Installation Overview

Basic Heater Operation

Sunpak heaters (except TSR) require 24 VAC from a transformer that must be located outside of the heater. The control system is a simple on/off control that can be actuated with either a switch or a timer (supplied by  installer). The electronic ignition and flame sensing requires  continuous power while the heater is operating.

White Rodgers 90-T40F1

A 24 VAC Transformer with a minimum rating of 20 VA is required for each heater.  Transformer should be class 2 with CSA or UL listing.

Sunpak ® heaters utilize a spark ignition and electronic flame safety control. The pilot is only ON while the heater is operating. If the flame safety sensor fails to sense flame at the pilot, the heater will shut down and lockout.  This may happen due to low gas pressure or a gusty wind.  To restart the heater, first set the switch to OFF before turning the heater ON.

Although these heaters are designed for outdoor installation and use, it is important that switches, transformers or other operating controls be protected from the weather.

Qualified Installer

These instructions are intended for qualified personnel, specifically trained and experienced in the installation of this type of equipment and related system components.  Some states or provinces require installation and service personnel to be licensed. If your state or province is such, be sure your contractor bears the appropriate license. Persons not qualified shall not attempt to fix this equipment nor attempt repairs.

Asphyxia, Explosion or Fire

Improper installation, adjustment, alteration, service or maintenance may create a hazard resulting in asphyxiation, explosion or fire, or damage to the equipment.

Technical Information

Code Requirements

Installation must be in accordance with local codes, or in the absence of local codes, with the latest edition of the National Fuel Gas Code, ANSI Z224 and National Electrical Code ANSI/NFPA 70, and for Canada, the latest edition of CAN/CGA-B149.1 and B149.2 and Canadian Electrical Code, CSA C22.1 Part 1 and Part 2.

  • Heaters to be installed in Aircraft hangars must be installed in accordance with American National Standards for Aircraft Hangars, ANSI/NFPA No. 409.
  • Heaters to be installed in Public Garages must be installed in accordance with NFPA No. 88A, Standards for Parking Structures.
  • Heaters must be installed so that minimum clearances marked on the heaters will be maintained from vehicles parked below the heater.
  • Each heater must be electrically grounded in accordance with the National Electrical Code, ANSI/NFPA 70, when an external electrical source is utilized. In Canada, the CSA Canadian Electrical Code, C22.1 Part 1 applies.

Clearance to Combustibles

Each heater must be installed such that the following “Minimum Clearance to Combustible Materials’ are maintained. Combustible materials include wood, compressed paper, plant fibers, plastic, Plexiglas® or other materials capable of being ignited and burned. Such materials shall be considered combustible even though flame-proofed, fire retardant treated or plastered. Additional clearance may be required for glass, painted surfaces, vinyl siding or other materials which may be damaged by radiant or convection heat.

Adequate space around each heater is required even when the materials surrounding the heater are non- combustible to provide adequate combustion air and ventilation of exhaust gases.  Heaters should never be located in a ceiling recess or soffit.

The stated clearance to combustible materials represents a surface temperature of 90°F (32°C) above room temperature. Building materials with a low heat tolerance (such as plastic, vinyl siding, canvas, tri-ply, etc.) may be subject to degradation at lower temperatures. It is the installer’s responsibility to assure that adjacent materials are not subject to degradation. In locations used for storage of combustible materials, signs shall be posted to specify the maximum permissible stacking height to maintain required clearances from the heater to combustible materials.

Input Btuh
Side In
Rear In
Ceiling In
Below In
Mtg Angle
30° Max
30° Max

Above clearances apply to Natural and Propane.
*Model S25 for propane gas for use in horizontal position only.

Sunpak Heater Mounted Correctly

Incorrect Angle

Common Clearance Questions

Heaters mounted between 8-9 ft from the floor seem to hit the “sweet spot”.  7ft is considered the minimum.  Anything below this becomes a safety issue and will most likely be too intense to stand under.  Heaters mounted over 10ft are less effective.

SHORT ANSWER: 8 ft 5 in.

We recommend for safety reasons that no patio heater should be installed below 7ft from the floor.  Working backwards and taking into account the clearance requirements.  The following guide can be used.

S25 in horizontal position (pointed straight down) requires 8’5″ floor to ceiling distance.

S25 at 30° angle requires 8’10” floor to ceiling distance

S34 in horizontal position requires 9′ floor to ceiling distance

S34 at 30° angle requires 9’5″ floor to ceiling distance

Mounting the heater at a 30° angle increases the top clearance.

A minimum of 6″ top clearance should be maintained.  Adequate space around each heater is required even when the materials surrounding the heater are non- combustible to provide adequate combustion air and ventilation of exhaust gases.  Heaters should never be located in a ceiling recess or soffit.

There is chance that the exhaust gases might damage overhead awnings.

Building materials with a low heat tolerance (such as plastic, vinyl siding, canvas, tri-ply, etc.) may be subject to degradation at lower temperatures.

There is no factory heat shield that can be ordered.

24″ clearance must be maintained between units.

Gas Supply

The gas inlet supply pressure and manifold pressures required for each heater are listed below. For gas supply line pressures in excess of 1⁄2 PSI, consult with your gas service provider or the factory.

Gas Inlet Pressure
Nat Gas
Maximum Pressure
1/2 PSI
1/2 PSI
Minimum Pressure
6″ W.C.
11″ W.C.
Manifold Pressure
5″ W.C.
10″ W.C.

It is critical that the gas piping system be adequately sized for all the gas appliances it serves.

Typical Gas Hook-up

Gas Piping

  1. A minimum pipe size of 1⁄2” is required for inlet piping. A 1⁄2” lever handled gas shut-off valve should be installed within 6 feet of the appliance for servicing and as emergency shutoff to the unit.
  2. Check with local and state plumbing and heating codes regarding sizing of gas lines.
  3. All gas pipe connections to the heater(s) must be sealed with a gas pipe compound resistant to liquefied petroleum gases.
  4. Installation of a drip leg or sediment trap in the gas supply line going to each heater is required to minimize the possibility of any loose scale or dirt within the gas supply line from entering the heater’s control system.
  5. When checking for gas leaks, do not use an open flame. Use a soap and water solution.
  6. For gas supply line pressures in excess of 1⁄2 PSI, consult the factory or your local representative.
  7. Installation of 1/8” N.P.T. plugged tap accessible for test gauge connections is required upstream of the gas supply connections to the heater.
  8. Never use pipe sealing compound on brass to brass flared fittings.

Heater Mounting & Support

Heaters shall be mounted in a fixed position independent of gas and electrical supply line. Hangers and brackets shall be of noncombustible material.  Heaters subject to vibration shall be provided with vibration isolating hangers.  Suitable materials for hanging infrared heaters are steel pipe, steel channel, or fabricated hangers of at least 16-gauge material. Hanger and brackets must be secured with adequate anchor to a secure structure using good building practices. Additional bracing to protect against seismic forces may be required in seismically active areas. Never mount heaters to a moving object such as a trailer, motor home, boat, etc.


  1. Sunpak® Heaters (except TSR models) require a 24 VAC NEC Class 2 transformer. Each heater requires approximately 20VA or .08 amps. When multiple heaters are connected to one transformer, the transformer must be sized to accommodate the entire load. The transformer must never be located inside the heater.
  2. Use at 18GA wire up to 50 feet from the heater. Use a minimum of 16GA wire for over 50 feet distance.
  3. If any of the original wire supplied inside the appliance must be replaced, it must be replaced with wiring material having a temperature rating of at least 105 degrees Centigrade.


It is required that areas above the heater be properly vented to allow for necessary combustion air and removal of combustion gases.  Heaters shall be provided with natural or mechanical means to supply and exhaust at least 4 cfm per 1,000 BTU per hour of heater input.  Exhaust openings for removing the flue products shall be above the level of the heaters.  Heater ventilation must comply with state and local codes. Never use heater in a fully enclosed area.

Fire Sprinklers

Fire Sprinklers must be located at an appropriate distance from each heater to avoid accidental activation of the sprinkler. Ethylene glycol or propylene glycol must never be used in fire sprinkler systems where heaters are present as these substances may become flammable when heated. A fire sprinkler professional must be consulted when heaters are installed where fire sprinklers are present to insure that heaters and the fire sprinkler system are properly integrated. Specific guidelines can be found in NFPA 13 regarding design and specifications for Fire Sprinkler Systems near heaters.

Wiring Diagram -Single Stage Heater

Wiring Diagram -Two Stage Heater