I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

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I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Weetabix » Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:22 pm

Subsequent to a decision to rescue the basement from years of neglect and people's dumping things they didn't know what to do with, I unearthed a pile of gas camping appliances that didn't work.

I'd bought over the years, some Coleman stoves and lanterns at garage sales figuring on one day repairing them. Additionally, I had a small butane lantern (runs on the little fuel cans of isobutane) that had stopped working and an old single burner stove that had failed spectacularly (gouts of yellow flame) during a Scout camp out years ago.

Beginning with two fundamental principles, I began the journey of discovery and repair. The two principles?

- If they got it together, I can get it apart.
- It doesn't work now, so I can't make it work much less.

I started with the gas lanterns, since I'd discovered that my good propane lantern had gone missing (note to self: label your stuff before you camp with others, and count your gear when packing to leave).

So. Disassemble, clean, clean, clean, reassemble and test.

One stove and one lantern wouldn't pump up. Buy a pump repair kit and a new pump cup.

One lantern wouldn't let any gas through. Disassemble the generator. Some previous owner had reassembled it badly and bent the cleaning pin over. Buy a new generator.

Some parts and some cleaning, and the stoves and lanterns work. One stove could use a new generator, I think, but they're $25, so I'll hold off a bit.

One lantern has some light level issues. Probably from the old fuel that was in there when I bought it. I need to figure out what to do with the old fuel and replace it.

For about $100 in initial purchase price and parts, I now have two gas lanterns and two gas stoves that work. One of each works well, and the other two acceptably.

Bitten by the gas appliance bug, I approached the old propane bottle top single burner stove. The nut above the valve wouldn't let gas through. I could see where the orifice was, but it was so small, I couldn't find anything small enough to push through it. I beat on it from the top and bottom with a nylon hammer to try to dislodge whatever was in it. Then I polished the top with some 0000 steel wool. I applied a vacuum to the back of the valve (I suck) and I was getting some air through. Clean, clean, clean the rest of it. Reassemble. Lit it up, and it works. Yay!

On to the butane lantern. This is a small backpacking lantern that mounts on the same short fuel canisters that the MSR Pocket Rocket goes on. It's very small and gives lots of light. When it works. It had stopped some time ago - no gas flow. I got lucky on this one. There was a pin that kept the valve from unscrewing out all the way. I drifted that out and took the valve screw out. Then (inside, of course), I plugged a canister into it to blow it out a bit. Screwed the valve back in, and it lit up. Drifted the pin back in, and my lantern works again. Yay!

Lessons for me:
- Head mounted, lighted magnifiers are a great help when you have small orifices
- Take it apart. What could go wrong?
- Think where the gas goes and where the air comes from.
- I like labeling stuff with white duct tape and sharpies.
Last edited by Weetabix on Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby PawPaw » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:06 pm

I have gas and small orifices
When I saw the post title, I though maybe you were having digestive issues.

Oh, we're talking about propane equipment. Yeah, they're pretty simple once you get into them. Not much to go wrong, and spare parts are easily available. Good job on figuring it out.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby Aesop » Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:33 pm

I was hoping against hope this was something like a discussion about your AR platform. I can live with propane appliances as the actual culprit.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby Yogimus » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:09 am

<- backs out of thread, disappointed

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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby SoupOrMan » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:43 am

Yogimus wrote:<- backs out of thread, disappointed


*plays the end-of-episode music from The Incredible Hulk as Yogi leaves the thread, searching for new trouble*
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby Greg » Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:07 pm

I personally was expecting some kind of high-pitched noise.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby Jericho941 » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:54 pm

And I'm from Earth.

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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby Weetabix » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:13 pm

Geez! It's in Gear Talk and Tech, not The Kitchen Table. :lol:
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby randy » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:03 pm

Weetabix wrote:Geez! It's in Gear Talk and Tech, not The Kitchen Table. :lol:


But with Yogi, the difference might not be as great as you hope. :twisted:
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby PawPaw » Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:02 pm

Weetabix wrote:Geez! It's in Gear Talk and Tech, not The Kitchen Table. :lol:
I didn't know what kind of gear you were going to talk about. :mrgreen:
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Re: I have gas and small orifices

Postby HTRN » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:47 pm

PawPaw wrote:
Weetabix wrote:Geez! It's in Gear Talk and Tech, not The Kitchen Table. :lol:
I didn't know what kind of gear you were going to talk about. :mrgreen:

Ask Yogi about his electric toothbrush. I dare you. :lol:
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Yogimus » Mon Jan 19, 2015 8:54 pm

Paint brushes and baby oil

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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Weetabix » Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:08 pm

I've heard the electric toothbrush referred to, but I missed the story itself.

Yogi?

Feel free to use the spoiler tag for the faint of heart. :D
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Termite » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:07 pm

Well, this thread went down hill rather fast...........
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Weetabix » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:26 pm

Termite wrote:Well, this thread went down hill rather fast...........

It's my fault for amusing myself with the title...
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:56 am

Weetabix wrote:
Termite wrote:Well, this thread went down hill rather fast...........

It's my fault for amusing myself with the title...


Note to self: Do *not* go camping with Weet. :lol:
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Jered » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:57 am

You don't want him cleaning out your small orifices?
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:50 am

Jered wrote:You don't want him cleaning out your small orifices?


No, that's not it. I'm trying *really* hard to come up with a Dutch oven joke. So far, nothing.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Windy Wilson » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:49 am

It's 11 O'clock, and I can't think of any puns either, so I'll add a bit to the original topic (or is that the second topic?).

Old gasoline in the tanks forms a sort of varnish that is soluble in denatured alcohol, available in the hardware stores. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol has water in it and won't work. Pour out the gas and pour in the alcohol and let it set for two days (IIRC the Coleman site says one day, but I'm cautious).

Just about anything you need to get these things working again is available online.

Oh, and the brass crank on one side of the lantern operates a cleaning needle in the generator and should be in the down position when you're running the lantern.
I did not know that and the needle on the family lantern finally burned out after 50 years, so I guess it really doesn't matter all that much.

And buy the plastic cases for the lanterns. I finally did and cut the expenditure on mantles to about 10% of before we had the plastic case.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Netpackrat » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:57 am

Windy Wilson wrote:Old gasoline in the tanks forms a sort of varnish that is soluble in denatured alcohol, available in the hardware stores. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol has water in it and won't work. Pour out the gas and pour in the alcohol and let it set for two days (IIRC the Coleman site says one day, but I'm cautious).


Rubbing alcohol has water in it. 99% anhydrous isopropyl alcohol (a common industrial solvent) does not.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby HTRN » Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:08 am

Alcohol makes a great cleaning agent - it doesn't leave any residue behind. Before we got mission specific agents to clean the surface plate at work, I used alcohol..

Also, it's what I use to clean my windshield whenever I have to put registrations on - for some reason, the glue on the stickers does not like windex..
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Greg » Tue Jan 20, 2015 2:11 pm

HTRN wrote:Alcohol makes a great cleaning agent - it doesn't leave any residue behind. Before we got mission specific agents to clean the surface plate at work, I used alcohol..

Also, it's what I use to clean my windshield whenever I have to put registrations on - for some reason, the glue on the stickers does not like windex..


Alcohol is the cleaning agent in eyeglass lens wipes you can buy. My wife and I go through a fair number of them. It's also the cleaning agent of choice for things used to clean lcd monitor screens.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Weetabix » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:56 pm

Windy Wilson wrote:Old gasoline in the tanks forms a sort of varnish that is soluble in denatured alcohol, available in the hardware stores. Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol has water in it and won't work. Pour out the gas and pour in the alcohol and let it set for two days (IIRC the Coleman site says one day, but I'm cautious).

Excellent! I hadn't run across that yet. I'll try it.

Oh, and the brass crank on one side of the lantern operates a cleaning needle in the generator and should be in the down position when you're running the lantern.
I did not know that and the needle on the family lantern finally burned out after 50 years, so I guess it really doesn't matter all that much.

That was the problem with one of the lanterns. When I took the generator apart, the cleaning needle was bent over, and I assume it had jammed in the body of the generator so that no gas would flow.

And buy the plastic cases for the lanterns. I finally did and cut the expenditure on mantles to about 10% of before we had the plastic case.

It's on my list. My lost propane lantern is in a plastic case... somewhere.
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Re: I have gas and small orifices (camping appliance repair)

Postby Yogimus » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:59 am

I have a bottle of everclear in the freezer specifically to be used as a disinfectant cleaner


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