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How to Keep a Patio Heater From Tipping Over

patio heater prevented from tipping

Constantly watching your patio heater in case it tilts and causes an accident can be stressful. In fact, I used to dread using my heater in the winter for that reason. Rings a bell?

You’re in good company. Because I have a couple of solutions for you:

  • Use the anti-tilt switch of the patio heater.
  • Fix the heater with anchors.
  • Use windshields to protect the heater from the wind.

Want other fixes? Check this article to learn how to keep your patio heater from blowing over.

1. Use the Anti-Tilt Switch

Some patio heaters come with an anti-tilt mechanism that protects them from tipping over. 

This mechanism works by turning off the patio heater whenever it tilts ever so slightly. So, always use this feature if you have it. 

And if your heater doesn’t have this feature, you can buy an anti-tilt switch and set it up.

Note that it’s important to test your heater’s anti-tilt switch occasionally because if it’s faulty, the heater will act up. And before checking the switch, turn off the heater and test the feature in an area that’s away from hazards.

2. Keep the Patio Heater Somewhere Safe

The solution to your tilting patio heater can be pretty simple: move it to a safe place where the chances of it falling over are low. 

So, what’s an unsafe place for a patio heater? It’s a place where lots of people come and go or somewhere where kids like to play because they can knock it down. Also, avoid placing it anywhere near the doors or windows, where the chances of accidentally tilting it are high.

You also shouldn’t put your heater on grassy grounds without a protective material beneath it because it’s flammable and uneven.

Instead, consider these factors before putting the heater somewhere:

  • The surface needs to be flat, stable, and rigid.
  • You can ground the heater to the surface with structures or ropes.
  • The surface is away from dangers like flammable materials.

3. Mount the Patio Heater to the Floor

This is a simple yet effective fix, especially if the heater is in a windy area. Keep the heater upright by anchoring it with pillars, cement, etc. 

This will ensure that your heater never tilts, even with force. But that doesn’t mean putting it in an unsafe location; you still want to err on the side of caution. 

Plus, you can tie the heater next to a wall. But make sure the ties are fireproof and don’t absorb humidity.

patio heater on deck

4. Use Heavy Weights for Your Patio Heater

If you don’t want to mount the patio heater, secure it with heavy weights, but check that they’re fireproof and heat-resistant to prevent any accidents. 

Sandbags and water are commonly used because they resist flames yet weigh down patio heaters pretty well. However, note that water evaporates over time, especially if the patio heater is in a sunny location. So, you should frequently add more water to keep the heater stable. 

5. Protect Your Patio Heater From the Wind

The most common culprit when it comes to tilting a patio heater is the wind. If you live in a windy place, you need to find a way to protect the patio heater from it. 

For example, you can add windshields or cover the heater whenever you don’t need it. You should also check the weather forecast and move the heater to a safer area whenever there’s rain or strong wind—especially during winter. 

6. Use the Patio Heater’s Reservoir

Most patio heaters come with built-in reservoirs to add weight. If your heater is one of them, you won’t need to add weights in a separate box. Instead, add them to the reservoir. 

Lastly, note that water-based reservoirs sometimes leak, so check up on yours frequently.

7. Inspect the Level of the Ground

Checking the floor level before placing the patio heater seems intuitive, but you’d be shocked at how many people miss it. The reason for your patio heater tilting could be that it’s on a tilted ground like grass and whatnot. 

You can try this to check if there’s tilting on a smooth, hard floor (ex: concrete and hardwood):

  1. Get a marble or any other round object.
  2. Slowly, put the marble in the middle of the ground and see if it moves around.
  3. If the marble moves, the floor is tilted. You can tell the amount of tilting from the speed of rolling. The faster the rolling, the more tilting.
  4. Repeat these steps in other spots of the ground to check for tilting.

If you find that the floor is uneven, move the patio heater to a better location or fix the flooring (if it’s fixable). 

Final Thoughts

By now, you should know how to prevent your patio heater from tilting. To sum it up, you can try the following:

  • Place it on an even, hard floor.
  • Mount it with heavyweights like water and sand.
  • Tie it down with fireproof ropes or anchors.
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