please watch the below video for information on cleaning and maintenance for the Portable Buddy Heater.  Thank you!

Was this helpful?

Why does my heater work for 5 to 10 minutes and then shut off?

Your regulator or your pilot assembly that includes a Thermocouple may need to be replaced. If the pilot flame SHRINKS before going out, the regulator is bad. If you hear a CLICK and the pilot flame goes out, the ODS pilot assembly needs to be replaced.

Portable Buddy Assembly

Portable Buddy Side Warning Label

My pilot flame will not light.

Be sure you have fuel in your one pound screw on propane bottle or check to see that your propane supply tank is turned on. When starting the heater after installing a new propane supply, you will need to hold the control valve down for 30 to 60 seconds in the pilot position to allow the gas supply to reach the pilot tube.

Portable Buddy Control Valve

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I have held down the control knob for minutes but the pilot flame still won't light?

You will need to clean out the pilot tube using a cotton q-tip and soaking it in alcohol and by making sure the cotton doesn't come off the stick and twisting the q-tip to push it into the pilot tube and being sure to go the full two inches to the bottom, let it soak and twist as you are removing the cotton swab. This may take a couple of times but if the pilot flame doesn't light something is blocking the gas flow out of the pilot tube.

Portable Buddy Remove Grill

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Is the Portable Buddy certified to run off of any tank size larger than the 1lb cylinder?

It is tested up to a 20lb cylinder. Anything larger than that is not considered portable anymore. It is possible to use a larger tank, however we have never tested this unit on anything larger then a 20lb cylinder and therefore do not recommend it.

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Do you need to order parts?

For your convenience please enter your serial number below to access Mr. Heater’s interactive schematic & parts ordering system. This system will allow you to browse your specific product schematic to order the correct service parts as well as download a complete manual for your make & model year.  If your product was produced any year prior (2011 and earlier), please call our Service Department at 1-800-251-0001, where our technicians will gladly assist you.


Don't see your question?

We try to make our FAQs as comprehensive as possible but sometimes things are missed!  We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you contact us so we may assist you.  You have multiple options to get a hold of us:

1. You can click the "No" below to the question "Was this helpful?" and that will send your question to our Technical Department where someone should respond within one business day.

2. You can call us at 1-800-251-0001 (USA & Canada) during our business hours (standard 8AM EST - 5PM EST but vary during seasons and holidays).

3. You can fill-in the Contact Us form on the Contact Us page and someone should email or call within one business day.

We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback and help us imrpove our site!

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Hunting Buddy FAQs

Why does my heater work for 5 to 10 minutes and then shut off?

Your regulator or your pilot assembly that includes a Thermocouple may need to be replaced. If the pilot flame SHRINKS before going out, the regulator is bad. If you hear a CLICK and the pilot flame goes out, the ODS pilot assembly needs to be replaced.

Hunting Buddy Diagram

Hunting Buddy ODS Pilot Assembly

My pilot flame will not light.

Be sure you have fuel in your one pound screw on propane. When starting the heater after installing a new propane tank, you will need to hold the red start valve down for 30 to 60 seconds to allow the gas supply to reach the pilot tube.

Hunting Buddy Control Knob

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I have held down the control knob for minutes but the pilot flame still won't light?

You might need to clean out the pilot tube using a cotton q-tip and soaking it in alcohol and by making sure the cotton doesn't come off the stick and twisting the q-tip to push it into the pilot tube and being sure to go the full two inches to the bottom, let it soak and twist as you are removing the cotton swab. This may take a couple of times but if the pilot flame doesn't light something is blocking the gas flow out of the pilot tube.

Hunting Buddy Cleaning Pilot Tube

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My heater has started giving off a bad smell?

There are different types of chemicals that, when drawn into the heater during its burning will react with the propane and make some disagreeable odors. The propane supplier may have added more of the orderizor to propane. First try the heater in a different area where no chemicals are used to see if the smell goes away and also try a different propane tank.

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Why does my Hunting Buddy shut off and the propane tank develop frost on the bottle?

In very cold weather the liquid propane inside your one pound propane tank cannot produce the vapor as quickly as needed and so as it boils to produce this vapor, it is boiling at -44 degrees and so the outside of the tank will get colder and colder and the frost develops. Wipe the frost off or use a larger remote tank in very cold weather.

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Why does my unit make a "whistling" noise on the low setting?

The gas flow is causing that noise. The heater is functioning properly.

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Do you need to order parts?

For your convenience please enter your serial number below to access Mr. Heater’s interactive schematic & parts ordering system. This system will allow you to browse your specific product schematic to order the correct service parts as well as download a complete manual for your make & model year.  If your product was produced any year prior (2011 and earlier), please call our Service Department at 1-800-251-0001, where our technicians will gladly assist you.


Don't see your question?

We try to make our FAQs as comprehensive as possible but sometimes things are missed!  We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you contact us so we may assist you.  You have multiple options to get a hold of us:

1. You can click the "No" below to the question "Was this helpful?" and that will send your question to our Technical Department where someone should respond within one business day.

2. You can call us at 1-800-251-0001 (USA & Canada) during our business hours (standard 8AM EST - 5PM EST but vary during seasons and holidays).

3. You can fill-in the Contact Us form on the Contact Us page and someone should email or call within one business day.

We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback and help us imrpove our site!

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Big Buddy FAQs

Big Buddy- Operation and Accessories

Please watch the below video for information on operation and proper use of accessories for the Big Buddy Heater.  Thank you!

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Big Buddy - Cleaning and Maintenance

Please watch the below video for information on cleaning and maintenance for the Big Buddy Heater.  Thank you!

Was this helpful?

Why does my heater work for 5 to 10 minutes and then shut off?

Your regulator or your pilot assembly that includes a Thermocouple may need to be replaced. If the pilot flame SHRINKS before going out, the regulator is bad. If you hear a CLICK and the pilot flame goes out, the ODS pilot assembly needs to be replaced.

Big Buddy ODS Pilot Diagram

Big Buddy Warning Label

Why using one 1lb propane tank screwed on to my heater will it run on high for only a couple of minutes than shuts off and the propane tank develops frost on the outside?

Because of the properties of propane you need to have two 1# bottles screwed on to the Big Buddy for it to operate at its high setting of 18,000 BTUs. Or you can use a larger remote tank (filter with specific hoses) and one of many different length hoses. Using a propane tank that is TOO SMALL to supply the vapor (rated in B.T.U.s) will cause the inside of the propane tank to become below freezing in temperature allowing the moisture in the air to frost on the outside of the very cold propane tank.

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I have held down the control knob for minutes but the pilot flame still won't light or it is short and yellow.

Clean the pilot tube by removing the wire grill covering the ceramic tiles. Get a cotton swab. Pour alcohol on the cotton and twist the cotton twist the fibers until they are tight and will not come off in the heater. Next, start inserting it into the pilot tube, (the brass hole that the pilot flame comes out of), and while twisting push it down into the tube 2 full inches until it bottoms out on the face of the pilot orifice. Let the alcohol soak for 20 seconds or so and start twisting the cotton swab to clean the face of the pilot orifice and keep twisting it as you remove it.  Do this process a couple of times and then blow into the pilot tube with a straw and your mouth to blow out any remaining contaminates and light your pilot.  If the flame is still short, yellow, curling or won’t light, repeat above steps.

Big Buddy Clean Pilot Tube

Can I hook my Portable Big Buddy to my regulated propane source in my mobile home, or RV?

If your propane source is regulated you can hook it to the required regulated quick coupler connection on the left hand side of the heater using our # F271802 hose, and quick coupler connection.

Big Buddy Quick Connect Coupler

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I am unable to get my pilot flame to light, or it is yellow and short what do I need to do?

Clean the pilot tube by removing the wire grill covering the ceramic tiles, get a q-tip (be sure and pull on the cotton to determine it will not come off the stick) pour alcohol on the cotton and twist the cotton. Next start inserting it into the pilot tube, the brass hole that the pilot flame comes out of, and while twisting it push it down into the tube 2 full inches until it bottoms out on the face of the pilot orifice. Let the alcohol soak for 20 seconds or so and start twisting the q-tip to clean the face of the pilot orifice and keep twisting it as you remove it. Do this process a couple of times and then blow into the pilot tube with a straw and your mouth to blow out any remaining contaminates and light your pilot.If the flame is still short, yellow, curling or won't light, repeat above steps.

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My pilot flame goes out when I turn the control knob from pilot to one of the three heat settings what might be wrong?

If the pilot flame shrinks as you turn the control knob to any of the heat settings, and your using a remote tank and hose, you might need to bleed the air out of the hose or reset the excess flow device in the fitting of the hose where it screws into the propane tank (see process below).

Follow these instructions to prevent the excess flow safety device from blocking or restricting the gas flow through your hose and how to bleed the air out of the hose:

  • Shut the valve off on the propane device and the tank.
  • When you open the valve on the propane tank, do it slowly until the valve turns freely and then open it all the way. (This information is on the instructions under Lighting and Operating Instructions)
  • Now the other end of the hose has a fitting with a Schrader valve (like a car tire) push this needle valve in to see if air comes out as long as you're holding it in. This verifies that the Excess Flow device has not been activate.
  • Next hold this needle valve in until you smell the stinky propane, about 2 to 3 seconds. This bleeds all the air out of the hose.
  • Now reconnect the hose to the device and you should be able to get it to light.

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Why does only one side light when I have a single 1lb cylinder attached?

A single 1lb cylinder can only run Low and Medium on the Big Buddy. A single 1lb cylinder is an inadequate fuel supply to run the full 18,000 BTU High setting. Also, when running on Low or Medium, regardless of the amount of fuel available (whether two 1lb cylinders or a 20lb cylinder, etc.), only one tile will light. Both tiles only light when running on High.

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Do I have to use two hoses when attaching a 20lb tank?

No, you do not need 2 hoses. Only one hose is necessary and it can be hooked to either the left or the right side regulator or the left side quick disconnect.

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How big of an area can this heat?

This heater will heat 450sqft efficiently.

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Do you need to order parts?

For your convenience please enter your serial number below to access Mr. Heater’s interactive schematic & parts ordering system. This system will allow you to browse your specific product schematic to order the correct service parts as well as download a complete manual for your make & model year.  If your product was produced any year prior (2011 and earlier), please call our Service Department at 1-800-251-0001, where our technicians will gladly assist you.


Don't see your question?

We try to make our FAQs as comprehensive as possible but sometimes things are missed!  We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you contact us so we may assist you.  You have multiple options to get a hold of us:

1. You can click the "No" below to the question "Was this helpful?" and that will send your question to our Technical Department where someone should respond within one business day.

2. You can call us at 1-800-251-0001 (USA & Canada) during our business hours (standard 8AM EST - 5PM EST but vary during seasons and holidays).

3. You can fill-in the Contact Us form on the Contact Us page and someone should email or call within one business day.

We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback and help us imrpove our site!

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Buddy Family General FAQs

What is a Safety Tip-over Switch?

A safety tip over switch is a small device inside the heater, that, when the heater is tipped more than a specific number of degrees from upright, will turn the heater off.

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What is an ODS?

An ODS is an Oxygen Depletion Sensor. This device senses the amount of oxygen in the air surrounding the device. When the oxygen level drops below a specific level, the device will shut off automatically.

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Why doesn't my heater come with a hose and/or regulator?

Your heater may not include a hose and/or regulator because it is not required for the product to function. Or there may be multiple options available in regards to the length of the hose, what length you need, etc.

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What does the heating area square feet mean?

Square footage is the length of an area times the width of an area. Knowing the square footage of an area allows you to estimate the amount of BTUs necessary to heat the area most effectively. A generally accepted formula is: Square Footage x 40 = required BTUs. This is just a starting point. Ceiling height, building layout, and level of insulation will also factor into your BTU needs.

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Why do I need a fuel filter with my Buddy heater?

In most propane appliance situations, there is a regulator located at the tank, followed by a supply line. In that situation, what passes through the hose after the regulator is low pressure gas. Low pressure gas is harmless to rubber. The buddy system has the regulator located at the heater. In this setup you cannot have a regulator at the propane tank due to over-regulating the gas supply. This makes the gas that passes through the hose to get to the buddy system high pressure. High pressure gas squeezes rubber as it passes through it, and can occasionally pull some of the oils and plasticizers from the hose during these periods of high pressure. Those contaminates will travel with the flow of propane and land somewhere inside the heater, slowly building up over time and causing gas flow problems once the buildup becomes large enough. The 10' buddy hose does not contain any plasticizers or oily contaminates that will leach out of the hose during high pressure propane flow. That is why that hose does not need a filter. All of the other hoses for the buddy system will need a filter because they will contain oils and plasticizers.

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How often should I replace my fuel filter for a Buddy heater?

We recommend starting the heating season with a new filter, and disposing of it at the end of the season. Using one longer can cause the filter to fill up with the particulates. Once the filter is filled, the particulates will pass through and begin building up in the heater.

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My heater has started giving off a bad smell?

There are different types of chemicals that, when drawn into the heater during its burning will react with the propane and make some disagreeable odors. The propane supplier may have added more of the odorizor called Mercaptan to the propane. First try the heater in a different area where no chemicals are used to see if the smell goes away and also try a different propane tank.

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What is a High Limit Safety shut-off?

A High Limit Safety is a switch located inside the device which will turn it off if the internal temperatures of the device rise above a specific level.

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Do you need to order parts?

For your convenience please enter your serial number below to access Mr. Heater’s interactive schematic & parts ordering system. This system will allow you to browse your specific product schematic to order the correct service parts as well as download a complete manual for your make & model year.  If your product was produced any year prior (2011 and earlier), please call our Service Department at 1-800-251-0001, where our technicians will gladly assist you.


Don't see your question?

We try to make our FAQs as comprehensive as possible but sometimes things are missed!  We apologize for the inconvenience and ask that you contact us so we may assist you.  You have multiple options to get a hold of us:

1. You can click the "No" below to the question "Was this helpful?" and that will send your question to our Technical Department where someone should respond within one business day.

2. You can call us at 1-800-251-0001 (USA & Canada) during our business hours (standard 8AM EST - 5PM EST but vary during seasons and holidays).

3. You can fill-in the Contact Us form on the Contact Us page and someone should email or call within one business day.

We appreciate you taking the time to give us your feedback and help us imrpove our site!

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Buddy Manuals and Troubleshooting Guides

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Buddy Videos

       

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Parts Ordering

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