Does your patio heater keep falling over? You might have to make some permanent decisions. Try these 6 fixes to prevent this from happening in the future.

Patio heaters are a wonderful solution for those of us who love family picnics, and late night gatherings with friends under the moonlight. Without these appliances, our get togethers would not be as enjoyable.

Non-patio heater owners would probably say I’m exaggerating their virtues, but I’m sure that you, as another proud patio heater connoisseur, agree with every sentence I’ve said.

Sadly, not everything can be peachy. If you’re reading this, that means your appliance keeps falling over. A frustrating and dangerous inconvenience, if I’ve ever seen one.

At this point, you’ve probably tried everything, and gotten nothing but disappointing results. I’ve been there, and know how discouraging this can be.  But not all is lost.

To fix my problem, I had to conduct some research. Research that I now want to share with you.

Below, you will find a list with the most common causes to this occurrence, and the simplest steps you can take to address them. There’s not a single doubt in my mind that, if you follow them religiously, your patio heater will stop falling over immediately.

Are you ready? Let’s get to work!

Fixing an Unstable Patio Heater

Depending on the model of your appliance and the severity of the issue you’re experiencing, we might have to try some more or less permanent solutions. It is very important that we go about this troubleshooting process in the detailed and orderly manner.

It’s strongly advised against to jump to conclusions and tamper with the heater blindly. Please bear with me and be patient. I promise we’ll get to the bottom of this.

Here are some fixes you can try to keep your patio heater from falling over:

  • Check the reservoir
  • Check your floor levelling
  • Watch out for windy days
  • Relocate it
  • Tie it
  • Anchor it

#1 Check the Reservoir

an out door heater with stainless reservoir
You might have to refill the reservoir if it started to fail

I want to start off this list with the basics. This may vary from model to model, but most patio heaters come equipped with a reservoir at the bottom that is either filled with sand or water.

This element acts as a counterweight to keep your appliance in place and prevent it from falling over. Depending on what the contents of your specific reservoir are, you might have to do some refilling.

If your reservoir is full of sand, you won’t need to do anything else after initially filling the container. However, if it’s designed to be filled with water, there’s a good chance that the liquid might have leaked or evaporated.

Solution: In most cases, accessing the reservoir should be very simple, and quite similar to the process of replacing the propane tank.

Your model should have a little door at the bottom leading to the reservoir. Locate it, and check whether your appliance uses sand, or water, and refill if necessary.

#2 Check Your Floor Levelling

man checking the level of floor
Improper leveling can make your patio heater fall over

Yet another important element that a lot of people tend to miss or ignore, is floor levelling.

You’d be surprised at how many times people bend over backwards trying to figure out why they’re experiencing this problem, only to find that the cause lied with their living spaces’ design.

In theory, your home’s flooring should be level from the moment of construction. However, as time passes, some floor types can come loose or wear out, causing mild inclinations, and balancing issues for your appliance.

If your patio heater keeps falling over, and you’re certain your reservoir is full, you might want to check how even your flooring is.

Solution: There are many ways in which you can test this, but one of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective ones, is by using one of those popular bubble meters.

Provided that you do, in fact, determine there’s levelling issues, you can either try and repair the affected area, or relocate your patio heater to a more even surface.

#3 Watch Out for Windy Days

This will only be a problem if you either live in an area with extremely fast winds, or have an empty reservoir.

Sometimes, there’s nothing wrong with your patio heater; sometimes the weather is just too inclement. Extremely strong and winds can make your appliance wobbly, and, in severe cases, even cause it to fall over.

This is not very common, and it’s usually hard to have it happen to you, but we’re trying to leave no stone unturned here, right?

Solution: If you suspect this to be the source of your problem, you have a couple of options at your disposal.

Provided that you don’t mind rescheduling your day out, and wait until the windy conditions let up, go ahead and do so. This is a free solution, and, on the upside, it will guarantee that your next picnic is all sun and fun, without the hassle of having the wind on your face.

Alternatively, if you absolutely must go out during these extreme conditions, you can always relocate your patio heater next to a wall or another tall object to mitigate the strength of the current.

#4 Relocate It

an image of outdoor patio with furnitures
Place your patio heater somewhere safe

Unsurprisingly, wind isn’t the only external factor that can cause your patio heater to keep falling over. Sometimes, even people and pets in the house can contribute to this issue. Especially when the appliance isn’t properly weighed down or secured.

As a general rule, it’s a good idea to keep your unit away from doors or other crowded areas where people walk. This will decrease the chance of someone accidentally knocking it over.

And even if the appliance does not fall over continuously, you want to protect your friends and family from accidentally bumping into a hard metal object, don’t you?

Solution: If you’re anything like me, you love to plan the entire layout of your event days in advance. When doing so, experiment a little with the positioning of your patio heater so that it both provides the cozy warmth you love, and stays out of people’s way.

Remember that inside your unit, there’s a flammable, highly pressurized canister of propane. It’s always a good idea to know how to cut off gas supply in order to transport it safely to another location.

#5 Tie It

This is one of my favorites, since it’s rudimentary, but very effective. Sometimes, everything in your patio heater could be fine, and it just needs additional anchoring.

If you suspect this to be your case, you could fix the issue in the blink of an eye by tying it to a post or a solid wall. I know that, with all the options you have out there, this sounds like something primitive, but trust me, it works.

After all, it’s not always the most complicated solutions that work best.

Doing this, along with making sure that your floor is level and your reservoir is full, will essentially drop to 0 the chances of your unit falling over again. That being said, it’s very important that the material you use to tie it is not flammable.

Solution: You can easily find a fire and heat-resistant rope by browsing online. In most cases, you should be able to get several feet of this material without breaking the bank.

Additionally, you want to look for a material that is also resistant to humidity, as your patio heater will be seating outside for most of its lifespan.

#6 Anchor It

Lastly, let’s take a look at the most permanent solution on this list.

If you’ve tried everything mentioned above, and nothing has worked out for you, it’s time to think a little bigger and commit. I know the whole purpose of owning a patio heater is being able to relocate it as needed, but sadly, this might be your only option.

Anchoring your patio heater to the floor should be your last resort, as not only will you be sacrificing the aforementioned mobility, but also have to drill holes in both the appliance, and your living spaces.

When things come to this, you’ll have to weigh the benefits of using your unit with compromised features vs risking an accident when it falls over again.

Solution: Depending on how DIY-savvy you are, you can try and do this yourself, or call a professional.

The process itself should not be too complicated, but, if done improperly, you could damage your patio heater, and your floor, so tread lightly.

Doing this should eliminate the chances of the heater falling over again, and make this issue, a thing of the past.


To have your patio heater keep falling over can be disastrous. Not only are you constantly risking hurting yourself or someone else, but also damaging the appliance with every fall.

If you’re not careful, you could end up with a broken patio heater before you even figure out how to stop it from tipping over.

Luckily, as I hope you’ve learned in this piece, addressing most of the causes behind this issue is fairly simple and quick. More often than not, checking that your floor is level, and making sure that the reservoir is full, is all you need to do to keep the appliance stable.

Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If you found this article helpful, why not keep the learning going through our other incredible resources below?

Happy DIY’s!