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Old 05-30-2015, 11:14 AM   #1
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Big Buddy Heater with a BIG LEAK!

I've had this Big Buddy heater for about three years. It suddenly started leaking propane (from disposable bottles) when the control was set to off! It'll leak two full bottles in about eight hours. We found out it was leaking because it set off the propane detector under the table where the Big Buddy was stored. Leaks enough gas to blow us over the next mountain! There was a recall of Big Buddies several years ago for this problem, but evidently mine is a "newer" model and not covered. I've written the company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will post what they have to say.

This is my second Big Buddy. The first (naturally just out of the one year warranty) refused to stay on even after replacing parts the Bug Buddy factory told me to replace. While they sure do heat well they don't seem to last very long and there is evidently no way to have them repaired! This last problem is dangerous beyond belief so check yours out and store it near a propane detector!

I've also had a smaller Buddy heater for fifteen years with no problem. Maybe I'll just get a couple of them...? What's your experience?


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Old 05-30-2015, 11:43 AM   #2
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Any and all of the gas equipment which operates on the high bottle pressure without a normal regulator are inherently less safe than regulator equipped things. You can tell if your items have regulators by looking to see if they have a little round metal can near where they attach to the tank.

If no regulator, the pressure on the lines can be as high as a couple of hundred PSI.

I would never store any non regulated propane equipment inside the trailer with the gas tank attached. Never, ever. At the minimum, unscrew the tank.
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Old 05-30-2015, 12:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the good advice!

The Big Buddy has two regulators, one for each disposable propane bottle. Since both bottles empty my guess is the leak is at the on/off control valve, which isn't closing when the knob is at "off"! The problem is - when you have a problem with a Big Buddy just throw the darn thing out! You can't get it fixed, you can't fix it yourself and you can't take the chance of it exploding or catching fire! Truth is, I'm scared to even think about having something like that in my trailer! Thank heavens for the propane detector as the leak, fast as it is, is just slow enough that we didn't get a strong enough smell of propane.


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Old 06-05-2015, 09:56 AM   #4
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That's weird. My regular Buddy heater (single bottle) came with a schematic drawing and a parts list. You might not be able to find anyone to service it for you. Shop rates around here would make replacement sound like a better option. Pop it apart and check out what parts leak. Do this outside of course. Remember that you can't kill what's already dead. Worst case is you confirm that a replacement is necessary, but you might be able to fix it. The owner always has the option of throwing unpaid labor at the problem.
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